Unfortunately, warm weather is a trigger for hot flashes for many women. Even more unfortunate is that it’s hard to escape hot weather in the summer, especially in Las Vegas where the average high temperature is over 100 degrees.
About 80% of women going through menopause experience hot flashes, and many of them will go on to experience hot flashes for seven years or longer. Some women experience hot flashes only sporadically, while others can suffer through 10 a day. The severity of symptoms can range from mild to life-changing.
A hot flash is pretty much what it sounds like, and symptoms may include:
- A sudden sensation of heat in your chest, face, and head
- Blotchy, red, flushed skin
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sudden perspiration, sometimes profuse
- Chills following the heat
Hot flashes are caused by fluctuating hormones that are typical for women going through menopause. In addition to warm weather, various things can trigger a hot flash, including spicy foods, hot beverages, alcohol, taking a hot bath or sauna, and smoking.
The first step to managing hot flashes in the summertime is to avoid these triggers. Another effective method for managing hot flashes and other menopause symptoms is hormone therapy, but it carries several health risks if used for long-term treatment.
Our New Beginnings OB-GYN team put together this list of easy-to-do tips to help you find relief from hot flashes this summer. Suggestions include:
Dress in layers
Dress in lightweight cotton layers that absorb perspiration, and that can easily be peeled away as needed.
Drink and eat cold stuff
It seems obvious, but not something we necessarily think of as an adult. A great way to cool off when you’re experiencing a hot flash, as well as when you’re an overheated little kid, is to eat ice cream or drink a big glass of lemonade or ice water.
Practice mindful breathing
Practicing deep, mindful breathing exercises that slow your heartbeat down can bring your body temperature down as well. You don’t have to do anything fancy. Just sit still and take deep breaths in and out.
Hot flashes are more common in obese women, and sometimes can be more severe and occur more frequently. One study found that women who lost weight had reduced incidences of hot flashes as compared to the study group that didn’t lose weight. Plus, you’ll feel more confident in summer clothes and your bathing suit.
Use a cold compress
Keep an ice pack or washcloth in the freezer and take it out when you need it. Place it on your head or around your neck, and you’ll feel the cool effects immediately.
Lower your home thermometer
Keep your house and yourself cool by lowering the temperature in your home. That way, you’re prepared for when a hot flash hits. If you find that your house is not cold enough, try standing in front of an open refrigerator or freezer to help you cool down.
For more information on how to manage hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause in the summer and all year round, call our office at New Beginnings OB-GYN in Las Vegas, Nevada, or make an appointment online.