Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of intense heat that spreads throughout your body. They cause flushing, sweating, and an elevated heart rate — and if you’ve ever experienced one, you know how uncomfortable and embarrassing they can be.
About 75% of women experience hot flashes in menopause. They’re one of the most common symptoms of menopause-related hormonal changes, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence.
Our gynecology team at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta provides compassionate care for menopausal women. If you’re bothered by menopausal hot flashes, it’s time to find out how you can manage or even prevent hot flashes from interfering with your quality of life.
How to manage hot flashes
Most women get hot flashes during menopause. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes, and they can strike at any time of the day or night.
Although hot flashes are a natural part of the menopausal process, they can be intense and unpleasant. Here are a few of our best tips to help manage them:
Make healthy lifestyle changes
Healthy lifestyle changes are a natural way to manage hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Regular exercise can reduce stress and regulate your hormone levels. Getting enough sleep at night can help prevent fatigue and improve your overall well-being.
Maintain a healthy weight
Carrying extra weight can increase the severity and frequency of menopausal hot flashes, so maintaining a healthy weight with regular exercise and a balanced diet can keep symptoms to a minimum. If you’re overweight, losing extra pounds may help tame your symptoms.
Identify (and avoid) your triggers
Certain foods, beverages, and activities can worsen hot flashes. Common dietary triggers include alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods. Other triggers include smoking cigarettes, strenuous exercise, and hot weather. Avoiding these triggers can lessen your hot flashes.
Along with avoiding triggers, taking extra steps to keep cool can make hot flashes less intense. Wear lightweight, breathable clothing during the day and at night. Turn on a fan or apply a cold compress to your forehead or neck for quick relief when you feel a hot flash coming on.
Practice stress management
Stress can make hot flashes worse, but practicing stress management techniques can help you manage your symptoms. Try deep breathing, meditation, or even yoga to calm your body and your mind.
Try alternative medicine
Some women find that alternative therapies, including acupuncture and herbal remedies, reduce their hot flashes.
These methods are generally low-risk, but it’s important to talk to your health care team before starting a new supplement or remedy. Some herbs may interact with other medications and cause unwanted side effects.
Consider hormone replacement therapy
If your hot flashes interfere with your daily life, you might be a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy. We specialize in hormone therapy to replace declining estrogen and progesterone levels during menopause.
Hormonal therapy is safe for most women, but it comes with certain risks. Talk to our team to find out if this type of therapy is a good option for you.
By using a proactive approach, you can take control over hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Find out more with a consultation at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta. Contact our offices in Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia, to get started.