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When Do Hot Flashes Start Menopause

Cynthia Managed Her Severe Night Sweats Using A Little Hot Flush Kit She Kept Beside Her Bed

How To Know If Your Hot Flashes Are Normal

In the early days, I had to get up physically on the hour every hour. It woke me without fail and I had to get out of bed, go into the other room, had a big fan, stand in front of it until I cooled down and then I went back to bed. You do get used to doing that and you do sleep in between. As I got better at managing them I think, I identified that I couldnt drink anything and I couldnt eat curry or Chinese food I got so that I had my little hot flush kit beside the bed. I had a towel and gel pack, sports injury gel pack that had been frozen inside of a pillow case. And Ive got dozens, dozens and dozens, and Ive still got them in a little basket of those little hand fans like youd have on holiday. And I had that beside the bed so when I woke with a hot flush starting, Id grab the towel and slip that underneath me, the gel pack behind my neck and the little fan resting on my chest and Id just lie there like a sack of potatoes until it passed. And then Id chuck it all off and go back to sleep until the next one. And I did sleep. I did get used to being tired but I did sleep in between each hot flush. But they were on the hour.

The Effects Of Estrogen

Estrogen is the other component of a hot flash. As women age, this hormone gradually wanes and in so doing brings changes to the body. The decreased estrogen can result in weight gain, depression, anxiety, loss of libido, and vaginal dryness. These effects can start prior to menopause and continue for many years. As estrogen declines, the body releases other hormones that influence the brains thermostat . This causes the bodys temperature to fluctuate, which can spur HF.

Emotional And Cognitive Symptoms

Women in perimenopause often report a variety of thinking and/or emotional symptoms, including fatigue, memory problems, irritability, and rapid changes in mood. It is difficult to determine exactly which behavioral symptoms are due directly to the hormonal changes of menopause. Research in this area has been difficult for many reasons.

Emotional and cognitive symptoms are so common that it is sometimes difficult in a given woman to know if they are due to menopause. The night sweats that may occur during perimenopause can also contribute to feelings of tiredness and fatigue, which can have an effect on mood and cognitive performance. Finally, many women may be experiencing other life changes during the time of perimenopause or after menopause, such as stressful life events, that may also cause emotional symptoms.

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Utilize Supplements And Herbs

Many people useblack cohosh, a large plant from the buttercup family, to reduce hot flashes, although little evidence exists as to how effective it actually is. Still, some swear that black cohosh root provides effective relief from these and other symptoms of menopause, including headaches, heart palpitations, and anxiety.

According to the North American Menopause Society, despite the lack of definitive evidence, âit would seem that black cohosh is a safe, herbal medicine.â Some other herbs with anecdotal evidence of helping hot flashes include red clover, dong quai, and evening primrose oil.

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Perimenopause Symptoms And Signs

Menopause hot flashes start earlier for smokers ...

Perimenopause describes the time period when a woman is approaching menopause. During this time is when symptoms and signs begin. Examples include, weight gain, vaginal dryness, mood changes, painful sex, and hot flashes.

The complex hormonal changes that accompany the aging process, in particular the declining levels of estrogen as a woman approaches menopause, are thought to be the underlying cause of hot flashes. A disorder in thermoregulation is responsible for the heat sensation, but the exact way in which the changing hormone levels affect thermoregulation is not fully understood.

Hot flashes are considered to be a characteristic symptom of the menopausal transition. They also occur in men and in circumstances other than the perimenopause in women as a result of certain uncommon medical conditions that affect the process of thermoregulation. For example, the carcinoid syndrome, which results from a type of endocrine tumor that secretes large amounts of the hormone serotonin can cause hot flashes. Hot flashes can also develop as a side effect of some medications and sometimes occur with severe infections or cancers that may be associated with fevers and/or night sweats.

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When To See A Doctor

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.

What Are The Risks Of Using Hormones For Hot Flashes

In 2002, a study that was part of the Womenâs 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.

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Do You Need To Take Calcium Supplements For Menopause

Menopause cannot be prevented however, steps can be taken to help reduce the risk factors for other problems associated with menopause. It is recommended that postmenopausal women consume 1,200 to 1,500 mg of elemental calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D daily.

The least expensive way to obtain calcium is through diet. Diet can easily provide 1,000-1,500 mg of calcium daily. The following foods contain calcium:

  • One cup of milk — 300 mg
  • One cup of calcium-fortified orange juice — 300 mg
  • One cup of yogurt — about 400 mg on average
  • One ounce of cheddar cheese — about 200 mg
  • Three ounces of salmon — 205 mg

Dietary calcium supplements are a good option for women who cannot consume adequate calcium through diet. Calcium carbonate is the least expensive, although some women complain of bloating. Calcium citrate may be better absorbed by women who take acid-blocking medications, such as ranitidine or cimetidine .

Calcium products made from bone meal, dolomite, or unrefined oyster shells may contain lead and should be avoided. Products with “USP” on the label meet the voluntary quality standards set by the United States Pharmacopeia and are more likely not to contain harmful contaminants.

Women should carefully read the label of calcium supplements to check the exact number of milligrams of elemental calcium in each supplement. The intestinal tract generally does not absorb more than 500 mg of elemental calcium at a time, so calcium intake should be spread out during the day.

Ht Forms And Regimens

What Causes Hot Flashes In Menopause?

HT comes in several forms:

  • Oral tablets or pills
  • Vaginal ring
  • Topical gel or spray

HT pills and skin patches are considered “systemic” therapy because the medication delivered affects the entire body. The risk for blood clots, heart attacks, and certain types of cancers is higher with hormone pills than with skin patches or other transdermal forms.

Vaginal forms of HT are called “local” therapy. Doctors generally prescribe vaginal applications of low-dose estrogen therapy to specifically treat menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness and pain during sex. This type of ET is available in a cream, tablet, or ring that is inserted into the vagina.

“Bioidentical” Hormones

“Bioidentical” hormone therapy is promoted as a supposedly more natural and safer alternative to commercial prescription hormones. Bioidentical hormones are typically compounded in a pharmacy. Some compounding pharmacies claim that they can customize these formulations based on saliva tests that show a woman’s individual hormone levels.

The FDA and many professional medical associations warn patients that “bioidentical” is a marketing term that has no scientific validity. Formulations sold in these pharmacies have not undergone FDA regulatory scrutiny. Some of these compounds contain estriol, a weak form of estrogen, which has not been approved by the FDA for use in any drug. In addition, saliva tests do not give accurate or realistic results, as a woman’s hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day.

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What Are Common Menopause Symptoms

Some common menopause symptoms are:

  • Irregular periods: Periods becoming shorter, longer, heavier, lighter. Skipping periods.

  • Hot flashes: A hot flash is a sudden, sometimes intense feeling of heat that rushes to your face and upper body. Hot flashes can be really uncomfortable, but they usually only last a few minutes. They can happen a few times a day, a few times a week, or a few times a month.

  • Night sweats: Hot flashes that wake you up in the middle of the night.

  • Sleep problems: You may have insomnia trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. You may also start to wake up much earlier than you used to.

  • Vaginal changes: The lining of your vagina may become thinner, drier, or less stretchy. This can cause dryness or discomfort during sex.

  • Urinary or bladder infections: You may have to pee more often or get more frequent urinary tract or bladder infections.

  • Mood changes: Hormone changes can make you feel anxious, irritable, and tired. Your sex drive might change, too.

  • Weaker bones: Your bones will probably weaken during menopause. If its really bad, it can lead to osteoporosis after menopause. Getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D, and exercising for at least 30 minutes most days of the week can help you maintain bone health.

Some people may have a long and difficult perimenopause, up to 1012 years. But most people find that the common menopause symptoms are temporary and only last 35 years.

Lifestyle Changes Can Also Help Relieve Hot Flashes

“Hot flashes happen because of low estrogen levels,” says Dr. Mindy Pelz, author of “The Menopause Reset: Get Rid of Your Symptoms and Feel Like Your Younger Self Again,” and a holistic health expert specializing in menopause. “When estrogen plummets in the postmenopausal years, it triggers the hypothalamus to turn up the heat. Because of this, it is imperative that postmenopausal women make their cells receptive to the low levels of estrogen that their body is producing.”

“When estrogen plummets in the postmenopausal years, it triggers the hypothalamus to turn up the heat.”

Pelz suggests two ways to help the cells respond to estrogen better: “First, make yourself insulin sensitive. When insulin surges in the body, estrogen will decline, leaving a postmenopausal woman experiencing hot flashes.”

The best way to balance insulin out, says Pelz is by intermittent fasting.

“The second tip to help postmenopausal woman with hot flashes is to increase consumption of leafy green vegetables,” Pelz says. “Vegetables feed the bacteria in the gut known as the estrobolome. This bacteria breaks down estrogen so that the cell can put estrogen to use. When a postmenopausal woman intermittent fasts and increases her vegetable consumption, hot flashes will diminish.”

While you’ve probably seen or heard about supplements and other over-the-counter remedies for menopause symptoms, there is not much research to support their effectiveness. One exception is magnesium.

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Causes Of Hot And Cold Flashes

Hot flashes and cold chills are caused by , specifically of estrogen.

This hormonal imbalance negatively impacts the hypothalamus, the brains internal thermostat, causing it to become more sensitive to body temperature changes, thus triggering hot and cold flashes during menopause as means to cope with these changes.

Causes of hot and cold flashes unrelated to menopause include:

  • Poor blood circulation

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How To Stop Hot Flushes

What Happens at the Start of Menopause?
  • See your doctor to make sure there is no underlying medical condition causing your hot flushes, particularly if youâre 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

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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.

Higher Risk Of Heart Disease

The end of menopause means that your age becomes solid. It causes certain health problems and heart disease is one out of the list of when is menopause over. This problem also derives from low levels of estrogen and so, induces various complications from the part of the cardiovascular system. Commonly, this issue can be averted if you follow a healthy lifestyle. Its vital to consult a specialist in this field to define the necessary preventive measures.

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Estroven Menopause Relief Mood Boost

Estrovens Mood Boost product claims to improve a persons mood and also provide relief from hot flashes and night sweats.

There are 30 caplets in each package. Estroven claims these caplets have no synthetic, animal, or human-derived hormones.

The company recommends a person take one caplet per day with or without food.

This product is available for $10.99.

This product may help individuals manage their weight and improve their metabolism.

Each package contains 30 capsules.

According to Estrovens website, a person should take one per day with or without food.

This product is available for $18.99.

Can Menopause Affect My Sex Life

Managing Hot Flashes

After menopause, your body has less estrogen. This major change in your hormonal balance can affect your sex life. Many menopausal women may notice that theyre not as easily aroused as before. Sometimes, women also may be less sensitive to touch and other physical contact than before menopause.

These feelings, coupled with the other emotional changes you may be experiencing, can all lead to a decreased interest in sex. Keep in mind that your body is going through a lot of change during menopause. Some of the other factors that can play a role in a decreased sex drive can include:

  • Having bladder control problems.
  • Having trouble sleeping through the night.
  • Experiencing stress, anxiety or depression.
  • Coping with other medical conditions and medications.

All of these factors can disrupt your life and even cause tension in your relationship. In addition to these changes, the lower levels of estrogen in your body can actually cause a decrease in the blood supply to the vagina. This can cause dryness. When you dont have the right amount of lubrication in the vagina, it can be thin, pale and dry. This can lead to painful intercourse.

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The Effect Of Estrogen

Estrogen is part of the story of hot flashes. As women age, their estrogen tends to decrease over time. This brings chemical changes in the body that can cause hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, depression and weight gain.

These effects are usually most noticeable between ages 40 and 55, but the timeframe varies depending on your body and health history. Certain conditions, like polycystic ovary syndrome , hypogonadism, and anorexia nervosa, can accelerate falling estrogen.

Athletic women are also at increased risk of estrogen changes due to a combination of decreased body fat and the effects of extreme exercise. Because the risk of osteoporosis – thin bones – also increases as women age, athletes who experience hot flashes should mention it to a doctor and beware of injuries.

How Does Menopause Affect Bone Health

The older a person is, the greater their risk of osteoporosis. A persons risk becomes even greater when they go through menopause. When your estrogen level decreases during menopause, you lose more bone than your body can replace. This makes your bones weaker and more likely to break. To keep your bones strong, its important to get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. These help your body absorb calcium. Your doctor can suggest ways to get more calcium through food, drink, and, possibly, a calcium supplement. They may also suggest that you take a vitamin D supplement to help your body process calcium. Ask your doctor what amount of daily calcium and vitamin D is right for you.

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