I’ve had a lot of requests recently from women going through the menopause who are constantly aggravated by hot flushes (called hot flashes in America). This sudden feeling of almost unbearable heat (usually followed by feeling cold) happens when blood vessels close to the surface of your skin dilate to cool themselves. Lots of women also sweat to cool down and then get chills. Night sweats which can be awful if you’d like a good night’s sleep are also common.
There are some natural ways that may help you reduce chances of being terrorised by these sweats:
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, smoking and spicy foods. These can all raise the temperature of your body and make those vessels dilate.
- Exercise every day if you can. A 15 minute walk every lunch time could do wonders. Or even get up 20 minutes earlier for a stroll around the block.
- Vitamin E and Vitamin B Complex are also known to help.
- Deep breathe morning and night. Just take 5 minutes to focus purely on breathing. It’s surprising how shallow most people breathe. You can also do this when you feel a hot flush creeping up on you.
- Author, Alice Feinstein has written, “If you’re fed up with menopause, move to Japan [where] hot flashes and night sweats are virtually unheard of. Researchers believe that it has more to do with their traditional diet. Besides providing more vegetable protein and less animal protein than a Western diet, it’s also low in fat and high in soy products such as tofu. These foods are rich in plant compounds known as phytoestrogens, which seem to mimic some of the biological activities of female hormones.”
- Choosing fresh vegetable juices over coffee or tea can help alkalise your system.
- Most beans – especially soy beans – are beneficial. As long as your soy choices aren’t too fatty, eat as much soy as possible! Soy milk and tofu are two nice examples.
- 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil taken every day has also been known to reduce flushes. Flaxseed is estrogenic, just like soy.
- Miso soup, which also contains soy.
- Dairy products should be avoided due to their high fat content.
- Sunflower seeds, walnuts, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, oats and barely can also help to combat menopausal symptoms.
What works (or not) will differ between women. Keep a diary if you have time. Write down what you eat and when you have a hot flush. This might signal foods or beverages that aren’t helping you.
Good luck! And remember, if you find any amazing natural solutions, please come back and share your thoughts with others.