What Can I Do To Help Myself
To help you manage hot flushes, simple things like wearing light clothing, using a fan and keeping your bedroom cool could help.
If youre struggling with your mood, consider trying self-help measures like relaxation, getting enough sleep and staying active. Regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet can also help to improve menopausal symptoms.
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 shouldn’t 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 it’s widely used, there is no evidence that this option helps with symptoms of the menopause.
Hot Flashes Years After Menopause
New long-term research shows that hot flashes continue, on average, for five years after menopause. More than a third of women can experience hot flashes for up to ten or more years after menopause.
A recent study evaluated 255 women in the Penn Ovarian Aging Study who reached natural menopause over a 16-year period. The results indicate that 80 percent reported moderate to severe hot flashes, 17 percent had only mild hot flashes, and three percent reported no hot flashes.
Hot flashes are momentary episodes of heat that can occur with other symptoms including sweating and flushing. Changing hormone levels after cessation of menses are believed to cause hot flashes as well as other menopausal symptoms including insomnia, anxiety, joint and muscle pain, and memory problems. Hormone therapy repletes the hormones estrogen and progesterone the body stops making during menopause, and it has been proven an effective treatment for hot flashes.
Source: Ellen W. Freeman, Mary D. Sammel, Richard J. Sanders. Risk of long-term hot flashes after natural menopause. Menopause, 2014 1 DOI:10.1097/GME.0000000000000196
How Long Does Menopause Last On Average
If you are going through menopause, youre probably wondering how long the symptoms will last. While the answer to this question is different for every woman, it lasts an average of four or five years. The nature of the symptoms also varies from person to person, and the specific timeline of symptoms is highly variable as well. Heres what you need to know.
Supplements And Complementary Therapies
Some women try supplements and complementary remedies to ease their menopause symptoms. Its important to note that supplements come in many different preparations and their quality, purity and safety varies. There is some evidence that a few of them might have a benefit, but for others, the science is still unclear.
Some women claim that acupuncture or relaxation techniques help them with menopausal symptoms, but there is little evidence to support their use. Speak to your GP before trying a supplement or remedy, as some can interact with other medications you might be taking.
Can I Put Off Menopause
Natural menopause is a normal transition process that you cant delay or stop. Even around the age of 35, as your hormones start to transition you may not notice symptoms. By your early to mid-40s, fluctuations of your sex hormones estrogen and progesterone may increase. This is when most women begin to notice symptoms. These symptoms may continue to increase in severity through their late 40s and early 50s until they quit menstruating. No matter what age menopause begins, I always suggest that women focus on techniques that reduce their symptoms so they can feel their best during this important stage in their life.
More Treatment Choices Will Help Personalize Menopause Treatment
Menopause is not like some other conditions, in which the protocol for treatment is fairly straightforward, says Dr. DeSapri. When deciding on the right therapy, there are many questions your provider will consider, which may include the following:
- What are the bothersome symptoms?
- What is your health history ?
- Did you have any children?
- Did you have preeclampsia during your pregnancy?
- Were you a smoker?
- What is your activity level?
Theres no single right answer when it comes to choosing the appropriate therapy for menopause symptoms, and thats another reason to be excited about having additional treatment options, she says.
If there are women for whom hormones are not appropriate, whether thats because of risk factors or due to personal choice, there are other choices, and hopefully there will continue to be more choices, such as some of the therapies detailed in this presentation, says DeSapri.
We do know from observational studies on women who have bothersome symptoms of menopause, if theyve experienced menopause within the last 10 years and are under age 60, that, in most cases, the benefits tend to outweigh the risks, she says.
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Putting On A Few Pounds
Many women do put on weight around the menopause, but it’s not inevitable and your weight shouldn’t keep going up. It’s estimated that the ‘average’ woman puts on about 5 lb after the menopause, but it doesn’t all go on straightaway. Certainly your metabolism does tend to slow down as you get older, so you burn up fewer calories. However, with small adjustments in your diet, you may well be able to avoid putting on weight.
The bad news is that even if you don’t put on weight, you might find that the menopause does cause your shape to change. There is evidence that you tend to shift more towards an ‘apple’ rather than a ‘pear’ shape around the menopause, with excess weight stored around your midriff. This can increase your risk of heart attack and type 2 diabetes.
What Medications Are Used To Treat Postmenopausal Symptoms
Hormone therapy could be an option, although healthcare providers often recommend using it for a short amount of time and in people under the age of 60. There are health risks associated with hormone therapy like blood clots and stroke. Some healthcare providers do not recommend using hormone therapy after menopause has ended or if you have certain medical conditions.
Some medications your healthcare provider may consider helping with postmenopausal symptoms are:
- Antidepressants for mood swings or depression.
- Vaginal creams for pain related to sexual intercourse and vaginal dryness.
- Gabapentin to relieve hot flashes.
Oftentimes your provider will recommend lifestyle changes to help manage your symptoms.
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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.
Higher Risk Of Heart Disease
The end of menopause means that your age becomes solid. It causes certain health problems and heart disease is one out of the list of when is menopause over. This problem also derives from low levels of estrogen and so, induces various complications from the part of the cardiovascular system. Commonly, this issue can be averted if you follow a healthy lifestyle. Its vital to consult a specialist in this field to define the necessary preventive measures.
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What Can I Do To Ease A Hot Flash
So if youre one of the 80% of perimenopausal or postmenopausal women who are experiencing hot flashes and youre concerned about your heart: Yes, lose excess weight, keep exercising, dont smoke, and eat healthily. But you also may want to rethink the tough it out approach to hot flashes. Since there are safe, effective hormonal and nonhormonal options that can ease them , theres no reason to suffer-and there are now compelling reasons to reduce the heat. Try these methods:
Estrogen therapy: This can be oral or transdermal .
Nonhormonal Rx options: Paroxetine is an oral SSRI thats been approved by the FDA for menopause-related symptoms. Other meds used off-label for hot flashes include Gabapentin , Clonidine , and Oxybutynin .
Natural remedies: Theres some evidence that isoflavones such as S-equol supplements can ease hot flashes.
This story originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of Prevention.
Will My Hot Flashes Stop After Menopause
Some people still experience hot flashes after menopause. Postmenopausal hot flashes are caused by decreased estrogen levels. It is not uncommon to experience a random hot flash for years after menopause. If your hot flashes are bothersome or intensify, speak with your healthcare provider to rule out other causes.
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How Long Do Symptoms Last
Perimenopausal symptoms can last four years on average. The symptoms associated with this phase will gradually ease during menopause and postmenopause. Women whove gone an entire year without a period are considered postmenopausal.
Hot flashes, also known as hot flushes, are a common symptom of perimenopause. One study found that moderate to severe hot flashes could continue past perimenopause and last for a
Researchers also found that Black women and women of average weight experience hot flashes for a longer period than white women and women who are considered overweight.
Its possible for a woman to experience menopause before the age of 55. Early menopause occurs in women who go through menopause before theyre 45 years old. Its considered premature menopause if youre menopausal and are 40 years old or younger.
Early or premature menopause can happen for many reasons. Some women can go through early or premature menopause because of surgical intervention, like a hysterectomy. It can also happen if the ovaries are damaged by chemotherapy or other conditions and treatments.
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.
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Up To 14 Years Of Hot Flashes Found In Menopause Study
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By Pam Belluck
Conventional wisdom has it that hot flashes, which afflict up to 80 percent of middle-aged women, usually persist for just a few years. But hot flashes can continue for as long as 14 years, and the earlier they begin the longer a woman is likely to suffer, a study published on Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine found.
In a racially, ethnically and geographically diverse group of 1,449 women with frequent hot flashes or night sweats the largest study to date the median length of time women endured symptoms was 7.4 years. So while half of the women were affected for less than that time, half had symptoms longer some for 14 years, researchers reported.
Its miserable, Ill tell you what, said Sharon Brown, 57, of Winston-Salem, N.C., who has endured hot flashes for six years. At her job at a tax and accounting office, she has had to stop wearing silk.
I keep one of the little fans with me at all times one in my purse, a couple in my desk, some in just random places in the office, she said. Ill be so glad when they stop if they ever stop.
Over all, black and Hispanic women experienced hot flashes for significantly longer periods than white or Asian women. And in a particularly unfair hormonal twist, the researchers found that the earlier hot flashes started, the longer they were likely to continue.
None had had a hysterectomy or both ovaries removed, and none were on hormone therapy.
What Does A Hot Flush Feel Like
Women often describe a hot flush as a creeping feeling of intense warmth that quickly spreads across your whole body and face.
It typically lasts for several minutes. Others say the warmth is similar to the sensation of being under a sun bed, or feeling like a furnace.
The website healthtalk.org has several videos where women describe what a hot flush feels like.
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Sharons Hot Flushes Start From Her Toes Travelling As A Tremendous Heat Through Her Body
What happened with me the very first signs I had was around about a year ago when I started to experience hot flushes. And they became so bad at one stage that I would be stripping off in front of people just literally ripping my clothes off to the extent that I had to go somewhere private just to cool right the way down. If I could bottle it, Id make a fortune. Right okay, basically what happens and I cant describe them, its all of a sudden you are totally overcome by a traumatic, tremendous heat inside. Not outside, because you can feel cold outside. But a tremendous heat and it literally starts from your toes and it works right the way throughout your body and you know its travelling. Have you ever tasted Southern Comfort? Have you tasted a little Southern Comfort and as it gets down to your throat and then all of a sudden it sort of just hits your chest. And as it hits your chest, it sort of, I dont know what it does, but it warms up your body. Well you can imagine that happening, not drinking but that is a flush to me and I always used to think Oh I wish I could have them when Im working outside, when Im cold. And switch them on but you cant, theyll come anytime.How often do you get them? Oh gosh, I dont know, I mean my husband could probably pin point it more if Im with him all day long, ten, fifteen, twenty times a day.
What Are The Risks Of Using Hormones For Hot Flashes
In 2002, a study that was part of the Women’s Health Initiative , funded by the National Institutes of Health, was stopped early because participants who received a certain kind of estrogen with progesterone were found to have a significantly higher risk of stroke, heart attacks, breast cancer, dementia, urinary incontinence, and gallbladder disease.
This study raised significant concerns at the time and left many women wary of using hormones.
However, research reported since then found that younger women may be at less risk and have more potential benefits than was suggested by the WHI study. The negative effects of the WHI hormone treatments mostly affected women who were over age 60 and post-menopausal. Newer versions of treatments developed since 2002 may reduce the risks of using hormones for women experiencing the menopausal transition, but studies are needed to evaluate the long-term safety of these newer treatments.
If you use hormone therapy, it should be at the lowest dose, for the shortest period of time it remains effective, and in consultation with a doctor. Talk with your doctor about your medical and family history and any concerns or questions about taking hormones.
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