Sunday, July 27, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Treating Hot Flashes

By
From page A16 | November 04, 2012 |

By Michael Goodman, M.D.

Hot flashes are the most common bothersome symptom of menopause. Your hot flashes may occur during the day or at night (also known as night sweats). They may be mild and tolerable, moderate and troublesome, or severe and debilitating.

Hot flashes get better with time. While most women have hot flashes for a few years, some women have them for decades. It is not known why some women have severe hot flashes for many years, while others have no hot flashes, or mild ones that resolve quickly. If your hot flashes are mild or moderate, you may find relief by changing your lifestyle, or utilizing botanicals. If you have severe hot flashes, you may still benefit from lifestyle changes, but also may choose to take a nonprescription remedy or a prescription medication, including hormones.

Lifestyle changes: Researchers find that women with hot flashes have more sensitive thermostats in their brain, so are comfortable only in a small range of temperatures. Staying cool and reducing stress are the principal lifestyle changes to treat your hot flashes.

Avoid warm rooms, hot drinks, hot foods, alcohol, caffeine, excess stress and cigarette smoking. ”Layer” clothing.

To reduce stress and promote more restful sleep, exercise regularly, but not too close to bedtime. Meditation, yoga or tai chi, biofeedback, acupuncture, or massage also will lower your stress levels.

When a hot flash is starting, try “paced respiration” — slow, deep, abdominal breathing, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe only 5-7 times per minute, much more slowly than usual.

Try different strategies to stay cool while sleeping. Dress in light, breathable nightclothes. Use layered bedding that can be easily removed during the night. Cool down with a bedside fan. Keep a frozen cold pack or bag of frozen peas under your pillow, and turn the pillow often so that your head is always resting on a cool surface. If you wake at night, sip cool water. Try different techniques for getting back to sleep, such as mediation, paced respiration, or getting out of bed and reading until you become sleepy.

Women who are overweight have more hot flashes, so follow a careful diet and exercise regularly to decrease bothersome hot flashes and improve your overall health.

Nonprescription remedies: Although many nonprescription remedies reduce hot flashes, it’s likely that this is due to the “placebo effect.” When nonprescription treatments are studied scientifically, they typically are as effective as a placebo. Even if relief is due to the placebo effect, you can expect your hot flashes to decrease by approximately 30% with most nonprescription remedies, such as soy or acupuncture.

Nonprescription products do not receive careful oversight from the government and generally are not studied carefully enough to know all potential risks and side effects, especially with long-term use. Consider purchasing products made in North America that follow good manufacturing practices.

Nonprescription options you may consider for hot flash relief include the following:

Soy: Eat one or two servings of soy foods daily (containing isoflavones). Low-fat varieties of tofu, tempeh, soymilk, or roasted soy nuts are good choices. Supplements containing soy isoflavones, such as Promensil, reduce hot flashes in some studies.

Herbs: Supplements containing certain herbs like black cohosh, such as Remifemin, decrease hot flashes in some studies.

Prescription therapies: The following prescription medications reduce hot flashes more than placebos in scientific studies.

Hormonal options: As hot flashes are “about estrogen” (or lack thereof), prescription hormone therapy with estrogen is the most effective treatment for hot flashes and the only government-approved treatment., Studies show that benefits often outweigh risks for healthy women under age 60 with moderate to severe hot flashes.

If it has not been a full year since your last period and you are a healthy nonsmoker, you may consider a combination estrogen-progestin birth control pill. This will provide contraception, hot flash relief, and regular periods.

Testosterone (a female hormone also!) can be helpful, especially relieving nighttime sweats, in women with lower testosterone levels. Make sure your doctor is savvy on which test to order (a “regular” testosterone test is worthless.

Nonhormonal options: When hormones are not an option, you may consider the following nonhormonal medications. They are more effective than placebos in scientific studies, though not as effective as hormone therapy.

Sleeping medications will not reduce your hot flashes but may help you sleep through them. Available both by prescription and nonprescription (such as Benadryl).

Certain drugs approved to treat depression reduce hot flashes in women without depression

Gabapentin (Neurontin) is a drug approved to treat epilepsy, migraine, and nerve pain, but it also reduces hot flashes And can help with sleep. It needs to be started slowly…

If in doubt or when you need specialized help, see a North American Menopause Society- Certified Menopause Practitioned (visit www.menopause .org for a list of practitioners near you!)

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

Zombies by rail: It’s not just a show, it’s a trip

By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Fatal Covell Boulevard crash recalled in court

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

Humphrey Fellows will host Global Forum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Community gardens stretch food dollars, study finds

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Wildfire spurs evacuation of 700 homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
State can’t say if it’s meeting drought goal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Rairdan joins race for Davis school board

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Ukraine launches offensive to retake Donetsk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Israel extends Gaza truce through Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

New ordinance aims to prevent nut thefts from orchards

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Luna family matriarch turns 100

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
 
Discussion of oil by rail EIR planned Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Mace Innovation Center is focus of meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Freeway crash injures two drivers

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

Museum wants your old Davis High School yearbooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Affordable housing forum planned in Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Protesters gather at Primate Center

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

 
State awards $40,000 for historic property survey

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A8

Free blood pressure screenings offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Vanguard hosts economic development director

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Get a sneak peek at documentary trailer

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Davis Chamber Choir sings short summer program

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9

Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A9

 
At the Pond: From Davis, it’s easy to get back to nature

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Tickets on sale now for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Forum

Feels like a million miles away

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

 
Here’s what you need for a perfect wedding

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Check doctors’ vitals before they check yours

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Husband’s let himself go

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

 
Questions on water rights

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16, 1 Comment

Campus turns on the tap

By Our View | From Page: A16

 
So, what’s in a week’s worth of waste?

By Michelle Millet | From Page: A16

Pat Oliphant cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A16

 
Golf tourney was a big success

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16

We can do more to help

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

 
New playground is wonderful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

Just Us in Davis: Little Rock Nine hero to celebrate with Davis youths

By Jann L. Murray-Garcia | From Page: A17 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

Sutherland presents 1st clinic; golf column on its way

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
New Korematsu teacher is an American Ninja Warrior

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Furyk opens 3-shot lead in Canadian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Gray wins 6th straight, A’s 4 HRs beat Texas 5-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Kershaw throws 2-hitter as Dodgers beat Giants 5-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Nibali set to cruise to Tour victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Area sports briefs: River Cats take Game 1 of doubleheader

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Companies will collaborate on crop insect control

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13

 
Developer’s commitments: affordable and green

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13 | Gallery

Lagerstrom represents Davis at Mary Kay seminar

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

 
UC Davis Health System earns ‘Most Wired’ award

By Charles Casey | From Page: A15

Bartholomew hires new associate

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A15

Go back to school with Great Clips

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
.

Obituaries

Carlton Hope Meister

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Jonathan Eric Hollander

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, July 27, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A6