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How To Deal With Hot Flushes In Menopause

Ways To Relieve Menopausal Hot Flashes

What a Hot Flash Feels Like & How to Cope with Peri-menopausal Hot Flushes

If you’re approaching or in the midst of the “change of life,” or menopause, hot flashes are probably an unwelcome visitor. Hot flashes can include a feeling of intense heat, sweating, flushed cheeks, increased heart rate, and even tingling. These symptoms are often the bane of menopausal people everywhere.

Due to plummeting estrogen levels, about 75% of all menopausal people experience hot flashesa symptom that lasts for about two years, but some can experience it for longer. Hot flashes usually start before the final menstrual cycle, but the transition of menopause and its symptoms can start up to seven years prior to the cessation of bleeding.

Traditional hormone replacement therapy that includes estrogen and progesterone replacement provides effective relief from hot flashes associated with menopause. However, some people may not be able to use HRT, such as those recently treated for breast cancer. And others may be curious about trying lifestyle changes to keep them from constantly burning up.

Here are some nonhormonal suggestions for reducing the severity of your hot flashes.

‘hot Flushes Are Just A Bit Of An Inconvenience’

While not every woman suffers from the effects of hot flushes, for a great many women they can be extremely uncomfortable and disruptive, and can have both a physical and emotional impact on their lives.

As well as the discomfort and embarrassment of sudden excessive sweating and blotchy skin, hot flushes can also cause palpitations and feelings of anxiety. For some women, they are so debilitating that they can affect their personal relationships and even their careers.

Meanwhile, night sweats can cause difficulty sleeping , which can lead to fatigue, irritability, problems with concentrating, and depression.

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.

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    What Causes Hot Flashes

    Its not exactly clear what causes hot flashes. Multiple studies are attempting to understand them. There is clear evidence that hot flashes result from hormonal changes in the body. Their connection to other health problems, such as diabetes, is also being studied. Obesity and metabolic syndrome are thought to increase the incidence of hot flashes. Some women barely notice hot flashes or consider them a minor annoyance. For others, the intensity may affect their quality of life in a rather negative way.

    • smoking or being exposed to cigarette smoke
    • bending over

    You may want to start keeping a journal about your symptoms. Write down what you were doing, eating, drinking, feeling, or wearing when each hot flash began. After several weeks, you may begin to see a pattern that can help you avoid specific triggers.

    The Stage Of Menopause That Cant Be Skipped

    How To Deal With Hot Flushes in 2020

    Before entering menopause, you must know what is awaiting you. The symptoms that occur during this stage are not very pleasing and could turn out to be quite difficult to handle. It might even lead to issues in personal relationships. You must be one among the very few lucky women if you have not experienced hot flashes during this stage. Hot flashes or temperature fluctuations experienced in a woman during the transition into menopause is the most frequent and common symptom nearly each woman goes through. Being the highest caused and highly irritating and uncomfortable symptom, scientists are still finding a way out for relief from them.

    There is no particular cure that completely eradicates hot flashes. A frequently prescribed therapy is hormone replacement which is done only when the condition becomes unbearable. However, not many women prefer to take this therapy. Instead they look for more natural remedies that may be most efficient.

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    Ask Yourself The Following Questions:

    • What is the treatment?
    • What are the side effects?
    • Is it effective?
    • How much does it cost?

    Once you answer these questions, discuss the therapy with your doctor. Make sure your doctor knows what therapy you are considering in order to discuss possible interactions or side effects with your current treatment.

    Hot Flushes And Sweats

    Hot flushes and sweats are the most common symptoms of the menopause and can affect three out of every four menopausal women*. Characterised by sudden feelings of heat which seem to come from nowhere and spread upwards through the body, the chest, neck and face, hot flushes and sweats are probably caused by changes in hormone levels which affect the bodys temperature control. Women talked about their experiences of hot flushes and sweats, the effect on their life, and what they did to relieve the symptoms.Hot flushesSome women we talked with had either not had flushes at all, had noticed just occasional mild feelings of warmth lasting seconds, or had simply not been bothered by them. Others, however, had more intense hot flushes which happened throughout the day and night, lasting several minutes or longer and accompanied by sweating, dizziness, light-headedness and heart palpitations. One woman said she had about twenty hot flushes a day another flushed every ten minutes throughout the day .

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    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.

    Mood Swings And Depression

    Got Hot Flashes? How Do You Deal With Menopause?

    Studies indicate that mood swings are more common during perimenopause, when hormonal fluctuations are most erratic, than during the postmenopausal years, when ovarian hormones stabilize at a low level. No direct link between mood and diminished estrogen has been proved, but it is possible that mood changes result when hormonal shifts disrupt the established patterns of a woman’s life. These changes can be stressful and may bring on “the blues.” Mood swings can mean laughing one minute and crying the next, and feeling anxious or depressed. These changes are transient, however, and do not usually meet the criteria for a diagnosis of clinical depression, a more profound dysfunctional emotional state.

    Over their lifespan, women have more depression than men. But there is no evidence that decreased estrogen alone causes clinical depression. Although women who have had previous episodes of depression may be vulnerable to a recurrence during perimenopause, menopause in and of itself does not cause clinical depression. The incidence of depression in postmenopausal women is not any higher than at any other time in life.

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    Menopause Hot Flushes & Sweats

    Hot flushes during menopause may be felt all over the body but most commonly affect only the face and neck. Flushes make women feel ‘hot’ with reddening of the skin. Hot flushes often accompany, or contribute as one of the causes of sweating during the menopause.

    As hot flushes and sweating during the menopause are such prominent symptoms, frequently occuring together, many women going through the menopause use the terms ‘hot flushes’ and ‘menopausal sweats’ interchangeably.

    How Hot Flushes May Feel

    Hot flushes can vary from one person to another. They can start as a feeling of warmth in your neck or face. This often spreads to other parts of your body. You might have:

    • reddening of the skin
    • feelings of your heart beating in your chest
    • feelings of panic or irritability

    Hot flushes can last between 2 to 30 minutes. You may have a few a month or more often. The flushes usually last for a few months but for some people they carry on for longer.

    They can be disruptive and might make sleeping difficult.

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    Here Are My Top Tips For How To Stop Hot Flushes Without Hrt

  • Think of them as power surges! If you think of them like that, rather than seeing them as a problem or something shameful, they become less of an issue. Theyre great when its chilly! This may sound simplistic and na├»ve, especially if youre coping with being drenched in sweat, but its worth a go. Mindset can be very powerful. A BBC documentary on menopause found that when women used CBT techniques to lesson feelings of shame around hot flushes, their hot flushes became fewer and less intense.
  • Keep a diary of when you have hot flushes and the triggers for them. Is stress bringing them on? Caffeine? Sugar? Or alcohol? All these are known to exacerbate hot flushes. If you know the triggers, you can tackle the symptoms.
  • Start with trying to lower your stress or improve how you deal with it. Hot flushes are exacerbated by stress. If youre able to manage your stress, you may also be able to manage your hot flushes. Reduce levels of stress in your life, maybe adopt a meditation practice or do some restorative yoga. Both of these will help you lower stress levels overall and potentially reduce hot flushes.
  • Try avoiding or reducing caffeine. For many women caffeine brings on a hot flush. Personally I havent had any caffeine since I went through early menopause at 41 which is over a decade ago. I was advised by Dr Marilyn Glenville to give up caffeine and I havent missed it in years. I love not being dependent on caffeine to get myself going in the morning or after lunch.
  • What Are Hot Flushes

    What a Hot Flash Feels Like &  How to Cope with Peri ...

    If youre menopausal and regularly fling open the window, or wake up drenched in sweat its likely youre having hot flushes.

    A hot flush varies from woman to woman, but they are usually recognisable by a sudden, creeping feeling of intense warmth or heat. They can often come from nowhere and quickly spread through the face, neck, chest and body. Sweating, palpitations, or dizziness may accompany them too.

    “Hot flushes can last anything from a matter of seconds or up to an hour,” says Dr Louise Newson GP and author of Menopause .

    For some women theyre mild, but others say their flushes, make them feel like theyre trapped in a furnace.

    Regularly feeling hot and flustered can disrupt daily routines and knock confidence levels, so its no wonder this is one of the most bothersome symptoms for women going through the menopause.

    And although hot flushes or hot flashes as theyre also known, are a common menopausal symptom, they can also occur for other reasons.

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    Other Physical And Mental Changes At Midlife

    Some common midlife changes that are often attributed to menopause are not necessarily related to the fluctuating or decreasing hormone levels of menopause. The four most commonly reported changes include mood changes and depression insomnia or other sleep problems cognitive or memory problems and decline in sexual desire, function, or both. Other physical changes that crop up in the middle years include weight gain, urinary incontinence, heart palpitations, dry skin and hair, and headaches. For these, a hormonal link is possible, but has not been proved. Consider the fact that men, who don’t experience a dramatic drop in hormone levels in their early 50s, often notice many of these same symptoms!

    Is Hormone Therapy Safe

    Menopause hormone therapy, or MHT has been shown by many studies to provide relief from menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes. “It has also been shown to benefit cardiovascular function and help prevent osteoporosis while carrying low risk of breast cancer, venous thromboembolism and stroke in women,” says Dr Farrell.

    Unfortunately, due to some misreporting of data from the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative trial, which wrongly suggested HRT caused a sharp rise in the incidence of breast cancer, millions of women around the world still avoid HRT/MHT in the mistaken belief it is unsafe. This may be causing an increase in osteoporosis and earlier death, for example, from heart disease.

    “The global consensus among expert medical societies now is that HRT/MHT is low risk in healthy women aged 50-60,” says Dr Farrell. “We would not recommend commencing MHT after 60 years of age, or after 10 years from menopause.”

    Some women are instead taking pharmacy compounded hormones, in the mistaken belief they are safer and more natural. “These compounded hormones are not approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration and there are no long-term studies to show their safety and effectiveness,” Dr Farrell says.

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    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.

    Other Reasons For Getting Hot Flushes

    Dealing with Hot Flushes – Menopause Tips

    Although the cause of hot flushes is initially put down to the menopause, there are other reasons why you might experience this symptom. These include:

    Hot flushes can also be experienced by men who are obviously not going through the same menopause stages as women. If you are suffering from hot flushes and do not feel that the menopause is the cause of these symptoms, you should speak to your doctor for advice.

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    Other Menopause Symptoms And Treatments

    For most women, hot flashes and trouble sleeping are the biggest problems associated with menopause. But, some women have other symptoms, such as irritability and mood swings, anxiety and depression, headaches, and even heart palpitations. Many of these problems, like mood swings and depression, are often improved by getting a better night’s sleep. Discussing mood issues with your doctor can help you identify the cause, screen for severe depression, and choose the most appropriate intervention. For depression, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant medication.

    If you want to change your lifestyle to see if you can reduce your symptoms, or if you decide any of your symptoms are severe enough to need treatment, talk with your doctor.

    Can Hot Flushes Not Be Due To Menopause

    While hot flushes are very common during perimenopause and menopause, there are a number of other conditions which can cause similar symptoms. These can include:

    • Thyroid issues – for example, hyperthyroidism can cause hot flushes and sweating
    • Some cancers – some tumours secrete hormones which can interrupt the bodys systems, resulting in hot flushes and sweating
    • Emotional stress – if youre suffering from stress, you may experience sudden periods of heat when your body releases the fight or flight hormone, adrenaline
    • Medications – some medications can cause hot flushes as a side effect

    If youre suffering from hot flushes, your doctor can perform a blood test to see if your symptoms are related to menopause.

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    Are There Natural Remedies For Hot Flushes

    Many women find that taking natural herbal remedies can help them to manage hot flushes.

    Isoflavones are naturally occurring plant oestrogens, which act in a similar way to the oestrogen we produce in our bodies. Taking isoflavones may help to support hormonal balance, reduce hot flushes and maintain health and vitality during menopause. Plants such as red clover and maca are particularly high in isoflavones.

    The Live Better With community also recommend Lindens Menopause Formula Tablets, which combine extracts of natural botanicals including red clover, sage, Siberian ginseng and liquorice to help combat hot flushes, into a single tablet:

    “Brilliant for hot flushes, been taking for 3 months and my hot flushes have gone.” Live Better With community member

    When it comes to taking any dietary supplements, you should always proceed with care. Talk to your doctor first, to make sure they wont interfere with any existing conditions or medications. You should always ensure that any supplements come from a reputable source.

    For a range of natural solutions to help combat menopause hot flushes, including organic creams and cooling sprays, see the full range of Live Better With products to help with hot flushes and night sweats here.

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