Hot flashes and night sweats are well-known symptoms associated with menopause. For some women, night sweats are so intense that they wake up to sweat-soaked sheets every morning. These uncomfortable sensations can last for several years, making it difficult to sleep at night or maintain productivity during the day.
Fortunately, you have more power to control hot flashes and night sweats than you might think. In this blog, we share some tips for lifestyle changes that could help make you feel more comfortable.
Start with Lifestyle Changes Before Considering Medication
Women sometimes assume that hormone therapy is inevitable with menopause, but this is not always the case. You may be able to avoid taking any type of medication by making some changes at home first.
For example, prepare for managing a hot flash by dressing in layers. When you start perspiring or feel flush in the face, remove layers until you are more comfortable. You can also consider carrying a small portable fan for when a hot flash strikes. Here are some other tips you can try:
- If you are a smoker, make a quit plan and seek resources to help you stick to it. Not only can quitting smoking improve your menopause symptoms, but it is better for your overall health.
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese since a high body mass index (BMI) can increase the frequency and severity of hot flashes.
- Avoid caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol as much as possible because they can worsen many symptoms associated with menopause.
- When you go to sleep at night, cover yourself with sheets and a few thin blankets rather than one heavy blanket.
- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and pajamas that allow full freedom of movement.
- Look at the causes of stress in your life and determine what you can do to decrease or eliminate them. High stress levels can have a negative impact on hormone production, leading to more uncomfortable menopause symptoms.
Eating Natural Foods and Taking Certain Types of Supplements May Help
Consuming a healthy diet of non-processed foods can go a long way towards helping you feel as comfortable as possible. Dietitians often recommend that women going through menopause add two servings of soy per day if they feel bothered by hot flashes or night sweats. Soy has proven to reduce both the intensity and frequency of these menopause-related problems in research conducted by the National Library of Medicine.
Dietary supplements can also help menopause symptoms but be sure to check with your doctor before starting them. Black cohosh supplement capsules, flax seeds, and evening primrose oil have all gotten high marks from women for their ability to reduce night sweats and hot flashes.
Sometimes you try every home remedy you can think of and manage your diet only to find no symptom relief. While that is frustrating, remember that Folsom OB-GYN is here to help. Whether that means taking prescription medication or helping you find other options, we care about our patients and do not want to see anyone remain uncomfortable indefinitely. Please contact us to request an appointment today.