Discover natural ways to ease night sweats and dietary supplements that help. For night sweats bioidentical hormones may also help you get the rest and relief you need.
Hot flashes and night sweats can be very disruptive, even if you expect them as part of menopause. Sometimes their severity can come as a surprise. Symptoms may be so intense they wake you up at night.
Night sweats are related to daytime hot flashes, and are usually associated with menopause. However, both hot flashes and night sweats can happen in younger women, pregnant women, and those with an underlying medical condition, or high levels of stress.
What Causes Night Sweats
Night sweats occur when blood vessels open in the skin to release heat. You can perspire enough to soak your nightclothes and be awakened by cold wet sleepwear and damp sheets.
Night sweats happen when the body-temperature control system in the brain — the hypothalamus — triggers your body’s cooling system. The hypothalamus also controls stress hormones, sex hormones, and is sensitive to hormonal changes, including changes in estrogen levels. It can trigger the body to rapidly cool down in response to lower levels of estrogen.
Natural Ways to Manage Symptoms
The foods you eat and the way you manage stress can have a big impact on night sweats and hot flashes. You can reduce and manage the symptoms by knowing how to manage stress, take care of your body, and by learning which foods to avoid and why.
For example, excess sugar in the diet triggers a stress response in the body – including an increase in blood pressure, and heart rate, which can elevate body temperature. The hypothalamus is already hypersensitive to signals of overheating, and is can contribute to hot flashes and night sweats.
What other foods can you avoid to help you minimize night sweats? Here are a few to avoid:
- Hot foods (served at a high cooking temperature)
- Spicy foods
- Caffeine or other stimulants
Here are some simple lifestyle changes that can help you calm your temperature regulation system:
- Practice meditation to decrease adrenal hormones
- Dress is loose clothing – for easier temperature regulation
- Keep room temperature lower especially at night (ideal sleeping temperature is 65 degrees)
- Exercise daily – do aerobics to get your heart rate up; and sweat will help decrease stress hormones
- Eat a low glycemic whole food diet
- Get 8 hours of sleep
These Dietary Supplements Can Help
Dietary supplements and herbs can be beneficial but should be taken under the guidance of your physician.
I recommend these 4 essential supplements for optimal health (Four Essential Supplements):
- A good multivitamin
- Fish oil
- Probiotic (“good bacteria” in yogurt, sourdough bread and also capsule form)
- Vitamin D
Two additional supplements have been shown to reduce night sweats. The first is Estrovera by Metagenics, a tablet formulated using the extract of Siberian rhubarb, which has been clinically proven to reduce symptoms. I have found it to be especially helpful in reducing night sweats.
I also find many of my patients find Kavinace Flash-Ease by Neuroscience to be effective in reducing hot flashes, night sweats and helping them get and stay asleep. It contains black cohosh in addition to ashwagandha (a restorative herb which helps balance stress hormones). A naturally occurring amino acid known as 5-HTP which helps increase serotonin levels (the feel-good hormone).
It is important to discuss your options fully with your doctor. If you plan to take herbs or supplements, it is important to do so under the guidance of your physician. Just because a preparation is ‘natural,’ does not mean it’s free of side effects or possible interactions with other treatments you are taking. Herbs and supplements can have an impact on each other, or interact with prescription medication or over-the-counter medications.
Night Sweats and Bioidentical Hormones
I find that for many patients, a personalized treatment plan that combines, lifestyle changes, diet changes, exercise, stress reductions, and supplements helps provide relief from night sweats. But for other patients, these changes may not provide enough relief or control over symptoms. In these cases, low dose bioidentical hormones may provide the relief you are looking for.
Find many of the supplements we recommend at:
http://drkeller.metagenics.com. Use code: drkeller