Wednesday, January 9, 2008

5 Simple Ways to Reduce Menopause Hot Flashes

You?re going about your business when you start feeling a bit warm, hmmm is it warm in here? Nope, no one else is stripping off their clothes and fanning themselves wildly. Guess it?s your own internal inferno causing you to feel like your burning from the inside out, another menopause hot flash, the number one complaint from perimenopausal women. This classic symptom is thought to be triggered by a decrease in estrogen and an increase in follicle stimulating hormone. This in turn causes dilation of the blood vessels in your upper body allowing more blood to the surface and abra cadabra you feel the heat and become flush (red). This can last for a few minutes or hours but most hot flashes last 30 minutes or less. You can find relief. Different approaches work for different women. Here are my top 5 picks for hot flash relief.

1.) Relax ? Yup I know, you?re a busy woman, who has time to relax anyway. But studies show that even 10 minutes of deep breathing exercises can help decrease the frequency and severity of hot flashes. They also show that at the onset of a hot flash a few minutes of deep breathing exercises can help avert the hot flash. Kind of gives new meaning to ?heavy breathing?.

2.) Dress the Part ? Almost goes without saying but dressing in layers and wearing natural fibers like cotton and linen can help. The point is when you?re heat is on you can do the strip down with some dignity. In the ?heat of the moment? your focus is on cooling down not what you?ll look like when it?s over. I know I?m not up for showing off what?s underneath my pretty exterior.

3.) Exercise ? Sounds completely illogical I know, exercise gets you hot and sweaty and ditto for the hot flash but exercise improves circulation which in turn can help your body cool down more efficiently during a hot flash. Just think two birds with one stone get fit and fewer hot flashes.

4.) Watch What You Put in Your Mouth ? No I?m not suggesting a diet. My thought is that they don?t work anyway. Many women do find that certain foods and beverages will trigger a hot flash. I suggest paying attention to what you were eating and/or drinking before a hot flash and watch for a pattern. The more common culprits are alcohol, caffeine, sugary foods, and spicy foods. Though not a food or beverage smoking is also a fairly common trigger.

5.) Flaxseed ? I know you hear about the benefits of flaxseed from all over these days, but it really is extremely beneficial. Along with its many health benefits it can also help reduce hot flashes and ease other menopause symptoms. The common recommendation is 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed each day. Be sure to give it some time though it can take up to two months for the full effect to be felt.

You can see the pattern here. The first line of defense boils down to taking care of yourself. Many women are so used to putting themselves last on the list that this is foreign to them. I want you to know that no, the world will not stop turning if you put yourself on the top of your ?To Do? List. Actually you may find you have a little more zing in your step and a bit more zip in your engine. That may help you tackle the other 823 things on the list and you?ll be a lot cooler!

Cathy Brennan, owner and lead coach of Pathways Coaching, is a Professional Coach specializing in Menopausal Women. She thrives on helping her clients maneuver through the menopause transition and design a life that they can?t wait to greet each morning. She has been a Professional Coach for 5 years and in the health and wellness field has 25 years experience as a Registered Nurse and Holistic Health Practitioner.She has had coach training at Coachville and is a member of the ICF and IAC. Cathy lives in rural Connecticut where she enjoys gardening, yoga, reading, and hiking. Married to Tom for 20 years, they enjoy their 4 innovative, fun loving children, an adorable grandson, a sweet golden retriever, a lively bernese mountain dog and 3 very active cats. To contact her call 860-774-0006, e-mail, or go to For a free menopause assessment go to

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