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Hot and Heavy

Filed Under: Women's Health at 11:08 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Having a Hot FlashIt’s like your head is on fire. You’re standing there – in the kitchen, the living room, the mall – dripping with sweat. You pull off layers of clothing trying to get cool, as your face reddens with heat and embarrassment. You attempt to move through the hot flash as if nothing is happening, but your body is an oven, suffocating you and leaving you limp with heat. You wish it would end, but it won’t, not even in sleep. At night, you awake drenched in perspiration. Your sheets and pajamas are wet rags, weighing you down, pulling you into the soaked mattress. You feel cursed, as if Satan has pulled you into Hell early, but you are simply going through menopause.

Hot flashes and night sweats are an inevitable part of menopause. Nearly all women will experience them, but for some these symptoms of age will be worse than for others. Studies have found that overweight and obese women are more likely to suffer frequent hot flashes and night sweats.  The excess fat makes it more difficult for the body to dissipate heat, and so the symptoms worsen, continuing to do so with every extra pound.

If you’re going through menopause (or about to), you may want to consider dieting, but don’t let it be your sole means of coping. It might not work the wonders you’re hoping for. Remember that there are other ways to cool down.  Wearing thin layers, exercising regularly, keeping your bedroom cool and chilling your pillows are sure-fire ways to help regulate the heat. Soy products, black cohosh, evening primrose oil and flaxseed may also be beneficial. If the symptoms elevate to an excruciating level, speak with your doctor about treatment.

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