You might be aware of hot flashes and night sweating during menopause, but cold flashes are also quite common. When you experience cold flashes, you start feeling cold even when the environmental temperature is not low enough to make you feel cold. You might even shiver during the period. A cup of warm milk or chocolate may relieve you, but these may not help for some persons.
Do not have chilled food or drinks during cold flashes, as these may trigger the cold flash. Even cold weather may trigger cold flashes in you. However, you can experience cold flashes even on a hot and humid day. Always visit your physician for identifying the causal factor of your cold flashes, as they may be also caused due to underactive thyroid, fevers or any other illnesses.
Similar to hot flashes, cold flashes during menopause are also caused due to low estrogen levels in your body. The hormonal interplay during menopause misleads your hypothalamus (the body temperature regulator) to set a higher temperature for the “normal” sensation, making you feel cold at the current temperature. The hypothalamus becomes overactive and dilates the blood vessels, thus, making you feel cold in the process.
The cold flashes range from mildly chilly to intensely cold, compelling you to wear warm clothes. It can last for a few minutes or for a few hours. At times, a cold flash can be followed by a hot flash, which can be an absolutely disturbing experience, though initially you may welcome the warmth after feeling cold. Cold flashes may or may not be accompanied by sweating.
A cold flash basically makes you feel cold and your approach to relieve yourself should be to counter it the way you would counter winter coldness. Wear warm clothing and wrap a blanket around yourself, Apply some warming oil on your body.
Drink hot drinks. Try hot baths. Avoid coffee, spicy foods, nicotine, and alcohol. Try to be active and move around while experiencing a cold flash, as movement improves blood circulation in the body.
Combat Hormonal Disturbances
Cold flashes can be relieved only when aberrant hormonal actions are controlled. This can be done by eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly. Consumption of adequate quantities of water will keep your body hydrated well and prevent temperature fluctuations.
The treatment for cold and hot flashes is basically the same. It involves supplementation of estrogen, which can be done by Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Estrogen supplementation can also be accompanied with progesterone supplementation. Physicians prescribe only estrogen or estrogen-progestin therapy depending upon their exact menopausal criteria. Estrogen is administered as pills, vaginal creams, vaginal rings, vaginal patches or vaginal sprays.
Earlier, HRT was considered as a causal factor of cardiovascular complications in menopausal women. Hence, it was not favored, but later, it was found to be quite safe in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Some women are also given vitamin pills to combat menopause. Antidepressants birth control pills and anti-seizure drugs are also prescribed for treating cold flashes in menopausal women.