One of the most renowned – and perhaps the most feared – symptoms of the menopause is the dreaded hot flash. It’s often not a symptom that you can easily hide… one minute you’re walking down the street or sitting at your desk working merrily away, the next you’re suddenly feeling incredibly warm and sweaty, and your skin starts to go red. Voila! Hot flash!
What might be of some comfort is that these flashes are the most common symptom of them all, so you’re certainly not alone if you are experiencing these feelings.
While they often happen during the day, you can also experience night sweats, which can prove disruptive to sleep, so finding ways to get your symptoms under control can make a huge difference to how you feel and how you function day to day.
Why do hot flashes happen?
When you go through the menopause, your ovaries start to work less effectively, which means that production of hormones such as progesterone and oestrogen starts to slow down. It’s believed that this is why hot flashes happen, as well as other symptoms you might experience during this time.
Hot flashes can be really uncomfortable and they can continue for years, so finding ways to manage your symptoms is perhaps advisable. The good news is that there are lots of different avenues you can explore, whether you decide you want to consider something like bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or try lifestyle changes… or both!
Can nutrition help with hot flashes?
Since the menopause is entirely natural and something that all women will go through at some point in their lives, arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible as early on as possible can make a big difference to how you navigate the changing landscape.
Lifestyle and nutrition can have an influence on the severity of the symptoms you’re likely to experience, so getting into good habits early on can make it easier to transition, since you’ll already be doing what you need to be doing to minimise any negative effects.
Smoking, for example, can make hot flashes worse so quitting could really help if you are suffering… as well as being excellent for your overall health, as well!
But what you eat can also have an impact on your symptoms and stocking up on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids could prove particularly beneficial. Fill the fridge and cupboards with the likes of fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies and so on), hemp seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds to see if they can make you feel better.
And lots of fresh fruit and veggies can also potentially help you with your hot flashes, thanks to all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre contained within… as well as all sorts of other added health benefits to help you ward off disease.
Of course, these are just a few little hints and tips, and if you’re keen to find out more you can just get in touch with the We Are Nutrition team to see how we can help you come out on top, no matter what.