How Do I Handle Hot Flashes?

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Dear Ellen,

I am in my early fifties.   I am having night sweats and hot flashes now.  Is there anything I can do to reduce the frequency?  I would be willing to eliminate things from my diet, too.  Anything that would help get my life back to normal.

Sincerely, Flashing Frequently

Dear Flashing Frequently,

I am so happy you reached out for support!

You are not alone: Hot flashes occur in more than two-thirds of North American women during perimenopause. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits all solution to menopausal symptoms.  Every woman is unique!

I encourage women to find a menopause specialist to help them with their journey. This may not be the doctor who delivered your babies! Your menopause specialist will be up on the latest studies and research and together with your health history can create an individualized program just for you to tackle those hot flashes!  I have a list of many that have been recommended by the sisterhood in my Menopause Specialist Directory. If you can’t find one in my directory, here are some easy tips to help you find one in your area.

There are lots of options for treating hot flashes! Since every woman is different, you will have to explore which option work best for you.
Options needing prescriptions:

  • Hormone therapy Advances in hormones and a wide variety of delivery systems, from pills to patches to gels, have made HT a viable and effective treatment for many symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.
  • SSRIs(selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRI (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors)
  • Gabapentin ia an anti-seizure drug which also relieves hot flashes in some women.
  • Duavee is a conjugated estrogens/bazedoxifene formula designed to treat hot flashes.

Non-prescription options:

Some women find help with black cohosh. You can find this ingredient in Remifemin. I interviewed Dr. Hofstater from Yale Cancer Center for my Menopause Mondays: Breast Cancer and Menopause blog. Dr. Hofstater told me that she was studying the use of Remifemin (estrogen-free black cohosh) in early-stage breast cancer, specifically for her patients with DCIS.  She wanted to see if a few weeks of Remifemin taken before surgery could reduce cell proliferation in areas of DCIS.

You can also try: acupuncture, yoga, meditation, reducing your alcohol intake and caffeine (especially before bed), cut back on spicy foods, and try a Mediterranean Diet to help reduce your weight.  Try to reduce stress.

I usually recommend trying one thing a  time to see what works best for you.

There is lots of great information at EllenDolgen.com.  Use the search button and search away!  In addition, be sure to download my free  Menopause Symptoms Chart.  I encourage women to fill this out for at least two weeks before their doctor’s appointment and then bring this into their specialist to help them explain quickly and easily how they feel….together with the proper blood work…………they can get the individualized help that they need and deserve!

Good Luck!  Keep me posted!

Remember: Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN! 
Ellen

After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM, was born.

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