HOT FLASH: Chill Out with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–By 2030, there will be 1.2 billion women who are 50+ in menopause suffering with over 34 different symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings, dryness, gum problems, changes in body odor, weight gain, sexual issues and more.

“Menopause is natural and every women goes through the change of life,” says Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor Dept Ob/Gyn, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and co-author of V is for Vagina. “Menopause is not an illness but you can treat the symptoms, which can be disruptive, uncomfortable and embarrassing,” says Dweck.

Hormones, hot flashes and jalapenos. Here are a few useful solutions to key menopausal symptoms and easy fixes from Dr. Dweck:

  1. Weight Gain: Many women, even those who exercise regularly and have a healthful diet gain weight, especially around the belly and hips. Weight-bearing exercise, cardio and proper diet are vital. For some, hormone replacement can help. Stress reduction is essential for the body and mind.
  2. Hot Flashes: Hot flashes are common and can flare up anytime. Stay cool by wearing light layers of clothing with natural wicking fibers, use fans and keep your bedroom cool at night. Consider dietary manipulation and stress reduction. Ask your doctor about medications, like Effexor and Brisdell, to relieve hot flashes.
  3. Vaginal Dryness: Hot flashes and night sweats may eventually go away, but decreases in estrogen cause vaginal tissues to become thin, less elastic and dry causing pain during intimacy, discomfort, itching, and irritation even among those who are not sexually active. A combination of Replens Moisturizer once every 3 days and a silicone lubricant like Replens Silky Smooth just before sex can alleviate painful sex.
  4. Night Sweats & Sleep Disorders: Hot flashes often gang up at night and lack of sleep can take a toll on your body, impacting energy levels, emotions, weight gain, and libido. Lowering the thermostat at night and using cooling sheets and pillows can alleviate the severity. Try taking melatonin or ask your doc about a prescription to help you get a full night’s rest.
  5. Low Libido: Sex increases good health and vitality. The oxytocin released with hugging, stimulation and orgasm can increase feelings of calm and safety and cortisol levels drop and sleep may improve. During orgasm, there is also an increased release of prolactin, which helps you fall asleep faster and more efficiently. Women suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) might have a new medication option, Flibanserin, recently recommended for approval by the FDA.
  6. Nutrition: Want to enhance libido? Consider this amino acid! Try arginine to boost sex drive naturally found in granola, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, eggs, coconut milk and root veggies. Aphrodisiacs including chocolate, red wine, oysters, bananas, avocado, salmon and walnuts, chile peppers, figs, honey and soy promote blood flow and lubrication.