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How To Relieve Hot flushes

Hot flushes and night sweats are some of the worst symptoms that women in perimenopause experience. They can be embarrassing but also debilitating when they result in sleepless nights and the inevitable cycle of fatigue, brain fog, low mood and sugar cravings.

Hot flushes are caused by the dilation of peripheral blood vessels which raise skin temperature. They're like sudden power surges of warmth that begin on the chest, neck or face and spread throughout the body. The skin becomes red and warm, and often lasts for a couple of minutes. They're usually accompanied by profuse sweating and as hot flushes subside, it's not uncommon for cold chills to follow. This is because perspiration evaporates and cools the body.

Other common symptoms associated with flushes are increased heart rate, palpitations, breathlessness, headaches, dizziness, sleeplessness, weakness, itchy skin, and numbness of the hands and arms.

Almost 80% of women experience hot flushes prior to and during menopause. Yet the intensity and frequency of hot flushes vary greatly for each person. Some women only get the occasional surge while others suffer with multiple episodes throughout the day.

Hot flushes are one of the first noticeable symptoms that show up with the onset of peri-menopause and can occur when women are still having their monthly periods. Hot flushes usually last for 1-2 years as women transition through to the cessation of periods and tend to subside when the body adapts to having lower amounts of oestrogen. Some women have a really rough time and their flushes continue past menopause, This is usually an indication that they're not adapting to lower hormone levels in the body and need support.

Helpful tips for dealing with hot flushes

  • Be aware of dietary triggers.

Most women see an increase in flushes when they take antibiotics, consume sugar, alcohol, caffeine, dairy, or eat hot or spicy foods and drinks. Nb. Ground flaxseed taken daily has been found to significantly reduce hot flushes. Try a heaped tablespoon in your porridge or smoothie.

  • Do things that relax you.

Many women find they have an increase in heat-based symptoms when they're stressed, anxious or nervous. This is because when we transition into menopause our stress glands (the adrenals) take over the production of hormones from our ovaries. This should be a smooth transition but if the body is busy making cortisol to adapt to the stress in our lives it will put oestrogen and progesterone production on the back burner.

Try a cool bath with magnesium flakes.

  • Stay hydrated.

Dehydration is a known trigger for hot flushes, so keep a water bottle with you. Ideally a glass or metal one as plastics can interfere with healthy oestrogen levels.

  • Dress in layers.

Being able to take clothes on and off easily makes having a flush much less uncomfortable.

Opt for natural fibres such as cotton, bamboo, silk and linen - all of which help to maintain a comfortable body temperature by allowing perspiration to cool quickly.

  • Choose natural fibres for your bedding.

Pure cotton, bamboo or linen bed sheets tend to be the most comfortable. Some women report using cooling mats on their mattress at night to help reduce the heat. You can find these at Bunnings or Kmart. They're sold as pet cooling mats and are inexpensive.

  • Bring a small paper or bamboo fan wherever you go.

They come in handy when a. hot flush shows up. You might also like to invest in the electronic ones that spray a little water on your face.

  • Carry a cooling facial mist in your handbag.

Essential oils can be a wonderful way to help cool the skin when you're experiencing a hot flush. They are easy to make and you can keep them handy in your handbag.

Take a spritzer bottle (50mls) Nb. You can purchase these empty bottles from your local health food store.


- Add 20 mls of witch hazel

- Add 7 drops of peppermint essential oil

- Add 5 drops of Clary Sage essential oil

- Filtered water

Method: Add witch hazel and the essential oils to the glass bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with water. Seal and shake well to combine. Shake before each use and spray your face, neck and arms anytime you feel a hot flush coming on.

  • Make Sage iced tea.

Pop a small handful of sage leaves into a tea pot or glass bottle and fill it with hot water. You can find sage leaves at your local supermarket in the grocery section or if you grow it, simply grab it straight from your garden!

Allow the infusion to cool. Strain or remove the leaves, add some ice blocks and store in the fridge. You can sweetenen with a few drops of stevia and or add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. A cup a day can keep hot flushes at bay.

  • Support your transition through menopause with herbal medicines.

There are a number of well-researched and proven herbal medicines to assist the body with menopausal symptoms. Some of the most effect being Sage, Shatavari, Zizyphus, Rhemania, Wild Yam, Red Clover, Maca and Black Cohosh

  • Exercise regularly.

Regular exercise helps relieve emotional and physical tension that can trigger hot flushes. Just don't push yourself too hard. Opt for more yin style exercise alongside some resistance training. Think swims, walks, yoga, pilates or tai chi. You’ll be surprised at how much a daily half-hour brisk walk can help. Just be sure to walk early in the morning or in the evening time when it’s cool.

Hot flushes and night sweats can certainly can disrupt your quality of life however the transition through menopause does not have to be so uncomfortable.

Afterall, menopause is not a disease state, it's a natural process that we all go through. Uncomfortable symptoms that interfere with your life are usually a sign that something is up. With the support of the right herbal medicines, and dietary and lifestyle tweaks you can navigate this stage of life much more smoothly. If you are having a hard time and need more personalised support, check out our Balance Your Hormones package or book a free 10-minute call.


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