Miss Marian was quietly smiling during class. She was pleasantly remembering something. Suddenly, her students noticed how red her face and neck became; Ms. Marian was sweating profusely, most especially on the sides of her face. She rubbed her face and neck repeatedly with her hanky while fanning herself briskly with the other hand; although the air conditioning was working properly. Was she sick? The students got distracted with the seeming discomfort of their instructor. Should they take her to the clinic?’ her students asked of her.
“No…I’ll be fine. This will only take a few minutes. Don’t worry, class; this comes with aging.” she told her class. She went to the washroom to be refreshed by cool water for a while.
In truth, she was experiencing “hot flashes,” a feeling of warmth which spreads all over the body, but is most felt in the head and neck areas for about thirty seconds, a few minutes, a half hour, or more. Some women even feel as if they are going to faint especially when they experience hot flashes with rapid heartbeat. If you’re in a cramped and less-ventilated area, that is not a remote possibility. Hot flashes could occur at any time of the day, or even night, during sleep; accompanied by night sweats.
These hot flashes is a common symptom experienced by women approaching the early stages of the menopausal transition, but not all women nearing their menopause experience this symptom.The underlying cause of hot flashes is attributed to the complex hormonal changes which accompany the aging process; the declining levels of estrogen when as woman is nearing menopause.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing, daytime or night-time, to lessen intensity of hot flashes.
- Avoid enclosed areas or hot places; ventilate your home and keep it as cool as possible, especially your bedroom while you sleep.
- Take a cool shower to have some instant relief if you’re at home.
- Strive for a healthy weight by taking plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and more soy-rich food like tofu and soy milk which are rich in isoflavones.
- Avoid or minimize consumption of alcohol and spicy foods.
- Avoid or minimize coffee drinking as caffeine could aggravate hot flashes attacks.
- Engage in some forms of exercise to strengthen your muscles and improve your overall health.
- You could try the black cohosh as a herbal remedy made from the roots of plant in the buttercup family, available in health-food stores as Remifemin, a pill that contains black cohosh extract. However, due to isolated reports of adverse effects on the liver, people with liver disease should not take black cohosh and should consult your doctor first.
- Quit smoking (if you’re a smoker!). Studies showed that menopausal women who smoke experienced more hot flashes than non-smokers because of nicotine’s stimulating effects.
If you’re a working woman, it would do well to always keep some change of clothing, toiletries and mini-towels handy for those excessive sweating episodes. Keep cool. ^__^