Bothered by hot flashes? You’re not alone. About two-thirds of women going through perimenopause and menopause suffer hot flashes and night sweats.
These common symptoms of menopause are triggered by hormonal changes. A hot flash feels like a sudden rush of warmth across your head, neck, and chest, and it can leave you sweating.
Hot flashes and night sweats are unpleasant all year round. But when the weather turns warm, the thought of enduring another hot flash can quickly become unbearable.
Symptoms of menopause can hinder your enjoyment of life, but Samuel Van Kirk, MD, and our team can help. We understand the impact that uncontrolled symptoms can have, so we’re sharing our best tips for managing night sweats and hot flashes in the heat of summer.
Make healthy lifestyle changes
Exercising might make you hot and sweaty in the moment, but regular physical activity actually improves menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes. Adding regular exercise to your routine may reduce hot flashes, and it also helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Stress management can also make a difference when it comes to minimizing hot flashes. Consider trying yoga, tai chi, or meditation. When you feel a hot flash coming on, practice deep breathing to ease anxiety.
If you smoke or use tobacco products, quit. Quitting tobacco is not only a good choice for your overall health — it can also decrease hot flashes and the severity of other menopausal symptoms.
Take a closer look at your diet
Some foods and beverages may trigger hot flashes. If you’re bothered by hot flashes, consider eliminating spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine from your diet. These foods and drinks may elevate body temperature and make you overheated, especially if it’s warm outside.
Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in fruit and vegetables can lessen menopause symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats. Drinking cold beverages, like ice water or unsweetened tea, can stave off hot flashes by decreasing body temperature.
Start sleeping cooler
Night sweats are hot flashes that happen while you sleep. They can be just as disruptive as hot flashes, causing you to awaken drenched in sweat. Making a few adjustments to your nighttime routine can ease night flashes and help you get more restful sleep.
Turn down the thermostat when you go to sleep at night for a cooler sleeping environment. Wear loose, lightweight clothing to bed, and consider getting bed sheets made from bamboo, cotton, or other breathable fabric.
Try bioidentical hormone replacement
If you’re suffering from severe or frequent hot flashes, lifestyle changes and home remedies aren’t always enough. Dr. Van Kirk and our team regularly recommend bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) for women whose lives are significantly affected by menopausal symptoms.
BHRT balances hormone levels in your body with synthetic hormones that are a biologically identical match to the hormones your body naturally creates. When hormones are balanced, you can enjoy a dramatic reduction in hot flashes, night sweats, and other unpleasant symptoms of menopause.
Talk to Dr. Van Kirk to find out if hormone replacement is a good option for you. If you choose BHRT for hot flashes, we tailor your treatment plan to meet your unique needs.