Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Hot Flash Help

According to the U.S. National Institute of Health a hot flash is a sudden temporary onset of body warmth, flushing and sweating.

According to me, a hot flash is a shocking sensation of tropical type humidity that soaks, swells and flushes your flesh as it rushes, like a wave breaking over your body from bottom to top.

The Mayo Clinic reports that 75% of menopausal and post menopausal women experience hot flashes making them one of the most common issues for this age and gender.

I've mentioned global warming before on this blog. It would seem that if 75% of nearly one third of the world's population of women is over heating, something else is warming too.

What to do, what to do:

  • Move to Canada and live outside.
  • Take a pole dancing class and learn to strip.
  • If you're more modest, dress in easy to remove, multiple layers, then remove them one at a time.
  • Buy a cheap hand held fan and be your own fan base.
  • Turn down the furnace.
  • Go outside if it's cooler.
  • Open the windows.
  • Go sit in the basement.
  • Avoid food that is known to trigger a flash. Your personal list may consist of things you love like spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol. Sorry, but lettuce never has nor likely will be a trigger.
  • Slowly introduce more soy and flax seed in your diet. These, plus beans, peas and lentils contain "phytoestrogens. Researchers believe phytoestrogens may reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, and also help prevent heart disease and osteoporosis, although this has not yet been proven. Regardless, this type of protein is very good for your whole system. And being full of beans can be fun.
What to do if you remember:
  • Before bed, take the recommended on the bottle adult dose of magnesium/calcium combination.
  • Keep spare PJ's (or towel if you sleep nude) available. Although I haven't tried it, I'm told that 'Moisture Wicking' nightwear is pretty cool too.
  • Have a fresh set of sheets nearby just in case you 'have a soaker'.
Personally, I highly recommend getting a stash of fine quality semi-sweet chocolate to help you through your hottest times. It'll melt in your mouth and in your hand. Be warned that this is not scientifically proven, but it has no known side effects except perhaps another hot flash triggered by the caffeine in the chocolate. Any maybe some wild, hot, edible sex....with chocolate stains everywhere.

Sue Richards



Blogger Lisa said...

It seems I have hot flashes at the most unopportune moments...like during conversations with co-workers or my boss. I don't have very many at night thank goodness. All of mine happen at work! My biggest complaint about menopause right now it that my hair is falling out!

11/29/2005 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger LAmom said...

So far mine are more polite, usually coming in the evening or early morning. The nausea will hit anytime, though.

11/29/2005 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger mld said...

I am 48 and don't get as many (hotfashes)as I used to. Fortunately I work with mostly women and no one bats an eye if we take off our jackets and go sleevless. For me the early stages were plagued with bad mood swings, that is not so bad anymore.

11/30/2005 12:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Tina said...

First, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your blog and for it being so specific and fortheright concerning a topic so many do not discuss.

Second, I want to be bold enough to ask a question. You have said a few times (I just found your site yesterday and have already read with great interest all of the archives - thank you, again) that menopause is not a disease and does not need to be cured. My heart agrees with this, yet I am really struggling with some of the changing my body is going through during this process. Specifically some of the things that are really hard for me right now have to do with emotions, extreme emotions, and sleep disruptions. I know one could be "feeding" the other. In other words with a good night sleep the emotions may not seem so overwhelming or if I wasn't so pumped up maybe I could sleep. So my question is have you ever felt that doing anything to support yourself or even to diminish symptoms was in anywise untrue to your feeling that 'menopause is not a disease and does not need to be cured.' Do you have any specific recommendations relating to these types of issues? Do you have any idea if there are any studies that can give some feel of the duration of these types of issues ... I mean if they are going to last 3 days and I am on day 2 1/2 should I just push through them or if they are going to last 3 years every single day without any assistance, maybe I need to look at ways to reinforce myself or even ways to avoid having those issues (yes even if it means medicines).

Ok, I think you've gotten the idea I am grasping out for straws ... so ya got any bones to throw me? They would be much appreciated!

P.S. I am only 35 and going through this EM stuff.

11/30/2005 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Sue Richards said...

Hi Tina,

I had the sleepless thing for a few months just as my cycle started to shift.

It was crazy making until I adjusted my morning schedule and moved my 'must be on' meetings later in the day. I also grabbed cat naps whenever I could, even if I only rested.

I changed my social calendar too and gave up late night party stuff.

I definately didn't push myself through. I tried two homeopathic remedies...Rescue Remedy and Valerian that helped.

And started doing gentle yoga at night. No caffine after 9am. More brisk walking in the day.

Mostly, when I was awake, I didn't give myself a hard time. Sometimes I would have a bath...in the middle of the night. Or I sat outside on my deck and listened to the night...it was summer.

I got through. Now I sleep like a log again.

Sue Richards

11/30/2005 01:31:00 PM  

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