What is a Hot Flash?
A "hot flash" (also known as a hot flush), is a feeling of intense heat not attributed to any external sources. They can happen in the night (night sweats), or suddenly throughout the day and occur in both perimenopause and menopause.
The cause is not fully understood but they're believed to be the result of Hypothalamus changes. The Hypothalamus is the part of the brain that regulates body temperature. This may occur due to the changing hormone levels (oestrogen and progesterone).
It's said that about three-quarters of women in perimenopause will experience hot flashes and about 80% of menopausal women will also.
What Happens When You Have a Hot Flash?
A hot flash can suddenly arise or you may feel it brewing... Some things you may encounter are:
- Tingling in your fingers
- A faster heart rate than usual
- Your skin feels warm suddenly
- Your skin may go red/flush all of a sudden
- Sudden sweating for no apparent reason
A hot flash may go away for a few seconds or it may last 10 minutes or more. One thing is for sure, is that no two women are exactly the same and what triggers one lady may not trigger another. It is important to know the potential triggers and avoid them if possible?
Hot Flash Triggers
- Alcohol consumption
- Caffeine consumption
- Eating spicy foods
- Spending time in hot weather or a hot room
- Experiencing stress or anxiety
- Wearing tight, restrictive clothing
- Smoking/cigarette smoke
- Too much sugar in the diet
Helpful Hot Flash Lifestyle Tips
If you've been experiencing hot flashes, perhaps try some of the following lifestyle tips to help bring some relief and more joy to your days?
- Staying cool by opting for lighter clothing that breathes and try layering your clothes in case a hot flash strikes and you need to remove something
- Drink 2-3 cups of sage tea each day as sage is said to help improve menopausal symptoms - including hot flashes and night sweats
- Have a fan handy (one near your bed and a small portable one for your handbag) for when you need to cool down
- Sleep with a lower temperature in your bedroom (keep a window open or air conditioning on)
- Have a cool shower through the day and before bed if possible to cool you down
- Cool your wrists down with cold running water. There are many blood vessels in your wrist so this can cool you quickly
- Sustain a healthy weight. If overweight, hot flashes may occur more frequently or more severely. Regular movement is recommended
- Keep stress to a minimum where possible. Slow things down, take things off your 'To-do" list, get into nature, garden, swim, meditate, do yoga and enjoy life!
- Try cognitive behavioural therapy. This type of therapy has been shown to help reduce any anxiety or negative feelings around hot flashes and night sweats
- Ensure you are getting enough calcium in your diet and not just from dairy but also from plant source such as leafy greens, almonds, brazil nuts, sesame seeds or tahini (sesame seed paste), green crucifers, seaweed, Moringa (try the Perfect Matchinga™ powder in your daily smoothie, as it contains 9 x the calcium than milk!), and organic baobab powder (you get 30mg of calcium per 6g serve which adds to your daily intake.
- Take phytoestrogens* in the form of organic tofu, resveratrol (Perfect ResGrape Max) and Perfect Plant protein. Phytoestrogens have been shown to have positive effects on hormonal imbalances and reducing hot flash frequency.
- Take a high-quality liver detox support supplement such as the Perfect Liver detox support. When excess oestrogens don't get properly processed in the body via the liver, this can create havoc for health. A good liver detox support can help to encourage better liver detoxification (phases 1 and 2) and this has to do with the broccoli sprouts contained in the product. See Kimbo's testimonial below where she talks about the Perfect Liver Detox supplement and how it has helped her with hot flashes.
- Take an excellent adaptogenic herb such as Rhodiola as part of your stress-management plan
*Note: if you are oestrogen-dominant, it might be best to avoid tofu and soy products as a protein source (miso and tamari are ok as they are consumed in small amounts), because when you're oestrogen-dominant it's not wise to add in any more as soy isoflavones bind to a woman's oestrogen receptors and this can have a weakened oestrogenic affect (or even anti-oestrogenic).
Either way, that is not good!
I hope you've enjoyed this article today and please share it with anyone you think may benefit 😊 Also, remember that wellness is a journey and you don't have to try everything all at once, in fact, doing this will just overwhelm you so if you're considering supplementing just start off with 1 or 2 products and try them for awhile and see how your body responds.
Supplements are there to do just that - "supplement" and are not intended to replace a clean, wholesome diet.
If you just use this article as a guide and not an "exact" that would be the best way! The last thing you need is any extra stress - we certainly don't want that for you and the cost of stress defeats your efforts to find balance.
Just take things step by step, one day at a time, work out with your trusted health practitioner, where you might have nutritional gaps or need extra support. You can show them our products and they may help you to work out what is best for you?
Lastly, know that you are doing the best you can and that is enough, YOU are enough!
This article is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as health advice. Statements made have not been evaluated by the TGA and are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent and one should always consult with their trusted health professional before adding a new supplement to their diet