Should I Take Hormones For My Hot Flashes
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.
What Causes Hot Flashes In Men
There are several reasons that hot flashes could occur in men, including prostate cancer treatment known as androgen deprivation therapy lifestyle causes such as stress, depression, or anxiety and medical causes like testosterone levels dropping in middle age.
Hrt Treatment For Hot Flushes
A commonly prescribed treatment for hot flushes and night sweats during the menopause is hormone replacement therapy , which aims to boost your levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. By taking HRT some will experience a reduction in menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes, fatigue, headaches, low sex drive, vaginal dryness, mood changes, poor concentration and joint aches and pains.
Although HRT can be a very effective treatment that many people take with good results, it may not be suitable for everyone. Some people prefer to try using other treatments to reduce their menopause symptoms. These include:
- herbal medication
- non-hormonal medical treatments prescribed by your doctor
- lifestyle changes
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Q: What Causes Hot Flashes
A:Changes in estrogen production during menopause are the main reason for hot flashes during this life transition. This hormone appears to have a direct effect on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates body temperature.
When the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen during perimenopause, the hypothalamus incorrectly senses that the body is overheating and begins to launch a physiological cooling response, which menopausal women experience as hot flashes.
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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When To See A Doctor
There are many different reasons for experiencing hot flashes. While most of them are not serious, you do need to know for sure what is causing them.
If youre having trouble narrowing down the cause of your hot flashes, try keeping track of the episodes. List the details about the outdoor and room temperature at the time that you have one, your diet and activity levels, and any medications that you used. After a few weeks of collecting data, your doctor might be able to help you find a pattern.
When To Consult A Doctor
If you think you have any of the above conditions, make an appointment with your healthcare professional.
If youve always been someone who flows freely or sweats more than those around you, then there is probably nothing to worry about.
However, if you notice a recent change, such as the onset of hot flashes or night sweats, it is important to see your healthcare professional.
See your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- regular, unexplained night sweats
Thus, this should help bring your temperature down more quickly.
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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.
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Why Do Hot Flashes Get Worse At Night How To Stop Them
There comes a period in every womans life where their biological clock reaches the time where menopause begins. When it comes to the sexual fertility of a woman, menstruation is the milestone that marks the physiological readiness to bear children. And at the opposite end of the time spectrum, menopause is the phase of life that signals the end of fertility for women. Menopause is the point in a womans life where she stops having her period and naturally occurs between the ages of 45-50 years old. However, there is no rhyme or reason as to which symptoms are experienced or the duration of the menopausal phases from woman to woman. One of the most notable symptoms of menopause and the time period leading up to menopause is hot flashes. Below, we will explain in more detail the phases of menopause, the symptoms and how to deal with them, specifically hot flashes.
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What Causes Hot Flashes Other Than Menopause
Cristina Mutchler is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience in national media, specializing in health and wellness content. A multilingual Latina, Cristina’s work has appeared on CNN and its platforms, local news affiliates across the country, and in the promotion of medical journal articles and public health messaging.
Hot flashes are commonly associated with menopause, but they can also be caused by a variety of different lifestyle factors or medical conditions, and they are not always a sign of something serious.
A hot flash is a feeling of sudden intense heat on the upper body lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes or longer. The feeling is often joined by other symptoms like sweating, reddening of the skin, dizziness, and heart palpitations.
While there are other possible causes, hot flashes are extremely common when people are going through perimenopause/menopause.
Hot flashes happen when the bodys internal thermostat senses that its too warm. This starts a chain of events where your heart beats faster, your sweat glands spring into action, and the blood vessels that are near the skins surface widen to cool the body off.
Causes Of Vasomotor Symptoms
During the menopause transition, levels of the hormone estrogen begin to drop. The loss of estrogen disrupts the body’s ability to regulate heat properly, causing a sweating response at lower-than-normal core body temperatures.
The feeling of heat during a hot flash is caused by the sudden opening of the blood vessels close to the skin, followed by increased blood flow. Sweating lowers the core body temperature and then may lead to shivering to increase the temperature back to normal.
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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.
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.
There are a couple of other theories about why menopause and excessive sweating tend to go hand in hand.
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What Are Night Sweats
During the night you might experience symptoms similar to hot flushes. You might wake up to find you are drenched and need to change your bedclothes – no fun at all! If this is happening regularly you might find it practical to sleep on a towel and just switch the towel during the night rather than removing all your sheets. Night sweats can disrupt your sleep, possibly adding to other symptoms of the menopause, such as insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, depression and memory lapses.
You’re likely to have more frequent hot flushes after monthly periods have stopped altogether, and they may last for several years. They do however tend to stop once oestrogen levels stabilise.
Some women only experience hot flushes during the day, others only experience night sweats.
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Which Type Of Doctor Treats Hot Flashes
Many women will consult their gynecologist for the management of hot flashes associated with approaching menopause. Hot flashes are also treated by primary care providers, including internists and family practitioners. Hot flashes related to uncommon conditions, serious infections, or cancers are treated by the specialists treating the underlying condition.
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Other Vitamins Herbs And Supplements
There are many other supplements and substances that have been used as treatments for symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, including:
- vitamin E,
For more information, please read our Alternative Treatments for Hot Flashes article.
Scientific studies to prove the safety and effectiveness of these products in relieving hot flashes have not been adequately performed.
Donnas Night Sweats Are Like Being In A Tropical Climate She Has Them Two To Three Times A
I very rarely have them in the day, I usually have them at night, just before going to sleep and its just extraordinary rush of energy, and breaking out in a complete sweat, can sweat right through your night clothes, even into the sheets. I dont actually mind it in a way. I guess if I hadnt known about it I might have found that quite disturbing, but actually my sisters been going through that prior to me so I was quite aware in a way. But in some ways its quite nice because Ive always been a person whos cold in bed at night, now I feel like Ive got my own hot water bottle to keep me warm at night.Did you have to change the bedding and your clothes at night when it happened?Sometimes. Yeah, sometimes. And how did that affect your partner?Hes just kind of curious actually. Yeah, hes asking questions, hes asked me like, What does that feel like? I said I thought it was a bit like having a panic attack, something that happens, that you dont really have any control over.Can you describe it?Its really, I find it really hard to describe but I guess it would be like being in a tropical climate, a kind of clamminess and sweating, and its not, I dont find it particularly unpleasant, actually.How long does it last?Well it comes and goes, its like waves of heat so they might last a few minutes at a time, and then it kind of recedes and then it,How many times a night?For me, two or three.
Coping with hot flushes and night sweats
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Why Do Women Get Hot Flushes During Menopause
Hot flushes during menopause are caused by changing hormones. As a woman begins to approach menopause – known as perimenopause – levels of the hormone oestrogen start to fluctuate. This can cause the part of the brain that controls body temperature to become confused, triggering a heat response which aims to cool the body by increasing blood flow and causing you to sweat.
This heat response can result in a reddening of the skin and excessive sweating. A hot flush often begins with a sudden, intense sensation of heat in the face, chest or elsewhere in the body, which then spreads, together with a rapid heartbeat.
Hot flushes are also associated with night sweats, a form of excessive sweating during the night, which can be very uncomfortable and disruptive.
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
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Menopause And Excessive Sweating: What You Can Do
Some changes to your regular routine may help cool hot flashes.
Work on your weight. Women who are overweight or obese are more likely to have frequent hot flashes, Omicioli says. A study of 338 overweight or obese women found that those who lost weight over 6 months had a bigger improvement in hot flashes than those who didnât lose weight.
Exercise. Although studies havenât been conclusive, itâs thought that regular physical exercise lowers hot flash frequency.
Stop smoking. Several studies have linked smoking to hot flashes. One study found that heavy smokers were four times more likely to have hot flashes than women who never smoked.
Include soy in your diet. According to the National Center for Complemetary and Alternative Medicine, results of studies showing that soy reduces hot flashes has been inconsistent. To see if it works for you, you might try adding two to three servings of soy to your diet, Omicioli says. Try soybeans, tofu, tempeh, or miso.
Stock up on tanks and cardigans. Wear lightweight clothes and dress in layers so you can shed heavier clothing when a hot flash strikes. Wearing a material at night that wicks away moisture may help you sleep
Control the air temperature. Lower the heat, run the air conditioning, open a window, or run a fan during the day and while you sleep.
Pay attention to potential triggers. Alcohol, caffeine, and spicy food may trigger hot flashes in some women.