Managing Hot Flashes and Other Menopausal Symptoms at Work

The vast majority of menopausal women experience hot flashes at one time or another, and they can disrupt your life or your ability to get through the work day. More bad news: the earlier hot flashes begin, the longer they’re likely to linger.

If hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause bother you, Dr. Jehuda Renan offers a variety of treatments to help you get them under control.

What happens during hot flashes?

Hot flashes affect roughly three-quarters of women during perimenopause, the period before menopause actually begins, when you may begin to experience many of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause. Once you’ve entered menopause, you may continue to experience hot flashes for several years.

A hot flash occurs abruptly accompanied by sweating and flushing. While the exact cause is unknown, many experts suspect that hot flashes are associated with changes in your blood circulation. They usually occur when the blood vessels that are next to the skin's surface broaden in an attempt to cool you off, in turn making you sweat.

While they frequently appear abruptly, the duration of your hot flashes can vary. Some pass after a couple of seconds, while others may last more than 10 minutes. On average, you can expect a hot flash to last about four minutes.

While a number of women might experience a couple of hot flashes a week, others experience several in an hour.

Other uncomfortable symptoms

During perimenopause and menopause, a number of women experience chills or an accelerated heart rate. If you experience these symptoms while sleeping, they might wake you up in the night or otherwise make it difficult to get a full night’s rest. This can lead to a less than productive work day.

Other symptoms that frequently accompany menopause include weight gain, depression, and mood swings.

Managing your menopause symptoms

As mentioned, managing your symptoms at home is often much easier than managing them in the workplace or in public. We offer a range of treatment options to help decrease the frequency and severity of hot flashes, many of which can be incorporated at home or throughout the day.

These same treatments can also tame other menopause symptoms like chills, depression, and mood swings.

Lifestyle Changes

Before they consider medication, we advise our patients to make a few lifestyle changes for at least three months. If hot flashes are keeping you awake at night, maintain a cool bedroom and consider drinking water before bed. You should also layer the bedding so you can adjust it as needed throughout the night.

It’s also important to maintain a healthy weight, practice relaxation and stress-reduction techniques, and quit smoking, if applicable.

Hormone Therapy

If lifestyle changes don’t ease your symptoms, we may recommend hormone therapy. During menopause, your body decreases its production of important female hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Hormone therapy supplements the loss, easing your symptoms.

Managing symptoms at work

The previous treatments can help to reduce your chances of experiencing symptoms throughout the day, but here are a few tips to manage your hot flashes should they strike while you’re at work:

If the symptoms of menopause are disrupting your routine, call Jehuda Renan, MD, FACOG in Tarzana, California, or book an appointment online to explore the best treatment options for you.

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