Ask the Nurse

Can you please provide me some simple remedies for night sweats? I seem to get hot flashes on and off, especially when I am worried or stressed about something. It almost feels like I am having a mini panic attack. I cool down fast during the day, but at night the hot flashes are really annoying.

Thanks for your question. Here are some tips that can help relieve your hot flashes:

  • Identify and avoid your hot flash triggers. The most common hot flash triggers include stress, caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, tight clothing, heat and cigarette smoke.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, use fans during the day and wear light layers of clothes with natural fibers.
  • Try deep, slow abdominal paced breathing (6 to 8 breaths per minute). Practice deep breathing for 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening and at the onset of hot flashes.
  • Exercise daily, maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI). Walking, yoga, swimming, dancing and bicycling with a helmet are good exercise choices.

Hormone Therapy (HT) is the most effective treatment and the only FDA approved treatment for menopausal symptoms. Any form of hormones, including bioidentical hormones has benefits as well as risks for women. Your women’s health physician can work with you to determine the best treatment for your body.

Antidepressants like Effexor (Venlafaxine) (a SNRI), Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine), or Neurontin (Gabapentin) may help block hot flashes and all have risks and benefits like any prescription or off the shelf medicine.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

July 25, 2012 at 3:15pm