Talking to your doctor can help you decide on the best approach to help prevent your hot flashes. Some women are able to manage their hot flashes with some simple tools or techniques. Here are some simple ways to find relief:. Many women are turning to natural products to help with managing hot flashes and night sweats. Some products can interfere with over-the-counter and prescription medications. These include:. Check with your doctor before taking any of these products.
Herbs can interfere with medications and aggravate disorders, beyond what is listed here. Herbal products are not monitored for quality and purity by the FDA.
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The popularity of hormone replacement therapy HRT has waxed and waned over the years. Treatment with synthetic hormones may be an option for some women whose hot flashes are debilitating and greatly affect the quality of their life. Estrogen supplements level out the amount of estrogen in your system, reducing the incidence and severity of hot flashes and night sweats.
Estrogen is usually taken with progestin to reduce the risk of developing endometrial cancer. It can be taken by pill, through a vaginal cream or gel, or a patch. A physician can help you make decisions is you are a candidate for HRT. Many women will not be able to take hormones or bio-identical hormone and your doctor will take a full medical history. Other medications have been found to help women whose hot flashes and night sweats are difficult to manage.
Work with your doctor to choose if these medications might be appropriate for you and your situation. Gabapentin and pregabalin, usually given for nerve-mediated pain or seizures, offer relief for some women. Antidepressants venlafaxine Effexor , fluoxetine Prozac , and paroxetine Paxil have also been shown to be effective for treatment of hot flashes.
Acupuncture may be helpful, without the side effects of medication. One study published in found that women who had acupuncture had significantly fewer menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, than those who had sham treatments. Another study worked with a large sample of women with breast cancer. Treatments for breast cancer often trigger hot flashes.
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Participants who used acupuncture had less frequency and intensity of hot flashes. Meditation can also be very successful in helping manage stress levels. Stress is a common hot flash trigger for many women. Taking stress management training in your community might lead to numerous other benefits in your health and quality of life.
Lifestyle choices can make as much of an impact on your body as any medication or supplement you take. Living a healthy lifestyle can reduce the incidence and severity of hot flashes and help reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. Be mindful of the following ways you can improve your health:. Just as no two women are alike, neither are the ways their bodies will react to treatment for hot flashes. Talk to your doctor if none of the common hot flash management tools are helping. As hard as it is to imagine while in the midst of your own personal heat wave, this too shall pass. For more information on how to get the most out of your menopausal years, keep reading about menopause.
To help you get a handle on menopause, here are 11 things you should know about this transitional stage of life. Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause. What are the most effective remedies? It's way more than mood swings and hot flashes. There are tips and tricks you can learn to reduce the severity and frequency of your hot flashes at work.
Take a look. Most women dread reaching menopause. Here's why one woman says she's actually thankful for menopause in many ways. Learn how menopause may impact your libido and what you can do to improve your sex drive. Better bone health, heart health, and overall quality of life. Need we say more? Between the hot flashes, weight gain, and night sweats, menopause can be a challenging time.
Any of the following tips should help you sleep better during perimenopause:. Adhere to a regular sleep schedule, sleeping and waking at the same time every day, even on weekends. Make your bedroom cool and dark , and avoid using it for anything other than sleep or sex. If you wake up during the night or have trouble falling asleep for more than 20 minutes, leave and go to another room. Take a warm bath — as the hot water evaporates from your skin, your body will naturally cool down and make you feel more tired.
Practice meditation or deep breathing exercises. If stressful or worrisome thoughts are keeping you up at night, write them down in a journal before bed in order to free them from your mind. Drink bedtime tea or a glass of milk. Certain mattresses are better at regulating heat than others.
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Opt for latex or innerspring beds when possible, and avoid memory foam , which is notorious for trapping body heat. Many latex and hybrid beds feature cooling comfort layers composed of copper or gel. Beyond the mattress itself, continue the cooling with appropriate bedding. Buy cooling pillows and mattress toppers. Choose sheets made of breathable linen or cotton. You can even get waterproof sheets and mattress toppers that stay odorless, no matter how often you experience night sweats. For pajamas, wear comfortable clothing with wicking capabilities — think loose gym clothes vs.
Exercise regularly , in the morning and outside if possible. Plus, the exercise will simply make you feel good, helping preventing the weight gain that often occurs with menopause, while also making you more tired by bedtime. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and limit your overall intake during the day.
Caffeine wakes you up and increases stress, which can make sleep harder. Also avoid alcohol. Finally, avoid overly sugary or fatty foods. These are bad for your health, hormones, and sleep. Since increased need to urinate is a symptom of menopause, limit your overall liquid intake late at night and go to the restroom one last time right before you get into bed. However, do keep a cool glass of water by the bed in case you wake up from a hot flash and need one more way to cool down. Scientists are still researching the relationship between estrogen levels and melatonin, but they have noted distinct reduced natural levels of melatonin that correspond with the period immediately preceding menopause.
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Further, studies indicate melatonin can help treat sleep problems during menopause. Avoid sleeping pills. These can become addictive and are not a recommended treatment for insomnia. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia CBT-I is an effective psychotherapy for treating insomnia.
The therapy focuses on helping the patient learn to recognize the troublesome thoughts and behaviors that interfere with their sleep, so they can replace them with healthier, sleep-promoting habits. One promising study found that 6 CBT-I sessions conducted over the phone during a course of 8 weeks significantly improved sleep for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. How does menopause affect sleep? The most common sleep problems affecting peri- and postmenopausal women include: Sleep onset insomnia trouble getting to sleep and sleep maintenance insomnia trouble staying asleep.
Hot flashes and night sweats , which in turn contribute to insomnia. Obstructive sleep apnea , a form of sleep-disordered breathing where an individual literally stops breathing momentarily while asleep. Restless legs syndrome , characterized by an uncontrollable and uncomfortable tingling sensation in the lower limbs that occurs when a person is lying down as one does in bed.
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RLS may be linked to an iron deficiency, and is more common among women and older adults. What causes these sleep problems? Sleep apnea Progesterone may be partly responsible for preventing sleep apnea by dilating the upper airways. Hot flashes The body requires a cool temperature to stay asleep.
Lower estrogen levels are linked with hot flashes, which commonly occur at night. Emotional stability Like insomnia, women are also more prone to anxiety which in turn contributes to insomnia. Old age The aging process brings its own set of sleep problems that coincides with the same time as menopause. How to sleep better during menopause. Any of the following tips should help you sleep better during perimenopause: 1.
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