Youre Stressed Or Feeling Anxious
Feeling overburdened or overly anxious can lead to a case of the sweats. The rush of adrenaline can cause a feeling of warmth, which is easy to confuse with hot flashes, says Dr. Shah. Try deep breathing exercises or take a walk to calm your nerves and cool off. Feeling a little flushed is normal, but if you experience more severe symptoms, see your doctor.
Buyer Beware: Unproven Nonscientific Treatments For Hot Flashes
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.
Cynthia Managed Her Severe Night Sweats Using A Little Hot Flush Kit She Kept Beside Her Bed
In the early days, I had to get up physically on the hour every hour. It woke me without fail and I had to get out of bed, go into the other room, had a big fan, stand in front of it until I cooled down and then I went back to bed. You do get used to doing that and you do sleep in between. As I got better at managing them I think, I identified that I couldnt drink anything and I couldnt eat curry or Chinese food I got so that I had my little hot flush kit beside the bed. I had a towel and gel pack, sports injury gel pack that had been frozen inside of a pillow case. And Ive got dozens, dozens and dozens, and Ive still got them in a little basket of those little hand fans like youd have on holiday. And I had that beside the bed so when I woke with a hot flush starting, Id grab the towel and slip that underneath me, the gel pack behind my neck and the little fan resting on my chest and Id just lie there like a sack of potatoes until it passed. And then Id chuck it all off and go back to sleep until the next one. And I did sleep. I did get used to being tired but I did sleep in between each hot flush. But they were on the hour.
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When To Get Help With Cold Flashes
If youre having disruptive cold flashes, a trip to the doctor is recommended. Poor blood circulation, thyroid dysfunction, anemia, and low blood sugar can cause cold flashes and can be more serious than a typical hormonal imbalance due to perimenopause. If they are strictly perimenopause related, you and your doctor can discuss hormone replacement therapy ,antidepressants, or low-dose birth control pills, which can offer relief.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do my symptoms indicate that I might be going through menopause?
- My menstrual cycle is irregular. Could it be caused by something other than menopause?
- Im uncomfortable and/or dont feel well. Is there a way to safely treat my symptoms?
- Ive heard that soy products or herbal supplements may help. Are these effective? Are they good options for me?
- Am I a candidate for hormone replacement therapy?
- What are the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy?
- Am I at risk for heart disease or osteoporosis?
- Do I need any tests, such as bone density screening?
- Now that Im going through menopause, what changes, if any, should I make to my diet and exercise?
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Make Time For Regular Exercise
It can be hard to drag yourself out of bed when youre exhausted, but exercise is one of the best solutions for fatigue. A of postmenopausal women found moderate- to high-intensity exercise is associated with higher energy levels.
- chronic pain
- quality of life
Look for activities that are enjoyable and manageable. For example, you can take a short walk during your lunch break or join a yoga class. The important thing is to find something that you can regularly enjoy. If you pick an activity that you dont enjoy or cant find the time to do regularly, try something else. Youre more likely to turn exercise into a habit if you enjoy it.
What Are Common Menopause Symptoms
Some common menopause symptoms are:
Irregular periods: Periods becoming shorter, longer, heavier, lighter. Skipping periods.
Hot flashes: A hot flash is a sudden, sometimes intense feeling of heat that rushes to your face and upper body. Hot flashes can be really uncomfortable, but they usually only last a few minutes. They can happen a few times a day, a few times a week, or a few times a month.
Night sweats: Hot flashes that wake you up in the middle of the night.
Sleep problems: You may have insomnia trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. You may also start to wake up much earlier than you used to.
Vaginal changes: The lining of your vagina may become thinner, drier, or less stretchy. This can cause dryness or discomfort during sex.
Urinary or bladder infections: You may have to pee more often or get more frequent urinary tract or bladder infections.
Mood changes: Hormone changes can make you feel anxious, irritable, and tired. Your sex drive might change, too.
Weaker bones: Your bones will probably weaken during menopause. If its really bad, it can lead to osteoporosis after menopause. Getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D, and exercising for at least 30 minutes most days of the week can help you maintain bone health.
Some people may have a long and difficult perimenopause, up to 1012 years. But most people find that the common menopause symptoms are temporary and only last 35 years.
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Carcinoid Syndrome And Hormone
Though its more rare, hot flashes can also be caused by carcinoid syndrome, a condition in people with advanced carcinoid tumors that produce excess hormones that have effects throughout the body.
A common symptom of carcinoid syndrome is facial flushing. When this happens, the skin on your face, your neck, or your upper chest will suddenly feel hot and get red.
Facial flushing in people with carcinoid syndrome happens after the release of certain chemicals in the body that causes the widening of blood vessels and a surge in blood flow under the skin.
Other tumors, such as pancreatic tumors, medullary thyroid cancer, bronchogenic carcinoma , and renal cell carcinoma, can also lead to hot flashes.
The Search For Reliable Information
The problem for me was that I couldnt find anything that helped me to decide on what might help. I thought HRT wasnt an option for me because of the migraines and looking for alternatives was fraught with marketing claim and counter claim, hearsay and opinion.
I scoured bookshop shelves for information that was sensible, informed and accessible. There were books on womens health that included it as a section usually a short and not very detailed section. One had a bibliography, there were rarely any references. In magazines and on web forums there were people enthusing about wild yams, black cohosh and red clover. In health food shops I felt like I was a marketing persons dream slightly desperate, willing to try anything and unable to discriminate.
Cochrane is a source of reliable, evidence-based information
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When Does Menopause Occur
Although the average age of menopause is 51, menopause can actually happen any time from the 30s to the mid-50s or later. Women who smoke and are underweight tend to have an earlier menopause, while women who are overweight often have a later menopause. Generally, a woman tends to have menopause at about the same age as her mother did.
Menopause can also happen for reasons other than natural reasons. These include:
Premature menopause. Premature menopause may happen when there is ovarian failure before the age of 40. It may be associated with smoking, radiation exposure, chemotherapeutic drugs, or surgery that impairs the ovarian blood supply. Premature ovarian failure is also called primary ovarian insufficiency.
Surgical menopause. Surgical menopause may follow the removal of one or both ovaries, or radiation of the pelvis, including the ovaries, in premenopausal women. This results in an abrupt menopause. These women often have more severe menopausal symptoms than if they were to have menopause naturally.
What Does A Hot Flash Feel Like
What is a hot flash?
A hot flash is an intense feeling of heat that comes on suddenly and isnt caused by hot weather. When it happens, your face, neck, and chest turn red and warm, and youll break out in a sweat.
Hot flashes are most likely to happen when youre in menopause, but other medical conditions can cause them, too. When hot flashes wake you up from sleep, theyre called night sweats. Heres what you need to know.
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Cold Flashes: Whats Happening
Much like hot flashes, cold flashes are likely caused by the hormone havoc going on in your body. As estrogen levels drop, the hypothalamusthe part of your brain responsible for regulating your body temperaturegets overly sensitive, and therefore temperature regulation can be unstable.
Cold flashes can also be triggered by a panic attack or anxiety. During a panic attack, your body releases adrenaline and other stress hormones that can affect its ability to regulate body temperature.
Although theyre less common than hot flashes, cold flashes are no less disruptive, especially at night. And given how rare a decent night’s sleep can be during this time of life, learning how to manage cold flashes may give you a shot at some vastly improved rest.
Feeling Cold All The Time
Do you shiver of cold even in the moderate weathers? Does your body feel like freezing all the time and are you bound to carry sweater with you always? Then here is something you must know! Feeling cold is okay in winters and when AC is working on its best but if your body temperature is always low you should be concerned about this. The normal temperature that every human body is capable of maintaining is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit that fluctuates a bit depending on the surrounding conditions. So why are you feeling cold all the time?
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Take A Meditation Break
Stress can sap your energy and interrupt your sleep. One way to beat stress is meditation. To practice one of the most popular forms, mindfulness meditation, sit in a quiet place and close your eyes. Slowly breathe in and out, clearing your mind while focusing on your breath. When negative thoughts try to enter your mind, steer them gently back out.
If you have trouble sitting still, try yoga or tai chi, which combine exercise with meditation to harness the benefits of both practices.
Hrt And Other Medications
Your GP can also talk to you about hormone replacement therapy , which replaces oestrogen. Its the most effective treatment for hot flushes. Theyll explain the risks and benefits of taking HRT.
If you decide not to take HRT, or if its not recommended for you, there are other non-hormonal medications available. Dont suffer in silence. If hot flushes are affecting your day-to-day life, talk to your GP about what might work for you.
If youre struggling with menopause symptoms, or want to support someone who is, were here to help. Theres lots of information, expert advice and signposting on the menopause pages within our Womens Health Hub, and you dont need to be a Bupa customer to access any of it.
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What Happens In Your Body During A Hot Flash
Menopause is the main cause of hot flashes. During this transition, levels of the hormone estrogen fall. This drop in estrogen throws off your bodys thermostat a gland called the hypothalamus at the base of your brain that regulates your internal temperature.
Lower estrogen levels send a signal to the hypothalamus that youre too hot. In response, your brain sends a message to your body to cool you off just as it would do if you were outside on a hot day:
- Blood vessels near the surface of your skin widen to release heat. This creates the red flush you see on your skin.
- Your heart pumps faster.
- Your sweat glands open up. The sweat evaporates off your skin to cool down your body.
All of these actions produce the rush of heat that you feel during a hot flash.
Your body temperature can also rise several degrees during a hot flash. This rush of heat can make you feel very uncomfortable.
Certain things you do can even set off or worsen hot flashes, including:
- drinking strong coffee or tea
- eating spicy foods
- being outside on a hot day
- running a fever
- dressing too warmly
Some people who have their ovaries surgically removed go into premature menopause. They can also develop hot flashes.
Other causes of hot flashes arent due to the same low estrogen levels that cause them during menopause. Chemotherapy or hormone treatment for cancer can also trigger hot flashes, as can alcohol and certain medications.
A few diseases have also been linked to hot flashes, including:
Do Phytoestrogen Treatments Reduce The Number And Severity Of Hot Flushes And Are They Safe And Acceptable
Cochrane evidenceCochrane Reviews are systematic reviews. In systematic reviews we search for and summarize studies that answer a specific research question . The studies are identified, assessed, and summarized by using a systematic and predefined approach. They inform recommendations for healthcare and research. More: A Cochrane review includes 43 randomisedRandomization is the process of randomly dividing into groups the people taking part in a trial. One group will be given the intervention being tested and compared with a group which does not receive the intervention . Morecontrolled trialsA trial in which a group is given a intervention being tested is compared with a group which does not receive the intervention . More with over 4000 women, but many were small, brief and poor quality, and looked at many different types of phytoestrogens.
There is no conclusive evidence to show that phytoestrogen supplements effectively reduce the frequency or severity of hot flushes and night sweats in perimenopausal or postmenopausal women.
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How Can You Deal With Hot Flushes
There are some things you can do to help manage hot flushes yourself. Try these tips to stay cool, calm and collected.
Avoid triggers. Although hot flushes can be unpredictable, you might find theyre worse after drinking alcohol or caffeine, after eating spicy food or when youre stressed, for example. Try keeping a diary for a few weeks to see whether you notice a link or trigger.
Dress lightly. Wearing lighter clothing made of natural, breathable fabrics, such as cotton, silk or soft wool, might help you to keep cool. Go for looser styles rather than tighter ones. During the colder months, wear a few light layers so you can easily take clothes off when you feel a hot flush coming on.
Layer your bed linen. The same principle applies at bedtime. Try to keep your room cool. Rather than using one heavy duvet, try layering a few light blankets and sheets made from natural fabrics. Sheets made with 100% cotton are usually cool and comfortable.
Use a fan. Keep a fan in your bedroom and on your desk for times when you need to cool down. You can also carry a battery-powered mini-fan in your bag, or go for vintage glamour with a traditional hand-held fan.
Carry a cooling spray. Keep a small spray bottle in your bag, on your desk or close to hand when youre at home. Fill it with water and give yourself a little spritz to cool down during a hot flush.
Take a lukewarm shower. When you take a shower, aim for a temperature thats a happy medium rather than too hot.
You May Be Sick Of The Menopause But Could It Actually Really Be Making You Sick
Some women have reported that they have felt more nauseous at menopause, and once again it is down to those fluctuating hormones.
At peri/menopause your levels of oestrogen and progesterone are both falling but it is not constant, or predictable, and for some women this can result in an increased level of feeling unwell, and part of that can be experiencing feelings of sickness or nausea.
So keeping your hormones in balance will certainly be helpful, but that may not be the only cause.
If its not your hormones then what is it?
Nausea is very much related to balance, and so that can be affected by low blood sugar, or even a small amount of disturbance to your inner ear, or tightness in your neck leading to dizziness or vertigo.
Stress itself can literally leave you feeling sick, as can anxiety, so are you suffering from more of either of those than usual?
Are you dieting, or skipping meals? That can result in low blood sugar, which can make you feel anxious and jittery, which again can leave you feeling sick.
Do you drink enough water? Dehydration is a common factor in feeling nauseous so are you getting enough fluid?
Coffee, tea and caffeinated and carbonated drinks dont provide the fluid intake you need, in fact they deplete the body, so go back to plain water and have a glass for each cup of tea or coffee you have.
A sensible diet, and enough fluid will usually be sufficient to help deal with this type of sickness.
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