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InsomniaAre you experiencing your own internal heat wave? Do you wake up at least once during the night in a sweat? Do you have to get out of bed, towel off, change clothes and then try to get back to sleep, only to experience a repeat performance? Do you have to prod your partner to move over a bit to avoid sleeping in the "wet spot." (No, not the fun one.) Do your nights of interrupted sleep seem endless? If so, you're not alone, and this is not being caused by global warming.


According to the North American Menopause Society, about 75 percent of women report perimenopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes. If you're one of them, you know it's more than a seasonal heat wave. And you know that the symptoms — a flushed face, drenching sweat and rapid heart rate — will only be compounded as the numbers on the thermostat continue to climb. Before you move to the North Pole, let's examine this common symptom a bit further.


What exactly is a hot flash?


During perimenopause and menopause, the body's levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone begin to fluctuate. When estrogen levels go down, they can trigger your body's thermostat to send a signal that you are overheated. This causes your body to send out an all hands on deck alert: your heart pumps faster, the blood vessels in your skin dilate to circulate more blood to radiate heat, and your sweat glands release sweat to cool you even more. Like so much about the process of menopause, there is no "one size fits all" for the timing, duration, frequency or pattern of menopausal hot flashes.


So what does this hormonal meltdown feel like?


You may experience one or more of these:


  • flashes of heat spreading over your skin

  • skin flushed red or blotchy

  • racing heartbeat like you've just run a 100-yard dash

  • sweating a lot

  • dizziness


 These episodes:


  • last from 30 seconds to 5 minutes

  • occurring in upper or lower body

  • occur during the day and/or night (night sweats)

  • are infrequent (several per month) to frequent (several per hour)

  • are followed by a feeling of being cold and clammy once the hot flash has passed


 Fortunately, there are lots of options for treating hot flashes beyond wearing easy-to-strip-off layers, or attaching a small fan to your forehead. Since every woman is different, you will have to explore which options work best for you with your menopause specialist.


Options needing prescriptions:


  • Hormone Therapy

  • Selective serotonin and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs and SNRIs). These drugs are often prescript for the treatment of depression and anxiety, but they also can work in alleviating hot flashes and night sweats.


 Non prescription options:


It's helpful to be aware of some of the typical hot flash instigators. You can try eliminating these triggers one at a time to see if that helps alleviate your symptoms. For example, reduce your [Link Removed] to download my free eBook, MENOPAUSE MONDAYS: The Girlfriend's Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause


Shmirshky, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.




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