Night sweats affect as many as 85% of American women as they transition through menopause. Fortunately, night sweats, one of the most common menopausal symptoms, can be managed and prevented. The first recourse of night sweat prevention is through simple lifestyle changes. Continue reading to learn more about what causes night sweats and how to manage them.
Causes of Night Sweats
Night sweats and their daytime counterpart, hot flashes, are caused by fluctuating levels of estrogen. Estrogen levels change dramatically during the years surrounding menopause and can cause the temperature regulator in the brain, the hypothalamus, to behave just as erratically. When estrogen levels fluctuate, the hypothalamus is misled into believing that the body's internal temperature is too hot, causing the body to sweat in an attempt to cool down.
However, certain foods and habits can also contribute to the onset of night sweats, including the following:
• Warm rooms
• Hot showers and baths
• Spicy food
• Poor air circulation
• Excessive consumption of caffeine, sugar, and alcohol
• Heavy, thick bedding
• Heavy pajamas made of synthetic fabrics
In rare cases, night sweats can also be caused by certain medications, infections, and even cancer. However, check with your doctor the side effects of your medications.
How to Prevent Night Sweats
While it may be difficult to completely eradicate night sweats, there are a number of steps that women can take to help lessen the frequency and intensity of night sweats, such as:
• Avoiding spicy food
• Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake
• Taking lukewarm showers and baths
• Keeping windows open and a fan running
• Using lightweight bedding
• Wearing lightweight and breathable pajamas
• Avoiding or quitting smoking
In addition to making adjustments in habits and diet, regular exercise has been shown to help balance hormone levels and also improve overall health. Exercises like swimming laps, tai chi, and water yoga can be adapted to any fitness level and are also a great way to cool off.
Some women find that even by incorporating these tips on how to prevent night sweats, they still need additional treatment to help them control their episodes. Many treatments help lessen the symptoms by addressing the underlying hormonal imbalance. Other options include herbal supplements and prescription medications. Click on the following link to discover more about night sweats treatments.
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