Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Treating Hot Flashes

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!)

Special to The Enterprise

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

    Going green at church, school, everywhere

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

     
    Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

    Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    UCD to host Global Health Day event

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

    Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 3 Comments

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    ‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Event to provide nature scholarship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Online K-12 school holds info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Schwenger lawn signs available

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Volunteers needed for Grad Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Davis grad makes rain collection a business

    By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    A few spots left on history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Students have new options on leasing front

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Groups join for a day of service

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Food for the hungry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

    .

    Forum

    Dad makes mom look bad

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    In search of great ideas

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Please keep the nursery open

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Early help is a great investment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    More tax money? Answer the question

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

     
    UCD IS responsible for students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    ‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

    Acacia at Huntington Square

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Jamie Madison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Yolo FCU

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Travis Credit Union

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

    Kim Eichorn

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Suzanne Kimmel

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Lynne Wegner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Kim Merrel Lamb

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Patricia Echevarria

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Chris Snow

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Andrew Dowling

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Sheryl Patterson

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Don Guthrie

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Heather Barnes

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Julie Partain & Dick Partain

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Malek Baroody

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Willowbank Park

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Team Traverso

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Julie Leonard

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tim Harrison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tracy Harris

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Lori Prizmich

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Raul Zamora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Joe Kaplan

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20