Q: What Causes Hot Flashes
A:;The exact causes of hot flashes are still unknown, but they are thought to be related to changes in the brains thermoregulatory center, which controls heat production and loss, and is influenced by your hormones. During perimenopause, hormones start acting like a rollercoaster, with progesterone and estrogen levels changing in wide variations. These ups and downs dont settle down until almost 10 years after menopause.
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
Why Does Menopause Cause Night Sweats
Night sweats are caused for the most part because your body stops making oestrogen. Oestrogen helps you regulate your body temperature by getting rid of heat. Like hot flushes, low oestrogen levels affect how the brain regulates temperature, with the result that small changes in body temperature are more likely to cause sweating or shivering.
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What Causes Hot Flashes At Night
There are many reasons for having hot flashes at night including hormone fluctuations, a hot sleeping environment, an infection, or the food or prescription medications recently consumed.
While less common, having hot flashes at night can be a symptom of certain cancers, like lymphoma.
There are also normal body temperature variations that happen while sleeping, which can lead to excessive sweating and feeling hot overnight.
There Is No Escaping The Impact Menopause Will Have On Us Women We Will Come Out Changed
However, its up to us, exactly how much we let that impact shape us.
If youd like to start taking back control of your menopause journey, join our The Menopause Effect email list and well send you tips, techniques, research findings and other useful info.;
P.S.; If you want a bit more than tips and info, check out Dr Michelle Gordons upcoming free Online Menopause Workshop.
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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.
How Can I Avoidnight Sweats
Fortunately, there are steps you can takethat may help better control body temperature and ease the symptoms of nightsweats:
- Use sheets and bedclothes made from natural fibers, like cotton. You might also want to try wick-away fabrics that absorb moisture from the skin and dry quickly.
- Sleep with one foot or leg out from under the covers. This can help cool your body temperature.
- Use air conditioning or fans to keep air moving and the room temperature cool.
- Take a cool shower before bed.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight.
- Consider using a cool gel pillow.
- Practice relaxation and stress-reduction techniques, such as yoga,;acupuncture,;meditation, or breathing exercises. Some studies suggest that the slow and steady rhythm of breathing may reduce night sweats and help you get back to sleep.
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Hot Foods And Environments
Many times, a hot flash will be caused by something as simple as eating a spicy meal or overheating in a hot room. For instance, if your thermometer is set on high before bed or if your bed has too many blankets, body temperature will fluctuate during the night and can leave you waking up sweaty and overheated.
Also spicy foods and caffeinated beveragescoffee, alcohol, and hot pepperscan stimulate nerves, cause blood vessels to;dilate blood vessels and turn up your inner core body temperature to the extreme.
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When Does Menopause Start
On average, women in the U.S. are 51 at natural menopause, notes the National Institute on Aging. But menopause can start earlier or later. A few women start menopause as young as 40, and a very small percentage as late as 60. Women who smoke tend to go through menopause a few years earlier than nonsmokers. There is no proven way to predict menopause age. It’s only after a woman has missed their periods for 12 straight months, without other obvious causes, that menopause can be confirmed. There are tests that can check your ovaries and spot a decrease in fertility.
How Can You Sleep Better After The Menopause
When it comes to medication, its better to treat your menopause symptoms than to treat the sleeplessness. In other words, sleeping tablets arent the answer. HRT or other medications may help, but there are also things you can do yourself.
- Dont try to catch up by napping during the day.
- Exercise can help with your mood and can tire you just enough to help you fall asleep more easily.
- In the hours before bed, avoid looking at screens, smoking, heavy meals, alcohol and caffeine.
- Try to follow a bedtime routine, especially one that de-stresses you. A warm bath can be soothing.
- If stress and anxiety are keeping you awake, cognitive behavioural therapy may help.
If youre really struggling, I recommend you talk to your GP.;Getting enough sleep is important for both your physical and mental health.
If youre struggling with menopause symptoms, or want to support someone who is, were here to help. Theres lots of information, expert advice and signposting on the menopause pages;within our Womens Health Hub, and you dont need to be a Bupa customer to access any of it.
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.
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How To Stop Hot Flushes
- See your doctor to make sure there is no underlying medical condition causing your hot flushes, particularly if you’re also suffering from symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, weight loss or diarrhoea
- Check the listed side effects of all of your current medication. If hot flushes are listed as a side effect then discuss your prescription with your doctor. There may be a suitable alternative, or changing timing or dosage might help
- Keep a food diary. This will help you identify whether certain foods or ingredients are triggers
- Track when you have a hot flush. Write down where you were and what you were doing. This might reveal patterns or environmental factors that are causing them
- Make time for yourself. Scientists have identified a link between hot flushes and stress
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce your alcohol intake and if you are a smoker, quit
- Limiting spicy foods and caffeine
- Reducing the temperature of baths and showers
- Wearing light layers
What Is The Outcome Of Patients With Night Sweats
Night sweats affect many people. They are sometimes no cause for concern, but they can interrupt sleep and reduce quality of life. In some cases, night sweats are a sign of a health issue that requires attention. Sleeping in a cool room with bedding and pajamas made from light, natural fabrics may help. If not, a doctor can recommend other approaches, which may include medications and therapies.
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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
- Weight gain and/or slowed metabolism
- Dry skin and other tissues
- Thinning or loss of hair
- Sleep disturbances
Why Am I So Cold During The Day And Hot At Night
Thanks to your bodys natural hormones, your core temperature drops in the evening ready for sleep. This is what helps you to nod off. It then rises again in the morning preparing you to wake up. Some people can be particularly sensitive to this change, leading them to wake up feeling too hot during the early hours.
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But He Should Be Used To This Routine By Now
Ive been having hot flashes upon waking for awhile now.
When I wake up in the morning my skin is lovely and soft.
As soon as I move, Im covered in buckets of sweat.
We both hate this morning routine, but weve learned to live with it.
This is one symptom that has refused to go away and Im supposed to be post-menopausal.
Im positive Im not the only woman on the planet who suffers from hot flashes when I wake up in the morning.
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Causes Of Night Sweats: Am I Menopausal
As we get older, a good night’s rest becomes far more attractive than a late night out. Whats more, the quality of our sleep begins to make a big difference in our day-to-day lives. A restful night of uninterrupted sleep can give your whole day a boost, while a warm, sweaty night of tossing, turning and pillow-flipping can leave you unproductive and irritable to next day.There are many reasons why you might experience night sweats as you get older menopause being just one of them. Below, well outline some helpful insights about what on earth night sweats are, and why they happen, to get you on the path to a cooler, more restful nights sleep.
What exactly are night sweats?
Night sweats, also known as sleep hyperhidrosis, are episodes of sweating at night that leave your clothing and sheets drenched in sweat. Night sweats are not the same as overheated sleeping they are severe hot flushes;that occur at night and can be due to a variety of reasons, including the menopause.;While most night sweats are caused by non-life threatening issues, they can also be a symptom of a serious underlying condition, so it’s always best to speak to your doctor about them, especially if they recur often.;
What causes night sweats?
There are several reasons why you could be having night sweats, including many reasons unrelated to the menopause. So when should you be concerned about night sweats? Below weve outlined just a few of the causes of night sweats, and what you can do about them.
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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.
The Symptoms Of Menopause
There is no one single symptom thats commonly seen in all women as everyone has a different menopause experience. Some women have very few symptoms, while others have issues that affect their daily lives. Symptoms are usually the most troublesome during perimenopause and can include:
- Mild warm flashes or hot flashes with profuse sweating.
- Poor sleep quality.
- Anxiety, mild mood swings, flares of depression
- Brain fogginess.
- Body changes, including weight gain and
- Fat redistribution to the abdominal area, also known as the âmenopouch, and vaginal dryness and pain with sex
- Certain changes should be monitored, including rapid loss of bone and the development of atherosclerotic plaques in vessels and coronary arteries.
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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.
Your Body’s Going Through Hormonal Changes Like Those Related To Menopause
One of the most common causes of night sweats for women is fluctuating estrogen levels, Dr. Nandi says. “Menopause is associated with hot flashes, so it’s not uncommon for patients to report sweating even during their sleep,” Dr. Shah says. But again, these may occur at other times during the day as well.
If you’re pregnant or on your period, those hormone fluctuations could lead to night sweats, too. However, menopause tends to cause the most persistent sweats, and if it’s truly affecting your quality of life or sleep, Dr. Shah says it’s worth talking to your doctor about. “Sweating from menopause is unpredictable, but if you talk to your ob-gyn about hormone replacement therapy, it could help keep your temperatures under control.”
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You’re Dealing With An Undiagnosed Neurologic Condition Like Post
Like hormone conditions, neurologic conditions, particularly spinal cord injury and syringomyelia, says Dr. Remos, can also cause night sweats. “The autonomic nervous system exerts involuntary control over smooth muscle like the intestine or the pupil, and glands. Damage to the spinal cord causes it to malfunction and stimulate sweat glands inappropriately,” says Dr. Remos.
Post-traumatic syringomyelia, specifically, refers to the formation of cysts in the spinal cord and can cause episodes of increased sweating, says Dr. Remos.