Hormone Therapy For Hot Flashes
Traditionally, hot flashes have been treated with either oral or transdermal forms of estrogen. Hormone therapy or postmenopausal hormone therapy , formerly referred to as hormone replacement therapy , consists of estrogens alone or a combination of estrogens and progesterone . All available prescription estrogen medications, whether oral or transdermal, are effective in reducing the frequency of hot flashes and their severity. Research indicates that these medications decrease the frequency of hot flashes.
However, long-term studies of women receiving combined hormone therapy with both estrogen and progesterone were halted when it was discovered that these women had an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer when compared with women who did not receive hormone therapy. Later studies of women taking estrogen therapy alone showed that estrogen was associated with an increased risk for stroke, but not for heart attack or breast cancer. Estrogen therapy alone, however, is associated with an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women who have not had their uterus surgically removed.
More recently, it has been noted that the negative effects associated with hormone therapy were described in older women who were years beyond menopause, and some researchers have suggested that these negative outcomes might be lessened or prevented if hormone therapy was given to younger women instead of women years beyond menopause.
What Does Research Say
It might surprise you that there hasnt been much researchdone on menopause even though it affects women on a daily basis.
It just isnt that popular in the research industry.
Who cares about a woman getting sweaty when she sleeps whenthere are much more pressing matters like cancer and pandemics to cure?
It just doesnt matter.
But to us, it matters. To women, it means quality of life even if it is less important than other things.
It isnt a high priority.
There has been some research done on hot flashes and night sweats, but as mentioned in Harvard Health, research just doesnt know what causes it for sure.
So that it that, right?
Nope! I will let you know what I have found, and you can leave a comment about what you have found if you like.
Ill tell you what works for me and you can do the same. Together as a sisterhood, we will help each other. Thats what Crunchy Menopause is all about.
Lets help each other.
Treatments That Help Patients Cope With Stress And Anxiety May Help Manage Hot Flashes
Treatments that change how you deal with stress, anxiety, and negative feelings may help you manage hot flashes. These strategies include cognitive behavioral therapy and relaxation and breathing exercises. They help you gain a sense of control and develop coping skills to manage your symptoms.
Hypnosis has also been used as a treatment for hot flashes. It is a trance-like state that allows you to be more aware, focused, relaxed, and open to suggestion. Under hypnosis, you can concentrate more clearly on a specific thought or feeling without becoming distracted. A therapist helps you to deeply relax and focus on cooling thoughts. This may lower stress levels, balance body temperature, and calm the heart rate and breathing rate.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation and breathing exercises, or hypnosis may help hot flashes and related problems when used together with drug therapy.
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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.
You Have Undiagnosed Lymphoma
Lymphomaa cancer of part of the immune system, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine can cause multiple symptoms like fever, changes in weight loss, and, yes, night sweats, says Dr. Shah. Essentially, your body recognizes lymphoma as something it needs to fight off, and raises its temperature to try to do so, she adds.
While these “soaking sweats,” per the NLM, happen at night, heavy sweating might occur during the day for this, too, so get to your MD if you’re experiencing any other symptoms and they can test you for the condition, says Dr. Shah.
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Drug Treatment For Hot Flashes And Night Sweats In Patients With Cancer
Sweats are controlled by treating their cause.
Sweats caused by fever are controlled by treating the cause of thefever. Sweatscaused by a tumor are usually controlled by treatment of the tumor.
Hot flashes may be controlled with estrogen replacement therapy.
Hot flashes during natural or treatment-related menopause can be controlled with estrogen replacement therapy. However, many women are not able totake estrogen replacement . Hormone replacement therapy that combines estrogen with progestin may increase the risk of breast cancer or breast cancer recurrence.
Treatment of hot flashes in men who have been treated for prostate cancer may include estrogens, progestin, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants. Certain hormones can make some cancers grow.
Other drugs may be useful in some patients.
Studies of non-estrogen drugs to treat hot flashes in women with a history of breast cancer have reported that many of them do not work as well as estrogen replacement or have side effects. Megestrol , certain antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and clonidine are non-estrogen drugs used to control hot flashes. Some antidepressants may change how other drugs, such as tamoxifen, work in the body. Side effects of drug therapy may include the following:
Patients may respond in different ways to drug therapy. It is important that the patient’s health care providers know about all medicines, dietary supplements, and herbs the patient is taking.
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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An Introduction To Other Causes Of Hot Flushes And Menopause
We generally assume that a hot flush has been caused by the menopause, but this is not always the case. If you believe that your hot flushes may be caused by something other than the menopause, it is worth examining your symptoms, as neglecting to investigate the root cause may prevent you from finding an effective solution.
Food Allergies Or Sensitivities
Almost all of us experience something like a hot flash when we eat very spicy foods, but alcohol, caffeine, and additives like sulfites are also some common triggers. It is thought that spicy foods that give food some heat and alcohol are vasodilators and expand your blood vessels, Dr. Wider explains. But if you have an unidentified food allergy or intolerance, something else in your diet could be the cause, Battaglino explains.
Cool off: Pay attention to how your body reacts the next time you ingest any of the foods above and you may find a correlation. If that doesnt help, consider speaking with your doctor or a registered dietitian about a structured elimination diet.
Symptoms Of Hot Flashes
Typical symptoms of hot flashes are:
- A sudden, intense wave of heat moving through your face, neck and chest
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shivering as the hot flash subsides
Hot flashes in menopause can last from a few seconds; to several minutes. Some have to deal with these heat waves a few times a week, others a lot more often.;
It is particularly unpleasant that the hot flashes also occur at night. Night sweats affect the quality of sleep and can cause stress, fatigue, and a feeling of utter exhaustion.
Hot flashes can cause you to wake up bathed in sweat at night and have to change your bedding and nightwear, making a good nights sleep nearly impossible.;
Hot flashes can also be a source of embarrassment when they occur at the office or in social situations when you start sweating profusely.
The Typical Hot Flush Experience
Mostly affecting the face and neck, hot flushes can also affect the whole body. Women report having to remove clothing and stand in front of the air conditioner or fan. The typical description: âSuddenly my face goes red, beads of sweat appear on my forehead and run down my face and neck accompanied with feeling hot and sticky.â
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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.
I Am 68 Years Old And Still Experiencing Hot Flushes Is This Normal At My Age I Have Found Sage Tablets Have Reduced The Flushes A Little Bit Is It Ok To Take One Tablet In The Morning And Another In The Evening
You are considered through the menopause after not having had any periods for 2 years and by then your symptoms should be tailing off. If you are still experiencing menopause-like symptoms after all this time then they may be due to other factors such as low iron, low thyroid, low vitamin D or stress. It may be a good idea to ask your doctor to test for these just to rule them out.If it is not any of these, then menopause-like symptoms after all this time may be an indication that your nervous system is overwhelmed . In this situation it is very important to do supportive work for the adrenals such as a high strength multivit with extra magnesium, liquorice tea can be helpful as well. I would also suggest acupuncture, it can be very effective for adrenal stress. Studies have shown that daily relaxation can reduce symptoms quickly so make 30 minutes relaxation a day a priority. Check your diet too, avoid caffeine and high salt and sugar foods as these can all trigger the adrenals contributing to symptoms. The menoforce sage tablets are our licensed one a day remedy and we would not advice taking more than the recommended dose. However, A Vogel also have a Sage tincture this can be taken; throughout the day and maybe of more benefit to you.
What Causes A Hot Flash
Hot flashes occur when estrogen levels in the body drop. Estrogen is a hormone that is responsible for the regulation of the reproductive system in people with a uterus.
Falling estrogen levels affect the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls appetite, body temperature, hormones, and sleep patterns. The hypothalamus is sometimes called the bodys thermostat;because of the role it plays in regulating body temperature.
A drop in estrogen levels can cause the hypothalamus to get mixed signals. If it senses that the body is too warm, it prompts a chain of events to cool the body down: The blood vessels dilate, blood flow is increased to the surface of the skin, and heart rate may increase as the body tries to cool off. Some people experience a chilled feeling after a hot flash.;
Most hot flashes are caused by hormonal changes, but they can also be related to other health conditions, substances, and even certain treatments or medications.
Other things that can cause hot flashes include:;;
- Thyroid issues
What Causes Hot Flashes
The exact reason why hot flashes happen during menopause isnt clear, , MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale Medical School tells Health. But its thought that the decrease in your bodys production of reproductive hormones, including estrogen, during menopause can make you more sensitive to slight changes in body temperature, says Dr. Sholes-Douglas.
The estrogen hormones fluctuate and, although the total estrogen levels may not be low, there are moments where estrogen levels fall relative to where they were, she explains. This then triggers a change in your blood vessels, which can make you feel hot and sweaty.
While you can just have a hot flash for seemingly no reason, hot flashes can be exacerbated by things like sugar, stress, spicy foods, and alcohol, says Dr. Sholes-Douglas.
When you have a hot flash during the night, its often referred to as night sweats. But these are essentially the same, says Dr. Sholes-Douglas. Night sweats tend to wake women up and can make it tough to sleep.
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What Causes Night Sweats
Night sweats are common is women who are going through perimenopause and menopause. Perimenopause is a normal, natural phase of a womans life. During this time, a womans ovaries produce less estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and menstrual periods become irregular. The low or changing levels of estrogen in particular are the cause of night sweats.
Perimenopause usually happens between ages 40 and 50. It is the transition step before menopause. A woman has reached menopause when she hasnt had a period for 12 months in a row. The average age of menopause is 51.
Cancer And Cancer Treatment
Hot flushes are sometimes a lesser-known symptom of breast cancer, leukaemia, lymphoma or carcinoid syndrome . But hot flushes can also be caused by cancer treatment too, including chemotherapy and tamoxifen .
Seven out of ten women who’ve undergone treatment for breast cancer experience hot flushes.
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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.
What Treatments Are Available
As is the case with most menopausal issues, many treatments involve Hormone Replacement Therapy . In cases where hormone treatments are not ideal in a particular case, there are non-hormonal medications, and alternative ways to potentially treat menopause-related sleep problems.
- ;Hormone Replacement Therapy: There are several types of hormone therapies available to women. They include bioidentical hormones, synthetic hormones and combinations of the aforementioned. Bioidentical hormones are biologically identical to the hormones women produce in their ovaries: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Hormone replacement therapy can alleviate symptoms by providing the body with adequate hormones for the body to function well.
- Nonhormonal Medication: A doctor may also recommend non-hormonal medications to treat symptoms in lieu of hormone replacement therapy.
- Antidepressants can not only treat depression and mental health issues caused by menopause, but also vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes.
- Brisdelle is medication containing a very low dose of paroxetine, which is branded as Paxil, and is approved only for the treatment of night sweats and hot flashes. The dose is too low to effectively treat depression.
- Gabapentin can decrease the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and night sweats.
- Clonidine is a hypertension medication that may help with vasomotor symptoms but usually not as effectively as the medications mentioned above.
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