Are hot flashes and night sweats driving you crazy? You are not alone! As many as 80% of women will experience these two most common symptoms of menopause. What makes it worse? Studies show that these symptoms can last 7 years or longer, and have a huge impact on your quality of life.
Sure, hormone replacement therapy works wonders – but due to ongoing health concerns, it is only recommended for short periods of time, and for some with co-existing health conditions like breast cancer, liver disease or a history of blood clots, not at all.
So what can you do about it? It turns out, plenty.
Top Tips For Battling Menopause Without Hormones (that actually work!)
- Talk about it! It turns out that cognitive behavioral therapy, both in a group or self study was extremely effective in mood, sleep and quality of life of women suffering from menopause – with no downtime! Look for menopause support groups in your area and get out there! If you can’t find one in your area, or if groups are not your thing, here is a great resource.
- Hypnosis. If you have access, five hours of hypnosis therapy has been proven to reduce the incidence and severity of hot flashes by up to 80%. Not sure how to find one? Check out this website from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists
- Antidepressants – and no, we don’t think you are depressed. Antidepressants such as serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) work by adjusting the amount of chemical communicators between the nerve cells in your brain and body. One of the amazing “side effects” of this process is that they can really blunt with the effects of hot flashes and mood swings. Several have zero effect on libido (so if that’s an issue, talk to your doctor about which one is right for you) and all show around a 50% reduction in symptoms. Buyer beware – these can come with side effects: dry mouth, palpitations, and decreased libdio amongst others.
- Centrally Acting Agents – (you won’t be quizzed on this) – centrally acting agents include gabapentin, pregabalin, and clonidine. These agents can work moderately well, and are a good option to add to those on SSRIs and SNRIs who still are having quality of life issues. Side effects can include dizziness, drowsiness, and dry mouth amongst others.