Heard of a hot flash, but are you aware there may be sudden cold flashes caused by the hormone changes during menopause. It can also result from an emotional change.
All women go through a menopausal phase. Most females experience it between the age of 51 and 52 years.(1) The symptoms experienced vary greatly. Some experience severe symptoms while a few experience none.
Cold flash is experiencing chills and shivering even in a warm room. This feeling comes over suddenly and may even shake you or turn you pale. It is a temporary feeling that might last for a few minutes.
What Causes Cold Flashes?
Just like hot flashes, cold flashes are caused by hormone havoc. As the estrogen level drops, the hypothalamus, a part of the brain responsible for regulating temperatures becomes overactive and starts releasing chemicals which alert the body, it’s overheating. Whether you want it or not the body sheds heat, resulting in a cold flash.
Sometimes chills and shivering occur as the hot flash fades away resulting in you feeling cold.
How To Deal With Cold Flashes?
Before thinking about any other solution making some lifestyle changes proves to be of big help.
- Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Anxiety can make cold flashes worsen. Since females in perimenopausal and menopause are more prone to anxiety due to the overactive hypothalamus and hyper-alert central nervous system. Deep breathing exercises and meditation can help reduce anxiety and as a result hot flashes.
- Avoid Triggers: There are certain triggers of cold flashes such as sugar, caffeine, spicy food, nicotine which can worsen them. It is better to avoid such food.
- Get Active: Exercising and moving around gets the blood flowing to the extremities. This is beneficial during cold flash as the flowing blood gives warmth to the body.
- Magnesium: Some individuals found taking a magnesium supplement before going to bed gave relief in cold flashes. Magnesium also helps in improving sleep.
- Wear Layers: You can get relieved from cold flashes by wearing layers of clothing, which can protect you from sudden chills. If in between there is a hot flash and you sweat, change the clothing to remove moisture away from the body. If you do not change clothes the wet clothes may trigger shiver.
Cold flashes do not last long. Therefore, taking any remedy for it might trigger a hot flash. Instead drink a hot drink, pile on blankets, or sit near the fireplace which can relieve from the chills at that moment.
If these lifestyle changes do not help, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, birth control pills can help.
If the cold flashes are disturbing a lot, consult a doctor as he might be able to detect the actual cause. Poor circulation, thyroid dysfunction, anemia, and low blood sugar also can lead to cold flashes and can be serious than the hormonal imbalance during menopause.
A doctor might advise a test to determine the underlying cause. Depending on the cause the treatment can be advised.
The severity of symptoms during menopause varies from person to person. If a slight change in lifestyle can help reduce the symptoms go for it. If the symptoms bother a lot consult a doctor to get relief.