So for more than a year, I’ve been writing this column, Hot Flash Universe. I have a confession to make. I thought I never had a real hot flash. Until now.
Holy s–t! I can’t be in my house anymore without several icepacks standing by in the freezer. I’ll be sitting on my couch and it’s a cool 72 degrees, my family members are wearing sweaters and socks and I am sweating my ass off! I grab an icepack or two and eventually I cool off in about a half-hour.
In my car, I have the air conditioning at full blast, temperature set at 63 degrees. Thank goodness the passenger side has a temperature control. I’d freeze my passengers out. The good thing is, I’m usually by myself.
I was recently at a friend’s party just last Saturday. I was sitting in a circle of friends. All of a sudden, I felt the hot flash coming on. This one wasn’t going away.
My forehead, the back of my head and everywhere else starting to get so warm. No, I was hot. And sweaty.
What do you do at a party to relieve a hot flash? Anything. I sat under the air conditioner. It wasn’t enough. I drank a cold glass of water. Nope. Not working.
I went into the bathroom, turned on the faucet and put my wrists under the water. I really wanted to douse my entire head.
Finally, my friend who had the party gave me two small cans of Perrier sparkling water, and told me to put them underneath my armpits. Attractive. I did it. After a few minutes, it started to help. The only thing he said was to keep the cans separate from the others. He did not want to drink them after they were under my pits. Thanks, buddy.
You know the ALS thing that went viral on the Internet last year, with someone getting a bucket of ice poured on them? I would have welcomed that with open arms. More than once.
The next day, I went online to determine if there was anything (without the use of drugs) that I could ingest to make them go away.
I discovered some of the triggers. I partake in or experience many of them on a weekly basis.
• drinking alcohol (check)
• consuming products with
• eating spicy foods (check)
• being in a hot room (check)
• feeling stressed (check)
• wearing tight clothing (check)
• smoking or being exposed to
While medical studies haven’t backed up their effectiveness for reducing hot flashes, I found out that some women find certain herbal products to be helpful. I’m going to check them out. These include:
• Black cohosh
• Red clover
• Dong quai
• Evening primrose oil
Do any of you out there have suggestions? Please e-mail me and let me know. I will share your suggestions in an upcoming column.
Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments or suggestions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.