One of the unfortunate realities of being a woman is that we don't only go through painful fertility cycles every month, but we must also endure the torturous discomfort of menopause at the end of our fertile years.
One of the most dreaded aspects of menopause are hot-flashes. It starts off as a prickling of hairs on our skin and bursts into a roaring flush across our faces and ends with teaming rivers of sweat.
We know how they feel, but do you know how they are triggered? Find out below!
Trigger: Red Wine
Why it's a trigger: alcoholic beverages cause our blood vessels to dilate, which makes us feel warmer. When your skin flushes from the heating effect of a glass of red wine, it could trigger a full-blown hot flash.
How to fix it: Unfortunately, you might want to avoid wine - at least until you're on the other side of menopause. Instead, try a non-alcoholic variety of fruity iced wines.
Trigger: Spicy Foods
Why it's a trigger: Just like wine, plenty of spicy foods contain vasodilators that cause our blood vessels to expand, heating us up.
How to fix it: You'll want to avoid cayenne and chili powders as well as jalapenos, serranoes and habanero peppers. Basically, anything that tastes hot in your mouth could trigger a hot flash.
Unfortunately, some of our favorite things can trigger a hot flash...
By now, you must have noticed a theme: pretty much anything that can raise your body temperature has the potential to trigger a hot-flash.
Nobody said being a woman was easy, but does it really have to be so darn inconvenient?
Why it's a trigger: Caffeine narrows blood vessels, making it a vasoconstrictor. In some women, this can have the same effect as spicy foods.
Because caffeine can slightly raise the heart rate, it speeds the blood pumping through your body, causing it to heat up.
How to fix it: Try a decaf iced coffee or herbal iced tea instead.
Trigger: Hot Beverages
Why it's a trigger: Basically, hot teas warm your body and set off hot flashes. You'll find that you have a lower tolerance for cold and heat, so by drinking warm beverages, you could trigger a hot flash.
How to fix it: Try mixing up a flavored water cocktail with mint leaves and cucumber instead.
Trigger: Hot Baths
Why it's a trigger: Since you're now so sensitive to hot and cold, warm baths might actually do more to stress you out than relax you by raising your body temperature. This will increase the likelihood of another hot flash.
How to fix it: Take short, cool showers and be sure to completely dry off and cool down before getting dressed.
Trigger: Hot Weather
Why it's a trigger: Overheated skin can cause hot flashes in some menopausal women.
How to fix it: Dress in light layers that you can remove as the day warms up and be sure to stay out of the sun during peak hours. Use fans and ice packs to keep your skin temperature in its comfort zone.
Why it's a trigger: Smoking increases your heart rate, which speeds up the blood flow through your body, which will warm your core temperature and likely trigger a hot flash.
How to fix it: The best solution is to quit the habit for good, smokers experience more hot flashes than non-smokers.
Trigger: Hair Appliances
Why it's a trigger: Every time you use heated hair appliances, you're bringing your body temperature up unnecessarily.
How to fix it: If you must use hair appliances to create your signature style, position a fan nearby so that it can keep you cool while you work.
Trigger: Cardiovascular Exercise
Why it's a trigger: Any exercise that boosts your heart rate is excellent for your health, but it causes your body temperature to rise with your heartbeat. Elevated heart rates can trigger hot flashes.
How to fix it: No, this isn't an excuse to stop exercising! Just be mindful of when you exercise. Avoid doing any cardio right before bedtime and clip a little hand fan to your treadmill when you go for that heart-healthy run.
Trigger: Your Clothes
Why it's a trigger: Heavy and tight-fitting clothing made out of fabrics that don't breath prevent body heat from escaping through your skin.
How to fix it: Avoid spandex and polyester. Try to pick more breathable fabrics like cotton or hemp and wear exercise clothing designed to wick-away moisture from the skin.
Why it's a trigger: Often an intense emotional reaction is accompanied by a physical reaction of some sort. Whether you're feeling angry or embarrassed, many people experience a rise in temperature that is caused by a rush of blood to their skin' surface.
How to fix it: Try some deep breathing exercises or mindful relaxation techniques to help you keep your emotions in balance.
Can you think of anything else that triggers hot flashes? How do you deal with them?