When hot flushes hit, we all find ways to deal with them, but here are some helpful tips that can also help.
1 What’s your trigger?
Keep a diary to track what sets off your hot flushes. Caffeine? Alcohol? A hot room? Stress?
All are common causes. When a flush starts, take slow, deep breaths, in your nose and out of your mouth.
2 Cooling down night sweats
At night, flushes can go on for 3 minutes or more, leaving you drenched in sweat and unable to sleep. But there are ways to keep your cool.
Swop warm nightdresses, sheets and pyjamas for light cotton. What about putting a bag of frozen peas under your pillow – put it in a sealed plastic bag first to reduce moisture leakage.
Turn the pillow through the night and put your face on the cool side. You can also get gel insert pillows that can help and use a bedside fan to keep air moving.
3 Improve your chances of sleep
Yoga, tai chi, and meditation can help you sleep according to research. Any exercise can make a difference — just stop 3 hours before bedtime.
Skip a nightcap, since alcohol will wake you up later. Sip warm milk instead. It has a substance in it that can help you relax.
4 Hormonal help
Hormone changes at menopause means you are likely to be low in both progesterone, which helps you relax, and oestrogen which helps with vaginal dryness.
If you are anxious about sleep then progesterone will help, and if you need some assistance for dryness then a combination cream like 20-1 which has both progesterone and oestrogen can help more. The more sex you’re able to have, the better for blood flow, which keeps things healthy down there.
5 Lift your libido
Hormone changes and the stress of hormonal symptoms can reduce your libido, but regular sex improves blood flow. Progesterone is the hormone responsible for libido and sex drive in women so check your levels or supplement to improve your hormone balance.
6 Mood swings
It’s like PMS, only more so, and things you thought you had left behind like crying and cranky moods are common for women around the time of menopause.
Unfortunately if you had bad PMS, the hormonal changes that happen during this time may cause even bigger mood swings.
Yoga and tai chi can help here, too. Make time to share with friends and don’t suffer on your own. Progesterone again helps elevate mood, but if you are more depressed then a combination cream like 20-1 can be helpful.
Migraines can get worse at or around the time of menopause, or show up for the first time. Keep a diary to see what seems to trigger them and if they show up along with hot flushes so you can take steps to lessen them.
Eating small meals through the day can help if hunger is a headache trigger. Lack of sleep is another one, so nap if you are not eating enough sleep.
8 Hair loss or thinning
Hair can thin or shed faster around the time of menopause. At the same time, it may show up where you don’t want it — on your chin and cheeks.
Increased facial hair and hair loss are both related to low progesterone levels so check you are in balance.
Avoid hair products with harsh chemicals and too much sun exposure will dry your hair too.
9 Spots and acne
Something else you thought you had left behind in your teens, but It’s common around menopause, too.
Make sure your moisturizer, sunscreen, cleanser, and other face products are gentle. Look for the words “oil free,” “won’t clog pores,” “noncomedogenic,” and “non-acnegenic.”
10 Brain fog
“Use it or lose it.” That simple phrase can help you fight fuzzy thinking and stay focused during menopause when stress, anxiety and hormonal changes can all challenge your normal mental alertness.
Challenge your brain in new ways. Learn something new, like a hobby or language. Lower your stress level.
Women with more hot flushes — which can be linked to stress — say they have more memory troubles so make sure you get them under control.
Hormone balance is the key to getting most menopause symptoms under control, but if you are not sure which hormone needs help then these articles may be useful:
Do Your Symptoms Need Oestrogen As Well As Progesterone?