Ask the Nurse

What can I do to relieve constant sweating?

Excessive sweating may be related to hot flashes experienced during menopause. Usually, the hot flash is triggered by small changes in your body’s core temperature. This leads to the following:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sensation of warmth to the upper body and face
  • Flushing
  • Sweating

Fortunately, there are many strategies to relieve sweating related to menopause.

  1. First, you should identify and avoid your hot flash triggers. This may include spicy food, alcohol, caffeine, stress, cigarette smoke, and heat. To avoid the night sweats, keep your bedroom cool and wear socks to bed! Wearing socks helps to prevent the small changes in your body’s core temperature. I recommend setting the thermostat to 65 degrees at nighttime. As you are getting dressed for the day, be proactive and dress in layers. That way if you notice yourself getting warm, you can shed these layers throughout the day.
  2. Exercise! Although this seems counterintuitive, research has shown that women who regularly exercise have milder hot flashes.
  3. In addition to these lifestyle modifications, you should visit your physician who can discuss other treatment options. Hormone therapy and antidepressants are effective treatments for hot flashes. However, hormone therapy remains the most effective treatment option for menopausal symptoms overall.

Finally, sweating may be related to medical conditions other than menopause. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your symptoms to rule out these other causes. Other treatment options for excessive sweating (termed hyperhidrosis) include:

  • Prescription strength antiperspirants
  • Botulinum toxin
  • Microwave energy
  • Surgery

Not everyone is a candidate for these treatments, but a visit with your doctor can help determine the best options for you.

All my best,
Nurse Mary

April 14, 2015 at 10:56am