No, hot flash is not a firefighter’s term. A hot flash doesn’t involve a fully involved fire. Unless, of course, you are a woman experiencing a menopausal hot flash. Then, you could argue that, yes, you have been fully involved with this facial fire. Until you’ve had a hot flash you can’t comprehend what it really is or how it can make you feel.
What is a Hot Flash?
For those who have struggled with hot flashes, it is not a flush or a blush. It can be described as if you are sitting on a plate under the heating lights in a restaurant kitchen.
Hot flashes are uncomfortable for several reasons. There is no way to put the fire out; you sit there burning up without any relief, even though you normally will grab the nearest thing you can find to fashion a fan. Until the hot flash passes you deal with heat plus the fact that your face is turning beet red. Yes, not only do you feel hot, but you look hot as well. It’s a physical feeling as well as an embarrassment. Your upper lip and hairline break out in a sweat. The entire world can see you’re having a hot flash. Any time day or night, in private or public, you are not safe from hot flashes. Hot flashes can wake you up out of a sound sleep and can cause night sweats. This can feel like the bedding is on fire until you break out in a sweat that douses you in a puddle of cold. You may have to get up and change the bedding and put on dry pajamas.
Preparing yourself for this unpleasantness, as well as letting those near and dear to you know about what’s happening is important to you and your loved ones’ sanity.
This whole night sweat/hot flash thing may lead to sleepless nights which in turn may create other problems in your life. Lack of sleep can cause increased stress levels, over-eating, weight gain, irritability, lack of focus and concentration, memory issues, and relationship problems. This is in addition to other symptoms of menopause that you are already experiencing. So, hot flashes and night sweats are not just a joke. How do we treat this problem?
Possible Treatments for Hot Flashes
There are ways that the severity hot flashes can be lessened so you can function normally in your daily life. Ask your doctor about both conventional and alternative treatments. Here are a few simple suggestions:
Change your diet – What we eat has a lot to do with how our bodies react to certain conditions. With hot flashes, the name of the game is reducing the number of processed foods, particularly carbohydrates that we eat. Switch to whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid sweets, caffeine, and alcohol. Some say salt and sugar are the culprits. Others say diet soft drinks are harmful. Whatever you are consuming, take a close look at it and see if what you’re ingesting could be hurting your health.
Herbal supplements – Consider an all-natural approach to your symptoms. Hot flashes have been treated with black cohosh and red clover.
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement – Decreased Estrogen and or Progesterone can contribute to hot flashes. Bio-identical does not mean that the hormone supplement will be compounded to fit each individual. This is a term used to describe a set of plant-derived ingredients that metabolize in your body just the way your own hormones would. As you can see, there aren’t a lot of choices or options for controlling hot flashes. Don’t forget your sense of humor. Being subjected to hot flashes is not fun, but being prepared with a laugh or two can only help.