Menopause matters – hot flushes

The first of an occasional series.

As I am now well and truly in pre-menopause, I thought it was time I dealt with some of the issues surrounding it. So number one on the list is the dreaded hot flush.

My mum suffered terribly with these, for about 10 years. We’d be walking round town and she’d come over hot and faint, dizzy and sick, and have to sit down. I got very used as a young girl to dealing with her, as she used to panic in these moments. She began her menopause young, at 36, with the whole thing finished by 40, but her flushes continued for years.

Since we are very similar types physically, I was rather dreading going through the same routine, but my early menopause has been shelved by 15 years of the Pill, so I reckon I’ll only be having it a couple of years younger than most women.

The hot flushes are a bitch, though. I was troubled with them briefly a couple of years ago and took Evening Primrose Oil for a few weeks until they went away, but they returned with a vengeance a couple of weeks back, and this time they were pissed off.

No-one ever told me that they feel like the flu. Not ‘hot’, but a raging torrent of intense, burning fever, with your heart palpitating and your head pounding, something like a panic attack. They were coming every 50 minutes and lasting about four minutes, which was taxing, to say the least – no sooner had I got over one then another one was up on the horizon. 

Increasing my dose of EPO didn’t work, so I began to search around for other solutions. I can’t have HRT, and would be wary of it even if I could, so I asked around my older girlfriends and came up with two herbs – Borage oil and Black Cohosh. The Borage oil has worked pretty well and the little sods are now down to 2-3 weak flushes a day, of short duration, and about the same at night. 

The night issue is a thorny one, though. I invested in some wicking pyjamas (review to follow), which are great, but suddenly both our memory foam mattress topper and our goose feather duvet seem impossible to tolerate. I haven’t quite decided on the solution yet, but I think it might well be a wool topper (the memory foam needs replacing and the DH has always hated it), and a wool combination duvet for its better wicking qualities. 

Will report back. 

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