How to stay cool when hot flashes occur

Women are literally a "hot mess" when you combine hot flashes and heat waves. In the winter they can be a bit more welcoming, but they're never really run, especially during the summer heat.

Nationally recognized menopause specialist Dr. Diana Bitner talks about what causes hot flashes, and how women who experience them can find comfort.

A hot flash or night sweat is the body’s way of cooling off.  Estrogen is a powerful way for the body to regulate its temperature, and when those levels are off it causes the body to overheat. That's where hot flashes come in to cool down the body temperature, although it makes women feel uncomfortably warm in the process.

Dr. Bitner has some tips on how to avoid hot flashes:

  1. Keep a healthy weight, even small weight loss helps.
  2. Drink enough water, dry muscles get hotter quicker.
  3. Stay off the sugar-it increases fat, or insulation, and can trigger a hot flash.
  4. Have cold water close-drinking can shorten the hot flash because of cooling down.
  5. Gratitude and metered breathing: going to a place of gratitude and saying 3 things for which you are grateful is very powerful to stop a hot flash or any other unpleasant thoughts you are in. Metered treating is where you close your mouth, open your eyes, and stare at a spot, breathing deliberately for about 4-5 minutes.
  6. Strongly consider hormone medication, check out the app MenoPro for a tool to help you decide for yourself, and then talk to one of us or your healthcare provider.

Good luck and remember, menopause is normal, suffering is not.

Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her, call (616)-267-8225.

Read more stories like this on Dr. Bitner's Blog.

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