Menopause is one of the natural stages of life when you transition out of your childbearing years. Because you no longer need or want to reproduce, your body makes an adjustment to stop ovulating and sending eggs each month. Your estrogen and progesterone levels drop significantly, and your periods stop.
But the process doesn’t happen all at once. It begins with some irregular periods and then some skipped ones. Once you’ve gone a full year without a period, you’ve officially reached menopause. For some, the transition is fairly smooth. But for others, the change wreaks havoc in their body and their life because the symptoms become extreme.
If you’re struggling with your journey toward menopause, we can help at Optimized Wellness in Centennial, Colorado. Jordan Bernard, ARNP, our board-certified family nurse practitioner, specializes in helping women manage their menopause symptoms so they can get back to a full and vigorous life.
What’s wrong with me?
The most important thing to understand as you’re approaching menopause and dealing with the changes in your body, is that nothing is wrong with you. Menopause is not a medical problem, and you don’t require medication to get through it. But assistance from a health care professional like Jordan Bernard can certainly make you more comfortable along the way.
Just as your body changed during puberty, and you may have felt growth pains, tender breasts, irregular periods, and mood swings, menopause may feel uncomfortable at times. But if your symptoms have reached a point where they are disrupting your everyday life, you have options.
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms at the same levels of intensity, but two of the most common complaints are night sweats and hot flashes.
Night sweats are not easy to miss. This is different from sleeping in a warm room or wishing you had chosen your lightweight nightgown instead of your flannel jammies. True night sweats soak your pajamas and even your sheets and blankets.
But be aware that there are other things that can make you sweat profusely at night as well. A high fever, certain prescription medications, and several medical conditions can cause you to perspire too, so make sure you tell Jordan about all your symptoms, conditions, and medications. After ruling out these other causes, you can bet your sweat is a sign of low hormones.
Another telltale sign of menopause is the notorious hot flash. These sneak up on you anytime throughout the day and cause an overall feeling of warmth throughout your body or just on your face. It may be accompanied by flushed skin, perspiration, an increased heart rate, or even chills.
Like night sweats, not every menopausal woman gets hot flashes, but 80% do, and they continue to get them on and off for about seven years on average. If you find yourself grabbing a menu, an envelope, or anything else nearby to wave in your face to create some air, you’re likely having a hot flash caused by a hormone imbalance.
How to control hot flashes and night sweats
If your hot flashes and night sweats are a result of menopause, you can’t stop them on your own, but there are many ways to manage your mild menopause symptoms — both hot flashes and night sweats.
- Reduce stress
- Quit smoking
- Lose weight
- Avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine
- Dress in layers that you can remove if needed
- Stay out of hot places
- Wear lightweight, cool clothing
- Use a chilled pillow at night
- Keep your bedroom cool
These may help improve your symptoms, but if you’ve tried everything and still can’t sleep at night or function normally throughout the day, it’s time to come see us.
Balancing your hormones for optimal relief
The best way to calm down the menopause symptoms that have taken control of your life is to go right to the source: your hormones. As we mentioned, all these signs and symptoms are the result of your hormone levels drastically changing — estrogen and progesterone to be specific.
Replacing the hormones that have decreased can put an end to your suffering. Jordan Bernard is an expert in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and uses this treatment to successfully restore her patients' quality of life.
This type of hormone is derived from a plant and identically matches the molecular structure of your body’s own hormones. We insert a tiny pellet under the skin in your hip, where it releases timely doses of the custom level of hormones you need.
If you’re ready to trade in your hot flashes and night sweats for balanced hormones and a good night’s sleep, call us today or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment with Jordan Bernard, ARNP, to find out if you’re a good candidate for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.