Question:

I went through menopause when I was 50, and I am now 79 years old. How can I reduce or eliminate the night sweats without taking estrogen?

Answer:

Night sweats are an unfortunate reality for some postmenopausal women. Luckily, there are many non-hormonal alternatives available to help treat them, but finding the right option that works for you might take time. Along with diet and weight control, exercise may have a role in symptom control. A 2007 study found positive associations for the effect of physical activity (including the practice of yoga) on a variety of symptoms. Staying hydrated and avoiding certain foods and beverages may provide some relief, as dehydration increases body heat. Spicy or warm foods and beverages such as chili peppers, garlic, cinnamon, caffeine, and alcohol also increase body heat and may trigger night sweats.

Non-hormonal drug treatment is another strategy. Paroxetine is an FDA-approved treatment for hot flashes and night sweats which are made available in a low-dose formula called “Brisdelle.” While long-term risks are unknown, this class of drugs requires a black box warning label about suicide risk. While some women find relief through herbal supplements, it’s important to remember that the majority of supplement claims have not been subjected to scientific testing—and may carry significant risks or dangerous interactions with other medications.

To learn more about how to treat menopausal symptoms, look at our newsletter article, Non-Hormonal Alternatives for Menopausal Symptoms.


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