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What Causes Hot Flashes And Night Sweats Post Menopause

Why Does Menopause Affect Your Sleep

Doctor’s Recommendation For Hot Flashes, Night Sweats & Other Perimenopause & Menopause Complaints

Menopause means you eventually stop producing the hormone progesterone, which has a role in helping you sleep. Besides night sweats, during menopause you are also two to three times more likely to have sleep apnoea than before. Perhaps you have restless legs at night, or very hot feet. And if youre feeling anxious or depressed, that can keep you awake, too.

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

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.

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How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms Or Something To Be Concerned About

Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause . But other conditions can cause abnormalities in menstrual bleeding. If any of the following situations apply to you, see a doctor to rule out other causes.

  • Your periods are changing to become very heavy, or accompanied by blood clots.
  • Your periods last several days longer than usual.
  • You spot or bleed after your period.
  • You experience spotting after sex.
  • Your periods occur closer together.

Potential causes of abnormal bleeding include hormonal imbalances, hormonal treatments, pregnancy, fibroids, blood-clotting problems or, rarely, cancer.

How To Support Your Adrenals

Q&A: What Are the Differences Between Night Sweats and Hot ...

Adrenal support is very important at this point, so you need to have a good look at your diet and lifestyle.

Are you drinking lots of tea or coffee or fizzy/sugary juices? Eating foods with high levels of salt and sugar? Processed foods and/or fast foods? Not drinking any plain water? When we are stressed/fatigued we tend to crave these types of food to give us an energy boost, but all that happens is that we quickly crash and our body craves more and more to try and keep going.

All of these foods and drinks can also drain the body of the nutrients it needs to counter stress, and therefore make adrenal fatigue worse. So the first step is to gradually improve your diet. Start adding in more fresh foods and wholegrains such as brown bread and brown rice and slowly cut down on the tea and coffee . Start adding in plain water and herb teas too.

Supplements such as a vitamin B complex and extra magnesium can support the adrenals. Your local health shop should be able to advise you on which are the best for you.

Daily relaxation is vital for adrenal support and just sitting down with a cup of tea and a magazine wont really do it. Research has shown that if you shut yourself away from all distractions and listen to specially recorded relaxation music, this can very quickly have a beneficial effect, but you do need to be consistent! You can get smashing relaxation CDs/downloads from Amazon for next to nothing.

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What Women Experience During Menopause

During the time, months, or years, prior to menopause, women can experience a wide variety of symptoms that are brought on by the hormonal changes in their bodies. Aside from the decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels, physical and emotional symptoms are very common and include:

  • Irregular periods

Hot Flashes: What Can I Do

Hot flashes, a common symptom of the menopausal transition, are uncomfortable and can last for many years. When they happen at night, hot flashes are called night sweats. Some women find that hot flashes interrupt their daily lives. The earlier in life hot flashes begin, the longer you may experience them. Research has found that African American and Hispanic women get hot flashes for more years than white and Asian women.

You may decide you don’t need to change your lifestyle or investigate treatment options because your symptoms are mild. But, if you are bothered by hot flashes, there are some steps you can take. Try to take note of what triggers your hot flashes and how much they bother you. This can help you make better decisions about managing your symptoms.

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Night Sweats In Postmenopausal Women Linked To Reduced 20

Laurie Barclay, MD

September 16, 2009 Night sweats in relatively healthy postmenopausal women are linked to a reduced risk for death during the following 20 years, independent of use of hormone therapy, according to the results of a prospective, population-based cohort study reported in the September issue of Menopause.

Night sweats, reported by approximately half of postmenopausal women, are thought to reflect more severe hot flashes, although there is some evidence that they have a different etiology and may have more severe consequences related to impaired sleep, write Johan Svartberg, MD, PhD, from the Department of Medicine, University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsø, Norway, and colleagues. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of vasomotor symptoms with risk of all cause, cardiovascular disease , and coronary heart disease mortality in community-dwelling older women, with a mean age of 69 years.

The study cohort consisted of 867 postmenopausal women who gave lifestyle and menopause-related history at the 1984 to 1987 visit of the Rancho Bernardo Study and who responded to a questionnaire, mailed in 1989, on menopause and vasomotor symptoms. Follow-up for survival continued through July 2004 in 98% of the cohort. Average duration of follow-up was 11.5 years.

The study authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Send press releases and comments to .

Thyroid And Menopause: Confusing The Symptoms

What Causes Hot Flashes In Menopause?

According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists , millions of women with menopausal-like symptoms, even those taking estrogen, may be suffering from undiagnosed thyroid disease. While symptoms such as fatigue, depression, mood swings, and sleep disturbances are frequently associated with menopause, they may also be signs of hypothyroidism. A survey done by the AACE showed that only one in four women who have discussed menopause and its symptoms with a doctor were also tested for thyroid disease. The thyroid plays a role in regulating overall body metabolism and influences the heart, brain, kidney, and reproductive system, along with muscle strength and appetite.

The case presented above illustrates how the symptoms of hypothyroidism can be attributed to menopause. While the issue of menopause needs to be addressed, it is also important to remember that the incidence of hypothyroidism increases with age and can co-exist with other conditions.

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Night Sweats In Postmenopause

Once the menopause transition passes, a woman becomes postmenopausal, and remains that way for the rest of her life.

Even if you are postmenopausal, your hormones may not have completely balanced out yet. You may still experience some menopausal symptoms like night sweats, which can lead to fatigue, insomnia, and stress. While you are waiting for your body to become accustomed to its new chemistry, here are some tips to help identify the;.

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.

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Complementary Therapies For Hot Flushes

Women often turn to complementary therapies as a “natural” way to treat their hot flushes.

There’s some evidence that isoflavones or black cohosh may help reduce hot flushes.

But the research is patchy, the quality of the products can vary considerably, they can interfere with some medicines, and they can have side effects .

It’s important to talk to your doctor before you take a complementary therapy.

Page last reviewed: 29 August 2018 Next review due: 29 August 2021

What Causes Hot Flashes

Night Sweats Symptom Information

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.

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What Do Night Sweats Feel Like

You might wake up when youre about to have a night sweat caused by the menopause, also known as a menopause sweat this is actually a night-time hot flush. Or it might be the sensation of being sweaty that wakes you. Some people wake up drenched in sweat, on soaked sheets.

As for how long menopause sweats last, most people stop having them after a couple of years. However, for a small number of people they may continue for the long term.

More Than Just Hormones

You are normally considered to be through the menopause when you have not had any periods for two years, and during this time your hormones should have balanced out and your body should have learned to cope with this new low level. Many women feel just as good, if not better, after their periods have stopped no more monthly blues, feeling low, bloating etc., and as long as they continue to take care of themselves, problems should not arise.

However, for some women the path through the menopause can tax them both physically and emotionally, and even after the menopause is well and truly over, they continue to suffer. Most common symptoms tend to be hot flushes/sweats, fatigue, joint pain and low mood. What is causing these symptoms? It is very unlikely to be hormonal flux after all this time.

Going through the menopause, even an easy one, stresses the bodys nervous system, particularly the adrenals, and if you then couple this with the external stresses of day to day life, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, holding down a job, and family life , it is not surprising that their body is under so much pressure and eventually something gives.

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Is Having A Hard Time Concentrating And Being Forgetful A Normal Part Of Menopause

Unfortunately, concentration and minor memory problems can be a normal part of menopause. Though this doesnt happen to everyone, it can happen. Doctors arent sure why this happens. If youre having memory problems during menopause, call your healthcare provider. There are several activities that have been shown to stimulate the brain and help rejuvenate your memory. These activities can include:

  • Doing crossword puzzles and other mentally stimulating activities like reading and doing math problems.
  • Cutting back on passive activities like watching TV.
  • Getting plenty of exercise.

Keep in mind that depression and anxiety can also impact your memory. These conditions can be linked to menopause.

Treatment Options For Hot Flashes

How to Stop Hot Flashes and Night Sweats – Menopausal Hot Flashes

Non-hormone options. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of paroxetine. This is a low-dose antidepressant that uses a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor to treat hot flashes.

Women who use an antidepressant to help manage hot flashes generally take a lower dose than people who use the medication to treat depression. Side effects depend on the type of antidepressant you take. They can include:

  • Dizziness

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What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Hot Flashes

  • Hot flashes are typically brief, lasting from about 30 seconds to a few minutes.
  • Redness of the skin, known as flushing, may accompany hot flashes.
  • Excessive perspiration can also occur; when hot flashes occur during sleep they may be accompanied by night sweats.
  • Feelings of anxiety may accompany hot flashes.
  • Occasionally, palpitations may occur during hot flashes.

The timing of the onset of hot flashes in women approaching menopause is variable.

  • While not all women will experience hot flashes, many normally menstruating women will begin experiencing hot flashes even several years prior to the cessation of menstrual periods.
  • It is impossible to predict if a woman will experience hot flashes, and if she does, when they will begin.
  • About 40% to 85% of women experience hot flashes at some point in the menopausal transition.

Some of these have not been tested by clinical studies, nor are they approved by the US Food and Drug Administration .

Herbs And Dietary Supplements Should Be Used With Caution

It is important that your health care providers know about all of the dietary supplements, such as soy, and herbs you are taking with your medicines.

Studies of vitamin E for the relief of hot flashes show that it is only slightly better than a placebo . Most studies of soy and black cohosh show they are no better than a placebo in reducing hot flashes. Soy is rich in estrogen-like substances, but how it affects cells in the body is unknown. Studies of ground flaxseed and magnesiumoxide to treat hot flashes have shown mixed results.

Claims are made about several other plant-based and natural products as remedies for hot flashes. These include dong quai, milk thistle, red clover, licorice root extract, and chaste tree berry. Since little is known about how these products work or whether they affect the risk of breast cancer, you should talk with your doctor before using them.

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Is There A Treatment For Night Sweats

Hormone replacement therapy can be a very effective treatment for menopause sweats. However, not everyone wants to take HRT, or their medical history might prevent them, so your GP might suggest other medications that can help with hot flushes.

Here are my self-help tips to help you achieve a bit more control over your menopause sweats.

  • Do wear something loose and light in bed, such as a nightie or pyjamas. Although this sounds like it would make you hotter, it can actually help to absorb the sweat.
  • Consider layering your bedding as you would your clothes, so you can peel them away as necessary if you get too hot. Natural fibres like cotton or silk may feel more comfortable to wear than synthetic nightwear or sheets.
  • Keep a glass of cold water by the bed to cool and rehydrate you in the night.
  • Keep a fresh change of sheets and nightwear close to or under your bed.
  • Have a window slightly open.
  • Try to eat a healthy diet. Being overweight can make menopause sweats worse.

Cancer And Cancer Treatment

Menopause and sweating: is there a way out?

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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What Is Hormone Therapy

During menopause, your body goes through major hormonal changes, decreasing the amount of hormones it makes particularly estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone are produced by the ovaries. When your ovaries no longer make enough estrogen and progesterone, hormone therapy can be used as a supplement. Hormone therapy boosts your hormone levels and can help relieve some symptoms of menopause. Its also used as a preventative measure for osteoporosis.

There are two main types of hormone therapy:

  • Estrogen therapy : In this treatment, estrogen is taken alone. Its typically prescribed in a low dose and can be taken as a pill or patch. ET can also be given to you as a cream, vaginal ring, gel or spray. This type of treatment is used after a hysterectomy. Estrogen alone cant be used if a woman still has a uterus.
  • Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy : This treatment is also called combination therapy because it uses doses of estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is available in its natural form, or also as a progestin . This type of hormone therapy is used if you still have your uterus.

Hormone therapy can relieve many of the symptoms of menopause, including:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Vaginal dryness.

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