If you’ve been perimenopausal for any time at all, you’re probably no stranger to hot flashes — a symptom dreaded by women over the age of 40 the world over. There are uncomfortable, inconvenient and even at times, unsightly. But, while they are no bueno any time of year, summertime can really ramp up the unpleasantness and make it much more challenging to tame them. Here are a few tips to help you cool down your hot flashes on the hottest of summer days.
Stick to wicking fabrics
Bamboo and Coolmax are the best fabrics you can wear. Think of the fabrics with which sports clothes are made, especially when going to bed. We like Cool Jams for night and Yala Designs for day and also for bedtime.
Drink icy beverages
Lowering your body’s core temperature is a quick way to cool down and one of the easiest ways to do it is by drinking icy cold beverages. Water is best of course, but fresh lemonade or unsweetened, decaffeinated iced tea are great options as well. If you’ll be out of the house, fill up an insulated cup with ice and your drink of choice, to help you beat the heat on the go.
Use frozen washcloths
Throw a couple of damp washcloths in the freezer to drape over your forehead or the back of your neck when a hot flash hits. It will feel refreshing, and help cool your body down quickly. You could even pack one in an insulated lunch bag or cooler if you’re going to be say, out at the beach or a BBQ.
Also read: When missed periods may mean menopause
Eat more soy
Some research has shown that consuming a bit more soy — soy milk, tofu, edamame, etc. — can help prevent hot flashes. Soy is well known for its ability to mimic estrogen, so this makes total sense. Just make sure you speak with your physician to ensure that you don’t consume too much, since overconsumption can have some negative effects.
Use relaxation techniques
The occurrence of hot flashes can understandably cause some anxiety, which in turn can make the hot flash more intense and longer lasting. Try to find some techniques to ease that anxiety. Deep breathing and short meditations are known to help greatly, but of course you may also find something else that works well for you.
If you’ve been having hot flashes for a while, you may have noticed that certain things seem to instigate them. Spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine are a few common culprits, all of which you may consume more of during the summer months when you’re out at social gatherings, barbecues and other events. Moderate your consumption and be sure to eat plenty of cooling foods such as raw veggies and fruit and drink lots of water to balance it all out.