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Encouraging Facts about Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

If you’re dealing with hot flashes and night sweats, you are most likely pretty miserable. Nothing is worse than feeling like your body is a private sauna with an unpredictable on-and-off switch or having to change your drenched sheets every morning. 

Unfortunately, these symptoms are extremely common when you’re in the transition to menopause. Fortunately, we can help. Darin L. Weyhrich, MD, explains more about what we can do to make you more comfortable.

What causes hot flashes and night sweats

As you approach menopause, you’ll notice that your cycles start to change. During the 4-10 years before your final period, your estrogen levels drop–sometimes significantly. 

These declining estrogen levels cause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. You may also notice other symptoms as well, including irritability, depression, weight gain, a lower sex drive, and sleep problems.

However, symptoms vary in severity from mild annoyances to life-disrupting limitations.

What a hot flash feels like

You hear about hot flashes often, but they’re difficult to describe. Here are some of the most common indicators of a menopause-related hot flash:

When a hot flash occurs during sleep, you may experience another common menopause symptom — night sweats.

How to deal with hot flashes and night sweats

The first approach we recommend is to try some simple self-care methods. You can manage many symptoms on your own without treatment. Here are some tricks to try:

Get more exercise

Exercise may sound like the last thing you want to add to an already overpacked schedule, but it is worth the effort. Regular exercise fights depression, weight gain, and mood swings. It also helps you sleep better. Especially if your symptoms are mild, exercise can play a significant role in helping you manage them.

Eat a healthier diet

Almost everyone in America needs to eat a healthier diet. Specifically, we don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, which are crucial for providing vitamins and micronutrients. We recommend fruits and vegetables with a high water content because these can help reduce your hot flashes. Good examples include lettuce, berries, cucumbers, watermelon, avocado, and broccoli.

Drink more water

Drinking enough water is a problem for many people. Not only do you need to drink water, but you also want to limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol because they dehydrate you and worsen your symptoms.

What to do if you need more help

Maybe you’ve tried the above methods, but they haven’t worked. Don’t give up — we can help.

The most common treatment for hot flashes and night sweats is hormone replacement therapy (HRT.) It replaces the estrogen and progesterone you’re no longer producing, and you’ll likely feel a lot better once you start taking it.

HRT comes in a variety of forms, including pills, patches, and gels. For most women, it is safe. 

If you’re dealing with uncomfortable menopause symptoms, you deserve to feel better. Contact Darin L. Weyhrich, MD, for an appointment in Boise, Idaho.

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