There’s nothing irregular or unnatural about experiencing hot flashes. In fact, according to the North American Menopause Society, 75% of women experience hot flashes during the perimenopause or menopause stages of life. Most women who have begun their transition into menopause are all too familiar with this sudden feeling of heat, as well as facial flushing, redness, and sweating. Considering how common they are, it makes sense why so many women that we take care of ask if there is any way to prevent hot flashes.
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Hot flashes occur naturally as a result of hormonal changes the body experiences during menopause. These changes make the body more sensitive to changes in temperature. Blood vessels close to the skin’s surface widen to cool off, leading to excess sweating and redness. These hormone changes are simply part of the process and cannot be stopped.
Although it may not be possible to completely prevent hot flashes from occurring, our reproductive health experts have provided the following tips to help reduce their frequency and severity:
- Limit or avoid foods and drinks that can trigger hot flashes. This includes spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages.
- Perform some level of moderate exercise daily including jogging, walking, swimming, bicycling, and dancing.
- Avoid smoking, as women who smoke are more likely to experience common and severe hot flashes.
- Try to keep cool in bed. Hot flashes that occur overnight (also known as night sweats) can be combatted by sleeping in a cool, comfortable environment. We recommend using a “chill pillow” and lighter sheets and blankets.
For women who have not had luck controlling or managing their hot flashes with these methods, we provide different potential treatment options. These include medications including hormone replacement therapies (HRT) that can help level out the body’s hormone levels as well as non-hormonal options that may also help. For more information on hot flashes and other women’s health issues or if you would like to request an appointment, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, and more.