What Does A Hot Flush Feel Like? Flush to Furnace

what does a hot flush feel like-fWhat Does A Hot Flush Feel Like?

What does a menopausal hot flush feel like?

If you don’t know, Google it…well read this first and then Google it!

Here’s a snippet from the UK NHS website …

…”women often describe a hot flush as a creeping feeling of intense warmth that quickly spreads across your whole body and face ‘right up to your brow’ and which lasts for several minutes.”

If you’ve actually had one, that little description is NOT cutting it for me either, my lovely! “Creeping feeling of intense warmth”, yeah right!

I’d like to throw in my own experience and I’d love for YOU to share yours.

 

My Menopausal Hot Flushes

Anyone who reads my stuff regularly will know my hot flushes have been erratic.

On and off.

Sometimes mild, occasionally fiery furnace.  My worst nightmare was a full on almost literal melt-down in Multiyork talking to a very nice lady about replacement covers whilst stripping of more and more layers of clothes. She must have been relieved I stopped at my long vest top and leggings!  In December

They are worse on hot days (I’m glad in a way when summer is gone!), when eating hot food, after alcohol and rich foods or sugar.   Spices don’t seem to make that much difference.

I have a theory that they’re changeable to test my own knowledge and determination as well as my patience.  Because every time they seem to get worse, I try new strategies to manage them back down with super self-care and natural therapies.

I almost used other words…words like “squash them down” and “winning the battle against hot flushes”, but that’s not really how I feel.

They are part of me. It’s menopause. They are part of growing (b)older.  Part of a natural transition. In traditional cultures, they’d be seen as part of becoming a Wise Woman, an elder.

I wouldn’t exactly say I embrace them – nah, that’s taking it just TOO far.  But I don’t want to “fight” part of myself. Life’s tough enough, as it is. And I’m a lover not a fighter.

 

What Do MY Hot Flushes Feel Like?

A hot flush always start the same way.  I can feel them “brewing”. I start to feel a little heat in my face and neck, like the schoolgirl blushes of my youth when my fave crush talked to me.

If only they stopped there!

Mild Flush

A “mild” hot flush will get stronger until my face feels like it’s throbbing slightly, I start to “glow” or shine and I flush deep pink.

A quick “fan”, maybe  taking off my cardi, opening a window and some deep breathing sees those ones off. I could almost call those the “tropical moments” or “power surges” of cliches.   Probably some people wouldn’t notice much.

Humdinger Hot Flush

A humdinger hot flush is a different story.

Schoolgirl blush gives way to a face like a massive red balloon- no ladylike “glow” just the “horsey” sweating of that old saying. These bad boys need more than a discreet dab of a tissue. People notice, people.

I can feel my heart beating in my chest like an old washing machine travelling the floor. Sometimes I feel faint, sometimes a little panicky…could be the flush itself or the gut-wrenching embarrassment if I’m with other people. Think Multiyork. Part of me thinks I shouldn’t be embarrassed …it’s as natural as puberty or pregnancy, after all.

Again, I take off layers. I furiously “fan”. I open windows or go outside. Breathe deeply. I run my wrists under icy cold water. A couple of minutes and they subside. Those couple of minutes can sometimes seem like a hideous half hour.

Night Sweats

And what of nasty night sweats?

Mostly, mine have become a bit like when you’re just hot in bed and you want to shove your feet and legs out to cool off. Thank goodness. Maybe I reach for my trusty bedside box of dabbing tissues if my face starts to get a bit sweaty. I can get back to sleep after.

But I have known a couple of full-on “someone stuck a lighted torch up my nightie” ones – sweat dripping, hot, red, shaking.

The kind where you jump under a cold shower and strip the bed to change it.

The kind when you can understand those strange Skandanavians who go out naked in icy conditions after a hot sauna. I haven’t by the way.

That only happened a couple of times.

 

I’m managing my menopause now pretty well, including a cocktail of homeopathic remedies, supplements, herbs and great self-care with good food choices and lifestyle habits. Following my own advice really. Except maybe the 80/20 rule of living very healthily 80% has become more like 90%. I kinda know that if I drink alcohol or eat rich or sugary foods, I’ll pay a price. I had to give things up.

I’d love to hear how YOU’RE managing your menopause OR tell me about YOUR hot flushes in your own words.

Leave me a comment, please.

Love,

P.S If my gorgeous flushing friend who lends me her actual fan when we go out for a cheeky prosecco is reading, thanks chick. We’re still smokin’ hot after all these years!

Totally HOT in Bed? 6 Tips To Reduce Night Sweats

Night sweats

Totally Hot in Bed?

Well ARE you?

I don’t mean are you a Sexy Siren or Saucy Seductress. NO.  That’s so not what I mean.

I mean, do you feel really hot at night?  Do you get all icky and sticky? Throw off the covers or shove your feet out of the bed? Your sleep is broken by being too bloomin’ hot?  Which means feeling tired and terrible the next day, and the next …

Some women naturally have a higher body temperature.

Some women suffer night sweats during perimenopause and menopause.

Some women notice they’re sweatier in pregnancy – related to hormone changes.

Some women feel hotter in bed just before their period, when progesterone drops.

Some women might feel hot at night occasionally: often there’s a trigger, like drinking alcohol or coming down with a cold.

If you’re a PeriMenopausal Princess there are ways to reduce hot flushes and night sweats.  For those who aren’t at that life stage, look at other possible causes.

But whatever the reasons behind night sweats, there are some self-care steps for a better – and cooler- night’s rest.

6 Tips To Stay Cool and Help Manage Night Sweats

1. Cool down the room.

Switch off or turn down the heating. Open a window and the door. Obvs.

2. Cool down the bed.

Keep it clean: this is a family show! I mean switch to a lighter duvet or remove some layers of blankets. Choose natural fibres like cotton for your bedding.

3. Stay cool

If you like to bathe, shower or wash before bed, try having a cool one. A hot bath before bed might be lush, but it won’t help the nasty night sweats.

4. Don’t lose your cool 

Stress and emotional upsets boosts adrenaline which can lead to sweating.  Reduce the sources of stress in your life.  Learn which coping techniques work for you – I love yoga, journaling, walking in the countryside, pamper time, talking things through…

5. Dress cool

Wear thin night clothes in natural fibres, like cotton. Or wear your *ahem* “birthday suit” ?

6. Think cool drinks

Stay hydrated with cool filtered or spring water.  Not too much – you don’t want sleep broken by loads of trips to the loo! Avoid hot drinks and alcohol before bed.

 

So there you have it.  Whatever the reason for your night sweats, 6 easy steps to help keep cool for a better night’s rest.

If you loved this blog you might also love Hot and Heaving (aka Dealing with Night Sweats) and 5 Things to Stop to Reduce Hot Flushes.

Love,

Hot & heaving? Or “Dealing with night sweats.’

Hot and heaving or night sweats

Hot and Heaving…

‘ She tore back the bed sheets, soaked from hot beads of sweat trickling over her, her body heaving and heart beating out of her ample bosom.  She was spent.

Her head was swimming from another night without sleep … another restless night, thrashing around in bed.

She looked over at the man beside her.

“Deirdre” he whispered. “are you having one of your funny turns again, love?” as she reached into the bedside drawer for a fresh nightie. ‘

Yep, for many gorgeous girls, that’s NOT sexy-time from Mills and Boon but a pretty good picture of another night of …

…night sweats and very little sleep.

I was going to say “menopause night sweats” BUT…

…many women suffer night sweats and they AREN’T perimenopausal or menopausal.

Or some women are perimenopausal or menopausal and the night sweats aren’t REALLY due to hormones.  Although it’s common.

Some perimenopausal and menopausal don’t wake often and aren’t sweating in bed. Me. I’m one.

SAY WHAT?!

Are you waking with night sweats?

Okay. You’re waking during the night and you’re sweating.

Ask yourself, did I wake because I’m sweating.

Or did I wake up and START sweating?

Subtle difference, but important difference.

Menopause Night Sweats

If you’re woken by sweating, you’re in your 40s or 50s and have other signs of menopause, it’s  likely the sweats are linked to hormones changes i.e. less oestrogen.  These are similar to hot flushes that you may get during the day.

They can be uncomfortable, embarrassing and wreck your sleep.  They can also wreck your partner’s ability to rest. Double bummer.

In a moment, I’ll share some top tips for dealing with the nasty night sweats.

If you start sweating after you’ve woken up, there may be other things going on.  Again more of that later.

Managing Menopause Night Sweats

Here are my top tips for reducing menopause night sweats:-

1.  Eat Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils …

Yes, eat at least one portion of beans, chickpeas, lentils or flaxseeds daily AND some leafy greens or broccoli. A portion is a couple of ounces  or 50 grams. They contain nutrients called phytoestrogens which help balance hormones. Get the skinny on these hormone-helping nutrients right here.

2. Black Cohosh

Black WHAT?

Black Cohosh is a herb.

There are studies that show it helps relieve menopause hot flushes and night sweats.  Scientists know that it doesn’t boost oestrogen level (the aim of HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy, with it’s slightly increased risk of certain cancers): it stimulates oestrogen receptors in the body.

As with all herbs, be a little bit careful:-

  • Check you are not sensitive to it.  If you are, you should be able to tolerate homeopathically prepared Black Cohosh, which is dilute.
  • Check with your Doctor that herbs are not messing with any other medications and treatments you are taking.
  • Buy organic from a good source.  The best you can afford, as you get what you pay for.
  • Don’t exceed the recommended dose.
  • If in doubt, see a trained Medical Herbalist.

3. Exercise

Yes, regular, gentle exercise can help reduce hot flushes and night sweats according to some experts. It’s also useful for weight management, mental health, bone and joint health and your sex-life. LOTS of good reasons  to start moving your body you Marvellous and Mature Mavens.

Variety is important.  Choose from brisk walking, dancing, swimming, cycling for heart health and to support weight management.  Even bopping around your Living Room singing into a hairbrush and making like Madonna is good… if you do it regularly and for at least 3o minutes.

Choose weight bearing exercise for bone and joint health, like using weights, lunges/squats/press ups or any domestic chores that mean lifting or digging. Yes, decluttering that spare room IS good for your health in so many ways!

Choose relaxing and energising activities like yoga, Pilates, qi gong to help reduce stress, improve breathing and oxygen flow and to increase energy. Ommmm.

4.  Reduce Known Triggers

Work out what triggers or makes worse the flushes and sweats.  Common triggers include smoking, alcohol, sugar in all it’s forms and sugar substitutes, spicy foods and caffeine. If you’re not sure what to do, take a look here.

Help. I’m not Menopausal but I wake up and sweat at night.

Night sweats can be caused by a number of things aside from menopause in women AND even men.

Usually, there’s a simple trigger.  Unexplained and persistent night sweats should be reported to your Doctor, however. Sweating can be a sign of more serious problems in rare cases. Here’s some other common causes of night sweats.  It’s not a complete list :-

  • Stress – we know that stress leads to increased stress hormones and the body’s “fight or flight response”? Well, increased sweating can be linked to the stress response.
  • Medications – some over the counter and prescribed drugs can lead to increased sweating including aspirin, steroids, antidepressants and blood pressure meds. Speak to your Doctor if you think your medications are causing side-effects.
  • Alcohol and recreational drugs – yes, these too can result in waking, feeling really hot and sweaty.
  • Other illness – sweating can be a sign of infections like colds or ‘flu.
  • Menstrual cycle -many women notice an increase in body temperature just before her period starts, when the hormone progesterone drops.
  • Increased sweating/excessive sweating – you know, some people just naturally sweat more than others.

Whether you’re perimenopausal and perspiring or there are other triggers for your night sweats, there are some simple self-care steps that can really make a difference.

And that’s a subject for yet another beaut blog.

Love,

Hormone Balance – Why Ladies Should Love Beans

Hormone Balance - why ladies should love beans

Beans For Hormone Balance?

Beans. The subject of many a schoolboy (and girl) joke… and rhyme.

“Beans, beans good for your heart, the more you eat the more you … ” … well, you catch my drift!

Did you know beans and other legumes ARE good for your heart?

AND they are great for hormone balance, especially for the Perimenopausal Princesses and Menopausal Misses.  And I’m about to dish *groans* the dirt on why beans are so good for us girls, to encourage some Lentil Love and Chickpea Cherishing.

Beans Contain Phytoestrogens

These are oestrogen-like substances found in some plants. They help hormone balance in the body.  They help reduce risks of breast cancer  They help calm menopause symptoms like hot flushes. They can help reduce breast pain and tenderness.

The Queens of Phytoestrogens are called Isoflavones. Soya beans, lentils and chickpeas are great sources.  I suggest eating one serving of isoflavone-rich food daily. A serving is roughly a couple of ounces or 50 grams.

Beans Contain Fibre

Back to the rhyme? No. Fibre can actually reduce bloating and windy-pops.

Most girls know that fibre plumps out your poop, makes you “go” more regularly and generally helps for a healthier digestive system.

Did you know that fibre helps control levels of oestrogen in the body?  Here’s how…

Old oestrogen that your body no longer needs, goes into your gut. You need fibre to bind to the old oestrogen and basically get rid of it in your poop. If you don’t get rid of all the old oestrogen, it can lead to “oestrogen dominance” – basically too much oestrogen. And too much oestrogen has been linked to fibroids, endometriosis and even breast cancer.  Wahay, better hormone balance if you love your legumes!

legumes-665788_1280

A Word on Soya

Lots of women have heard that soya is good for them. The tell me that Japanese women eat loads of the bloomin’ stuff and have a lower rate of breast cancer AND reach menopause later in life. That may be true, but it’s not a fair comparison…wanna know why?

Soya might contain the Queen of Phytoestrogens, Isoflavones but not all soya is created equal. No sirree.

Soya can be highly processed and refined to make “soya protein isolates”. Processing sometimes means being exposed to aluminium and aluminium exposure has been linked to Alzheimers.  Are the Japanese eating highly refined and processed soya? Maybe not.

So please read labels. Look out for the soya protein isolates and avoid them.

Also steer clear of genetically modified or GMO soya.  And much of the world’s soya is now genetically modified. Bleurgh.  I prefer not to eat a science experiment, if I can avoid it.

I suggest organic soya. And eat it in it’s natural form. Try miso, tofu, soya milk, tempeh, fresh or frozen soya/edamame  beans to get your isoflavones.

The Spice of Life

There’s an old cliche that variety is the spice of life and nothing could be more true than in food choices.

Isoflavone filled foods include beans, chickpeas, lentils, which are beaut for hormone balance, as I said.

There are also different phytoestrogens called Lignans in flax seeds, grains such as oats and rice and veggies like green leafy veg and broccoli.  They are also very positive for hormone harmony.

And AGAIN great for fibre.  Make sure you grind your flaxseeds for maximum benefit. I like mine in smoothies or sprinkled on my porridge and granola. A couple of tablespoons are good for starters.  And I grind mine in a cheap coffee grinder I bought online. It was a worthwhile investment.

 

So cook yourself up a storm and get more hormone balance with phytoestrogen and fibre filled foods into your diet, gorgeous girls.

Love those Lentils. Favour those Flaxseeds.   And they don’t call them CHICKpeas for nothing, eh ladies?!

As a little gift, here’s my recipe for crunchy chickpeas – a tasty, savoury snack that is way better than crisps – honest!

Love,

Hot Flushes – 5 things to give up to reduce them

Hot Flushes Thumbnail

Hot Flushes?

You’ve probably seen that cartoon on Social Media?  The one that says ” I’m still hot, only now it comes in flushes!”?  Ha bloomin’ ha. If you’re a sufferer, you know hot flushes are no laughing matter. They can be uncomfortable, incovenient and embarrassing.

You know? That sudden feeling of heat, which seems to come from nowhere and spreads through your body. Not to mention the sweating, scarlet face and palpitations. Lovely.

Hot flushes are a common symptom in perimenopause and menopause, but there are lots of simple steps to take to reduce them.

HONEST! Mine lasted about 2-3 months, until I got them under control.

And I’m about to let you into a few of my secrets…

There are things you can reduce or give up to help you stop the perimenopausal power surges. It’s isn’t always easy, but you have to ask yourself…

HOW MUCH DO I WANT TO STOP THE HOT FLUSHES?

HOW HARD AM I PREPARED TO WORK TO STOP THEM?

So if you’re truly sick and tired of your broken thermostat, read on.

Yes, here’s my short guide …

5 things to give up to reduce hot flushes

#1  Kick Cigarettes.

Yes, stop smoking the ciggies or vastly reduce the amount you smoke. I’ve never been a smoker so this wasn’t my issue. BUT cigarettes are associated with a bigger risk of horrid hot flushes.

#2  Stop Skipping Meals

Low blood sugar can be a cause of hot flushes, so don’t rush out of the house without brekkie, ladies. Eat regularly and choose a balanced, hormone-and-flush-friendly diet.

#3 Quit Caffeine

Normal coffee and tea. Many fizzy drinks. Chocolate. ALL contain caffeine. Cut the Cappuccino and ditch the Dairy Milk to calm down the hot flushes.

office-620823_1280

#4 Wean Yourself Off Wine…

…beer…spirits. Alcohol is known to make hot flushes worse for many PeriMenopausal Princesses, so reduce or quit alcohol to see how much difference it makes.

#5 Curb the Curries

This was toughie for me! I love curries. I gave up spicy food for a little while on my journey to No Flush Nirvana. Spicy food can trigger hot flushes for some gorgeous girls. Phew! That wasn’t the sound of me flushing: that was recognition that spicy food didn’t trigger mine!

I’ve managed my flushes very well with a winning combination of food and lifestyle choices, reducing exposure to toxins in my environment and some superb self-care. It can be done.

So what are you waiting for?

You could decide to go cold turkey and quit all at once.  Or you could remove one at a time for 1-2 weeks and see what difference it makes.  It’s up to you, lovely ladies.

Let me know how you get on and ask for guidance on my social media pages.

Love,