Like every other day, you are at work. But suddenly you feel heat rushing to your chest, neck and face. And before you know it, there’s a surge of sweat even though the air conditioner is on. It’s a hot flash, which is quite common among women who are entering menopause and are about to say goodbye to their childbearing years. Concentrating on work during hot flashes can be very difficult. Since you don’t want your work to be affected, read on to learn how to deal with hot flashes at work.
To find out more about hot flashes and their management, HealthShots contacted Dr. Aruna Kumari, Consultant Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bellandur, Bengaluru. She says a hot flash is the most common reason women seek medical attention during perimenopause, especially if the symptoms are affecting 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 may also be responsible for hot flashes.
Dr. Kumari explains that when hot flashes occur, blood vessels near the surface of the skin widen to cool you down. So the women break out in a sweat. Some women even have chills or a rapid heartbeat.
Tips for dealing with hot flashes at work
1. Drink ice water
Having ice water handy at your desk is a good option. It is better to have cold drinks rather than hot ones for better relief of hot flashes in the office (drinks to manage hot flashes). Keep an extremely cold bottle of water on your desk. In addition to drinking from a bottle, press it against your forehead when you feel a hot flash coming on.
2. Use a portable fan
Good air circulation in your cabin is essential. So, to maintain room temperature, use a portable air conditioner or fan.
3. Avoid spicy dishes
Hot, spicy foods taste good, but they naturally raise your body temperature. Once this happens, it can make hot flashes worse. Eat more salads and fresh fruit, suggests the expert (how to make a healthy salad).
Symptoms may be less severe in women who follow a diet focused on vegetables, whole grains, and unprocessed foods. Foods such as highly processed foods, sugar, unhealthy fats, and caffeine, however, can make symptoms worse.
4. Choose the right outfits
You should dress in layers, as this allows you to undress when hit by a hot flash. Avoid clothing that traps heat. Don’t wear tight pants or tight dresses. They restrict your movements and warm you up. Loose, airy clothing allows air to circulate around you so you can cool down.
5. Try to breathe deeply
Take a few minutes and breathe deeply. Deep, slow breaths can help you stay calm during a hot flash.
6. Reduce work-related stress
Among other things, hot flashes can cause anxiety. This will in turn cause the release of a hormone called epinephrine, which can further increase body temperature and sweating. As for ways to manage stress, try doing yoga, guided thought, meditation, acupuncture, talk therapy or counseling, massage, and breathing exercises .
Dr. Kumari suggests that you can also talk to your doctor about the need for hormone therapy. It helps balance your estrogen and progesterone levels so you don’t have to repeatedly experience hot flashes.
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