5 ways to keep cool when you’re having a hot flush

Hot flushes can be horribly uncomfortable. We found out how to make them more bearable with these expert tips.

A hot flush can come on suddenly, or you may have an idea of when they’re about to strike.

[Read more: 5 things Loose Women’s Andrea McLean has to say about the menopause]

The uncomfortable, intense heat of a hot flush affects almost 75% of women during menopause and they are among the most common symptoms of menopause.

Here’s the experts’ advice on how to keep cool during a hot flush.

1. Be comfortable in bed

Use bedclothes made from cotton and layers rather than a big duvet. "Avoid clothes made from synthetic fabrics and wear layers instead so you can adjust your clothing to how you are feeling," says Shona Wilkinson, Nutritonist at Superfooduk.com.

2. You are what you eat

"Hot drinks before bedtime can often trigger night sweats or even make them worse," says Dr Marilyn Glenville, nutritionist and author of Natural Solutions to Menopause.

"Try to stay away from caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods. Remember, that caffeine can be found in both food and drink (chocolate, caffeinated soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee and tea). It can cause your blood vessels to expand making you sweat more, which can increase the hot flushes.

"You can also sip a cold drink during the day. If you feel a hot flash coming on, this can help lower your body's temperature.”

3. Keep active

"Although it may make you feel hotter and sweatier in the short-term, women who exercise regularly, seem to have fewer flushes," says Dr Glenville.

Lynne Robinson, Body Control Studio founder (to find a teacher go to www.bodycontrolpilates.com) says Pilates has a number of benefits.

"Pilates improves your breathing which will help your stamina and endurance as well as ensure that your core muscles are fit for purpose and that can help prevent back injuries,” she explains.

"Pilates can also help to improve the stability and mobility of your joints so that your body moves efficiently and without strain, restoring balance."

[Read more: Is it thyroid disorder or menopause? How to tell the difference]

4. Try supplements

Nutritionist Cassandra Barns recommends taking a supplement of Vitamin C.

This is because it’s full of is full of Bioflavonoid which help to strengthen the capillaries, improving blood flow and so reducing hot flushes.

Black Cohosh is another great option for keeping hot flushes at bay.

"What’s important, is that it does not increase oestrogen levels and has no effect on cells in the vagina or womb,” Dr Glenville explains. "Black cohosh offers relief without oestrogen-like effect.

"It acts as a SERM - selective oestrogen receptor modulator – promoting it in organs where oestrogen is needed, such as the bones, while acting as an  ‘anti-oestrogen’ in organs where unnecessary oestrogen can be dangerous, for example the breast and womb. "

5. Limit stress

Stress and anxiety can also bring on a hot flush.

Combat the stress by trying to steady your breathing.

Liquorice root extract also contains substances that have a similar structure to the adrenal cortex hormones.

"It is one of the herbs that can act as an ‘adaptogen’ - assisting your adrenals as ‘shock absorbers’ to cope better with stress, preventing a trigger-happy reaction of excessive adrenaline release,” Dr Glenville explains.

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