Written by: Mutshidzi Kwinda
I was 22 years old when I experienced my first episode of hot flushes. It felt like I was in a steaming pot and about to explode. What made the situation even more unbearable, was that I didn’t know what was happening. Or how to respond to the situation.
What is meant by hot flushes?
Hot flushes are described by Mayo Clinic as a “sudden feeling of warmth, usually most intense over the face, neck, and profuse sweating, commonly due to menopause.” From this definition, you might be asking yourself how a 22-year-old young woman can have hot flushes? Well, I have an answer for you.
If you have read most of my previous articles, you may notice that I battled with cancer for five years, between the age of 18 and 23. During that time, I had to undergo extensive surgery and cancer treatments including radiotherapy and chemotherapy. All the treatments and the illness itself had a huge impact on my gynecological organs and consequently disrupted my hormonal balance.
The disruption in my hormones synthesis and secretion process has resulted in what they call treatment-induced medical conditions. One of those conditions is premenopausal symptoms – which include hot flushes. Other symptoms of hot flushes besides profuse sweating (that I experienced) include rapid heartbeat, feelings of anxiety, shortness of breath, a chilled feeling right after experiencing an episode of hot flushes. And sometimes a feeling of irritability and dizziness.
If you experience severe hot flushes that disrupt your daily activities and disturb your sleep. Then try some tips I learnt along the way to manage hot flushes.
- When the episode of hot flushes comes, make sure you are relaxed. Leave everything you are doing, and sit down in a shade or next to a fan and allow your body to cool down before you resume whatever you were doing.
- Take as many deep breaths as you need to keep calm. This helps more in keeping the anxiety and panic at their baseline.
- Always have a bottle of water, preferably cold water. Since the heat emerges from inside, cool/cold water helps cool down your body from within.
- Remove excess layers of clothing. This works well but needs a little bit of patience since most often you will need to put them all on again to protect yourself from chills.
- If the hot flushes are severe, then medical intervention may be necessary. So speak to your doctor to explore possible treatments and options.
- Homeopathic medicines also help. I have been using Prefemin for the past few months and it makes things a little better for me.
If you have questions for me, leave a comment for me below and I will be happy to answer.