With summer very much on the way, while the idea of laying on a warm beach and dipping your toes
into blue seas may sound very inviting, for many of us hot flushes and hot weather combine in an
uncomfortable melee to make us feel unpleasant at the most inopportune moments (such as work,
travel or when trying to get some much-needed rest).
Hot flushes are thought to be triggered by fluctuating oestrogen hormone levels that can upset how
your body’s temperature is regulated. While addressing this hormone imbalance with HRT treatment
can be a sure fire way to stop hot flushes, here are some other ideas to help you keep your cool.
Clothing To Wear To Combat Hot Flushes
Tight, restrictive clothing is definitely a ‘no no’ if you are experiencing hot flushes, and it’s advisable
to try and wear loose layers that you can remove if and when a hot flush strikes. Make sure that
your underwear fits well and is made of fabrics that draw away sweat to ensure maximum comfort.
Indeed there are now a range of brands on the market that have been designed specifically with
menopause in mind, for example ‘We Become One’ has introduced a range of clothing and
underwear which is designed to help regulate body temperature while wicking away moisture from
the body, a little like gym wear.
There are also specially designed hot-flush proof nightwear brands, that are made to keep you cool
whilst in bed.
Foods To Avoid When Having Hot Flushes
There is much talk about what foods can ease menopausal symptoms (and lots of conflicting advice
on the internet), but there are definitely some that do trigger hot flushes in some women. While it
may sound obvious, try and avoid hot drinks if you are having a hot flush – and generally speaking,
caffeine can be an issue – with a US study finding that as many as two out of three women are prone
to caffeine induced hot flushes.
Spicy food and the capsaicin in chilli can also trigger a hot flush, so step away from that hot curry,
and instead opt for a dish a few notches less spicy.
Alcohol can trigger flushes for few women so if you are one of them – watch your intake. Smoking is
a big ‘no no’.
Reduce The Surrounding Temperature
Wherever possible, keep your room cool. At home, think about drawing blinds and curtains during
the day to keep the sun from heating your room up, and if having a hot flush, move to a cooler room
within your house.
We have all had our share of the battles in an office space, where different colleagues have different
requirements for the room temperature. It can be tricky to win the battle for the thermostat in an
office setting! Instead, think of ways in which you can cool your personal workspace – so things like
fans or keeping a cooling pack or mist close to your hand can help you to fend off hot flushes.
Stress can be a major trigger for hot flushes in many women, and this can set up a vicious cycle – you
feel stressed which triggers a hot flush, then the hot flush in itself can make you feel stressed and
While it’s not always easy to stay calm under pressure – think about ways in which you can reduce
your stress levels. Things like exercise, practising mindfulness or meditation can help to ease stress,
which in turn reduces the likelihood of having frequent hot flushes.