What If My Night Sweats Or Hot Flashes Are Severe
For most women, night sweats and hot flashes are a bother but dont significantly disrupt their lives. For other women who experience them, however, they can be severe and unmanageable even with lifestyle changes. In these cases, Dr. Morales may recommend hormone replacement therapy or other treatments to help manage your symptoms.
If youre ready to learn more about menopause and managing your symptoms, our team at Kelly Morales OB/GYN can help. Contact our San Antonio office or call 210-570-7277 to schedule an appointment.
You Might Also Enjoy…
Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms
There are several drug-free ways to reduce the impact of hot flushes and night sweats. These include:
- Counselling and psychological treatment such as cognitive behaviour therapy .
- Hypnosis may also be helpful.
- Some women also benefit from acupuncture.
Whilst paced breathing, exercise and relaxation programs may be helpful for your general physical and emotional health, they do not significantly reduce menopausal symptoms.
Non-hormonal drug treatments
Several prescription medications have been shown to reduce hot flushes and night sweats. Unfortunately, these do not improve vaginal dryness. Prescription medications for hot flushes and sweats include:
- certain antidepressants
- a drug called gabapentin
- a blood pressure medication called clonidine.
These drugs may reduce hot flushes and nights sweats from around 40-60 per cent . Using antidepressants and using treatments that improve sleep may also improve mood.
For more information see the fact sheet Treating hot flushes: An alternative to menopausal hormone therapy
Menopausal Hormone Therapy
Menopausal hormone therapy contains oestrogen to treat menopausal symptoms and may contain a progestogen to protect the lining of the uterus from cancer in women who have not had a hysterectomy. Menopausal hormone therapy is also known as hormone replacement therapy or hormone therapy .
See the fact sheet Menopausal Hormone Therapy for more information on:
Compounded or bioidentical hormone therapy
How To Prevent And Manage Night Sweats
Night sweats during menopause can be burdensome and difficult to manage. On top of all the other symptoms menopause brings, night sweats and hot flashes quite possibly bring the most discomfort. However, menopause and its many symptoms are not insurmountable. Changing levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone cause the severity of menopause symptoms to ebb and flow. Hormonal imbalance is the direct cause of night sweats, among other things, and there are many different options for keeping the body even-keeled. Read on for more information on how to prevent night sweats.
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.
Common Causes Of Night Sweats
Its normal to sweat a little bit at night. Most often, it happens because youre overdressed or your bedroom is too warm.
True night sweats are more intense episodes of sweating. They can wake you from a sound sleep and leave you and your sheets soaking wet. Whats more, when they happen often, that disrupted sleep makes it hard to function the next day.
Most of the time, night sweats arent a serious cause for concern. They often go away on their own or after you make some lifestyle changes.
These are some common causes of night sweats:
Don’t Miss: Intrarosa Pros And Cons
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.
Can Treating Menopause Improve Sleep
Two common menopause treatments include Estrogen Replacement Therapy , which increases estrogen, and Hormone Replacement Therapy , which increases estrogen and progesterone. Both of these treatments have proven effective in relieving menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, insomnia, and mood.
However, HRT poses serious risks for some women, particularly those who have had blood clots, strokes, heart attack, and certain types of cancer. As a result, doctors are recommended to prescribe HRT at the lowest effective dose and only to use it as a short-term treatment. Its important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of HRT, as there are many approaches for managing menopausal symptoms.
Lower doses of antidepressants and SSRIs, including fluoxetine, paroxetine, and venlafaxine, can relieve menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes. Some, like Bazedoxifene, may relieve hot flashes while also increasing sleep quality.
Melatonin, your bodys natural sleep hormone, can also be taken as an over-the-counter medication. Low doses of melatonin improved mood and sleep onset in postmenopausal women. Like estrogen and progesterone, melatonin also .
Cognitive behavioral therapy is also effective in relieving insomnia, including symptoms associated with menopause. In CBT, you work with a trained therapist to recognize the thoughts and behaviors that are negatively impacting your sleep, and learn to replace them with healthier behaviors that promote good sleep.
Don’t Miss: Perimenopause Dizzy Spells
How To Improve Your Sleep If You Go Through The Night Sweats Menopause Stage
In menopause, the level of the female sex hormone estrogen decreases, which is accompanied by certain changes in the state of a womans health.
The process of ovarian failure can last for 5-6 years or longer.
About 7585% of women experience discomfort during this time due to excessive sweating and sudden hot flashes, which can disrupt the rhythm of normal life.
Try these simple tips as remedies for night sweats:
- Wear loose-fitting pajamas or a nightgown made from natural fabrics. They will not constrain your movements and will allow your body to breathe.
- Wipe your face and neck with a washcloth soaked in cold water to bring relief and help you fall asleep.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every night. It is also useful to monitor how much you sleep.
- Regular sports activities will also contribute to a good nights rest. However, avoid exercising late at night.
Note that the habit of taking a nap during the day and drinking too many caffeinated drinks can prevent you from falling asleep at night.
If you eliminate all obstacles to a good rest, you will be exhilarated and bursting with energy all day long!
Q: What Is A Hot Flash
A: Hot flashes are the quick bursts of hot skin and often drenching sweat that last anywhere from 30 seconds to about five minutes. Your face and neck may turn red, your heart rate may increase and you will most likely break out in a sweat. Night sweats are the same thing, only youre asleep and are jolted awake by the heat and sweat sensation consuming your body.
These sudden bursts, especially at night, can cause fatigue, irritability and even forgetfulness. For 10 to 15 percent of women, hot flashes are so severe that they disrupt normal functions, such as leading a meeting or sticking to a schedule. If you feel your daily activities are impacted by hot flashes, make sure to speak with your gynecologist.
Read Also: Heightened Sense Of Smell Perimenopause
Lifestyle Changes To Improve Hot Flashes
Before considering medication, first try making changes to your lifestyle. Doctors recommend women make changes like these for at least 3 months before starting any medication.
If hot flashes are keeping you up at night, keep your bedroom cooler and try drinking small amounts of cold water before bed. Layer your bedding so it can be adjusted as needed. Some women find a device called a bed fan helpful. Here are some other lifestyle changes you can make:
- Dress in layers, which can be removed at the start of a hot flash.
- Carry a portable fan to use when a hot flash strikes.
- Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine. These can make menopausal symptoms worse.
- If you smoke, try to quit, not only for menopausal symptoms, but for your overall health.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight. Women who are overweight or obese may experience more frequent and severe hot flashes.
- Try mind-body practices like yoga or other self-calming techniques. Early-stage research has shown that mindfulness meditation, yoga, and tai chi may help improve menopausal symptoms.
Shift The Temperature In Your Room
Make sure you are lowering the temperature in your room before bed. This activates your body to naturally cool down. If your room stays the same temperature all day, your body will become acquainted to the temperature and not lower in your sleep. If you’re unable to lower the temperature of your room, take a cool or cold shower.
You May Like: Is Lightheadedness A Symptom Of Menopause
Post Menopause Excessive Sweating
What are Hot Flashes after Menopause?
Women suffer from hot flashes post menopause. During the post menopause stage they suffer from deficiency in their hormones. Hot flashes after menopause can be noticed during or after menopause. The post menopause symptom is same as those of hot flashes during menopause i.e. excessive sweating at night and burning sensation in the body.
Causes for Hot Flashes after Menopause:
- Uneven levels of Estrogen: During the stage of menopause the levels of estrogen becomes uneven .This causes hot flashes in women and if the body does not come back to the stable level than this leads to hot flashes after menopause.
- Diseases and Conditions: Diseases like-cancer, spinal cord injury and cell disease can cause hot flashes. The medications which are used to treat these diseases can cause hot flashes after menopause. Medications such as Xanax and Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors can also cause hot flashes.
- Hot Environment: A warm environment hot outdoor or indoor temperature, tight fitting clothes can cause hot flashes and create further problems to those women who are in their menopause stage.
- Diet: Researchers have medically proved that hot flashes after menopause are also caused by consuming certain food which includes-spicy food, foods made from artificial ingredients and alcohol.
Treatment for Hot Flashes after Menopause:
More Notes On Diabetes And Night Sweats
- Diabetes autonomic neuropathy, a complication of diabetic Mellitus, which according to Mayo Clinic can cause excessive sweating, particularly at night or while eating. Other symptoms include sexual dysfunction, hypoglycemia unawareness, urinal track problems, gustatory sweating, orthostatic hypotension, etc.
- Diabetes lymphoma: Patients with type 2 diabetes have a 20 percent increased risk of developing blood cancers, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma. This cancer as already seen does cause sweating at night.
- Gustatory sweating this is profuse sweating of the face, scalp, and neck during or immediately after ingestion of food or drink common in diabetic patients especially those with diabetic autonomic neuropathy. People with the problem often complain of head sweating i.e. head sweating while sleeping.
- Diabetes insipidus and night sweats Stanford University lists it as one of the causes of sleep hyperhydrosis.
Note that if you have diabetes, stay away from alcohol since alcoholism can worsen insulin resistance in type 2 diabetic patients.
Read Also: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
Are You Sleeping Easy Or Counting Sheep
We all need sleep. The optimum amount for a healthy adult is deemed to be around seven hours. Insufficient sleep has been shown to have later detrimental effects on things like our mental health, heart health, cognitive functions and even risk of osteoporosis. Further, too much sleep, , can be associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease though cause and effect are unclear prolonged sleep may be a marker for underlying disease.
The best kind of sleep is non-REM , which consists of three separate stages, which follow in order, upwards and downwards as your sleep cycle progresses. Stage 3 is said to be the best kind. This is a deep sleep where we are essentially cut off from the outside world and unaware of any sounds or other stimuli. This usually occurs during the first half of the night and is where our brain activity, breathing, heart rate and blood pressure are all at their lowest levels. Its the time when we are most likely to dream too.
Your sleep can influence and be influenced by your health and other health conditions as you move through menopause.
Treatments For Poor Sleep
There are some fundamental tenets that contribute towards healthy living in general that can help you sleep well:
- Maintaining health relationships and being socially active
- Intellectual stimulation.
However there are also times when you cannot control things and you need a little help. At all ages, hypnotics have been used for sleep disturbance, but there are specific treatments to consider for menopausal sleep disturbance.
Read Also: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
What Is Relaxation Breathing
Deep breathing, relaxation breathing, and paced respiration all refer to a method used to reduce stress. It involves breathing in deeply and breathing out at an even pace. Do this for several minutes while in a comfortable position. You should slowly breathe in through your nose. With a hand on your stomach right below your ribs, you should first feel your stomach push your hand out, and then your chest should fill. Slowly exhale through your mouth, first letting your lungs empty and then feeling your stomach sink back. You can do this almost anywhere and several times during the day, whenever you feel stressed. You can also try this if you feel a hot flash beginning or if you need to relax before falling asleep.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
According to the National Institute on Aging , women who are overweight or obese may experience more hot flashes than women at a healthy weight. If you need help losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise, ask your doctor for recommendations and resources. This is another thing that can help improve your overall health as well.
You May Like: Will My Marriage Survive Menopause
Prescription And Nonprescription Remedies
A number of non-hormonal remedies are available for the treatment of hot flashes. Some of these remedies are available over-the-counter but are not FDA-approved. Some prescription medications are used off label to help reduce hot flashes. Using a product “off label” means that it is not FDA-approved for the treatment of hot flashes, but is often used because it can be safe and effective for hot flash treatment.
Remedies For Hot Flashes
If you cant take hormone replacement, Dr. Thacker recommends these tricks to keephot flashes to a minimum:
- Certain foods or environmental triggers can spark a hot flash. Some common triggers include caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods and hot baths.
- Spend a few days tracking your hot flashes and what you did in the hours leading up to them. You might find that spicy meals or flannel pajamas are a recipe for night sweats.
- Turn your bedroom temperature down at night. Wear lightweight pajamas in breathable fabrics like linen and cotton.
- Invest in pillows and mattress covers filled with cooling gel to turn your bed into a no-sweat zone.
Many women turn to herbsand supplements to fight hot flashes. However, studies have so far found littleevidence that theyre effective, Dr. Thacker says.
Scientists are alsotesting a new type of drug that acts at the brain level to stop hot flashes, sheadds. Its a potentially exciting development, but one thats not availablejust yet.
In the meantime, youdont have to suffer in silence. Treat yourself to some cool new pajamas, andtalk to a knowledgeable doctor about how best to deal with this steamy stage oflife.
Recommended Reading: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
How Are Night Sweats Treated
Treatment depends on the cause of the night sweats. For menopause-related night sweats, hormone therapy estrogen alone or with progestin is one option. Hormone therapy can also help with other symptoms of menopause including bone loss and vaginal dryness. Estrogen replacement therapy should not be used in women with a history of breast cancer. All hormone therapies carry some risks, including blood clots and gallbladder inflammation.
Non-estrogen medications used to treat hot flashes include:
Non-drug treatments for night sweats from any cause include:
- Wearing loose-fitting, lightweight, cotton pajamas
- Using layered bedding that can be removed as needed during the night
- Turning on a bedroom fan/opening windows
- Sipping cool water throughout the night
- Keeping a cold pack under a pillow, then turning your pillow over to rest your head on a cool surface
- Avoiding common night sweat triggers such as alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, cigarettes
- De-stressing through deep breathing, relaxation, and exercise
- Undergoing hypnosis to help relax and focus on feeling cool
- Exercising daily. Walking, swimming, dancing, and bicycling are all good choices.
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.
Read Also: Dr Yael Swica