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Hot Flushes

2: Hot Flushes

It’s time to focus on the second symptom on our list - it’s going to get a little steamy without a sauna in sight - as we get hot under the collar with Hot Flushes - or Flashes - depending which side of the pond you live. Anyhow, whichever way you say it, it’s sizzling hot and not necessarily in a good way! But don’t entirely abandon hope either…

Having hot flushes are probably one of *THE* most telltale signs of peri-menopause and menopause.

Imagine for a moment that you’re going about your daily business without a care in the world; perhaps having dinner with friends or family, out at the shopping centre, or simply sitting reading a good novel or catching up with your favourite TV show.

Feel perfectly comfortable, then, out of the blue, a wave of heat surges and floods through your body, bringing you out in beads of perspiration. Who the hell turned on the fire inside of you?

Ever blushed in your life, and felt your (facial) cheeks burn and tingle?! Well imagine that sensation - and then some - as your entire body seems to furiously ‘blush’ from the inside out, from head to toe!

Seriously, it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced. You start stripping off any layers of clothes faster than Usain Bolt, frantically fanning yourself with whatever comes to hand, waving your hands around like you're shooing away swarms of bees. Go and stand in front of the open fridge or searching for water like you're in the desert and just spotted an oasis of utter chill and tranquility. Yep - it’s THAT intense and then some…

Then just as fast as it came, and as if like magic, ‘POOF!’ and it’s gone again, disappearing almost as quickly as it appeared. Bewildered, you’re left wondering what the heck just happened (or words to that effect). It can be so very unsettling and so intermittent, akin to a long lost relative turning up unannounced, dropping by to say hello once in a blue moon, or - more frequently - surging every few minutes. Crikey. What a ‘house guest’ to have eh?!?

So what is it that causes us hotties to have these Hot Flushes?

Our body's inner heat is governed and managed by our hormones. As we embark on our journey towards menopause our female hormones start to decrease. Even a little drop in oestrogen causes our inner thermostat - called the hypothalamus - to react; when it thinks the body is too warm it (helpfully!) triggers a chain of events to try and cool the body down known as a hot flush/flash.

So hotties, what can we do to help ourselves?

Well there are plenty of options:

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could help to boost your dwindling hormones
  • Natural remedies - such as clary sage, starflower (aka borage) oil and isoflavones - are reported to help manage symptoms
  • Cut back on caffeine, alcohol and spices (what?? How very dare you!!)
  • Wear natural fabrics
  • Stay hydrated - pssst! Water really is a girl’s best friend!
  • Mindfulness, guided meditations, and relaxation techniques as the menopause can adversely impact your mood
  • Keep your environment nice and cool - and have your roomies invest in thermal underwear if they can’t stand the thermostat being on low!

These are just a few things for starters. Everyone’s journey is different and as unique as you.

Therefore, how you deal with ‘the change’ and all its eccentric ways is individual to you and you’ll need to decide what’s best for you, talk to an expert to guide you.

There is so much more awareness and coverage in the mainstream media, government debates and day to day life, compared to even a couple of years ago. And it’s heartening to see women gain the right to get the treatment they want/need.

The good news is that these flushes can be managed; they do pass, eventually becoming less frequent. Thank you Mother Nature, you’re too kind!

***DISCLAIMER However, just a little word of caution ~ if you are experiencing hot flushes, or any other symptoms giving you cause for concern, always check it out with your GP/health care professional to rule out any other potential cause***

Meanwhile hotties, stay cool and fabulous, and remember to invest in a fan, it’s a gal’s best friend. I’d marry mine if it were legal. You could say I’m my fan’s Number One Fan!!

Julie x