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Tips for Dealing with Hot Flashes in the Summer

While menopause affects every woman differently, hot flashes are relatively common. These uncomfortable episodes, which typically include feelings of intense warmth and sweating, affect about 85% of women

Hot flashes can occur as early as 2-3 years before your last menstrual period. While the average duration of hot flashes is two years, these symptoms can last 15 years or more after a women’s final period. Some women experience hot flashes occasionally while others have several episodes a day. 

Menopause specialist Shaurin Patel, MD, here at ObGyn Care of Oklahoma provides professional treatment and empathetic support during a time that can be challenging for many women. Dr. Patel specializes in helping women deal with hot flashes and other life-disrupting symptoms of menopause. 

Depending on your condition, Dr. Patel may recommend hormone treatments, lifestyle counseling, or minimally invasive gynecologic surgery to relieve disruptive and painful symptoms of menopause. 

Dr. Patel and our team advise patients to take steps to reduce the effects of hot flashes. We recommend the following tips for a more comfortable summer.

Get plenty of sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult during menopause. Up to 61% of postmenopausal women experience insomnia

Whether you can’t relax enough to fall asleep, or hot flashes wake you up in the middle of the night, try different bedtime routines to find what helps encourage you to sleep. When you find what works, establish a consistent routine. Maintain your routine by going to bed and getting up the same time each day.

Sleep in a cool, well-ventilated room to minimize the effects of night sweats, which are hot flashes that occur while you try to sleep. Consider using a ceiling or floor fan, or even a small personal fan on your nightstand, to help you remain comfortable while you sleep.

Manage the temperature

You may not be able to control the temperature outside, but you can take charge of what it feels like inside to get some relief. Keep your home thermostat low.

Block out natural sunlight with curtains or shades from 10am-3pm, the hottest hours of the day. Strategically position fans to circulate cool air toward areas where you work or relax in your home so you can maintain your routines even when a hot flash occurs.

Eat a healthy diet

You can get all the nutrients you need to handle the physical and mental changes of menopause by eating a nutritious diet. Concentrate on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Pack healthy snacks when you leave your house so you won’t be tempted bythe vending machine or fast food drive-thru. 

Avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine, all of which can trigger hot flashes in some women. You may retain water and feel irritable if you eat too many foods high in processed carbs, salt, and added sugars.

Maintaining a healthy weight makes you feel better in all types of weather and reduces your risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. 

Reduce stress

Stress is associated with the onset of hot flashes, mood swings, and irritability. Take actions that reduce the level of stress in your life, both at home and at work. Start by learning to delegate responsibilities and limit obligations.

When uneven hormone levels make you feel overwhelmed or trigger a hot flash, try to relax and take several deep breaths to clear your mind. Practice meditation to help you focus and feel more calm.

Stay hydrated

If you’re sweating a lot due to hot flashes, you run a higher risk of dehydration. Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily can help keep you hydrated and maintain good health.

Dress in layers

Being overheated can trigger the onset of a hot flash. Dress in layers to maintain control over your body’s temperature. 

Dressing in layers allows you to adapt to your body’s changing internal temperature discreetly by simply removing the outer layer. Wear breathable fabrics like cotton, which can feel lighter and allow more air to circulate against your body. 

Exercise regularly

While getting hot and sweaty may be the last thing you want to consider in the summer, regular exercise can reduce the intensity of hot flashes. An exercise routine can also help you sleep better, lessen stress, and maintain a healthy weight, all of which can make you feel better.  

Find out more about ways to improve your quality of life by dealing with hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Schedule an appointment online or call one of our Oklahoma City offices today.

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