Hot flushes come on suddenly and can feel like a burst of anxiety there may be:
Generally, they can last anytime between 1 minute and 5 minutes. Like anything in health, it varies between women.
Some women like myself are unlucky enough to get them several times in one-hour others may only experience them a couple of times a week. The intensity can also vary.
Exactly what causes them isn’t fully known.
There is evidence that hormonal changes in the body play a part and we know the oestrogen levels start to lower during perimenopause which is usually when hot flushes start. They generally become less prevalent as oestrogen levels even out.
Some of the more common triggers
Sometimes when you drink coffee you might feel a little hyper? That is the caffeine triggering your sympathetic nervous system. This, in turn, can trigger hot flushes. Try to cut down on the coffee and tea and maybe replace them with a herbal drink. I know, I know it is a high price to pay.
Balance, balance, balance. It is important to have balance in all areas of our life and the same is true for diet. Keep your blood sugar in balance and this will help lessen the flushes.
Caffeine may trigger your sympathetic nervous system but controlled breathing triggers your parasympathetic nervous system which relaxes you. Try breathing in for the count of 4, hold for 1 and out for the count of 7, hold for 1 and repeat. After 10 or so repeats you should be starting to feel nice and mellow. This is a great way to lessen the attacks and to lessen the severity if you practice it while in the middle of a flush.
This is known to greatly help the transition into menopause. Try mixing it up with some cardio and strength and aim for at least 40 minutes every day. It may just be as simple as a brisk walk.
These herbs and supplements may not work for everyone and in some cases, relief may be minor.
Perimenopause was not a great time for me. The hot flushes especially came often and left me feeling exhausted. I was not hugely overweight. Probably around 63 kilograms and my diet, I thought, was okay. We ate whole grain, not much pasta or rice, only sweet stuff on the weekend and had a lot of veggies.
After seeing an article on TV about David Gillespie’s book ‘Sweet Poison’ I bought it and read it. I then went on to read I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson.
Both books had a profound effect on me.
And not just the white sugar that you add to your tea or coffee but sugar that is in fruit otherwise known as fructose was hunted down and expelled from my diet.
All that was left of the sweet killer was a few raspberries on my homemade, grain-free muesli and a daily piece of 85% chocolate. I wasn’t giving that dark piece of magic up for anyone or anything.
I felt absolute crap for about four days as my body adjusted.
Sugar and carbs. They are addictive and I was paying the price for my habit. That was the downside.
After two weeks I began to feel amazing. I had much more energy and was losing weight. The most notable effect though was the hot flushes.
They disappeared completely. Well worth the crappy few days.
I am not saying this is for everyone. For me, I thought it was well worth it and in fact, with further research, I cut my carbs even further and added more fat but that is a story for another day.
With a healthy diet that is low in carbs, exercise and supplements you may alleviate or even get rid of the flushes. If not consider there is another possible remedy and that is getting rid of sugar completely and at least cutting out refined grains opting instead for whole grains, quinoa, buckwheat and such like. If it works it will have been worth it and what will you have lost?
Maybe a few kilos, some wrinkles and an addiction. Oh and the hot flushes of course!