June is the month where spring gives way to summer, and with the longer days come warmer temperatures and stronger UV rays. While many look forward to the summer season, for women experiencing menopause, the heat and humidity can trigger or worsen hot flashes and can complicate existing menopause management techniques. Over 80% of middle-aged women experience hot flashes, making it a common and disruptive symptom, especially in the summertime. To help keep you cool this summer, we’re sharing some hot heather menopause management tips.
Dress for the weather
Finding the proper summer clothing can be challenging, especially when you’re concerned with hot flashes. Between limiting exposure to harmful UV rays, staying cool, and avoiding hot flash triggers, figuring out what to wear can be more time-consuming than you’d think. We recommend avoiding all restrictive clothing and opting for loose, flowing styles instead. Selecting a breathable fabric like cotton and linen can also serve as menopause management and hot flash prevention.
Choose the right sunscreen
We all know that sunscreen is essential to maintaining healthy, youthful skin, but when it comes to menopause, selecting the right sunscreen is key to menopause management. Ensure your SPF is breathable and contains active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Heavy sunscreens can cause overheating, sweating, and hot flashes. Avoid any SPF products containing synthetic estrogens like oxybenzone and avobenzone that may disrupt your hormonal balance.
Avoid your hot flash triggers
There’s no doubt that hot temperatures through a wrench in your menopause management plan, but you can help keep hot flashes at bay by avoiding other factors that you have control over. This includes steering clear of other well-known hot flash triggers like smoking, alcohol, wearing tight clothing, caffeine, and spicy foods. For more personalized menopause management techniques, take note of your environment and surroundings when you feel a hot flash coming on so you can have a better understanding of your personal triggers. It’s also important to remember that when you feel a hot flash coming on, focusing on your breath and inhaling and exhaling slowly and evenly can help reduce the effects of the hot flash. Research has shown that practicing controlled breathing can help reduce the severity of hot flashes by up to 44%.
Schedule your plans with the weather in mind
Staying indoors during the hottest parts of the day can help make for a more comfortable summer. Enjoying the outdoors in the mornings and evenings allows you to keep cool and minimize your risk of hot flashes. On particularly hot days, schedule your social plans and activities at a cafe, movie theater, mall, or somewhere there’s sure to be air conditioning. Take time to cool down at the end of the day by taking a cool shower. Keeping your shades drawn and using dehumidifiers in your bedroom can also help keep your house cool which can help you avoid or minimize nighttime hot flashes.
While working up a sweat may seem counterintuitive, getting regular exercise can actually help counteract the effects of menopause. Staying physically active helps women maintain a healthy body weight, which is key to menopause management.
Don’t forget to hydrate
Drinking water is essential in the summertime, but it becomes even more vital when you’re experiencing menopause. Not only can staying hydrated help prevent the onset of a hot flash but drinking ice water during a hot flash can help cool down your internal temperature and cool yourself down.
Visit Raleigh OB/GYN
Regular visits to our office can help you monitor your health and learn about how you can manage your symptoms and lead a happy, healthy life before, during, and after menopause. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about menopause management and care.