A guide to managing post menopause hot flushes.


Hot flashes, or postmenopausal hot flushes, are a typical symptom that many women experience going through menopause. During menopause, hot flashes affect about 80% of women. Menopause, which usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, is the phase of a woman’s life when her menstrual cycles permanently end.

Hot flashes are rapid, intense heat sensation that covers the entire body, especially the top region—the face, neck, and chest—is the hallmark of a hot flush. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to many minutes, depending on how severe they are. Women during menopause may suffer from severe sweating, skin flushing, and elevated heart rate in addition to the heat. It is typical for women to feel cold or start perspiring after a hot flush passes.

Hot flashes may be more closely related to the rate at which a woman’s oestrogen and progesterone levels diminish as she approaches menopause than to the actual amount at which these hormones in the body. This reduction in the rate of oestrogen synthesis may cause the hypothalamus, the area of the brain responsible for controlling body temperature, to malfunction. The changes in oestrogen production rate may lead to the misperception by the hypothalamus of an elevation in body temperature, consequently inducing the body’s cooling processes, including vasodilation of blood vessels and perspiration.

Women’s hot flushes can vary widely in frequency and severity; some may only have sporadic, mild episodes, while others may experience regular, severe episodes that drastically lower their quality of life. The frequency and intensity of hot flashes can be influenced by a number of factors, including heredity, lifestyle choices, and general health.

Hot flashes are a normal aspect of the menopausal transition, but for some women, they can be uncomfortable and interfere with everyday activities. There are a number of therapeutic alternatives available if a woman’s well-being is greatly impacted by hot flushes. These include non-hormonal strategies including lifestyle changes (e.g., avoiding triggers like spicy food and hot beverages), relaxation techniques, acupuncture, and certain drugs, as well as Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT), which seeks to restore the diminishing hormones.

Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT).

Menopausal hormone treatment protects the lining of the uterus (womb) from cancer in women who have not had a hysterectomy by using progestogen in addition to oestrogen to treat menopausal symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or hormone therapy (HT) are other names for menopausal hormone therapy.

MHT is the best medication currently available because it lowers hot flashes and night sweats by about 80%. MHT also prevents osteoporosis and fractures, which helps to preserve bone. While the majority of women tolerate MHT rather well, some have breast pain or uterine haemorrhage. A gynaecologist may need to look at them to rule out other causes.

What are some lifestyle changes that can be made?

Reducing the frequency and intensity of postmenopausal hot flashes can be achieved by lifestyle adjustments. The following lifestyle modifications could aid in symptom relief:

  • Dressing in Layers: It’s easy to adapt lightweight clothing to your body’s changing temperature. In this manner, layers can be added or removed to meet hot flushes.
  • Remaining Cool: Reducing the temperature in the surrounding area will assist lessen the discomfort brought on by hot flashes. If required, consider utilising air conditioning, open windows, or use fans.
  • Handling Stress: For many women, stress can either cause or exacerbate hot flashes. Taking part in stress-relieving activities like yoga, tai chi, meditation, or deep breathing exercises may help reduce symptoms.
  • Frequent Exercise: Menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, can be effectively managed by regular physical activity. Exercise can enhance general wellbeing, improve sleep quality, and assist control hormone levels. Together with weight training activities, try to get in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week.
  • Steer Clear of Triggers: For some women, certain triggers might make hot flashes worse. Spicy meals, hot liquids (such as coffee and tea), alcohol, and cigarettes are common triggers. Mitigating or evading these stimulants could aid in the control of symptoms.
  • Sustaining a Healthy Weight: Hot flashes may be lessened by maintaining a healthy weight with a balanced diet and frequent exercise. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight may help reduce symptoms of hot flashes, as some research indicate that women with higher body mass indices (BMIs) may have more intense episodes.
  • Using Relaxation Techniques: Hot flushes can be controlled with the use of techniques including progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing exercises, and guided visualisation. These methods of relaxing can lessen the severity and frequency of symptoms while also fostering a sense of calm.
  • Sufficient Sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for maintaining general health and may also help control hot flashes. By keeping the room cold, utilising breathable bedding, and adhering to excellent sleep hygiene practises, you can create a suitable sleeping environment.
  • Herbal medicines: Certain herbal medicines, including red clover, black cohosh, or evening primrose oil, can help some women who are experiencing hot flashes. But before taking any herbal supplements, it’s crucial to speak with a doctor because they can have negative effects or interfere with other prescriptions.

It’s crucial to remember that everyone may not totally eradicate hot flashes with lifestyle changes, and that each person may respond differently to them. If altering one’s way of life does not bring about enough relief, it could be helpful to look into alternative forms of treatment or speak with a healthcare professional for more direction and assistance.

Are there specific exercises I can do to help with hot flushes?

Although there isn’t a single workout that can specifically target and stop hot flashes, research has shown that regular physical activity can help manage menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes. The following workouts are typically advantageous and could reduce heat flashes:

  • Aerobic Exercise: You can effectively manage hot flashes by engaging in activities that raise your heart rate and improve cardiovascular health, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing. Try to get in at least 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity at a moderate level. Frequent aerobic exercise may enhance general wellbeing, improve circulation, encourage better sleep, and assist control hormone levels.
  • Strength Training: Including strength training activities in your programme will improve general physical health, assist maintain muscle mass, and increase bone density. Exercises for strength training can be performed using resistance bands, free weights, machines, or bodyweight exercises including planks, squats, lunges, and push-ups. Increasing and preserving muscle strength may help control menopausal symptoms and improve general health.
  • Yoga: Hot flushes and stress can be effectively managed with the combination of physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation in yoga. Forwards bends, mild twists, and restorative postures are a few examples of yoga positions that might aid with relaxation and symptom relief. Furthermore, deep belly breathing and cooling breath (Sitali or Sitkari pranayama), two focused breathing exercises used in yoga, may help control body temperature and relieve hot flashes.
  • Tai Chi: Tai Chi is a mild type of exercise that combines deep breathing, meditation, and slow, flowing motions. It has been demonstrated to enhance general wellbeing, flexibility, and balance. According to certain research, tai chi may help menopausal women sleep better and experience fewer, milder hot flashes.
  • Mindful Movement Techniques: Menopausal symptoms can also be effectively managed by mindful movement techniques like Qigong or Pilates. These methods, which emphasise breathing exercises, mind-body awareness, and regulated movements, encourage physical health, stress relief, and relaxation.

It’s critical to select workouts that you enjoy, fit your fitness level, and improve your general health. Your workouts should be started slowly and increased in duration and intensity over time. Before beginning a new fitness programme, it is advisable to speak with our women’s health chiropractors, physiotherapists, and mobility experts if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns.

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