Like any other day, you are at work. But suddenly you feel heat rushing to your chest, neck and face. And before you know it, there is an outbreak of sweating even though the air conditioner is turned on. That’s a hot flash, which is quite common among women who hit menopause and are about to say goodbye to their reproductive years. Focusing on work during hot flashes can be really difficult. Since you don’t want your work to be affected, read on to find out how to manage hot flashes at work.
To know more about hot flashes and managing them, HealthShots connected with Dr Aruna Kumari, Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bellandur, Bengaluru. She says that a hot flash is the most common reason why women reach out to doctors during the perimenopausal period, especially if the symptoms affect their quality of life.
The reason behind these hot flashes may be related to the drop in estrogen levels. Changes in an area (hypothalamus) of the brain that controls body temperature can also be blamed for hot flashes.
Dr Kumari explains that when hot flashes happen, blood vessels near the skin’s surface widen to cool you off. So, then women break out in a sweat. Some women even have chills or a rapid heart rate.
Tips to manage hot flashes at work
1. Drink ice water
Having ice water handy at your desk is a good option. It’s better to have cold drinks over hot ones for better relief of hot flashes at office (drinks to manage hot flashes). Keep water bottle which is extremely cold on your desk. Apart from drinking from the bottle, press it against your forehead when you feel a hot flash coming on.
2. Use portable fan
Good airflow in your cabin is a must. So, to maintain room temperature either use an air conditioner or a portable fan.
3. Skip spicy food
Hot and spicy foods taste great, but they naturally raise your body temperature. Once that happens, it can aggravate hot flashes. Eat more of salads and fresh fruits, suggests the expert (how to prepare a healthy salad).
Symptoms may be less severe for women who follow a diet that focuses on vegetables, whole grains and unprocessed food. Foods such as highly processed foods, sugar, unhealthy fats and caffeine, may, however, make symptoms worse.
4. Choose the right outfits
You should dress in layers, as it provides you the ability to strip down when you get hit by a hot flash. Avoid clothes that trap heat. Don’t wear super tight pants or a body-hugging dress. They restrict your movement and heat you up. Loose and breezy clothes allow air to flow around you so that you can cool down.
5. Give deep breathing a shot
Take out few minutes and do deep breathing. Deep and slow breaths may help you to stay calm during a hot flash.
6. Reduce stress related to work
Among many things, hot flashes can cause anxiety. This in turn will lead to a release of a hormone called epinephrine, which can further increase body temperature and sweating. When it comes to ways to manage stress, try doing yoga, guided thinking, meditation, acupuncture, talk therapy or counselor services, massage and breathing exercises.
Dr Kumari suggests that you can also talk to your doctor about the need for hormone therapy. It helps to balance out your estrogen and progesterone levels so that you don’t have to repeatedly experience hot flashes.