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How to Combat Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

How to Combat Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

You’re going about your day feeling comfortable in your outfit when it suddenly feels like someone cranked up the heater. You start ripping off layers of clothing to cool down, but nothing helps — the heat is coming from within.

Nighttime is no better. You fall asleep as usual, snuggled under your blankets, only to awaken in the middle of the night with drenched jammies and wet sheets. 

What you’re experiencing is uncomfortable, annoying, and perfectly normal. Hot flashes and night sweats are classic menopause symptoms that have plagued women worldwide throughout history. 

The question is: How do you stop them?

Dr. James Lee and our team at Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care in Woodstock, Georgia, can help. As part of our comprehensive women’s health care services, Dr. Lee offers effective treatments that can curb your sudden and unpredictable heat surges. 

Here, he explains the basics of menopause, the science behind hot flashes, and the benefits of hormone replacement therapy.

The physiology of menopause

Menopause isn’t a medical condition — it’s a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. Most women enter menopause in their late 40s to early 50s, but it can happen earlier or later. 

The transition to menopause involves a complex series of hormonal changes. Primarily, your ovaries decrease the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, creating a hormonal imbalance that disrupts your regular menstrual cycle and leads to an onslaught of symptoms.

Recognizing the symptoms of menopause

While each woman’s experience with menopause is different, some symptoms are common to most, including:

Today’s discussion focuses on the last symptoms on this list — the sudden surges of heat all over or in parts of your body, often followed by heavy sweating or cold shivers — so we’re taking a closer look at why this happens.

Why hot flashes and night sweats happen

If you experience the classic hot flashes and night sweats during menopause, you can blame the decline in estrogen, which affects your hypothalamus — the part of your brain that regulates body temperature. 

If your hypothalamus perceives your body as too hot, it starts a chain of events to cool you down, resulting in a hot flash or sweating.

The frequency and severity of menopausal symptoms vary greatly among women, but more than 80% report hot flashes. If you’re one of them, know that they can impact your daily activities, disrupt your sleep, and affect your emotional well-being. 

Understanding what triggers your hot flashes can help you manage them better.

Practical tips for managing hot flashes and night sweats

Now that you know your body is changing and could heat up at any moment during the night or day, here are several strategies you can adopt to cope with hot flashes and night sweats:

These strategies can help you get through the day without too much discomfort, but if your hot flashes are intense and these tips don’t make a difference, Dr. Lee offers next-level help.

Bioidentical hormones: Hope for hot flashes

Hot flashes and other menopause symptoms occur because you’re not producing enough estrogen. Traditional hormone replacement therapy rebalances your hormones, but the product comes from horse urine and isn’t an ideal solution.

Bioidentical hormones, on the other hand, come from plant estrogens that are an exact chemical match to the hormones your body produces, so Dr. Lee prefers bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). However, like any medical treatment, BHRT also has the potential for risks. 

In the pros column, BHRT can alleviate symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. The cons are that they may increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, and certain types of cancer. 

Dr. Lee assesses your overall health, medical history, and symptoms before recommending BHRT. If you’re a good candidate and decide to try it, he monitors you carefully to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks. 

To discuss BHRT with Dr. Lee, book an appointment online or call Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care today. 





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