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Natural Ways to Manage Hot Flushes

Podcast Episode 11 transcript.

Listen on: Apple, Spotify, Website

A few followers messaged, wanting us to look into natural ways to help with hot flushes. So we've done some research, and here it is! I hope you find this episode helpful!

Hot flushes (or flashes) are unpredictable and tend to hit without warning. While some women are lucky enough never to struggle, others might experience a few a month or even a few a day!

Research suggests that decreased oestrogen causes the body thermostat (the hypothalamus in the brain) to become more sensitive to slight changes in body temperature. So when the hypothalamus senses that the body is becoming warm, it goes into panic mode and starts a hot flush to cool you down quickly.

A hot flush might feel like

  • a sudden red flush with heat spreading through your face and body

  • Sweating

  • A change in mood and sudden lack of focus

  • Faster heartbeat

  • Tingling in the fingers

You might feel a hot flush lasts forever. However, the average lasts around 4 minutes.

Here are some tips that might help you!

  1. Choose your fabrics! Check your labels—avoid synthetics and tight-fitting clothes. Loose-fitting clothes made with natural materials like cotton and linen allow air to circulate and cool your skin. We suggest choosing colours that do not show any sweat patches. Dress in layers that can be removed at the start of a hot flush. Choose natural fabrics even for your nightwear to reduce night sweats.

  2. Nighttime Sleeping. Open windows help circulate air and reduce room temperature, benefiting everyone. Be prepared! Keeping a drink of water, a small towel, and maybe a spare T-shirt handy will save you from fumbling around in the dark if you get one! Instead of heavy duvets - try layering blankets and sheets.

  3. Gadgets. Many women swear by having a little fan and a cooling face mist. We found a few gadgets like cooling tubes, neck fans, and a cooling necklace. We've' attached links for you to discover; they might be worth a try!

  4. Food & Drink. Use a diary to identify foods that might trigger a hot flush and avoid them. The most common triggers are Alcohol, caffeine, spicy chillies and curries, and hot drinks. Some studies show that eating oestrogen-rich foods—such as soy, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds, and vegetables—helps. Keeping a diary not only identifies triggers but is also an excellent tool for having a more effective conversation with your doctor. 

  5. Weight management. Women who are overweight generally struggle more with hot flushes and night sweats. Being overweight also leads to long-term issues, so it's' worth focussing on a healthy diet (no quick fads here). However, having hot flushes does not automatically mean you are overweight; women within a healthy BMI range also get hot flushes.

  6. Exercise. Intentionally breaking a sweat while exercising has been found to reduce the chance of having a hot flush or night sweats.

  7. Temperature. If you are having a hot flush, use Ice packs if they are handy. Generally, showers (and baths)should be lukewarm, not hot.

  8. Smoking. Studies have shown that cigarette smoking increases a woman's risk of hot flushes, especially those that are considered severe - independent of estrogen levels.

  9. Relax. Remember that worrying about having a hot flash increases the possibility of having one, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Don't fight a hot flush- this only increases adrenaline and makes it worse - go with the flow - focus on your breathing - slow it down and keep your focus.

  10. Supplements: Vitamin B helps the body create and use oestrogen; Vitamin D helps with oestrogen production; Vitamin E may help reduce hot flushes and insomnia. Various sites mention Sage - Evening Primrose - Ginkgo & Ginseng - black cohosh, or red clover. There might be no significant clinical evidence for these, but there's no harm in trying them, especially if you are not taking any medications. If you are, speak to your pharmacist or healthcare practitioner to check for interactions, as even natural supplements can affect medication.

  11. Complementary therapies, like acupuncture and reflexology, can help. We will discuss these in future episodes. We always advise researching and checking a practitioner's credentials before trying these therapies.

  12. Choices. Some women prefer using just natural remedies and no HRT. This is a choice that every woman will have to make for herself. However, there is no doubt that HRT, especially gel, is one of the most effective treatments for relieving hot flushes. 

I love researching all things natural to see if they are safe and effective. Still, I also believe that medication can be used as and when needed. Of course, medication comes with side effects, but if you're struggling, it's worth having a conversation with your GP. We would recommend trying HRT first, but in the rare occasions where HRT cannot be used, other medications like antidepressants have been found to help and have been used to help with hot flushes. 

A new medication, fezolinetant, has recently been approved for hot flushes but is not yet available on an NHS prescription. 

Follow the link between this medication:


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