If you’ve ever experienced a hot flush, you will know just how embarrassing and troublesome they can be. The occasional hot flush here or there, although not ideal, is manageable. However, during menopause hot flushes can happen up to 40 times a day in some cases. This can have a significant impact on your quality of life.
What is a Hot Flush?
A hot flush can be felt over every inch of your body, even to the point where your fingers and toes feel like they’re on fire. They happen because your nervous system becomes unbalanced. The nervous system has two parts; one that controls rest and digestion (PNS) and one that controls our flight-or-fight response (SNS). When the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) goes into overdrive our heart beats faster, we sweat and our breathing quickens. So what triggers the SNS to rank things up?
Menopause itself causes unavoidable hot flushes as a result of depleting hormone levels. The nervous system becomes imbalanced as our progesterone and estrogen levels slowly decrease over time. This is why many of us experience symptoms during perimenopause (before we are fully menopausal). Other than those completely unavoidable attacks, there are some things that trigger even more hot flushes!
Anxiety plays a significant role in the number of hot flushes you experience throughout menopause and perimenopause. Those who are more stressed and more anxious on a regular basis, report a far greater number of flushes and night sweats.
Anxiety itself can be a symptom of menopause, but it’s also something that we experience as a normal response to a stressful situation. Anxiety could also be completely unrelated to menopause and present itself in the form of an existing mental health problem. Addressing anxiety problems can in-turn reduce your hot flushes and night sweats.
Caffeine is a stimulant and like anything that stimulates the body, it strikes at your nervous system. This sudden boot-up can often cause a hot flush almost immediately afterwards. Try to avoid having too much caffeine throughout the day, to reduce the number of hot flushes you’re experiencing.
The same can be said for other stimulants, such as alcohol or sugary foods/drinks. It’s much more difficult to avoid sugary food all the time, but a healthy diet that’s low in processed foods will almost certainly help.
We’re always telling women to drink more water. Many of us are so surprised to learn just how many things positively change for us when we start drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Not just the bare minimum either, you should try to drink around 3 litres of water each day. When our bodies are dehydrated, it puts your nervous system under more strain; causing an increased number of hot flushes. Drinking lots of water also assists in fat loss (if this is your goal) and helps with detoxification.
Detoxification is the process undertaken by the liver to remove toxic substances from the body. Even if you don’t drink or smoke, detoxification is crucial for removing liver tissues. Drinking more water assists with this, as well as aiding the kidneys. Adding a slice of lemon to your water can stimulate the production of bile, which also removes toxins.
What Can You do to Stop Them?
We developed the LaBalance device which works by re-balancing the autonomic nervous system. As a result, women report a huge reduction or complete disappearance of hot flushes and/or night sweats. Benefits vary among women, but we can confidently say that LaBalance has been proven to help up to 71% of women with up to 24 different symptoms of menopause. Learn more about LaBalance.