Living with the Symptoms of Menopause Living with the Symptoms of Menopause

Living with the Symptoms of Menopause

For her 3 August, 2016 María Alejandra Tavera

In order to maintain your comfort level, there are several ways to treat the hot flashes and excessive perspiration that comes with this stage of life. Your attitude with regard to how you address this issue is also important.

Luz Ángela Uribe, Gynocologist, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare.

A 52-year-old professional shares that “At night, I get hot flashes and night sweats that are unbearable. I can’t sleep and I wake up tired and in a bad mood. During the day, my sweating, turning red and hot flashes limit the work I can do and affect me when I am in business meetings. I am always thirsty and I have blotchy red skin; and I don’t want anyone to talk to me, not even my boss. I feel overweight and my body has changed. I feel like my family and work life are at their end.”

So she went to the doctor, began hormone therapy and, because of this, her life has changed. She was able to keep the job she had and she was even promoted.

Hot flashes affect 80% of women who are in menopause and for 38% of them, they last five years or more. They can be described as the sudden onset of an intense heat in the chest that radiates to the neck and face. They are accompanied by anxiety, palpitations, excess perspiration and reddening of the skin.

Hot flashes are caused by instability in the temperature control center of the hypothalamus due to a reduced amount of estrogen present; it has also been observed that the concentration of adrenaline increases when they occur.

In order to deal with hot flashes when you are at home, the gynecologist Luz Ángela Uribe recommends, “You can drink herbal tea made of ginger mixed with mugwort or astragalus, or you can drink red clover tea. It is also good to eat yams, fava beans and pomegranates. In addition, it is important to do at least twenty minutes of exercise a day.”

Sometimes hot flashes, which are a result of menopause, are so unbearable that women who suffer from them experience a significant decrease in their quality of life and can become depressed. In these cases, a physician should be seen.


Treatment options

The duration of treatment depends on the progress of each patient. Luz Ángela Uribe focused on hormone replacement treatments, which depending on the case, consist of administering estrogen, progesterone, the combination of both or the hormone, tibolone.

If hormone therapy has no effect on the patient, then it is suspended and the next step is to administer medications that should be prescribed by a specialist.

Uribe emphasized that there are limitations to applying hormone therapy, “It is not appropriate for women with undiagnosed uterine bleeding, recent vascular thrombosis, liver failure, estrogen dependent tumors, hyperlipidemia, fibroids, pancreatic disease, high blood pressure, migraines, a history of thromboembolism, fibrocystic breast disease or for women who have had recent heart attacks.”

Another alternative are homeopathic methods, whose treatment should also be individualized. Some of these include plant-based treatments such as lachesis, sulfur, sepia, acnea racemosa and bioflavenoids (soy derivatives). Phytotherapy is another alternative, in which case blackcurrant seed oil, sesame oil, zhi mu and anise may be used.

In addition, there are also relaxation and breathing techniques such as yoga, the use of antidepressants and acupuncture. These first two techniques allow the body to release serotonin, a substance that – according to clinical trials – can decrease the intensity of hot flashes by up to 30% or 40%. With acupuncture, hot flashes can be reduced by a similar percentage.

In any case, the treatment that is selected should be overseen by a specialist that will respect your treatment decision and who will explain their potential side effects.

Luz Ángela Uribe stresses that, “During menopause, women can experience a beautiful stage in life, during which it is recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle, to exercise, keep a healthy diet and have zero stress.” •



Tips for Dealing with Hot Flashes

  • Take extra care in your hygiene when showering and use special deodorant made for excessive perspiration
  • Use loose-fitting clothing and wear natural fibers such as linen and cotton, which allow for more air to pass through them allowing the body to feel fresh
  • Exercise at least 20 minutes a day
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Maintain a healthy weight as excess weight increases perspiration
  • Keep your cholesterol, triglycerides and thyroid hormone under control
  • Be conscious of your diet. Have a healthy diet. Spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol increase your perspiration
  • Consume enough calcium and vitamin D
  • Avoid hot environments and wear clothes that are too warm
  • Do not smoke or expose yourself to cigarette smoke
  • Manage your anxiety