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What To Do For Hot Flashes During Menopause

Other Menopause Symptoms And Treatments

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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.

Ways To Combat Hot Flashes

An OB-GYN shares tips for finding relief

    In an uncertain world, hot flashes are one of the few things you can count on: A large majority of women have them during menopause.

    Menopause begins in your 40s or 50s at 51, on average. It is a natural process during which your ovaries slowly stop producing eggs and releasing them into your uterus every month. This change disrupts the hormonal shifts that normally come with your menstrual cycle. In particular, fluctuations in estrogen levels can become more extreme, which affects the way your body regulates heat.

    Just before, during and just after menopause, your blood vessels will sometimes constrict and then expand rapidly. These vasomotor spasms, as they are called, start the chain of events that lead to the skin flushing and temperature changes known as hot flashes.

    Hot flashes aren’t dangerous, and you don’t need to treat them if they dont bother you very much. Eventually, they’ll stop on their own: Though some women experience hot flashes into their 60s, the symptoms usually go away after an average of seven years.

    But in the meantime, they can be very uncomfortable, and they can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. It’s fortunate, then, that relief is available. Murali Vinta, MD, an OB-GYN at Rush, recommends five ways to find it:

    Dump The Processed Sugar

    Along with eating whole foods, try to get rid of processed sugar as much as possible. One woman said:

    Really cutting down on sugar helps lessen hot flashes. I can tell when Ive eaten too much they increase exponentially!

    Again, processed sugar impedes our bodys natural ability to produce hormones in the right balance. When you add menopause to that, you just make everything worse!

    Also Check: Is There A Pill For Menopause

    Bioidentical Hormone Therapy For Hot Flashes

    There has been increasing interest in recent years in the use of so-called “bioidentical” hormone therapy for perimenopausal women. Bioidentical hormone preparations are medications that contain hormones that have the same chemical formula as those made naturally in the body. The hormones are created in a laboratory by altering compounds derived from naturally-occurring plant products. Some of these so-called bioidentical hormone preparations are U.S. FDA-approved and manufactured by drug companies, while others are made at special pharmacies called compounding pharmacies, which make the preparations on a case-by-case basis for each patient. These individual preparations are not regulated by the FDA, because compounded products are not standardized.

    Advocates of bioidentical hormone therapy argue that the products, applied as creams or gels, are absorbed into the body in their active form without the need for “first pass” metabolism in the liver, and that their use may avoid potentially dangerous side effects of synthetic hormones used in conventional hormone therapy. However, studies to establish the long-term safety and effectiveness of these products have not been carried out.

    Menopause Hot Flushes And The Environment

    10 Things No One Ever Tells You about Menopause

    One of the causes of;hot flushes;during the menopause is known to be changes in the external environment. For example, moving between indoors and outdoors with big differences in temperature.

    This is the reason women find that symptoms can be more common in the summer, or when entering a well-heated room during cold weather. Other triggers or causes of menopause hot flushes include stress, anxiety, heightened emotions and even;eating;spicy foods.

    Hot flushes pose no real medical danger. However, when occurring at night and accompanied by;, they can disturb your sleep and that of your partner. This in turn, can cause you to feel moody, affect concentration and energy levels.

    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.

    Read Also: How Long After Periods Stop Does Menopause Last

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    About Severe Hot Flashes

    Most women going through menopause are familiar with hot flashes. When it comes to severe hot flashes, the condition is incredibly similar, but the symptoms tend to be exacerbated. In other words, the same symptoms are usually present, but they may be exaggerated or more disruptive to everyday life. Often, one woman may experience hot flashes that range in severity, which means that many women who experience normal hot flashes may also have occasional severe hot flashes as well.

    It is important to realize that there is no clear medical distinction between normal and severe hot flashes. Because this is such a subjective experience, most rating systems in studies and other medical or scientific realms rate severity based only on how much it interrupts normal functioning according to the woman who experiences the hot flash. Therefore, there is little scientific data about severe hot flashes specifically.

    Beverley Coped With Hot Flushes By Using A Fan Wearing Short Sleeved T

    The sweats got really bad. And it was funny because you could feel it from the tip of your toe and you could feel it rising and then Id glow and Id be fanning myself for dear life. I was a typical Caribbean person in terms of I always felt the cold. However, once I was into my menopause I was never cold, in fact I was always hot and this went on for quite a few years. I adjusted the type of clothes I wore and didnt layer as much. I could literally wear a short sleeved t-shirt or a jumper or blouse with a cardigan on top in the summer, in the winter, sorry, and Id be fine. Obviously, my jacket if I was outside. Because I didnt really feel the cold as much as I had done before. So its basically changing your lifestyle but you do it and then it becomes part of your normal day to day. And as I said Id walk around with a fan. I also had a fan in my office that was on my desk so I could put it on and if I didnt, if I was sitting somewhere where there wasnt a fan then Id try and sit somewhere where I had access to a window. So I could open it.And as I said, Im 50 now. The sweats have calmed down but every now and then I do get them but not as much and Im starting to feel the cold again so Im wondering if Ive come to the end of that cycle and my body is now coming back to something like what it was premenopausal.

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    On A Bad Night Christina Wakes Up Drenched And Has To Get Up And Wash Before Trying To Get Back

    The night sweats are terrible. It doesnt matter whether I go to bed with nothing on and I sleep on my own, and I will still wake up absolutely drenched. And I can have a sheet over me and that will be wringing wet in the morning as well so its like having to go to sleep with towels. And I dont have a plastic cover on my mattress because that tends to aggravate the situation so its just me having towels underneath me so you wake up with marks all over your back and everything else. But, even just going with no sheet you still have the sweats.So this is even in winter you are sleeping with a sheet.Yeah. Windows open and everything else so just trying to calm that down.And how many times would you be woken up at night?On a bad night at least three or four times and then having to go and get washed and try and dry off and everything else and change everything and then try and get back to sleep again.So you actually change your clothing and your bedding do you?Yeah, if Im wearing like a cotton nightie. That all has to come off. The towels that are on top of the sheets have to come off and be changed again. And then I go to the other side of the bed and try and make sure that youre sleeping on a dry patch. I mean Im quite lucky because I am on my own and I dont have to disturb anybody.

    What Are Hot Flushes

    Managing Hot Flashes During Menopause: Quell Your Internall Heat!

    Hot flushes are often described as a creeping feeling of intense warmth or heat which suffuses the face and upper body. They may also be accompanied by sweating and reddening of the skin.

    Along with menopausal weight gain, restless nights and mood swings, theyre often a side effect of the menopause.

    Also Check: Why Does Menopause Cause Hot Flashes

    Recommended Reading: What To Do For Thinning Hair During Menopause

    Ways To Relieve Menopausal Hot Flashes

    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.

    Maintain A Cool Sleeping Environment To Combat Hot Flashes

    Hot flashes can lead to night sweats and swings in temperaturefrom too hot to chilly.

    As many as 85% of people who go through menopause experience hot flashes, making it one of the most common symptoms. This sudden feeling of heat, especially in the upper body, is sometimes followed by heavy sweating and cold chills.

    The worst part? Hot flashes and subsequent night sweats are short episodes that can leave you feeling overbaked one moment and chilly the next. Unfortunately, temperature is key for getting a good nights sleep. While its impossible to avoid a hot flash, there are ways to optimize the bedroom environment as your temperature fluctuates.

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    Consider Going On Hormones For Menopause

    Finally, HRT may be an option. My doctor wont put me on it because I have breast cancer in my family, and thats considered a risk factor. Some doctors are far more ready to put patients on than others, and up here in Canada you cant just get another opinion or another referral. .

    If youre just going through agony, though, and your doctor wont listen, and youre ABLE to go to another doctor, then perhaps get a different opinion. As one reader shared on Facebook:

    Take hormones. NOTHING else works for me. I realize there are side effects but killing someone has even longer lasting consequences.

    You cant fault her logic there.

    Let me know: Any that Ive missed? Whats worked fighting hot flashes for you? Lets talk in the comments!

    When To See A Doctor

    These 8 tips help you control hot flashes during menopause!

    There are many different reasons for experiencing hot flashes. While most of them are not serious, you do need to know for sure what is causing them.

    If youre having trouble narrowing down the cause of your hot flashes, try keeping track of the episodes. List the details about the outdoor and room temperature at the time that you have one, your diet and activity levels, and any medications that you used. After a few weeks of collecting data, your doctor might be able to help you find a pattern.

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Male Version 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.

    What About The Dreaded Hot Flashes

    Hot flashes are a common symptom of;menopause caused by the hormonal changes in your body. It’s a feeling of intense warmth that can appear suddenly or slowly and cannot be attributed to an external source.

    A hot flash may have no clear trigger, but can also be caused by alcohol, hot drinks, caffeine, spicy foods, smoking, or room temperature. They can be as mild as feeling flushed or severe enough to wake you from a sound;sleep, also known as night sweats. Most hot flashes last 30 seconds to five minutes. They usually disappear within a few years after menopause, but some women may experience them for decades.

    Women in menopause can experience hot flashes as often as several times a day. But this experience can vary from one woman to the next and may include:

    • Sudden warm feelings or sweating.
    • Redness of the face, neck, ears, chest, or other areas.
    • Tingling fingers.
    • Racing heart beat or palpitations.
    • Feeling cold or getting the chills as the hot flash ends.

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    Don’t Get The Hot Flashes

    dane521

    So I get all the perimenopause symtpoms…dry vag, fatique, loss of sex drive, gerd and digestive prob, tingling skin too name a few…however, I don’t get the hot flashes or night sweats…do you still think its perimenopuase…can you get all the other sym and not hot flashes and night sweats?

    0 likes, 21 replies

    Medications Changed By The Liver Substrates Interacts With Black Cohosh

    What Can I Do To Relieve Menopause Hot Flashes Symptoms

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.Black cohosh might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking black cohosh along with some medications that are change by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of your medication. Before taking black cohosh talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.Some medications that are changed by the liver include amitriptyline , clozapine , codeine, desipramine , donepezil , fentanyl , flecainide , fluoxetine , meperidine , methadone , metoprolol , olanzapine , ondansetron , tramadol , trazodone , and others.

    Also Check: How Long Does It Take To Go Through Menopause

    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.

    Why Do They Occur

    The root cause of hot flushes is not clear. What is known is that the part of the brain that senses and controls body temperature is the hypothalamus.

    During the menopause, oestrogen levels fall. Although not fully understood, scientists think that this fall in oestrogen causes a glitch in the way the hypothalamus senses body temperature, making it think that you are too hot.

    This causes a response designed to cool the body down. More blood goes to the skin and sweat glands start;working .

    Read Also: Is It Possible To Bleed After Menopause

    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.

    Onward!

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