Perimenopause & Menopause Q&A: 3 summer issues and symptoms

Eileen Durward
Ask Eileen

17 June 2024

1. Can menopause cause hayfever?

The answer is yes, and there are several reasons for this. We know that falling hormones can affect immune function, causing you to be that little bit more vulnerable to anything that's going around.

If you're physically stressed, which is very common with all the hormonal changes going on, and you've also got daily stress from your day-to-day life on top of that, all of these emotional and physical pressures can affect your immune function as well.

So, if that happens you can just be that little bit more susceptible to allergy triggers, such as pollen.

What can help in this situation?

Nettle is a fabulous natural antihistamine. Taking a nettle tincture or even just a couple of cups of nettle tea per day, can often make quite a difference. If you usually get hayfever at this time of the year, but you're finding now you're in the perimenopause and menopause that symptoms are getting worse or you're getting it earlier, then start off with nettle a couple of weeks before symptoms normally appear. That way, you're preparing the body to help it.

Vitamin C is really important as well. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine too, but the secret of vitamin C helping in this situation is little and often. Vitamin C is water-soluble, so, if you take one high-strength tablet a day, whatever your body doesn't need, will just pass out through your urine. In this situation, when you're using vitamin C as a natural antihistamine, a low dose, several times a day, can be more effective than one really heavy-duty dose once a day.

There are also quite a few hayfever remedies you can try. We have several in our Pollinosan range. We've got Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets, which are for general hay fever symptoms. We also have Pollinosan Nasal Spray, for nasal irritation and blocked noses, and Pollinosan Eye Drops for itchy eyes.

Also, when dealing with high levels of histamine produced through allergic reactions, remember to drink lots of water and keep everything flushed.

2. The warmer nights are making my night sweats worse, what can help?

Experiencing more night sweats during the warmer months can be a common problem, and it's quite logical really. The warmer the nights become, the more your body’s temperature control can go wonky. And it tends to go wonky anyway due to all the hormonal changes, and that's why you get hot flushes and/or night sweats. During the summer months when it's a lot warmer at night, then your temperature regulation will kick in a lot more often to keep you cool, and that's why your night sweats either appear or if you already get them, they tend to get worse.

What can help?

Try to keep your bedroom as cool as you can. If your bedroom faces the sun during the day, then the best thing you can do is to keep your blinds or curtains shut so that your room is not heated up to start with.

If you don't have much ventilation, you should open your windows to let the air in, but if you live in a noisy environment, you may have difficulty sleeping.

Keep your bedroom door as wide open as possible to allow the cooler air to circulate. You can also get things like cooling pillows now which are great, especially if you get really sweaty behind the hairline, behind your neck and shoulders, and on your face during the night.

Go for natural bedding. It's really important because if you're using synthetic sheets and duvet covers, they can keep the heat in. So bedding such as cotton sheets and a very fine summer duvet are more suitable.

Some people find that fleece under blankets can be really helpful. I've been told by someone that they found this very helpful but it needs to be real sheep's wool. If you put that under your sheets or even lie on it, then the wool actually absorbs all the sweat from you, and it helps keep you cool. If you have nice thin ones, these sheets can be rinsed basically every day, so if you have two, just alternate night after night.

You can have a quiet fan going in the bedroom too if you find the air is very stifling. And of course, we have our registered Menoforce Sage tablets for the relief of flushes and night sweats. In this situation, it is best to take this one-a-day tablet with your evening meal.

A.Vogel Menoforce Sage Tablets

  • 3400mg of fresh sage tincture per tablet
  • Convenient one-a-day dosage
  • Licensed herbal remedy for menopausal hot flushes and night sweats

Great quick delivery, been using sage for about 4 months and really noticed a difference with my hot flushes, they are much less now and I don't sweat of a night I only get hot.

Read more customer reviews

3. Are hives a symptom of perimenopause and menopause?

Yes, absolutely. Now, there can be two parts to this one. A lot of people find that when they go on holiday abroad, they get hives or prickly heat anyway, and it's just due to a sudden jump in temperature, maybe humidity too. But it can also just be due to the fact that again, your temperature regulation is much more sensitive during perimenopause and menopause, and when the weather just goes up a few degrees, you end up getting prickly heat.

It can also be due to stress triggering histamine and adrenaline. So, if life is very stressful, and if you're finding that you're struggling a bit with perimenopause or menopause symptoms, then these are going to make you much more vulnerable to things like prickly heat as well.

What can help?

In this situation, because of the histamine aspect, make sure that you drink lots of water to keep everything well flushed. And the herb nettle again can be helpful. Have a couple of cups of nettle tea a day or if they're a little bit severe or stubborn, then go for something like a nettle tincture taken two to three times a day. If there's a lot of stress going on, we've got our Stress Relief Daytime or AvenaCalm, which can be used.

Another important thing to bear in mind is that low vitamin D or a vitamin D deficiency can also trigger hives. Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem in the UK and Ireland. That's why I always recommend getting your levels checked during perimenopause and menopause because vitamin D deficiency can mimic lots of menopause symptoms.

Having a general deficiency will make you much more prone to things like hives, but what we also tend to do now, because of sun damage, is put sunscreen on before going out into the sun, which means we're not actually allowing our skin to manufacture the vitamin D that it needs.

Unless you're very sensitive, have problems with the sun, or have been told to avoid sunlight for any specific reason, then I recommend getting out into the sunlight, maybe just for about half an hour before you put your sunscreen on. I do that. I’m lucky that in Scotland, the sun never gets too damagingly hot. But if I'm out, I always have at least half an hour without sunscreen to allow my body to manufacture some natural vitamin D before I make sure that I'm well protected.

I hope you found this one helpful, as these are very common questions at this time of year. If any of you have any other questions about symptoms that have maybe gotten worse because of the hot weather, then just ask away. I'm always happy to help.

And please share your stories. Again, if you experienced any of these, what did you do to help yourself? You know, I always love hearing your stories.

Until next time, take care and have a lovely week.

You may also find these topics helpful:

6 ways menopause can weaken your immune system

Menopause and night sweats: 6 common questions answered

6 surprising skin problems during menopause

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Menoforce® – Sage herb for menopausal hot flushes

30 tablets

€ 20.23

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One-a-day tablet for menopausal hot flushes and night sweats. Also available in 90 tablet size.
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