Menopause gets a bad rap and deservedly so, but some menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, may not be caused by menopause. It might be because we’re not taking proper care of ourselves.
Here’s my story (remember, it’s my story and not medical advice). I’m well within my menopause years and had suffered from my share of hot flashes. I found a solution to my hot flashes so I no longer suffer with them.
Unexpected Night Sweats
Not too long ago I started suffering from night sweats. These night sweats weren’t like hot flashes. With hot flashes, I used to get the pre-flash tingling. There was no tingling with these night sweats. The only clue of my nightly sweats was damp sleepwear. I wasn’t uncomfortable or overheated, just noticed that my night clothes had been sweat through.
Around the same week of my night sweats, I also noticed periodic heart palpitations during the day. In addition to the palpitations, I developed a headache that wouldn’t quit. Normally when I get a headache I know that it’s my body’s way of telling me that something wasn’t right. Usually, I’m dehydrated, hungry or tired.
When I first got the headache in the beginning of the week, I increased my fluid intake which didn’t do anything to mitigate the headache. Then I ate a meal thinking that would help it but it didn’t. I knew I was in trouble when the headache persisted during my sleep hours. I’ve never had a headache that hurt when I slept.
Solving the Night Sweat Problem
After the third day, I knew I had to ramp things up a bit. What I discovered that I was causing my own problems. I have a tendency to go for long stretches of time between meals (I’m talking 6, 7 or 8-hour gaps). I’m not one to run to the doctor often so I thought I’d do a quick research online to find out what the possible causes could be.
The apparent recurring diagnosis to match my symptoms was low blood sugar (aka hypoglycemia). I had a mild case that was trying to tiptoe its way into a moderate case. The symptoms I found were a hand in glove fit for what I was feeling. Last time I had low blood sugar problems was during pregnancy.
A Few Simple Dietary Changes
Because I was feeling rode hard and put up wet (my hubby’s favorite saying), I knew it was time to make some changes (no matter how much I hated to eat breakfast). I immediately started eating small meals spaced no more than 2 hours apart. If you’re used to going long spaces of time between meals, eating frequently is difficult. I had to set my timer to remind myself to eat.
Within 24 hours of eating small meals throughout the day, my headache was gone. Shortly thereafter, the palpitations and handshakes also disappeared. My energy level started to return and I was feeling a lot better. Oh, and the night sweats, they disappeared after the first 24 hours. In other words, the symptoms that I would have attributed to menopause were not menopausal symptoms at all. It was the result of low blood sugar and inconsistent eating patterns.
Knowing Yourself and Your Body
All too often we run to the medicine cabinet or fill a prescription to quell an unwanted symptom. Between the night sweats, heart palpitations, headaches and general run down feeling, I could have taken a bevy of drugs to quiet the symptoms. Instead, I chose to give my body what it really needed.
This is not medical advice, just one person’s story.