DrupalWomenQ-#6779

What are some ways to control hot flashes without any medications?

One Answer;

  1. Staness Jonekos wrote on :

    Almost 75% of women going through menopause experience hot flashes. Hot flashes can usually be reduced or eliminated completely with lifestyle changes, nonprescription remedies, and prescription therapies.

    A few NON-prescription options:

    1. Lifestyle changes in diet (eat healthy real foods, watch portions, maintain and ideal weight, consume low to medium glycemic foods)
    2. Exercise most days of the week
    3. Keep track of your hot flash triggers: stress, alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, heat – and avoid them.
    4. Enjoy a massage or relaxing bath – manage stress.
    5. If you smoke, now is a good time to stop.
    6. Some herbs may be helpful in relieving hot flashes.

    According to The North American Menopause Society:

    –Black cohosh:
    This herb has received quite a bit of scientific attention for its possible effects on hot flashes. While results are mixed, some women report that it has helped them. Recent research suggests that black cohosh does not act like estrogen, as once thought. This fact reduces concerns about its effect on hormone-sensitive tissue such as the uterus and breast. Black cohosh has had a good safety record over a number of years although recent reports linking black cohosh to liver problems are being studied.
    –Red clover:
    In five controlled studies, no consistent or conclusive evidence was found that red clover leaf extract reduces hot flashes. As with black cohosh, however, some women claim that red clover has helped them. Studies report few side effects and no serious health problems with use. But studies in animals have raised concerns that red clover might have harmful effects on hormone-sensitive tissue.
    –Dong quai:
    Dong quai has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat gynecologic conditions for more than 1,200 years. Yet only one randomized clinical study of dong quai has been conducted to determine its effects on hot flashes; it found that dong quai was not effective. Some experts in Chinese medicine pointed out that the preparation studied was not the same as the one commonly used in practice.
    Due to its possible effect on the blood clotting process, Dong quai should never be used by women with fibroids, blood-clotting problems, or by women taking drugs that affect clotting such as warfarin (Coumadin).
    –Ginseng:
    Although it has been suggested that ginseng may help with some menopausal symptoms, such as mood and sleep disturbances, and with one’s overall sense of well-being, it has not been found to be helpful for hot flashes. Some types of ginseng may affect blood sugar levels, therefore it should be used with caution by people who have diabetes.
    –Kava:
    Kava may decrease anxiety, but there is no evidence that it decreases hot flashes. The FDA has issued a warning to patients and providers about kava’s potential to damage the liver. Because of this concern, Health Canada does not allow kava to be sold in Canada.
    –Evening primrose oil:
    This botanical is also promoted to relieve hot flashes. However, the only randomized, placebo-controlled study (in only 56 women) found no benefit over placebo (mock medication). Reported side effects include inflammation, problems with blood clotting and the immune system, nausea, and diarrhea. It has been shown to induce seizures in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia who are taking antipsychotic medication. Evening primrose oil should not be used with anticoagulants or phenothiazines (a type of psychotherapeutic agent). It is thought to be helpful to treat breast tenderness.

    Of course, as with all therapies, there are risks involved. The public usually takes herbal therapies in the form of supplement pills, not as a preparation made directly from the herb by a trained herbalist. Keep in mind that herbal supplements are not as closely regulated as prescription drugs. The amount of herbal product, quality, safety, and purity may vary between brands or even between batches of the same brand. Herbal therapies may also interact with prescription dugs, resulting in dramatic changes in the effect of the botanical, the drug, or both.

    To be safe, tell your healthcare providers about all botanical therapies you are considering and always stop all herbal treatments at least 2 weeks before any planned surgery.

    Hope this helps and thank you for asking such a great question.

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