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    How to Manage Hot Flashes and other Vasomotor Symptoms of Menopause

      |  Aug 08, 2023

    What are vasomotor symptoms?

    You’re walking down the street on a cool spring day when suddenly it hits you. Your chest becomes warm, you start to sweat, and your heart starts beating faster. No, the temperature didn’t rise 10 degrees and you’re probably not being chased by a bear—you’re experiencing a hot flash. 

    Hot flashes and night sweats (hot flashes that occur at night) are two very common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. So common that 80% of people who go through menopause will experience them. These symptoms are sometimes called vasomotor symptoms because they’re related to the constriction or dilation of blood vessels

    For some women, vasomotor symptoms will be mild and may not even be noticeable, while for others, vasomotor symptoms will cause major disruptions in their daily life and sleep schedules. Recent studies also show that frequent hot flashes are associated with a 77% increased risk of cardiovascular disease post menopause.

    What causes vasomotor symptoms?

    Science isn’t 100% sure what causes vasomotor symptoms during perimenopause and menopause. Some medical professionals believe that lowered estrogen levels, caused by menopause, alter your ability to regulate your body temperature and make your internal thermometer (called the hypothalamus) sensitive to temperature changes it wouldn’t have picked up on before. When your body feels like it’s getting too warm, blood vessels dilate to try to cool the body down, which causes you to feel hot and sweat.

    How to manage vasomotor symptoms of menopause

    Certain factors that contribute to vasomotor symptoms are out of our control. For example, Black people are most likely to report experiencing hot flashes and night sweats, while people of Asian descent are the least likely. However, there are several factors that you can control to manage and reduce your symptoms through big and small interventions.

    Staying cool

    It might seem obvious, but staying cool is one effective way to manage hot flashes and night sweats. Stay inside during warmer weather, hydrate with cool beverages, and wear layers so you can get quick relief if or when a hot flash happens. It’s a great excuse to turn up the A.C. too.

    Manage your diet

    Certain foods like soybeans, chickpeas, and lentils contain estrogen-like compounds that can help offset the body’s natural loss of estrogen during menopause. These foods won’t completely restore the estrogen you lose as you age, but they can be a natural source of key hormones.

    Improve your sleep

    A good night’s sleep can impact your mood and cognitive abilities. When your sleep is interrupted by hot flashes, you can experience heightened symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. For help getting and staying asleep, try a supplement like CogniMag, which contains Magnesium L-Threonate. This form of magnesium not only supports better sleep, but penetrates the brain to support cognitive health.

    Limit smoking

    People who regularly smoke have more hot flashes than those who don’t. A study of women’s health in the United States found that over the course of six years, smokers were 60% more likely to report vasomotor symptoms during menopause than nonsmokers.

    Estrogen therapy

    Your doctor or a licensed clinician can also prescribe you estrogen to help manage vasomotor symptoms and other symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Estrogen comes in many forms, from pills to patches to pellets, which are placed under the skin and distribute estrogen throughout the body over the course of 3 - 5 months. In the past, people have associated hormone therapy with increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease, but recent studies show that these risks are rare. 

    Get a holistic look at your menopausal health

    If you’re looking to effectively manage the vasomotor symptoms of menopause and take control of your health as you age, our licensed clinicians are here to help. Through our Aging Wellness Assessment, you’ll receive a holistic picture of your health, including key hormone levels. You’ll work with our team to determine the best course of action for your unique health goals, which may include hormonal supplements in a form that works for you. Book a free consultation with our team today.