Debilitating Hot Flashes… Is this really happening to me?

Debilitating Hot Flashes… Is this really happening to me? post image

I remember my mother going through them.

But I was young.

And at that time of course she seemed SO old.

She would be hot, then cold, then hot, then cold.  I seriously just thought she was different.

And now here I am… sleep deprived with a fan on my desk and a jug full of emergency ice water, contemplating moving my office to a walk in freezer, thinking to myself SERIOUSLY?????  Hot Flashes SUCK!

Typically I’m writing about things I know a whole lot about, sharing what I know with you.  But on this one I’m stumped, and I need your help.

They came on hard and fast about a month ago.

I was on vacation with my family in upstate New York and kept thinking my body being on fire was due to the humidity that I wasn’t used to.

My home is in high desert country so it made sense right?  I never did well with heat and humidity anyway.

I kept waking up in the middle of the night sweating… pushing covers off myself.  Then I would wake up freezing, pulling covers back on.

Back to high desert home we went.

And my flashed not only persisted… but worsened.

Okay, perhaps I have a bug?  Yeah, that’s it, I must have picked something up during my travels.  (smile)  Ah yes that much be it.

Tick tock the days go by, then weeks, and my hot flashes are still there.

Then the realization… NO FREAKING WAY!  But I’m only 44!  It’s too early!

But ah no, come to find out it’s not too early and this apparently is not uncommon.

Since I’m a research hound I’ve read everything I could get my hands on and discovered “perimenopause”, the period of time before “true” menopause, has women experiencing hot flashes and a whole host of lovely consequences of hot flashes such as exhaustion, disorientation, fogginess, depression, etc.

Lovely… just lovely.

Since at present my hot flashes are happening almost every hour of the day it looks like I’m on the extreme end of the scale as far as frequency, although mine are quick and not as severe as others.  That’s at least according to my limited research with colleagues and friends in their 40’s and 50’s who when I ask them if they have experienced this, nod their heads sympathetically, chiming in unison, “Ahhhhh yes, welcome to the club Kristin.”

So I’m reaching out to my FAB Sisters… can you share your experiences and what you have done to make life more pleasant while going through this lovely “period” (no pun!).

With love,

Your “still hot, just comes in flashes” FAB Sister,

Kristin

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • *****UPDATE*****

    Well after months of no sleep and my life truly turned upside down because of extreme exhaustion, I called my doctor.

    They put me on Estradiol, the lowest daily dosage, and within a week I was having next to no hot flashes and actually sleeping again. Now 2 weeks later I rarely ever have a hot flash and if I do it’s barely noticeable. I’m finally am sleeping through the night and feeling “normal” once again.

    While I really wanted to not take the HRT route I truly had no choice. The sleep deprivation the hot flashes was causing was literally devastating. I was exhausted at work, grumpy, and generally miserable.

    Now I’m smiling again and feeling so much better.

    Everyone is different and needs to make the choices that’s right for her. For me, this is right.

    Never so happy to put my head on the pillow ~ Your FAB Sister ~ Kristin <3

  • Hi, I too had an early menopause starting with hot flushes and not sleeping from age 39, it comes and goes over a couple of years and then when you have not had a period for a good 2yrs they call you post menopausal. I didn’t take HRT, just tried to look after myself. I got checked up again recently at 43 just to see if there was anything I should consider and the one thing is Calcium supplements. When you have early menopause you need to guard against Osteoporosis in later life. Even if you are doing plenty of strength exercise its a good idea to supplement. Get your hormones checked too just to rule out anything else. You soon forget women even have periods!

    • Great to know Heather. I appreciate you passing along that tidbit!

      With love ~Kristin <3

  • Hi Kristin,

    I have read that the DIM supplement will really help with some of these issues. It helps to regulate your hormones. I have been taking it for about 14 days now and have noticed less acne, breast tenerness and PMS. I’m 42 and hoping to regulate now before the flashes. Might be worth checking into for you.

    Good luck! I’m so happy that women are sticking together and sharing what is working for them. We are all in this together!

    • Thank you Sarah!!!!

      Isn’t our community wonderful? LOVE LOVE LOVE our FAB gals!

      With love ~Kristin <3

  • For me I to have trouble sleeping now, I use to sleep like a baby .I get hot flashes at night I noticed when I eat to much carbs at night, You probabley know that. Not sleeping is the worst, I hope you get some relief soon.

    • Yes! Carbs at night ALWAYS do that to me! They give me nightmares too. Does that happen to you?

      With love ~Kristin <3

  • I suffered from these for a few years and now, thankfully, I only get one rarely. Bio-identical progesterone cream, prescribed by my naturopath, compounded by a pharmacy was the only thing that helped. (Though you must stop taking it every few weeks for a week or so because your body adapts to it.) Take a little break and then when you start back up, it will work again. I also suffered and still suffer from sleep deprivation, though the cream helped with that as well. The only way I survived those years at work was to wear very light and airy shells with a light jacket or cardigan over. I was lucky, nobody knew when I was having one and I tried to be discrete when I ripped off my jacket, but I have friends whose faces turn fire red when they get one and the whole world knows. I think the thing that annoyed me most was when I’d say I was hot, people would laugh at me-it is NOT funny! But I discovered that there are other things to look forward to when you complete this cycle that are far more worrisome–changes to your skin, hair, nails and changes to your, ahem, hoo ha. Learn about this, it’s important! If you are single for a long time, as I was, and you meet someone special, you could be in for a very upsetting and uncomfortable surprise in that department. I found out that the same goes for women as does men, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Thank goodness for HRT options for down there. You are smart to have ice water handy, sometimes, just putting the palm of your hand on something cold will help. Hang in there, keep reading and learning, find a good, compassionate gyn or naturopath and get some help! It’s not worth suffering when there are options that might help.

    • T Anne!!!! I was just wondering the other day how you’re doing. 🙂 So nice to hear from you! And thank you so much for your advice. It’s so funny, just like diet and exercise, there is SO much conflicting information all over the internet. But unlike diet and exercise, on this topic I’m clueless! LOL

      With love ~Kristin <3

  • I’m curious…besides the Hot flashes ect., have you noticed any change in appetite, weight gain or metabolism?
    If so, what measures have you taken to get things back to “normal”?

    • Hi Julana,

      I haven’t noticed any other changes/symptoms. Just the hot flashes, which has disrupted my sleep so much that it makes the rest of my life pretty tough. Ironically I never really have slept much anyway. I used to be able to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep every night without issue. But now since I wake up every hour and a half or so I’m simply wiped out.

      With love ~Kristin <3

  • Menopause from everything that I now believe based on a lot of articles,books and health related pod-casts, is that menopause not meant to be hell. Its all about hormones/ lifestyle. One really great resource, is a gynecologist who believes that menopause is just another phase in life, she will tell you get your hormones in balance and it will be smooth sailing….so that is what I am doing….I’m doing great and I’m 46 and feel great! Check her out…:)
    http://www.saragottfriedmd.com/

    • Thanks Tina! I checked out her website… very interesting stuff. I greatly appreciate your insight.

      With love ~Kristin <3

  • There is a history of hormonal issues in my family so when things started feeling off I started my research. I would highly recommend checking out BioTe Medical. I had all my blood work done and found out my thyroid was low (within range but, still low) I was estrogen dominant and had less testosterone in my system than a POSTmenopausal woman. I’m 34!! My vitamin D levels were as well which is odd because I’m very outdoorsy. After having all of these corrected, I feel amazing!! They even treated my thyroid which my primary dr wouldn’t touch because it was “within range”. BioTe’s theory is basically this, your kid can pass with a 70 but if they can make 100, wouldn’t you want that? So even though I passed the thyroid, I was making 70’s, now I’m making 100 and it’s awesome! As for the other hormones, things are leveled off and they have a client for life! My workouts have improved, my definition is starting to finally show, I could go on and on…. Good luck to you!!

    • Wow Liz! 34? I guess I shouldn’t be complaining huh! Thank you so much for the information. I will definitely check them out.

      With love ~Kristin <3

  • Ah yes…I know hot flashes well! I would be sitting at a meeting, my hair completely soaked from sweat and my sweater would be stuck to me like a wet t-shirt contest! Then came the sleepless nights and I thought I would indeed fry from the inside out. I kept on like this for about a year when I noticed a definite change in my skin tone. After going to my GYN did I find out that indeed I was going through menopause. Now my mother never said anything about hot flashes ever but she did have sweat dripping off her nose now and again and always had a hankie on hand that she would dap at her face. I tried the HRT in pill form but it made me feel sick so when I went back to my GYN he suggested that I may benefit by using a bio-identical hormone in crème form. The pharmacy compounds this crème and I only use a chocolate chip drop on my wrist once a day (it said to use twice a day but I found once a day works fine). In three days of starting this crème I was smiling and no more hot/cold flashes. I also found that if I’m a little dehydrated I do not sleep as well but sleep in general is a lot better. I have been using this for about 3 years and feel so, so much better. Oh, and the pharmacy mails it to me, I just have to get my yearly checkup with the Dr’s prescription.

    • Luanne you’re awesome. Sounds like our experiences are similar. I’m really super sensitive to any medication/foreign stuff as well so it’s very possible any HRT in pill form might make me sick too. I’m hearing more and more goods things about the bio-identical hormone in creme form.

      Thank you!!!

      With love ~Kristin <3

  • I agree with hope above; we don’t want to admit it but the time comes for every woman to enjoy hot flashes. Good news is no more periods and that is a welcome relief. It has been two years for me. My hot flashes often subside quickly if I drink cold water. Dress in layers so you can whip the top layer off.

    • Yes… I’m finding the more I view it as a natural part of life and life’s stages, the easier it is to accept. The worst part is the lack of sleep though. For me it’s simply difficult just to function with waking up every hour or so. I know I can’t go years like this so I’m on the hunt for relief. 🙂

      With love ~Kristin <3

  • I had my first few hot flushes after knee surgery and thought it was all down to the drugs during and after the procedure then I noticed my periods were erratic and different subtle changes led me to talk to my doctor who tested me several times and established yes at 46 (Also way too young :-() I was menopausal. I jumped on the HRT wagon after reading and hopefully making an informed decision. The hot flashes have stopped, the foggy brain is going and I feel near normal. There’s hope, whether its medical intervention or a natural choice there’s options it just takes a lot of research which is hard when your brain starts being foggy and your patience level is zero !!!! Great resources are Dr Dr. Christiane Northrup and Suzanne Somers .

    • Thanks Julia! You are so right on about patience wearing thin. When they first came on for me they were more of an inconvenience than anything. But pretty quickly, within weeks actually, they have become so frequent that they are simply awful. I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on and am frankly more confused than ever about what works and what doesn’t. It looks like it just comes down to trying different things until we find solutions that work for us individually.

      With love ~Kristin <3

  • I know, your body is doing what it is designed to do. This winter you will love them. But, in the gym I just breath and laugh. What else are we to do, most medicines that are prescribed have side effects that well, I would rather heat up that deal with them. There are a few mother earth remedies, that work also. But, they take a few weeks of consistent ingestion. And for some they quit working after a few months. So Smile and deal my dear.

    • Yes, hot flashes are terrible. Menopause struck me at 43, very severe, 40 or more hot flashes a day. I tried all the over the counter supplements and the only effective treatments I discovered were progesterone cream, and after that stopped working I had to see my doctor for hormone replacement therapy which I’ve used for two years plus. I’m a healthcare provider and I tried all the exercise and diet suggestions to no avail. Best wishes.

      • Sarah has HRT worked for you? My hot flashes are probably as severe and frequent as yours were so I’m curious to hear your outcome.

        With love ~Kristin <3

    • Thank you Hope! Your words of encouragement are wonderful. 🙂

      With love ~Kristin <3