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Menopause

Surgical Menopause Side Effects

10/28/2010

Question:

I recently had a hysterectomy (1 month ago) and I’m so sorry I did. Now at age 52, I was "shocked" into menopause. Can you please advise me on what to do about these hot flashes? It’s new to me and I’m so depressed because of the decision I made to have this procedure done. The flashes are pretty much unbearable and it happens all day and especially at night. I can’t sleep anymore! Please help me!

Answer:

You are definitely experiencing surgical menopause. To deal with the hot flashes, first, wear layers, so that you can remove, or add, a layer as needed. Wear only natural fibers (cotton, linen, wool), no synthetics (like nylon which may be your sleeping clothes). 

Try to avoid big changes in temperature (hard if you're in autumn weather that is variable), but maintain the temperature in your home. Do not "throw the covers off"; rather just put one arm or leg outside the covers, and you will cool off without getting cold, and making the hot flashes worse. 

If you are aware that any particular foods (coffee, highly spiced dishes, etc) make the hot flashes worse, try to avoid them. 

If you keep a "diary" of your hot flashes, what you were doing before it started, you may become aware of certain foods, or activities, that are associated with them and then you can (try to) avoid those things also. Good luck.

For more information:

Go to the Menopause health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Linda A Bernhard, PhD, RN Linda A Bernhard, PhD, RN
Associate Professor Emeritus
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University