There is Help for Your Hot Flashes, Night Sweats (Video)

Hormone therapy is the best option, but not for everyone

By: Holly L. Thacker, MD

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Menopause is a natural stage of life, and is not something that always must be treated with medicine.

However, if your menopause-related symptoms are bothersome, you may wish to talk with your doctor. This is especially important if your symptoms interfere with your daily activities.

Among the most bothersome of menopause-related symptoms are hot flashes and night sweats. These two symptoms are really the same thing, but happen at different times, with night sweats occurring while you sleep.

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Hot flashes and night sweats occur when your blood vessels expand, which creates increased blood flow, and then contract. You experience a sudden sensation of warmth that radiates from your chest to your extremities. You break out in a sweat and may feel chilled afterward.

For many of my patients, night sweats are particularly troublesome because they interrupt rest and alter sleep patterns. As a result, my patients feel tired and irritable during the day when they need to be alert.

There is help for treating hot flashes. For most women, short-term hormone therapy (HT) is the best solution and can prevent menopause-associated bone loss. But HT is not for everyone. Your physician can advise you on whether HT is  right for you, based on your exam, your health history and your family health history.

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More information

Guide to managing menopause

Speaking of Women's Health

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