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Are Menopausal Hot Flashes worse in Summer?

After a cold long spring all of us would be looking forward to the arrival of summer, just to fire up our cold stricken bodies where high temperatures just become a norm. But women going through menopause would be triggered with hot flashes and make them far worse. 

As the study says, three in every four middle aged women experience hot flashes and during the summer-time the heat and humidity can trigger hot flashes to an unbearable extent making them far worse. 

But even after Hot Flashes become a common scenario for women to go through especially during the summer time there exists many ways to stay in comfort. 

Here are some of the tips you can follow during the summer for you to beat the heat of Hot Flashes:

  1. Avoid the triggers that lead to Hot Flashes: 

Oftentimes even when Hot Flashes seem so random, they can be triggered. To know these triggers just pay attention to what happens moments before the Hot Flashes actually show up, this way you can understand triggers and intentionally avoid them.  

The most common triggers include : 

  • Hot environments.
  • Smoking.
  • Tight Clothing
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Sugary and Spicy Foods

Let’s delve into each of these common triggers for hot flashes:

Hot Environments: 

Exposure to hot environments, whether it’s being outside on a hot day or being in a room with inadequate ventilation or excessive heating, can trigger hot flashes. The body’s response to external heat can exacerbate the sensation of internal heat associated with hot flashes.

Smoking: 

Smoking can contribute to the frequency and severity of hot flashes. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes can disrupt hormone levels and blood circulation, potentially triggering hot flashes in susceptible individuals.

Tight Clothing: 

Wearing tight or constrictive clothing can trap heat close to the body, leading to an increase in body temperature and potentially triggering hot flashes. Loose-fitting clothing allows for better air circulation and may help alleviate this trigger.

Caffeine: 

Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase heart rate and body temperature, potentially triggering hot flashes in some individuals. Beverages such as coffee, tea, and certain sodas contain caffeine and may contribute to the onset of hot flashes.

Alcohol: 

Alcohol consumption can dilate blood vessels and affect hormone levels, leading to an increase in body temperature and potentially triggering hot flashes. Additionally, alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns, which may exacerbate hot flashes in some individuals.

Sugary and Spicy Foods: 

Foods high in sugar or spices can stimulate the body and increase metabolism, potentially triggering hot flashes. Spicy foods, in particular, contain compounds that can temporarily raise body temperature and trigger a sweating response, contributing to the sensation of heat associated with hot flashes.

By paying attention to these triggers and making lifestyle modifications to avoid or minimize exposure to them, individuals experiencing hot flashes may be able to better manage their symptoms. 

Additionally, keeping a diary or journal to track triggers and symptoms can help identify patterns and inform personalized strategies for managing hot flashes.

  1. Dressing Matters:

Unlike winters, summers aren’t made for cosy & comfy outfits, rather opt for loose pieces of clothing and avoid any kind of clothing that triggers the Hot Flash. 

Every material you choose to wear makes a huge difference, especially for Hot Flashes it is vital to choose materials made of cotton, linen or any light weighted materials like breathable wool. 

Additionally wearing flowing tops, bottoms and dresses helps you in concealing wetness in you tend to have any. 

  1. Choosing the right sunscreen

If you find it impractical to rely on loose, long-sleeved linen shirts, billowing linen pants, and a wide-brimmed hat for shielding your skin from the sun, consider choosing a sunscreen that allows your skin to breathe while providing adequate protection. Look for sunscreen formulations specifically designed to be breathable, as they won’t hinder your body’s natural sweating process, which helps regulate temperature. 

When selecting a sunscreen, pay attention to the active ingredients. Opt for products that contain physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium oxide. These ingredients create a barrier on the skin’s surface that reflects and scatters UV radiation, offering broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

On the other hand, avoid sunscreens with chemical filters such as oxybenzone and avobenzone. These chemicals have been found to mimic estrogen in the body, potentially disrupting hormonal balance. By steering clear of synthetic estrogenic compounds, you can minimize the risk of further complicating hormonal issues, particularly relevant for individuals already experiencing disruptions, such as those prone to hot flashes.

Prioritize breathable sunscreen formulations with physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium oxide to safeguard your skin without impeding your body’s natural cooling mechanisms. By making informed choices about sunscreen ingredients, you can protect your skin from harmful UV rays while minimizing potential hormonal disruptions.

  1. Stay Cool

Ensuring you remain cool, especially during periods of high heat, is crucial for managing hot flashes effectively. For many women, prolonged exposure to hot environments is a major trigger for these sudden surges of heat. During the summer months, particularly when facing a heat wave, it’s essential to prioritize strategies to stay cool and comfortable.

If you have access to air conditioning, make use of it to maintain a cool indoor environment, especially during the peak heat hours of the day. If air conditioning is not available, you can still create a cooler atmosphere at home. Keep your shades drawn to block out direct sunlight and utilize multiple fans strategically placed throughout your living space to ensure proper air circulation in every room.

If these measures aren’t sufficient, seek out alternative cool environments outside of your home. Places like libraries, cafes, or movie theaters often offer air conditioning and can provide a welcome respite from the outdoor heat.

Taking proactive steps to cool down before bedtime can also help minimize hot flashes and night sweats, particularly when your home environment is warmer than usual. Consider placing a dehumidifier in your bedroom to reduce moisture levels and enhance comfort. Additionally, taking a refreshing cool shower before bed can lower your body temperature, making it easier to sleep peacefully through the night.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively manage hot flashes and maintain comfort, even during periods of intense heat. Prioritizing cooling techniques and seeking out cooler environments when necessary can significantly alleviate the discomfort associated with hot flashes and contribute to overall well-being during warmer months.

Sources:
https://www.weyhrichobgyn.com/blog/menopausal-hot-flushes-andsummer-your-survival-guide

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