Handling your Hot Flash while in the company of others.
Experiencing Menopausal Hot Flashes. How I managed drug free hot flashes without loosing my cool!
Hot flashes are caused by the decline of the body’s estrogen hormone, triggering changes in the thermoregulation (regulation of body temperature) responsible for an extreme sense of heat throughout the body. This causes the feeling of being on fire and sweating. Hot flashes can last from a few seconds and up to several minutes.
Personally, I had an average of four to as much as eight hot flashes in a day. Hot flashes make me want to strip down as quickly as possible, so wearing turtleneck sweaters is not a wise idea unless you like the static-cling hair look! Wearing layers is helpful when it’s cold out, but when a hot flash strikes I have the need to peel off my clothes faster than a stripper, it requires that I wear simple and uncomplicated clothing that can be easily removed and replaced once the flash is over, not leaving me feeling cold.
How to have Hot flashes when in the company of others: It can be embarrassing having hot flashes in the presence of other people, especially during a business meeting. Most women can attest to this. Turning bright red, feeling like steam is coming out of my ears, and fire is flaring off my back! When a hot flash hits and I’m in the company of others, I’ve learned to treat the process of stripping down very nonchalantly. I purposely keep my eyes on the face of the person I’m speaking to as I casually and consciously remove my sweater or outer layer, and as quickly as I’d remove them the hot flash ends, so I begin to replace them as casually as I had removed them! It has helped me get comfortable, and accommodates my need to cool down instead of sweating it out and worrying what someone might think if I took off my coat in the middle of winter! If you treat it as casual and normal the people around you won’t think anything of it. Besides, at 50 I’m less concerned with what others think!
Each day I gauge my wardrobe choices carefully, considering temperatures in the environment I’ll be spending my time in, the level of activity, and particularly if I’m anticipating a stressful day.
Stress and hot flashes go hand-in-hand. “One of the results of the body’s “stress” reaction (be it emotional or physical stress) is the release of epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) into the blood. This causes blood flow to increase resulting, in an increase in temperature. Because hot flashes are a response to an increase in temperature, stress can cause hot flashes”*. This has spurred me to get in-tune with my body by recognizing the onset of a hot flash at the first spilt second it’s about to erupt, and by training my brain to immediately recognize this sense I consciously respond by slowing down and relaxing, breathe calmly, think of something pleasant and soothing, and if possible at that moment, drink some water. This works very effectively not only making the hot flashes less intense, but also reducing the number of hot flashes to a manageable few in a day! As an added bonus, I now find that I automatically start to relax when I sense a hot flash without thinking too much about it.
If you live a high stress life, it may be advantageous to learn to balance your stress with the practice of yoga, meditation, or by simply learning how to do relaxed breathing. You can learn more with Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades, Reiki Practitioner & Herbalist, who wrote a blog on effective techniques for meditation for those who struggle with getting it right. http://menopausemission.com/meditation-for-a-balanced-life
In addition, I’m also an advocate of having a healthy sense of humor and finding more ways to make me laugh through the ups and downs of graduating into mature womanhood! In my next blog I’ll share with you why humour is more powerful than drugs!
Lastly, and importantly, learn more about how hormones affect your body from head to toe with Dr. Lara Armstrong, ND http://menopausemission.com/hormones-101-perimenopause