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Horrible clammy sweating/heat
An_252533 posted:
I am 62, post menopausal since 48 (never had children). Still having horrible sweats (clammy) and flashes but different from when I was first menopausal - more like sweats all over rather then "hot" flash/sweats (used to be only from from face or chest area, bad, but not this debilitating). I have to go outside or somewhere to get air (as in the beginning of menopause), but now feels like I am imploding from the inside and being smothered or suffocated - horrible! Sweating can be caused by lack of air, warm/humid temperature, sometimes certain foods or coffee/wine but not always - seem at times to come FOR NO REASON AT ALL. I sweat and become clammy sometimes from everywhere, forehead, under nose, above chin, under lower lip, neck (front and back), chest, upper arms, in fold of elbows, under breasts, lower back, crotch, behind knees, even ankles but not feet! Sometimes I even sweat in the shower (yes, it's possible) which I often take several of daily and am a sweating mess moments after drying. However, I do not sweat more than normally under armpits (odd). I do NOT have these kinds of sweats when exercising or doing yoga - then it is just "normal" sweating. These sweats happen continuoiusly, all day, every day making it extermely uncomfortable to function and sleep. No thyroid problem. Have had tests for other issues (joint pain), but results show nothing unusual. Do take Ropinirole for horrible RLS (side effect can be sweats and I'm under a GREAT deal of stress) but need this med to sleep. I developed a racing/erratic hearbeat a coule of years ago and now take Nadolol for that which has helped. I live in the northeast, so not always high temperatures - only thing that seems to help a little (but not always) is cold flowing air. Is there a specialist for this? Could it be other than menopause related? Please help, seems to be getting worse and worse. My local PC is not much help. I currently live in southeastern NH (originally from Boston area) and will travel anywhere for help.
Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Dear An_252533,
Unfortunately, women can suffer from persistent hot flashes for many years. Indeed, 15% of women will still have moderate to severe flashes 10 years after their last menstrual periods. There are indeed other causes of hot flashes; for example, some medications can have hot flashes as side effects, as well. The two specialties that usually would address this issue would be a gyn endocrinologist, or a medical endocrinologist. To find a menopause specialist near you, I would go to, the website of the North American Menopause Society, which lists certified menopause specialists around the country.
Now that being said: one option would be-and I would only do this under the supervision of a qualified health care provider-would be to try some transdermal prescription estrogen, and see if your sweats resolved. If they did, then you can presume these are menopausally mediated; if they didn't then you could go searching for non menopause causes. That would be one approach.
You sound pretty uncomfortable-good luck,
Mary Jane

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For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website