They don’t last long, and they’re not life-threatening, but they’re annoying and uncomfortable. The face reddens and the skin becomes sticky with sweat as the body overheats. After a few minutes of discomfort, and sometimes embarrassment, everything returns to normal. Hot flashes are typical for menopausal women and can be triggered by certain conditions. Perhaps you’ve experienced hot flashes? To learn what can trigger a hot flash and how to avoid the triggers, read on.
1. Eating hot and spicy foods can trigger a hot flash. Hot foods in the stomach can be a hot flash trigger. Spices foods can be too. Cayenne, chili peppers, wasabe, and hot mustard are some of the spices in foods that can rev-up the heat.
2. Eating too much can trigger a hot flash. If the stomach is too full from overeating, hot flashes may be more likely. It’s best to eat smaller meals more often than to eat large meals less often.
3. Drinking hot beverages can trigger a hot flash. That cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate tastes wonderful going down, but the heat of it may invite a hot flash. Cold drinks, especially iced drinks, don’t seem to have the same effect for most people.
4. Consuming caffeine can trigger a hot flash. There are plenty of decaffeinated drinks available. Avoiding caffeine isn’t all that difficult.
5. Drinking alcohol can trigger a hot flash. Liquor is fairly easy to avoid. Even when attending a party, there are several of non-alcoholic options from which to choose.
6. Warm indoor or outdoor temperatures can trigger a hot flash. If it’s too warm inside the house, turn on the fan or air conditioner. If outdoors, stay out of the direct sunlight. Find a breeze and move into the shade.
7. Lack of air circulation can trigger a hot flash. A room that is closed off, unventilated, or has no open windows, is a room that can trigger a hot flash. When possible, open a window, find or make a fan, or sit near the door or walk way, where there might be more air movement.
8. Wearing too much or manmade clothing can trigger a hot flash. Sweatshirts and multiple layers of clothing can trigger a hot flash. The theory behind layered clothing is that a layer or two can be peeled away before of during a hot flash. However, the fabrics worn are perhaps more important. Manmade fibers don’t breath. Natural fibers do. Wearing clothing composed of mostly natural fibers makes sense.
9. Too many covers or an electric blanket can trigger a hot flash. Several heavy blankets on the bed or an electric blanket with the setting too high can invite a hot flash. It’s best to keep blankets to a minimum–so they can be kicked off as needed. If a spouse lacks compassion, it may be time to move to another room where there is freedom to open a window or reduce the blanket load.
10. An upsetting event can trigger a hot flash. You have little control over an emotionally upsetting event, but the way you respond and care for yourself can impact the likelihood of hot flashes. Getting proper nutrition, exercise, and plenty of fluids has an impact upon the body’s health and ability to respond.
If you currently experience hot flashes, you probably won’t be able to cut out hot flashes entirely, but you should be able to lessen their effect by managing these 10 triggers.