Many women will suffer from night sweats and a dry mouth during menopause. While these symptoms can be alarming and unexpected, they do not necessarily indicate any serious medical condition and can often be alleviated by following the guidance outlined below.
Night Sweats and Dry Mouth Explained
Dry mouth refers to the lack of moisture and saliva in a person's mouth. Dry mouth can happen on occasion to anyone; chronic, severe dry mouth is not normal.
Night sweats refer to a problem known clinically as sleep hyperhydrosis and result in unpleasant episodes for many sufferers. Night sweats are bouts of heat, fever and excessive sweating during the night. Though sweating is a perfectly healthy bodily function necessary to keep cool, night sweats disrupt sleep and leave sufferers shivering in soaked sleepwear and bed linen.
What Causes Night Sweats and Dry Mouth?
During menopause, the body's endocrine system undergoes a dramatic shift with an overall decrease in the levels of estrogen and progesterone. One of the side effects of this change is night sweats. When the body experiences a decline in estrogen, the hypothalamus sends out inaccurate signals that the body is overheating and must cool rapidly. Excess sweat and flushing skin result, creating the sensation of night sweats.
During menopause, changing hormone levels affect the salivary glands, often leaving menopausal and postmenopausal women with a persistent feeling of dryness in the mouth. This can be accompanied by a bitter taste in the mouth as well as problems with bad breath. This is due to the drying of the mucus membranes. This is also responsible for a feeling of dryness in both the nasal passages and the vagina that some women experience during menopause.
If you have dry mouth often, it can be uncomfortable or indicate that a more serious medical condition may exist. Saliva does more than just keep the mouth wet: it helps digest food, protects teeth from decay, prevents infection by controlling bacteria in the mouth, and makes it possible for you to chew and swallow.
What Can be Done About Night Sweats and Dry Mouth?
In all likelihood, night sweats and dry mouth are nothing to be concerned about. However, as these are such common symptoms of menopause, it is important to fully understand these conditions and know how best to deal with them. Having shown that night sweats and dry mouth are linked to a drop in estrogen in the body, the first practical step is to restore hormone levels to normal. This can be assisted by maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise routine.
Tips for avoiding dry mouth:
Sip water or sugarless drinks.
Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea and some sodas, which can cause the mouth to dry out.
Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow.
Don't use tobacco or alcohol, which dry out the mouth.
Be aware that spicy or salty foods can cause pain in a dry mouth.
It is vital that the body is healthy to maintain stable hormonal levels during this transitional period. In addition to lifestyle changes, there are a range of alternative treatments that may help to reduce night sweats and dry mouth. Natural remedies often target the source of hormonal imbalance and can be effective in combating side effects of menopause. Click on the following link to get more information on some of the treatments available for night sweats and dry mouth.
Other Related Articles:
Night sweats, cold feet and insomnia
Q&A: Does alcohol cause night sweats?
Night sweats diagnosis during menstruation
How to stop my night sweats
How to combat night sweats in women under 25