5 reasons your hot flushes can get worse

Eileen Durward

20 July 2020

Today's topic

Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm going to be talking about five reasons your hot flushes and night sweats can get worse.

"My hot flushes have come back. My hot flushes and night sweats are getting worse. Why is this happening?" This is a really common question that I am asked regularly. So I thought today, I would just go over some of the things that can cause your hot flushes and night sweats to worsen.

What causes hot flushes to be worse and what can help?

The first thing to remember is that menopause is not a static state. Your hormones can go up and down. Even two or three years after your periods have stopped, there can still be slight hormonal fluctuations.

And if you're in a point where your hormones have suddenly dipped or they've started to fall a bit more steeply than normal, then that sudden hormonal shift can be enough to trigger hot flushes, night sweats, and a whole range of other menopause symptoms as well. So sometimes, there isn't a specific reason. It could just be your hormones themselves.

But there are a lot of external things that can trigger them, too. Today I am going to take a look at 5 reasons and explain why they can cause your hot flushes to worsen.

1. Extra stress and anxiety

We know that anything that's going to put added pressure on your nervous system can be a trigger for more hot flushes, more severe hot flushes, or bringing your symptoms back.

And unfortunately, at this moment in time, most of us are extra stressed anyway. And I do know over the last few weeks, the number of women whose symptoms have got worse and it's purely due to the anxiety and the circumstances that are going on at the moment.

2. Weight Gain

Unfortunately, the way our hormones fall, the fact that we may be exercising less, our metabolism can slow down, we may not be changing our diet enough, and all of that can lead to weight gain, and that in itself could be a trigger.

Studies have shown that a higher body mass index is related to a higher prevalence of certain menopause symptoms, including more severe hot flushes.1

3. Diet

Certain foods and drinks can be major triggers. At the moment, our weather is lovely in the UK. We are finally getting out and about a bit more, so what do a lot of us do? We're sitting in the garden in the evening. We're maybe having an extra cup of coffee with our tea. We might be having an extra glass of wine or fizzy drinks, or we're having nibbles. And all of these can trigger our hot flushes and night sweats.

It's all to do with extra salt, extra sugar, extra alcohol, and also, you're looking at things like your coffee and the fizzy drinks.

So just be aware of adding these extra things in, which maybe might not seem a lot. It can be just enough to tip your nervous system over the edge and that can then trigger more of your hot flushes and night sweats.

My Self-Care Tip: How to tell which foods and drinks are triggering your hot flushes

Food and drinks, especially sugary and salty foods and caffeine drinks such as coffee are all common triggers of hot flushes, but there is a simple way to tell if these foods are troublesome for you. Watch my video to find out how to tell which foods and drinks could be triggering your hot flushes.

4. Underlying health issues

When we get to menopausal age, other health problems can creep in, and a lot of them can cause similar symptoms as menopause.

In this situation, you're looking at things like maybe an overactive thyroid or poor thyroid function, generally. Low vitamin D can cause excessive sweating, especially if you get it from the chest and upwards. It could be low iron. It may be low vitamin B12, and it could also be diabetes, too.

So if your symptoms have suddenly got worse, if maybe you're suffering from other symptoms, too, such as fatigue, low mood, anxiety, joint aches and pains, and poor hair and nails, then it might be an idea just to ask your doctor when you can get to see them, to check for these just to rule them out.

5. Hot weather

Hot weather can also make your hot flushes worse. One of the things we tend not to do, at least here in the UK, is that because hot weather can be so sporadic, especially up here in Scotland, is that we don't think that we need any extra water.

But even a few degrees hotter and our body's going to be perspiring that little bit more and that's going to lead to further dehydration.

And we know that dehydration can be a huge issue in a whole range of menopause symptoms, including hot flushes and night sweats.

So the minute the weather starts to get a bit hotter, then remember to up your plain water intake by at least half a litre a day. And sometimes, that can be enough just to settle things down.

I hope you found this helpful.

Need help relieving your hot flushes?

If you are struggling to get your hot flushes and night sweats under control, try Menoforce ® Sage tablets.

Containing extracts of sage herb, these convenient one-a-day tablets are used to relieve excessive sweating, hot flushes and night sweats during the menopause.

Hot Flush Month: Next week...

So over the last few weeks, I've been giving you tips on hot flushes and the things that you can do to help yourself. And next week, I'm going to give you a few extra tips to help you get your hot flushes and night sweats under control, so don't forget to look out for that one next week!

Until next time, take care.


1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170531084443.htm

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