Triggers and Coping
Apparently cold weather, cold drinks and emotional turmoil can trigger cold flashes, but often it is simply down to the hormonal changes during the years leading up to menopause (known as peri-menopause) and during the menopause.
Most women find the flashes, hot or cold, diminish and disappear completely in the five years after the official menopause (defined as when a woman has not had a period for 12 months) but for some the symptoms carry on beyond. I am more than 12 months past my last period but still have the occasional hot flash - generally triggered by stress it seems.
It's always worth getting persistent symptoms checked out by a doctor – chills and cold feet can be caused by thyroid problems or poor blood circulation, which can be down to a number of medical conditions.
HRT is an effective treatment for body temperature regulation, or you could talk to your doctor about other medications, which might help reduce cold or hot flashes.
Dull but true – a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and increasing consumption of water are all ways to help reduce menopause symptoms and during a cold flash, it might help to get up and move around to increase blood circulation, or head for a hot bath, snuggle up in a blanket or slip on cosy slippers.
And don't be afraid to talk about your symptoms. I always make a joke as I strip off – and have found other women often share their experiences. It always helps to know you are not alone and sharing your experience might just help another woman who is worrying silently about what is happening in her changing body.