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Can You Have Menopause Without Hot Flashes

Buyer Beware: Unproven Nonscientific Treatments For Hot Flashes

Hot flashes & Menopause…What Can You Do Naturally?

You may have heard about black cohosh, DHEA, or soy isoflavones from friends who are using them to try to treat their hot flashes. These products are not proven to be effective, and some carry risks like liver damage.

Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like substances found in some cereals, vegetables, and legumes , and herbs. They might work in the body like a weak form of estrogen, but they have not been consistently shown to be effective in research studies, and their long-term safety is unclear.

At this time, it is unknown whether herbs or other “natural” products are helpful or safe. The benefits and risks are still being studied. Always talk with your doctor before taking any herb or supplement to treat your hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms.

What Are The Long

There are several conditions that you could be at a higher risk of after menopause. Your risk for any condition depends on many things like your family history, your health before menopause and lifestyle factors . Two conditions that affect your health after menopause are osteoporosis and coronary artery disease.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a “brittle-bone” disease, occurs when the inside of bones become less dense, making them more fragile and likely to fracture. Estrogen plays an important role in preserving bone mass. Estrogen signals cells in the bones to stop breaking down.

Women lose an average of 25% of their bone mass from the time of menopause to age 60. This is largely because of the loss of estrogen. Over time, this loss of bone can lead to bone fractures. Your healthcare provider may want to test the strength of your bones over time. Bone mineral density testing, also called bone densitometry, is a quick way to see how much calcium you have in certain parts of your bones. The test is used to detectosteoporosis and osteopenia. Osteopenia is a disease where bone density is decreased and this can be a precursor to later osteoporosis.

If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, your treatment options could include estrogen therapy.

Coronary artery disease

  • The loss of estrogen .
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • A decrease in physical activity.
  • Bad habits from your past catching up with you .

Food Allergies Or Sensitivities

Almost all of us experience something like a hot flash when we eat very spicy foods, but alcohol, caffeine, and additives like sulfites are also some common triggers. It is thought that spicy foods that give food some heat and alcohol are vasodilators and expand your blood vessels, Dr. Wider explains. But if you have an unidentified food allergy or intolerance, something else in your diet could be the cause, Battaglino explains.

Cool off: Pay attention to how your body reacts the next time you ingest any of the foods above and you may find a correlation. If that doesnt help, consider speaking with your doctor or a registered dietitian about a structured elimination diet.

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Menopause And Good Nutrition

It’s never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle. Regular checkups should include a measurement of cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. Be sure not to skip routine preventive screenings such as mammograms. Consuming plant-based foods that have isoflavones may slightly increase estrogen levels because the plants act like a weak form of estrogen.

Menopause nutrition therapy for some women may include soy protein. Soy is an example of a food that contains isoflavones and may relieve menopause symptoms. Women also tend to have low levels of calcium and iron. Getting enough calcium and iron is extremely important for women transitioning through menopause. You can work with your doctor to establish a plan for a healthy lifestyle including a nutritious diet, physical activity, and stress management skills.

Diet and Nutrition for Menopausal Women

The following are tips to better nutrition for women approaching or past menopause:

  • Eat approximately 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day
  • Eat approximately 9 milligrams of iron each day
  • Eat approximately 21 milligrams of fiber each day
  • Eat 1 ½ cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables each day
  • Read and understand food labels
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Cut back on fatty foods
  • Limit sugar and salt intake

Should I Take Hormones For My Hot Flashes

Can You Have Hot Flashes After Menopause

Talk with your doctor before using hormones to treat menopause symptoms. Hormones should be used at the lowest dose and for the shortest period of time they are effective.

Hormones can be very effective at reducing the number and severity of hot flashes. They are also effective in reducing vaginal dryness and bone loss.

Hormone treatments can take the form of pills, patches, rings, implants, gels, or creams. Patches, which stick to the skin, may be best for women with cardiac risk factors, such as a family history of heart disease.

There are many types of hormones available for women to treat hot flashes. These include estradiol, conjugated estrogen, selective estrogen receptor modulators , and compounded or synthetic hormones. It is a common misconception that synthetic hormones mixed by a compounding pharmacist are safer and less risky than other hormone therapies. This is not the case. We must assume they have the same risks as any hormone therapy.

Some of the relatively mild side effects of hormone use include breast tenderness, spotting or return of monthly periods, cramping, or bloating. By changing the type or amount of the hormones, the way they are taken, or the timing of the doses, your doctor may be able to help control these side effects or, over time, they may go away on their own.

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What Causes Hot Flashes At Night

There are many reasons for having hot flashes at night including hormone fluctuations, a hot sleeping environment, an infection, or the food or prescription medications recently consumed.

While less common, having hot flashes at night can be a symptom of certain cancers, like lymphoma.

There are also normal body temperature variations that happen while sleeping, which can lead to excessive sweating and feeling hot overnight.

Hot Flashes: What Can I Do

Hot flashes, a common symptom of the menopausal transition, are uncomfortable and can last for many years. When they happen at night, hot flashes are called night sweats. Some women find that hot flashes interrupt their daily lives. The earlier in life hot flashes begin, the longer you may experience them. Research has found that African American and Hispanic women get hot flashes for more years than white and Asian women.

You may decide you don’t need to change your lifestyle or investigate treatment options because your symptoms are mild. But, if you are bothered by hot flashes, there are some steps you can take. Try to take note of what triggers your hot flashes and how much they bother you. This can help you make better decisions about managing your symptoms.

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What Causes Hot Flashes And Sweating During Menopause

Ellen Sarver Dolgen, Coronado, Calif.-based author of Shmirshky: The Pursuit of Hormone Happiness, found her life thrown upside down when perimenopause began in her late 40s. Her first hot flash happened while she was in a business meeting with all men.

âI felt a flush of heat come over me but I didnât want to pay much attention to it,â she told WebMD. But when she stood up she felt sweat dripping down the inseam of her pants. âThank goodness I carry a big purse because I think it makes my hips look smaller,â she says. She used her purse to hide the wet mark on her pants as she left the meeting. âIt was absolutely mortifying.â

Doctors think hot flashes and night sweats are a result of fluctuating or decreasing estrogen levels. When menstrual cycles finally stop, estrogen levels drop fairly dramatically, Omicioli says.

The drop may impact a part of the brain that regulates body temperature. We all have a thermal neutral zone, which means our body temperature stays stable even when the temperature around us changes slightly. Theoretically, a drop in estrogen levels may narrow the thermal neutral zone, so that small changes in outside temperature cause a rise in body heat.

Your body is programmed to keep your core temperature the same, so when the air temperature rises, blood pours into blood vessels in your skin. Youâll become flushed and start to sweat.

There are a couple of other theories about why menopause and excessive sweating tend to go hand in hand.

Vitamins To Keep Hot Flashes Away

How To Know If Your Hot Flashes Are Normal

Although there are effective pharmaceutical treatments for hot flashes, many women would rather pursue more natural means of controlling the bothersome symptom. As such, adding some vitamins good for hot flashes into the diet can help these women find ultimate relief. Continue reading to learn which three vitamins for hot flashes are worth taking.

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Is Hormone Replacement A Safe Option For Management Of Menopausal Problems

Several hormone therapies are FDA-approved for treatment of hot flashes and prevention of bone loss. The benefits and risks vary depending on the severity of your hot flashes and bone loss, and your health. These therapies may not be right for you. Talk to your doctor before trying any hormone therapies.

What Is Hormone Therapy

During menopause, your body goes through major hormonal changes, decreasing the amount of hormones it makes particularly estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone are produced by the ovaries. When your ovaries no longer make enough estrogen and progesterone, hormone therapy can be used as a supplement. Hormone therapy boosts your hormone levels and can help relieve some symptoms of menopause. Its also used as a preventative measure for osteoporosis.

There are two main types of hormone therapy:

  • Estrogen therapy : In this treatment, estrogen is taken alone. Its typically prescribed in a low dose and can be taken as a pill or patch. ET can also be given to you as a cream, vaginal ring, gel or spray. This type of treatment is used after a hysterectomy. Estrogen alone cant be used if a woman still has a uterus.
  • Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy : This treatment is also called combination therapy because it uses doses of estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is available in its natural form, or also as a progestin . This type of hormone therapy is used if you still have your uterus.

Hormone therapy can relieve many of the symptoms of menopause, including:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Vaginal dryness.

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Medications: Treating Hot Flashes And Night Sweats With Hormones

Some women may choose to take hormones to treat their hot flashes. A hormone is a chemical substance made by an organ like the thyroid gland or ovary. During the menopausal transition, the ovaries begin to work less and less well, and the production of hormones like estrogen and progesterone declines over time. It is believed that such changes cause hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.

Hormone therapy steadies the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. It is a very effective treatment for hot flashes in women who are able to use it. There are risks associated with taking hormones, including increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, and dementia. The risks vary by a woman’s age and whether she has had a hysterectomy. Women are encouraged to discuss the risks with their healthcare provider.

Women who still have a uterus should take estrogen combined with progesterone or another therapy to protect the uterus. Progesterone is added to estrogen to protect the uterus against cancer, but it also seems to increase the risk of blood clots and stroke. Hormones should be used at the lowest dose that is effective for the shortest period of time possible.

Some women should not use hormones for their hot flashes. You should not take hormones for menopausal symptoms if:

Talk with your doctor to find out if taking hormones to treat your symptoms is right for you.

Melatonin For Menopausal Insomnia

What Every Women Should Know about Hot Flashes

While the classic menopause symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats can lead to disturbed sleep, its worth noting that poor sleep quality itself is not always a direct symptom of menopause alone but of simply getting older. In fact, production of melatoninthe bodys sleep chemicaldecreases throughout the lifespan of both men and women.

Your body produces melatonin naturally when it is exposed to darkness. The hormone helps the body wind down and get good quality sleep. Morning light shuts down melatonin secretion. Researchers dont agree completely as to whether a melatonin shortage is the cause of common age-related sleep troubles. But they do know that people who tend to wake up during the night have better luck sleeping through till morning when they take a melatonin supplement. According to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, scientists at MIT found that just 0.3mg of melatonin every night before bedtime can restore sleep in adults over 50 who have insomnia.

Improving sleep, even if thats the only thing melatonin does, is no small thing. You cant be healthyin body or mindwithout enough sleep. So, what is enough sleep, you ask? Women live the longest if they sleep a good seven to eight hours a night, Dr. Hirsch says.

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Q: What Causes Hot Flashes

A:;The exact causes of hot flashes are still unknown, but they are thought to be related to changes in the brains thermoregulatory center, which controls heat production and loss, and is influenced by your hormones. During perimenopause, hormones start acting like a rollercoaster, with progesterone and estrogen levels changing in wide variations. These ups and downs dont settle down until almost 10 years after menopause.

Can Menopause Affect Sleep

Some women may experience trouble sleeping through the night and insomnia during menopause. Insomnia is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. This can be a normal side effect of menopause itself, or it could be due to another symptom of menopause. Hot flashes are a common culprit of sleepless nights during menopause.

If hot flashes keep you awake at night, try:

  • Staying cool at night by wearing loose clothing.
  • Keeping your bedroom well-ventilated.

Avoiding certain foods and behaviors that trigger your hot flashes. If spicy food typically sets off a hot flash, avoid eating anything spicy before bed.

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What Are Hot Flashes

Also called hot flushes, hot flashes often begin with the sensation of heat in the face, chest, or may start elsewhere and spread. There are external signs, such as sweating, and the skin feeling warm to the touch and becoming red.

While some women in menopause never have hot flashes, in the worst case, they can occur multiple times throughout the day. When it is hot outside, or a room is overheated, these symptoms can become exaggerated. They can also lead to night sweats and insomnia.

Treatment Options For Menopause Symptoms

Can Fasting Help You With Hot Flashes?

The Menopause Consultation Program at the Women’s Medical Collaborative was developed to help women understand what theyre experiencing, anticipate what they may feel, and try to manage their symptoms while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Our experts can help you choose the best of several options for relieving your hot flash symptoms:;

  • Hormones. These provide many women with relief and offer added benefits for bone health. But hormones are not for everyone. Some women prefer not to, while others cant due to certain medical conditions;such as breast cancer or a history of blood clots.
  • Antidepressants. Newer studies show that some commonly used antidepressants can provide effective relief.
  • Non-medical treatments. We find that women who exercise and maintain a healthy weight have fewer problems with hot flashes. Relaxation exercises and meditation can also help.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . This form of psychotherapy may be beneficial for some women.

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Can Menopause Be Treated

Menopause is a natural process that your body goes through. In some cases, you may not need any treatment for menopause. When treatment for menopause is discussed, its about treating the symptoms of menopause that disrupt your life. There are many different types of treatments for the symptoms of menopause. The main types of treatment for menopause are:

It is important to talk to your healthcare provider while you are going through menopause to craft a treatment plan that works for you. Every person is different and has unique needs.

Lifestyle Changes To Improve Hot Flashes

Before considering medication, first try making changes to your lifestyle. Doctors recommend women make changes like these for at least 3 months before starting any medication.

If hot flashes are keeping you up at night, keep your bedroom cooler and try drinking small amounts of cold water before bed. Layer your bedding so it can be adjusted as needed. Some women find a device called a bed fan helpful. Here are some other lifestyle changes you can make:

  • Dress in layers, which can be removed at the start of a hot flash.
  • Carry a portable fan to use when a hot flash strikes.
  • Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine. These can make menopausal symptoms worse.
  • If you smoke, try to quit, not only for menopausal symptoms, but for your overall health.
  • Try to maintain a healthy weight. Women who are overweight or obese may experience more frequent and severe hot flashes.
  • Try mind-body practices like yoga or other self-calming techniques. Early-stage research has shown that mindfulness meditation, yoga, and tai chi may help improve menopausal symptoms.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Menopause

You may be transitioning into menopause if you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:

These symptoms can be a sign that the ovaries are producing less estrogen, or a sign of increased fluctuation in hormone levels. Not all women get all of these symptoms. However, women affected with new symptoms of racing heart, urinary changes, headaches, or other new medical problems should see a doctor to make sure there is no other cause for these symptoms.

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