We know hot flashes are caused by the hormonal changes of menopause. Here's why, a diminished level of estrogen has a direct effect on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for controlling your appetite, sleep cycles, sex hormones, and body temperature. The drop in estrogen confuses the hypothalamus, which triggers the hot flash as the body tries to adjust to the change.
I was 39-years-old when my son was born. A short year later I was going through menopause. It was not bad for a long time, then the night sweats started. I couldn't sleep more than a few hours before waking hot as fire and sticky from sweat. It was gross and so frustrating. I was tired and crabby most days because I wasn't sleeping. Then I found what helped.
Many things might offer some relief, diet, exercise, drinking lots of water etc....I tried many herbs and natural things so I want to share ideas with you. I did not use any hormone drugs, just herbs and natural remedies. I didn't find much relief with these but remember every woman is different and it may take some time for you to find which treatments, or combination of treatments, work best for you.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)- Reports from the government-supported Women's Health Initiative found that women taking hormones do have a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer. And research has shown women who took hormones for an average of slightly more than 4 years actually had twice the incidence of Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia than women who didn't use it. Hormone replacement therapies contain synthetic estrogens, thus relieving symptoms, but increasing risks associated with synthetic hormones. Anything synthetic is not going to give long term health.
Some doctors also recommend that women consume natural soy products (such as tofu or soymilk) to help minimize the symptoms of menopause. Because soy contains high amounts of isoflavone, or plant estrogen, it may help protect against osteoporosis and relieve such symptoms as vaginal dryness and hot flashes.
While its name does not indicate a family connection, red clover is actually part of the soy family. Similarly rich in isoflavones, red clover has been reported to be successful in reducing menopausal symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats. Also try flaxseed, seaweed, nuts, whole grains, apples, celery, parsley and alfalfa.
If none of the soy products help and only estrogen seems to work, take the lowest effective HRT dose for the shortest possible time. But, there are many more things to try besides soy. Read on:
Other herbs to try Black Cohosh (20 mg to 60 mg, 3 times daily) which is a phytoestrogen that helps many women manage menopause symptoms. Women with surgical menopause may not find phytoestrogens as helpful as those who experience natural menopause. Dong Quai (500 mg to 1000 mg, 2 or 3 times daily) Evening Primrose Oil (500 mg 3 or 4 times daily) Ginseng (100 mg to 500 mg, 3 times daily)
Yep, if you want to try the herbs you will need to take lots of pills everyday. This is one reason they didn't work for me. I'm not going to take 10 pills a day. When I did give it a real effort I still didn't notice much improvement.
If you have a doctor that readily writes prescriptions and you tell him about all of your different symptoms, you may end up taking sleep aids, antidepressants and a variety of other drugs. It's not uncommon for many women to be taking six or seven different prescription medications during menopause and still have problems.
Diet is important to help control your menopausal symptoms. Foods to avoid include high amounts of caffeine in any foods, and carbonated beverages which contain phosphorous and can increase bone loss.
Also, limit your consumption of commercially raised meats including beef, pork, and chicken because these meats contain a high amount of saturated fats and decrease the body's ability to metabolize estrogen. Excessive sugar intake also limits your liver's ability to metabolize estrogen and impairs the immune system.
Get lots of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. Vitamin C can help in the prevention and treatment of vagina dryness and hot flashes. Sage, a common herb contains antispasmodic (relaxation) and astringent (tightening) properties, which probably explain its usefulness in reducing excessive sweating and hot flushes. Other foods that you should include in your diet; grains ,oats, wheat, brown rice, tofu, almonds, cashews, and more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Take a good probiotic and prebiotic (the "good" bacteria in our intestines.) These cultures are important for women during menopause to help with metabolism and utilization of estrogen, and these "good" bacteria help reduce the occurrence of yeast infections.
Although these suggestions work for many women, remember every woman is different and it may take some time for you to find which treatments, or combination of treatments, work best for you.
Try some of these things and if you still can't find relief you might want to know about what I found. It's a whole food multi, I don't know why it worked for me, but I'm glad it did. No More Night Sweats.