Have you ever sang the song with Nelly, “It’s gettin’ hot in here; so take off all yo clothes…I am gettin’ so hot I wanna take my clothes off?” Although Nelly had his interpretation of these lyrics, we divas have our own personal definition. They are called private summers, better known as hot flashes.
These hot flashes are sudden feelings of warmth that gradually go through your body, usually more intense in the areas of the face, neck, and chest. Hot flashes can cause sweating that drenches you like you just came up from the baptism pool. To top it off, these drenches can cause chills as the hot flashes are subsiding.
Although a wide range of hormonal conditions can cause hot flashes, they usually stem from a woman’s body going into menopause – a bitter/sweet moment…a bitter moment for the woman who experiences the negative effects of hormonal changes and a sweet moment for those divas who no longer have to visit the store aisle entitled “women’s protection.”
These private summer moments are referred to as “flashes” because they can come like a flash flood and overtake you with little to no warning and drench you like an overflowing violent wave. Have you ever sat next to the sista in the choir stand when the church was nicely cooled down to 60 degrees and she suddenly takes the hymn book’s outer cover and begins aggressively fanning…YES! She is having a flash. Depending on the woman, hot flashes may occur a few times a week or several times a day. Hot flashes can be so chronic at night that she starts to act out that Nelly song that I spoke of earlier. They can definitely interrupt your sleep. If your hot flashes become particularly bothersome, there are a variety of treatments available.
Symptoms to look for include
- A feeling of warmth spreading through your upper body and face
- Rapid heartbeat
- Perspiration, mostly on your upper body
- A chilled feeling as the hot flash subsides
Hot flashes vary in frequency – you may have several in one day or just a few each week. One woman whom I spoke with has them every 3 to 4 months. Good news ladies, not every woman will experience hot flashes but for those who do, they will usually usually last for at least a year.
When to Visit Your Doctor
If these private summers become particularly bothersome and disrupt your daily routines, consider making an appointment with your primary care physician or OBGYN to discuss treatment options.
In the mean time, keep hydrated, and stay as cool as you possibly can in the uncontrollably hot weather so that when your private summer hits, you can ride the wave like a champ.