You know you’re having a hot flash when, out of nowhere, you have a sudden urge to rip off even the most lightweight t-shirt. Burning skin? Check. Sweaty? Check. Oddly, the heat is followed by a bodily chill. (Off with the sweater! On with the sweater!) Sound familiar?
Around 75% of women will experience hot flashes. – North American Menopause Society
For most women, hot flashes start in perimenopause (i.e. mid-40s) and last an average of 7 to 10 years. While some women get by with the occasional “flash”, one in four are dubbed “super flashers“, meaning they can last for up to 15 years. Despite the fact that hot flashes (and their sister-by-another-name: night sweats) affect so many women, there is no definitive answer as to what triggers the heat. Most attribute hormonal fluctuations and changes in the hypothalamus (your brain’s temperature regulator) as the culprit, with one recent study indicating certain genes play a role.
Speaking of genes, hot flashes affect women uniquely depending on ethnicity. Black women typically experience the most severe and persistent hot flashes, followed by Latinx & white women, and then Asian women.
Read on for Elektra’s favorite quick tips & tricks to beat the heat, or go deeper with our Hot Flashes & Night Sweats Guide.
- Avoid known triggers: spicy foods, hot drinks, stressful environments (good luck with the family holiday coming up!)
- To stay cool while you sleep, try a Become night dress, turn the thermostat down to a cool 62-67 degrees, and wrap up in Parachute sheets.
Diet, Nutrition, and Supplements
- Tofu, soy, and edamame might be your staple go-to’s right now.
- Black cohosh, primrose oil, ginseng, and maca are supplements to ask your doctor (or an Elektra expert) about.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and select anti-anxiety & anti-depression medications can be an effective option for women, when appropriate. As always, speak with a provider to see if it’s right for you!
Curious to discuss prescription medication options further? Elektra’s experts are online and ready to answer your questions.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- Post-hysterectomy + estrogen: New paper published by friend of Elektra Dr. Philip SarreI shines a light on the widespread negative yet preventable health issues that result when women do not receive estrogen therapy after a hysterectomy, why more women should consider it, and how many dollars would be saved if they did (hint: $4B from 2003-2015 alone). (Note: article is academic, but if you have questions, reply to this email!)
- Parents at their breaking point. The untenable situation America’s parents are forced to make in the age of COVID: educate my children or work?
- Reproductive longevity. Provocative read covering Nicole Shanahan’s (i.e. Mrs. Sergey Brin, Founder of Google) quest to equalize reproductive inequity: Would you delay menopause if you could?
Not quite as chic, but we love this desk & bedside accessory for keeping us cool & dry when a hot flash strikes.
For a refreshing summer sip, stay chic AND hangover-free this holiday weekend with this new non-alcoholic aperitif. Bottoms up!
* We’re not paid to feature these products. We just like them and think you may like them too.
KEEP CALM AND ELEKTRA ON…
Image credit: @aolanow