Can My Diet Affect How Well I Sleep
The following tips can help reduce sleep problems:
- Eat regular meals at regular times.
- Avoid late-night meals and heavy late-night snacks.
- Limit caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and cola drinks. Caffeine stays in the bloodstream for up to 6 hours and can interfere with sleep.
- Avoid alcohol. It may make you feel sleepy, but it actually affects the cycle of REM and non-REM sleep. This may cause you to wake up throughout the night.
What Can I Do To Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis isnt entirely preventable, but you can take steps to strengthen your bones. Eating foods high in calcium like cheese, yogurt, spinach or fortified cereals can help boost calcium intake. Adding a calcium supplement can also help. Some people also need a vitamin D supplement because it helps their body absorb calcium.
Herbs And Supplements For Hot Flashes
In terms of herbs, you could try black cohosh or chasteberry, both of which are used in Europe for managing menopausal symptoms. Other common options women try includeevening primrose oil, red clover, and maca root. Personally, I havent had great luck with herbal remedies, but some of my friends have. Again, its highly personal.
Although your best bet for menopause nutrition is an all-around nutrient-dense diet, you might try increasing your intake of vitamin E, along with vitamin C to aid the absorption of vitamin E.
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Natural Remedies For Hot Flushes
- Black cohosh may help relieve hot flushes. Do choose a licensed preparation like MenoHerb® there have been occasional cases of serious side effects, including liver damage, with unlicensed versions. And it shouldnt be taken if you have any liver or kidney problems.
- Red clover this remedy seems to have natural oestrogen-like properties and 60-80 mg a day of red clover isoflavone may help with hot flushes. There have been no safety concerns about using it.
- Evening primrose oil although its widely used, there is no evidence that this option helps with symptoms of the menopause.
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Soy And Other Plant Sources For Menopause Symptoms
Isoflavones are chemical compounds found in soy and other plants that are phytoestrogens, or plant-derived estrogens. They have a chemical structure that is similar to the estrogens naturally produced by the body, but their effectiveness as an estrogen has been determined to be much lower than true estrogens.
Some studies have shown that these compounds may help relieve hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. In particular, women who have had breast cancer and do not want to take hormone therapy with estrogen sometimes use soy products for relief of menopausal symptoms. However, some phytoestrogens can actually have anti-estrogenic properties in certain situations, and the overall risks of these preparations have not yet been determined.
There is also a perception among many women that plant estrogens are “natural” and therefore safer than hormone therapy, but this has never been proven scientifically. Further research is needed to fully characterize the safety and potential risks of phytoestrogens.
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What Are Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are also called as vasomotor symptoms. Sudden warmth spreads all over body followed by head ache or chest ache in a hot flush. Many perspire after a hot flush which usually lasts for several minutes. These are caused due to hormonal changes occurring in the body due to low level of estrogen. Hot flushes at times last for 10 years too. Hot flushes sometimes occur as night sweats which leads to difficulty in sleep patterns and tiredness during the day.
About 70% of women going through their menopause face hot flashes. This is often due to the estrogen imbalance in the body occurring during menopause.
Q: Ive Started Having Hot Flashes At Night Have I Started Menopause How Long Will This Last
A.:Menopause by definition is the cessation of menses for 12 months. The average age for this in the United States is 51.4 years, with a range of 45 to 55 for most people.
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Perimenopause includes the years leading up to menopause and on average starts about four years before periods actually stop. This is the time when periods become further apart, and symptoms such as hot flashes may begin.
The hormone fluctuations in the 40s can be quite pronounced, even when the cycles are still regular. That is why some women who are still having regular cycles will begin to have hot flashes. Hot flashes can occur intermittently during this time and frequently become more pronounced when the cycles start to lengthen.
Some women will spontaneously stop hot flashes about a year after their periods stop. Many more will stop by four or five years after menopause. However, about 9 percent can continue indefinitely, even into their older years.
Womens Health specialist Lynn Simpson, MD
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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.
How Do Hot Flashes Affect My Heart Rate And Blood Pressure
Every time you have a hot flash, your heart rate and blood pressure increase. In other words, hot flashes make your heart work harder. It also appears that they cause an inflammatory response, which can damage blood vessels. Add to this a hot-flash-induced elevation of LDL , and its no wonder multiple studies now show that women who have hot flashes are far more likely to have damaged blood vessels than those who dont, even when other risk factors are considered.
This new information may be surprising to women who were advised in 2002 to abandon hormone therapy to avoid an increased risk of blood clots and stroke. That advice was based on the findings of the Womens Health Initiative , a large study started specifically to determine whether long-term hormone therapy could prevent heart disease and prolong life.
But more than 70% of the women in the WHI study were over 60. Since most women go through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55 , the overall results reflected women who were well past the hot flash years . An evaluation of those in the 50-to-59 range showed different and reassuring results: In women taking hormone therapy, there was actually a in heart disease and overall mortality.
Hot flashes last longer than was previously thoughtseven to 10 years on average.
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What Is A Hot Flash
It’s a sudden feeling of heat and sometimes a red, flushed face and sweating. We don’t know exactly what causes them, but they may be related to changes in circulation.
A hot flush is a hot flash plus redness in your face and neck.
How Long Do Hot Flushes Last
A hot flush can occur at any time of the day. It usually lasts several minutes, but on average they last around four minutes. You may have them a couple of a times of week or up to every hour. Hot flushes that happen at night are known as night sweats. You may carry on getting them for several years after your periods stop.
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Why Does Menopause Affect Your Sleep
Menopause means you eventually stop producing the hormone progesterone, which has a role in helping you sleep. Besides night sweats, during menopause you are also two to three times more likely to have sleep apnoea than before. Perhaps you have restless legs at night, or very hot feet. And if youre feeling anxious or depressed, that can keep you awake, too.
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Menopause And Excessive Sweating: When Medication Is In Order
Some women find relief with lifestyle changes, but others need more. The most important thing to remember: talk to your doctor and think about all of the possibilities for treatment, says Mary Lake Polan, MD, PhD, adjunct professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University School of Medicine in New York City.
Finding a treatment that works for you is a highly individual thing. âI tell patients to keep trying,â Polan says. Sooner or later youâll find relief from hot flashes and night sweats.
Hormone therapy. Hormone therapy is the most effective way to treat hot flashes, but the Women’s Health Initiative study found an increased risk for heart disease, blood clots, and stroke, and an increase in breast cancer when women took oral estrogen and progestin long-term, Omicioli says. The increased heart disease risk was in older women who were 10 or more years postmenopausal, she says.
But thereâs emerging evidence that non-oral forms of estrogen — a cream, gel, patch, or ring — may have safety advantages in reducing risk of blood clots and stroke, Omicioli says.
The WHI study didnât find an increased risk of breast cancer in women who took estrogen alone, Omicioli says. The study also looked at one dose of oral estrogen and synthetic progestin. âThere may be a lower risk with progesterone vs. synthetic progestin,â she says.
The supplement black cohosh may also help some women reduce hot flashes, although the results of scientific studies have been mixed.
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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.
Calcium And Vitamin D
A combination of calcium and vitamin D can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, the bone loss associated with menopause. The best sources are from calcium-rich and vitamin D-fortified foods.
Doctors are currently reconsidering the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises that healthy postmenopausal women don’t need to take these supplements. According to the USPSTF, taking daily low-dose amounts of vitamin D supplements , with or without calcium supplements , does not prevent fractures. For higher doses, the USPSTF says there is not enough evidence to make a recommendation. In addition to possible lack of benefit, these supplements are associated with certain risks, like kidney stones.
However, calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients. Supplements may be appropriate for certain people including those who do not get enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure and those who do not consume enough calcium in their diet. They are also helpful for people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about whether or not you should take supplements.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends:
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract and is the essential companion to calcium in maintaining strong bones.
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Hot Flashes And Night Sweats Are Common
Hot flashes usually start suddenly, with a feeling of heat that begins around the upper chest and face, and then spreads. The feeling of heat, accompanied by heavy sweating and sometimes palpitations, lasts for around one to five minutes. After that, some women feel chills, shivering, and a feeling of anxiety.
While entirely normal, hot flashes can be disruptive for women who experience them. While some women average one hot flash a day, others have one every hour all day and night. In addition to being disconcerting and uncomfortable, hot flashes can disturb sleep when they occur at night.
How Long Do The Stages Of Menopause Last
Perimenopause typically lasts for four to six years, but it can last as long as 12 years for some women. In most cases, the onset occurs between ages 35-45. However, it can occur earlier or later in a minority of women. While they do remain potentially fertile during this time, it becomes far more difficult to conceive. Hot flashes, fatigue, chills, and other symptoms associated with menopause begin to emerge during this stage.
Why Do Hot Flashes Last That Long
Women start experiencing menopause after having no menstrual cycle for about a year. That marks the start of menopause, and with that, even hot flashes start happening from time to time. There is no fixed time of duration for a single episode of hot flashes.
Obesity is another factor that will determine the duration of the hot flashes that a woman will experience. Hot flashes can go on for years as menopause lasts for sometimes over a decade.
There may be various reasons why hot flashes last that long, and they are as follows:
- Mainly hormonal changes are what determine the length of a hot flash. As every womans hormones are different, so is the duration of the hot flashes.
- The other reason is the physical condition of a woman. Women who are obese might experience longer hot flashes that may be more frequent. While women who are comparatively fit might experience less frequent hot flashes.
- The ethnicity of a woman also determines the length and the duration of the hot flashes.
- Smoking, stress, or depression are other aspects that will determine how long the hot flashes will last.
Some women are known to have hot flashes for their entire life after menopause. Although, the numbers for that are low.
Medicine Versus The Placebo Effect
There are a number of different medicines that your doctor might prescribe to help reduce and control hot flushes. But before taking any of these, there is something important to bear in mind.
When researchers want to find out how well a treatment works in a trial, they sometimes test it against a dummy treatment, or placebo. The people taking part in the trial dont know whether they are taking the new treatment or the placebo. Many of us feel better when taking something that we think will help.
In nearly all trials looking at treatment for hot flushes, people taking the placebo said that their flushes were reduced by about a fifth . It is important to bear this in mind when we are looking at other treatments. If a treatment reduces hot flushes by 20% or less, it may not be better than a placebo.
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Perimenopause Symptoms And Signs
Perimenopause describes the time period when a woman is approaching menopause. During this time is when symptoms and signs begin. Examples include, weight gain, vaginal dryness, mood changes, painful sex, and hot flashes.
The complex hormonal changes that accompany the aging process, in particular the declining levels of estrogen as a woman approaches menopause, are thought to be the underlying cause of hot flashes. A disorder in thermoregulation is responsible for the heat sensation, but the exact way in which the changing hormone levels affect thermoregulation is not fully understood.
Hot flashes are considered to be a characteristic symptom of the menopausal transition. They also occur in men and in circumstances other than the perimenopause in women as a result of certain uncommon medical conditions that affect the process of thermoregulation. For example, the carcinoid syndrome, which results from a type of endocrine tumor that secretes large amounts of the hormone serotonin can cause hot flashes. Hot flashes can also develop as a side effect of some medications and sometimes occur with severe infections or cancers that may be associated with fevers and/or night sweats.
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