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Healthy Her | Hot Flashes

Healthy Her | Hot Flashes

Let’s talk about hot flashes. Hot Flashes are when your body decides to spontaneously combust! I’m just kidding, or am I? While hot flashes are commonly associated with the menopausal transition, they can afflict women of many ages. I remember experiencing them during pregnancy and postpartum, and I can attest that they are uncomfortable.

When it comes to hot flashes, experience varies. Some barely notice them; while for others, it can be a big disruption in their daily life. They usually appear as a brief sensation of heat in the body that can be accompanied by feeling flushed and sweating. It can be uncomfortable, but there are things you can do to alleviate severe symptoms.

One suggestion is to avoid things that trigger hot flashes. Those include:

  • Hot weather
  • Tight clothing
  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Stress

It can hard to avoid all of those, especially living in South Alabama. If you are a person that experiences hot flashes that are disrupting to your day-to-day life, there are therapies to alleviate these symptoms. These therapies include:

  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Prescription medications
  • Over the counter remedies
  • Adding foods with plant estrogens to your diet
  • Life style changes

To determine what the best solution is for you, contact your OBGYN to talk about options. Your doctor will want to know what medications you take, whether you smoke or drink, and what your diet and exercise habits are like. They can use this information to come up with a treatment plan that’s personalized for you to manage hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.

If you have mild symptoms, you can try some small lifestyle changes to manage hot flashes. Here are some suggestions:

  • If exercising outdoors, try to exercise in the cooler parts of the day
  • Dress in layers so you can remove clothing as needed to stay comfortable
  • Keep a travel deodorant in your bag incase you want to reapply due to the sweating
  • Keep a cold water bottle/cup, drinking cool beverages can help you stay cool
  • Incorporate exercise into your daily life
  • Eat foods with plant estrogens like soybeans, chickpeas, flax seeds and lentils

Hot flashes that occur at night are called night sweats. After I had my baby, I had a big hormone shift and had night sweats for a couple weeks. It was miserable, but I also did not want to make my house too cold for my baby! I found sleeping with a cooling eye mask felt nice. If you tend to experience night sweats you can try:

  • Sleeping in a cooler environment
  • Wear breathable clothing to sleep
  • Take a warm bath or shower before bed
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol at night
  • Use breathable or cooling bedding

Hot flashes are no fun, but they are manageable. Get an appointment with your OBGYN today! Find a physician near you at

For more information on hot flashes:

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