You may have noticed a change in your menstrual cycle - you may be bleeding less and having a shorted period by a day or two than normal. You will then begin to have times of sweating and intense heat that comes unexpectedly and leaves just as quickly.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then you could well be on the cusp of a new phase of your life - you’re experiencing menopause, the end of your menstrual cycle.
Everyone has menopause horror stories they have heard over the years - from thinning hair and loss of sex drive to weight gain, but relax, most of what you hear is not true and for the symptoms you do experience there are steps you can take from your own home to help prevent this happening.
Loose fitting, light clothes can aid your body to keep its temperature down. If you layer your clothes you can shed a cardigan or jacket quickly when the heat comes and a well planned wardrobe means you can control your body heat at will.
Funnily enough, you’re sometimes woken because of the cold - this happens because, during sudden 'hot flashes' in your sleep, you get rid of your covers, leaving you cold upon waking with a damp pillow - these are called night sweats. Try keeping a fresh cotton t-shirt by your bedside to replace the damp one - you will drop back off in no time once you are warm and dry.
Your triggers can come from many places including; alcohol, spicy foods, nicotine, fatty foods, chocolate and caffeine. It’s not just substances that can be triggers either - some stresses can too such as, stress itself, medications and various foods, as well as climate change.
Every woman should try and figure out what her personal triggers are and there will be a lot of trial and error until you get there, unfortunately some of these triggers are unavoidable which can be difficult. If your triggers are still not becoming obvious then try keeping a diary and record where you were, what you were doing and eating etc.
You need to relax in order to cope with your flashes. As bad as they may seem, they won’t be noticeable to anyone around you, so take a few deep breaths whilst trying to relax and you will get you through the worst of it. Losing your rag will definitely only make things worse and might just attract a little unwanted attention.
Try to look at the bigger picture and keep them in perspective - many women will out grow their hot flashes in a matter of a year or maybe two. Flashes cannot hurt you and they are not dangerous its just very uncomfortable for you.
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