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Author Topic: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES  (Read 483469 times)

Dr. Heather Currie

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Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« on: January 03, 2007, 05:11:08 PM »

Hot flushes
The hot flush, or flash, is well known as the classic menopausal symptom and affects 60–85% of menopausal women. Hot flushes and sweats are called vasomotor symptoms and vary immensely in both their severity and duration; for many women, they occur occasionally and do not cause much distress, but for about 20% they can be severe and can cause significant interference with work, sleep and quality of life. Women are affected by vasomotor symptoms on average for about 2 years but, for about 10%, symptoms can continue for more than 15 years.
Hot flushes usually last 3–5 minutes and are thought to be caused by a change in the temperature-controlling part of the brain.Normally, there is a daily pattern of rises and falls in your body temperature, being lowest at about 3am and highest in the early evening. These small changes are not normally noticed, but a menopausal woman may flush with every temperature rise, whether these are normal changes or not – for example, moving between areas of different temperature or having a hot drink – because of a change in the setting of the temperature control centre in your brain; your body thinks that it is overheating even when it isn’t. To try to cool your body down, a variety of chemical reactions cause the blood vessels in the skin to open up, giving the sensation of a rush of heat, and sweat glands release sweat to dissipate heat.
It is believed that the changes in various hormone levels that occur around the time of the menopause, lead to the change in the setting of the temperature control centre, but the exact underlying mechanism is still unclear.
Other factors that can also cause flushes include being overweight, alcohol, excess caffeine, spicy foods, monosodium glutamate and some medications. Eating a healthy diet and losing weight if necessary can be helpful. Other simple measures that can help include:
•           wearing cotton clothing rather than man-made fibres
•           wearing loose thin layers of clothing rather than thick tight-fitting clothes
•           keeping your bedroom temperature fairly cool at night – either leave a door or window open or consider a fan (partner permitting of course!).
Flushes affect every woman differently and, for many, no specific treatments will be required. When flushes are embarrassing, disruptive and affecting your quality of life, then help is available and your doctor will give you an individualised treatment plan – we are all unique!
Headaches, palpitations (sensation of heart racing) and dizziness can be associated with vasomotor symptoms. Excess caffeine can worsen palpitations, so take coffee, tea and caffeinated soft drinks in moderation.
 
Tell us what works for you.
 
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starflower

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2007, 08:02:29 PM »

 :) :)

After 18 months of hot flushes which were becoming unbearable,I tried HRT this turned me into a depressed gibbering wreck - I tried 2 different sorts and never want to feel like that again, In fact I was prescribed anti-depressants to get me back to 'normal' (whatever that is in the menopause!!!)  That sorted the misery, but still several hot flushes a day and about 5 or 6 night sweats which  woke me up every night I was beginning to feel at my wits end!!!   I must admit I would try anything which will
a) SHIFT WRINKLES
OR
b) STOP MY MENO SYMPTOMS

It would not matter how ridiculous it is, I am there, headstands in the local park/ice cold showers/ tap dancing naked in the high street - I'd try it just to feel better!!
 HOWEVER!!! a friend of mine recommended high strength (1000mg) starflower oil capsules   ;D ;D ;D  IT HAS WORKED!!! I AM SO HAPPY I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!  Down to about 1 flush a day and that is only if I am flustered!!  Now sleeping almost through the night!!   
I know each of us are different, and it may not work for everyone, but after about 10 days I really noticed the difference and a month later all is still well!
l would also like to say that reading this forum has helped me enormously, and thank you to all you lovely ladies who have made me realise I am not alone... It has been a real turning point. Thanks once again xx
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Rosebush

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2007, 11:20:42 AM »

Hot flushes/sweats have totally taken over my life 'at least thats what it feels like' i get no sleep, cannot sit in company without getting up every 30-40mins, and i am only just coping with my job, i suffer from Arthritis, so having to get somewhere cold to cool down, is making this worse, and i now have joint pain everywhere, taking 6 anti-inflammatory tabs a day, but only getting slight relief, had the sweats now for nearly 5yrs, so i hope, i am not one of the unlucky one's, to get them for 15yrs :'( :'(

Star i will try oil capsules, i have tried everything else, without success, but willing to give everything a go..and may i add, i really feel for any other member suffering these, plus panic attacks, depression etc: my hearts goes out to you :-* Glad the forum is back so we can express our selves again, and know we are not alone....x
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I know i'm here somewhere !

panthers

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2007, 04:30:11 PM »

I find HRT wonderful and am lucky I can take it.  I reduced the dose last year but had to go back to the 2 mg dose as hot flushes and nightsweats came back with a vengance.  I only have two coffees a day now in the morning and then no more caffeine for the rest of the day.  I find that if I have caffeine after midday I have very disturbed sleep and can wake up with palpitations.  I have cut down on red wine (my favourite tipple).  I find that I can drink either one or two glasses for roughly 18 days of my cycle.  But when I start on the combined bit of the HRT red wine really effects me.  I have disturbed sleep with nightsweats and palpitations.  I also find that a calcium/magnesium supplement taken in the evening with a banana also helps me sleep better. 

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AllyMac

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2007, 09:46:22 PM »

I've just found this site and the forum - thank goodness. I believe I've just started the menopause as I've experienced the night sweats for the last 10 days with just one or two days of daytime hot flushes. Waking four or five times a night is not doing me any good at all - I look as if I haven't slept for months. My husband won't sleep with the window open - "its winter for goodness sake, who has the window open in the middle of winter? Are you mad?" Tonight I'm sleeping in the spare room with the window WIDE open...
I saw the post re Starflower Oil and will definitely try it. I've always thought I would try to get thru the menopause as naturally as possible without resorting to pills, etc but after the last 10 days, I shall be going to the doctor tomorrow to see what options there are. The very thought that this could last for 2, 5 or 15 years is too hard to believe. And my husband agrees!
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AnnieG

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2007, 11:56:52 AM »

HRT has worked for me - the hot flushes and night sweats disappeared in about 10 days - other symptoms have taken longer and I still get some of them with varying degrees of intensity depending on where my hormones are (my periods are still very erratic).  I am taking what is called bioidentical hrt - in my case Hormonin - which is the oestrogen element - and utrogestan - which is the progesterone. However latter not available on NHS (at least not in my  area) here so I have to have a private prescription but actually bought is in Paris where is it available and hugely cheaper than here. 
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Scottie

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2007, 04:13:57 PM »

Hi  :)

When I first started getting hot flushes I actually quite liked them. It turned out I was hypothyroid and usually suffered horribly from the cold so warming up felt quite good.

Then I was put on the right medication for the thyroid. Hot flushes turned into heat intolerance and also became a lot more uncomfortable. Night sweats kicked in big time - except without nearly as much sweat as most because I also have something called Sjogren's Syndrome which dries me up too much. So I guess its nightime overheating every two hours or so. I haven't had a full nights sleep for about 3 years now.

Because of the autoimmune diseases I didn't want to take HRT. There are a lot of overlapping symptoms and I wanted to get menopause symptoms out of the way - and not prolong them. I thought I was getting through it. I haven't had a period for over two years now and the hot spells seemed to have been lessening. However, recently they're back with a vengeance. A frioend in another forum has suggested it might be autonomic neuropathy as now I just seem to heat up from the chest upwards and only my head really gets damp. On the other hand, i've just read that sweats can last for 15 years - so I'm no further forward.................
I sympathise with everyone going through them though.

Take care - Scottie  :)
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Cazikins

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2007, 07:58:21 PM »

I have been on Femal for about 3 weeks now & they seem to have helped, I was getting about 6 - 7 hot flushes at night & about 10 during the day. I am also taking St Johns Wort for depression as I went to my doctor (a lady) & described all the signs of the menopause, flushes, unable to concentrate, tearful, tiredness etc & do you know what the ONLY thing she suggested??? anti-depressants... I could not believe it, I asked about HRT but she said there are too many risks, I was devastated to think I would be on anti-depressants for at least 6 months. I still have the prescription in my purse but really do not want to go down that road so I am trying the herbal products. This is my first posting on this site but you all see to be friendly girls. I lost my Mum last year & do not really have anyone to chat about it too, having said that I have a wonderful husband whio is always willing to give me a cuddle when I am feeling down.
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AnnieG

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2007, 08:42:36 PM »

Dear Cazikins

Go and see another Dr -- I too had this response - again and again and again.  I feel so angry about it.  In the end I went to see someone privately - I was so desparate and decided that I'd rather have my health back than my savings. 

Best wishes

Annie
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Cazikins

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2007, 09:06:53 PM »

Thanks Annie, when things get bad again I will see a different doctor, I just feel that I am wasting the doctors time when I go & that they dont really want to help - its like they are saying "for goodness sake just get on with it" - I get so angry but at the same time I dont have the energy to have a discussion with them - by the way what are you taking to help? what did your doctor suggest & does it work?
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Cazikins

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2007, 09:08:24 PM »

Sorry Annie, just read a previous post from you regarding what you take...silly so & so I am.
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juju

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2007, 01:47:45 PM »

Hi!I'm 52 and had hot flushes for three years...night sweats for 5 years.No periods for 2 years.I tried everything I could get hold of,all the herbal treatments cost me a fortune....stopped smoking not because of flushes but it is supposed to make them worse...didnt help but I havent had a fag for almost 11 months.Tried breathing slowly with the flush...couldnt keep it up,thought i would explode!If I got one night where I could sleep more than a couple of hours and then not have sweat after sweat.Awful.Finally went back to doctor and tried HRT,Kliovance.It worked wonderfully apart from I kept having breakthrough bleeds.So now am trying Kliofem.I was half mad too much of the time and my quality of life had deteriated so much that my total distrust of HRT didnt seem to matter anymore.Its worked for me and I am extremely grateful.It wouldnt be so bad if i could have seen any kind of hope of the flushes stopping,I couldnt have gone on much longer.
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Ninfapaola

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2007, 02:28:20 PM »

I'm 51 and started with hot flushes about 6 months ago.  However about 3 months ago they became almost unbearable - I was getting them about every 20mins or so and they seem to last for ages.

I started to take Menopace about 2 months ago and they have all but disappeared.  I get the odd one every so often but it is only mild.  I don't know whether this is a co-incidence or it's the Menopace working and I don't know if they'll return with a vengence.  I suppose only time will tell.
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poppyrose

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2007, 02:53:27 PM »


Hi Cazikins  :)

Sorry to hear you are going through the mill at the moment. (Know how that feels)

Was really interested in reading about the femal, was wondering how would you gauge the reduction of the flushes/sweats since you commenced on it and how long it was before you noticed a difference?

I see you got one of those really sympathetic female doctors (LOL)  ;D Don't worry her words will come back to haunt her one day, probably when she has just suffered her umpteenth night sweat!  >:D

Well of course there are drawbacks to HRT, but these need to be kept in context and of course each person presenting is unique and has a unique medical history as to if one should or indeed should not take HRT. To just write it off like this doesn't seem particularly helpful, maybe you can see another doctor in the practice? Is this possible?

All the symptoms you have talked about can be part and parcel of menopause. I agree with you about the antidepressants, if they do not feel right for you at this stage then if I were you then I would hold off from taking them. You do not mention which anti-D's you have been prescribed, but just like HRT and just like any other prescribed medication you can get unwanted side effects from them.
If it is of any consolation I cannot take HRT due to controlled hypertension and a couple of other conditions I have and I have managed to get through this past couple of years without it and apart from some stress in my life at the moment and these flaming flushes and insomnia, then I do  feel a lot stronger than I did and certainly am much improved on where I was 18 months ago. So please don't despair it *does* get better. I am so sorry to hear about your mum and know how much this can effect you, but I want to reassure you here also that this does get easier too, oh of course you never stop remembering (but why would you?) and they crop up in your mind at odd times, but the pain of loss gets easier and then you gradually begin to realise that the memories are happy and this in itself helps us to get over the physical loss. I have a photo of my parents on my mantle piece and I talked to her, I talk to her when I am sad, when I am worried, when I am happy, I tell her off for not being here to help me with her grandchildren, I have a small vase and put flowers in it for her and my dad, you may think I am barking but all of this really does help. My partner He Who Must Be Obeyed (HWMBO for short LOL) is quite used to me doing this and thinks it is quite normal. LOL

You are going to be just fine Cazikins, honestly you are ,just remember you are NOT alone, NOT going mad and that you always have a place to come to to talk, laugh or let off steam..here... with us at anytime you feel like it and it sounds like you have a really lovely caring husband which is fantastic. You *will* get through this, honestly you will, we *all* will, meanwhile we all have each to help us through.  :)

Hi Ju ju,  :) So glad you are now beginning to feel better on HRT, I think this is so important that the positives of HRT are also spoken about as well as the negatives. Knowledge is power and the more we know about something the better able we are to make an informed decision for our-self.

Onwards and Upwards ladies  :) :) :)

Love Pops xxx  ;D ;D ;D





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lucknowmom

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Re: Tell us how you have coped with FLUSHES
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2007, 07:36:22 PM »

My way of trying to control the flushes is eliminating all caffeine (giving up chocolates was so difficult for me!), exercising on a regular basis, dressing with layers of cotton clothes instead of one heavier sweater, wearing clothes not too close or tight  to the neck, not drinking hot drinks or hot soups too quickly or too late in the day (I find they are fine at lunch time but I can not have soup with supper or flushes are sure to follow, not sure if this is because my body is more tired as the day progresses or what, but I find this helps me).

I also find that eating larger meals brings the flushes back so I try to eat 4 or 5 smaller meals through my day (one meal might be a glass of milk with a banana, another meal could be a piece of whole wheat bread with homemade jam, etc.)  Keeps my blood sugar leveled and less flushes that way.

I keep a fan on low speed on my side of the bed, keeps air moving around my body and also helps me get to sleep by covering noises (the constant humming of the fan is somewhat soothing when I can not sleep)
I only use cotton bedsheets and wash them every day so they always feel fresh and inviting at bedtime.
I live in Canada so for quite a few months of the year, I can not sleep with a window opened as snow comes in, but otherwise, I find fresh air also helps a lot.

I wash completely with a cool washcloth before bed but I do not dry my body so I feel quite refreshed before trying to fall asleep.  Night sweats are worse so I do all I can to minimize those.

I do not drink any alcohol nor do I smoke but I know my 2 sisters have both found their flushes greatly diminished when they stopped smoking and when they do not drink.  (they have recently come out the other side of their meno journey and survived it all!!!)

I try not to exercise past 4:00 PM or I get more flushes.  I do not eat anything at all after 7:00 PM and that helps too.  Whenever we have company and I vary my routine and eat after 7, or eat more, or eat spicy foods, I always have more flushes.  I try sticking to drinking water only in the evening (but then I have to pee all night!!!)   :P

I have noticed that the week I should be having a period (I don't have them all the time anymore), I have more flushes, so by keeping track on a calendar, it makes it easier for me to not cheat on what I have found works for me.

Best wishes everyone.

Claire in Canada  :)
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