Effective ways to manage hot flashes during office hours or between meetings | Health - Hindustan Times
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Effective ways to manage hot flashes during office hours or between meetings

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Oct 18, 2022 01:49 PM IST

Working through hot flashes! Experts advice on effective ways to manage your hot flashes during office hours or in the middle of important meetings.

Hot flashes symptomize menopause, a natural biological mechanism in women that cannot be averted but its symptoms can be controlled and reduced by proper medications and non-pharmacological measures like exercise, lifestyle modifications and dietary changes. However, working professionals may encounter difficulty in the simultaneous execution of health management and efficient working.

Effective ways to manage hot flashes during office hours or between meetings(Tatiana Castrillon)
Effective ways to manage hot flashes during office hours or between meetings(Tatiana Castrillon)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Veena Aggarwal, Consultant Womens’ Health, CMD and Editor-in-Chief at IJCP Group and Medtalks Trustee, Dr KK’s Heart Care Foundation of India, shared, “Hot flashes are a common symptom of the menopausal transition that start few years before menopause and may last for many years post-menopause or even life-long. Research has shown that these flashes vary in frequency and intensity for each woman and are directly related to decreasing levels of estrogen.”

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She revealed, “Hot flashes may also trigger night sweats wherein the woman wakes up drenched in sweat. Hot flashes may not require any interventions if the symptoms are mild; however for extreme cases treatment options can include prescription medications, non-hormonal therapies and lifestyle modifications. Some women, especially working professionals, experience disruptions in their daily lives and thus need suitable interventions to ease out their conditions.”

Echoing the same, Dr Anita Kant, Chairman and Head, Department of Gynae and Obstetrics at Asian Institute of Medical Science in Faridabad, said, “Hot flashes or flushes are the most common symptom of menopause, manifesting in nearly 75% of middle-aged women. A hot flash can be characterized as a sudden, brief, periodic increase in the body temperature leading to sudden perspiration accompanied by heart palpitations and dizziness. 80% of these women suffer from hot flashes for two years or less; however, a small percentage of women may experience it for longer durations before menopause. Hot flashes can be triggered at any time of the day, which may make the person uncomfortable and restless; and hamper the overall well-being and quality of life."

Effective ways to manage hot flashes during office hours or between meetings:

Dr Ameya Kanakiya Kulkarni, Co-Founder and Gyneacologist at Elda Health, suggested a few tips for the effective management of hot flashes for working women:

1. Sipping on ice water is an excellent way to decrease body temperature when hot flashes strike. Avoid hot drinks.

2. Use a desk fan and carry a small fan to make you feel comfortable and reduce your body temperature.

3. Keep handkerchiefs and wet wipes handy in case of sudden onset of hot flashes.

4. Dress in layers so that you can manage your clothing when you feel uncomfortably warm or feel chilly.

5. Certain cloth materials like wool and silk trap heat that worsen the situation during the hot flash. Opt for light and breathable fabrics such as cotton.

6. Cut back on caffeine, as it can also trigger hot flashes.

7. Smoking cigarettes can contribute to hot flashes and, therefore, should be avoided.

8. Deep breathing helps to calm down, easing out the hot flashes. Take a break in between work to rejuvenate yourself.

9. Stress can trigger body temperature-increasing chemicals that worsen the condition. Lowering your stress while at work can be beneficial in managing hot flashes.

10. Make arrangements for suitable medical interventions as and when required.”

Dr Veena Aggarwal advised:

1. Make necessary arrangements – Arrange your office bag with necessary items like a napkin, wet wipes, water bottle, a hand fan and suitable medications for severe hot flashes.

2. Choose cool drinks – Sip icy cold water and drink cool beverages while at work to keep hot flashes at bay. Avoid consumption of caffeine, alcohol and hot beverages.

3. Layer your clothes – Hot flashes can get triggered suddenly at any time of the day. Dress yourself appropriately, preferably in layers so that addition and removal of the clothing is hassle-free.

4. Dress comfortably - In addition to layering, consider wearing loose, non-binding clothes that allow air to flow and keep your body cool. Choose the outfits with light and breathable material like cotton.

5. Set the room temperature - If you work in an office maintain your space at suitable temperature. You can also use a desk or portable fan to manage the sudden onset of hot flashes.

6. Manage your stress - Schedule your day so you have plenty of time to arrive at work and make it to each meeting. Stressing and rushing around raises your body temperature and exacerbates hot flashes.

Adding to the list, Dr Anita Kant recommended that the management of hot flashes can be achieved in the following ways:

1. Dress suitably – It is advisable to dress in layers at work, enabling you to add or remove desired layers when the hot flash strikes. A working woman should choose their dressing judiciously for effective management of premenopausal conditions.

2. Carry a portable fan – Hot flashes cause excessive sweating, and using a fan can facilitate some relief from the heat and uneasiness. You can carry a portable fan or can install a desk fan to ease out hot flashes as they set off.

3. Avoid trigger foods – Certain foods like caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods can worsen menopausal symptoms. You should avoid these food items and switch to healthier options like green tea, herbal tea, juices, and nutritious snacking while at work. Drink plenty of water.

4. Quit smoking - Smoking is another factor that has an adverse effect on menopause conditions. Working professionals generally indulge themselves in the habit of smoking. Women experiencing menopause must certainly restrict their tobacco to prevent the worsening of menopausal symptoms.

5. Explore mind-body practices – Yoga, meditation, and other mind-body practices can help manage menopause symptoms and avert the severity and intensity. Plan your schedule to create time for mind and body activities like walking, Yoga, meditation, etc.

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