How Are Hot Flashes Usually Treated
Traditionally, hot flashes have been treated with oral or transdermal forms of estrogen. Hormone therapy , also referred to as hormone replacement therapy or postmenopausal hormone therapy , consists of estrogens or a combination of estrogens and progesterone . Oral and transdermal estrogen are available as estrogen alone or estrogen combined with progesterone. Whether oral or transdermal, all available prescription estrogen replacement medications are effective in reducing hot flash frequency and severity.
However, long-term studies of women receiving oral preparations of combined hormone therapy with both estrogen and progesterone were halted when it was discovered that these women had an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer when compared with women who did not receive HT. Later studies of women taking estrogen therapy alone showed that estrogen was associated with an increased risk for stroke, but not for heart attack or breast cancer. Estrogen therapy alone, however, is associated with an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women who have not had their uterus surgically removed.
Herbal Remedies For Menopause
Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. At this time, menstrual cycles cease, and there is a drop in hormone levels, especially those of estrogen and progesterone.
Menopause is accompanied by myriad symptoms ranging from moodiness and insomnia to hot flashes and vaginal dryness. In the Western world, the decrease in hormones increases the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. The role of diet and exercise and other environmental factors is also important.
Other Herbs For Hot Flashes During The Menopause
Night sweats and hot flashes are some of the most common disturbances that affect quality of life in the menopause. Apart from the remedies mentioned in this article, there are also other natural herbal remedies for the menopause. These include:
Valerian. One study found that taking valerian supplements lowered the number of hot flashes and reduced their severity. The dose of valerian for menopause symptoms was 255 mg taken 3 times a day.
Red clover. Taking 80 mg of red clover as a daily herbal treatment for menopause can prevent hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
Passionflower. Sometimes called passiflora, this herbal menopause supplement may help to relieve hot flushes if you take it every day.
Maca. Some studies show that maca root is also a natural remedy for the menopause as it can stop hot flushing and night sweats. You could try taking 500 mg of maca root twice a day for menopause relief.
Black Cohosh. One of the most popular natural menopause treatments is black cohosh because it helps to lower the frequency of hot flashes. One study involving 80 postmenopausal women found that taking black cohosh improved life quality in the menopause because it reduced severe hot flashes. Over an 8-week period, women in their 50s reported significantly fewer hot flashes when taking black cohosh supplements. However, some studies have reported on conflicting results when taking black cohosh for the menopause.
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St Johns Wort For Mood Swings And Mild Depression
Europeans consider St. Johns Wort to be a treatment for menopause as well as depression. Studies find its benefits are comparable to those of Prozac and older antidepressants for mild to moderate depression, common symptoms of menopause. Take 300 milligrams of a preparation standardized to 0.3 per cent hypericin and 2 to 5 per cent hyperforin 3 times a day. If you take a product standardized to hyperforin only, take 10 to 15 milligrams 3 times daily. Caution: There are several herb/medicine interactions with St. Johns Wort. Check with your doctor first if youre taking other drugs.
Cam Treatments: What The Science Says
- Black cohosh Not proved to relieve menopausal symptoms more than placeboCautions and Side Effects: Not for women with liver disease can cause headaches and stomach upset
- Dong quai Does not reduce hot flashes more than placeboCautions and Side Effects: Not for women who take warfarin, a blood thinner may include other untested herbs
- Evening primrose No effect on menopausal symptoms may help breast tendernessCautions and Side Effects: Can cause headaches and stomach upset
- Ginseng May help improve sleep, mood, and sense of well-being not proved to relieve hot flashes or improve memory or concentrationCautions and Side Effects: Can cause headaches and stomach upset
- Kava May help relieve anxiety not shown to help other menopausal symptomsCautions and Side Effects: Possible link between kava and liver damage
- Phytoestrogens Soy supplements may help hot flashes but not proved red clover not proved to relieve hot flashes more than placeboCautions and Side Effects: May not be for women with conditions affected by hormones consult your doctor before taking phytoestrogens
- Valerian May help insomnia but effects not provedCautions and Side Effects: Can cause headaches, dizziness, stomach upset, and fatigue the morning after use
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Avoid Refined Oils And Fried Foods
Natural remedies for menopause also include eliminating refined oils and the foods that are fried in them.
What to do:
- Stay away from using sunflower, corn, safflower, soybean or canola oil.
- Avoid foods that contain those oils or foods fried in those oils.
How it works:Refined oils and fried foods also work against your goal of balancing your hormone levels.
Iron Helps Give You Energy During The Menopause
Another important menopause supplement is iron to help keep your blood healthy and improve your energy levels.
Iron is a mineral that is needed to make red blood cells. Iron deficiency anemia can lead to fatigue, exhaustion, and stress.
According to researchers in 2015, women in the menopause often have lower than normal levels of iron. One of the reasons for this is malabsorption where the body cant absorb enough iron from the diet. Doctors found that taking 200 mg of iron along with 500 mg of vitamin C helped to normalize iron levels.
There are many dietary sources of iron that can help to increase your iron levels. There is a lot of iron in animal products such as red meat, turkey, heart, liver, and fish. You can also get some iron from plant-based products such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, and nuts. However iron from plants is not absorbed well in the body.
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Black Cohosh Actaea Racemosa
For centuries, Native North American women have used black cohosh for menstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms.
Black cohosh is the most extensively researched of all herbs used for managing menopausal symptoms, and is available in many different formulations, which vary in quality and efficacy. Many of the clinical studies of black cohosh have used the commercially available product Remifemin®, or the extract Ze 450 .
It is not clear how black cohosh acts on the body. It does not appear to act like the female hormone oestrogen, but may be involved in modulating oestrogenic pathways in the body. It may mimic the actions of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.
Precautions: black cohosh should be taken only for as long as your menopausal symptoms persist. It is generally well tolerated, although can cause headaches in some women. Headaches usually stop if the dose is reduced for a while, then gradually increased again.
Black cohosh is often used in early menopause brought on by cancer treatments, especially breast, ovarian or endometrial cancer. Of all the herbs, black cohosh has the most research about its safety in support of its use. It appears to be safe in breast cancer patients, although further research is needed. Women with breast cancer or other hormone-dependent tumours should always talk to their doctor before taking black cohosh.
Horny Goat Weed Epimedium Grandiflorum
Horny goat weed has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2000 years to enhance libido in men and women, as well as for symptoms of menopause and PMS. It is a popular herb, available over the counter, for both men and women seeking to improve libido and sexual function. However, there are no clinical trials using horny goat weed for menopausal symptom relief, or for sexual function.
Precaution: A single case of mania and increased heart rate has been reported in the scientific literature, associated with taking horny goat weed.
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Buyer Beware: Unproven Nonscientific ‘treatments’ For Hot Flashes
You may have heard about black cohosh, DHEA, or soy isoflavones to treat hot flashes. These products are not proven to be effective, and some carry risks such as liver damage.
Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like substances found in some cereals, vegetables, and legumes , and herbs. They may work in the body like a weak form of estrogen, but they have not been consistently shown to be effective in research studies, and their long-term safety is unclear.
Always talk with your doctor before taking any . Currently, it is unknown whether these herbs or other “natural” products are helpful or safe to treat your hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms. The benefits and risks are still being studied.
Herbs And Supplements For Menopause
Its hard to get everything our body needs just from our diet. There are a variety of herbs and supplements that can help hormonal balance even during this transitional time. Below are some supplements with clinical evidence showing they help reduce menopause symptoms.
- 5-HTP is a supplement that helps the body to produce more serotonin which can help with mood, stress, pain, and appetite control. Low serotonin levels may also trigger hot flashesso raising serotonin levels may help reduce a womans risk for hot flashes.
- Black cohosh is one of the best-studied traditional herbs which has been shown in numerous studies to relieve a multitude of menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, and depression.
- Dong quai is known for its ability to support and maintain the natural balance of female hormones. If you are experiencing heavy bleeding, you should not be taking this herb for menopause. It does not have estrogenic activity.
- Vitamin E can help alleviate symptoms of hot flashes in some menopausal women. I recommend a daily dose of 400 IUs of natural vitamin E .
- Evening primrose oil or black currant oil are both sources of gamma-linolenic acid , an essential fatty acid that can help influence prostaglandin synthesis and help moderate menopausal symptoms.
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Menopause Exercise And Diet
Many women are troubled by menopausal symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and psychological symptoms.
No supplement therapy can fully replace regular physical activity and a healthy diet, which are both essential to general good health. The Australian Governments Physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines recommend you:
- do 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity, or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week
- do muscle-strengthening activities at least two days each week.
- avoid long periods of sitting and, if you cant, take breaks from sitting as often as possible.
If you are in the postmenopausal age group you are at increased risk of developing:
- cardiovascular disease
Moderate exercise and a healthy diet help to reduce the risk of developing these diseases.
High-impact exercise such as running, skipping, jumping, hopping, high-impact aerobics and team sports such as netball and resistance-type activities can help improve your bone mineral density.
Ginkgo Biloba To Help Improve Sexual Health During Menopause
Ginkgo biloba is another natural supplement to take in the menopause as it can help to improve cognitive function and boost sexual health.
Researchers examined the effects of gingko biloba supplements on memory function in postmenopausal women. They found that taking 120 mg gingko biloba daily helped to improve cognitive function within 7 days.
The drop in estrogen levels can affect sexual desire in women who are going through the menopause. Researchers have found that gingko biloba is a phytoestrogenic herb that mimics the effects of estrogen. Taking a dose of between 120 mg and 240 mg daily improved sexual function in postmenopausal women.
Find out how taking ginkgo biloba can also help to increase dopamine levels during the menopause to help fight depressive thoughts.
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St John’s Wort Hypericum Perforatum
St John’s wort traditionally has been used for menopausal symptoms of anxiety, irritability, insomnia and depression. It can be useful for hot flushes. It does not possess hormonal actions and its antidepressant action is believed to be due to a combination of active constituents in the herb. St John’s wort has been studied extensively for its effectiveness in mild to moderate anxiety and depression. It may be that St John’s wort is as effective as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for the treatment of depression, and it may have fewer side effects.
A recent review suggests St John’s wort, alone or combined with other herbs, may be significantly better than placebo in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. it is particularly effective when combined with black cohosh to decrease hot flushes and improve mood.
Precautions: St John’s wort influences your liver enzymes that can reduce or increase the effectiveness of certain medications. It is one of the few herbs that has been studied for interactions with medications. If you are on the following medications, you should be very cautious about using St John’s wort, and consult your own doctor:
- anticoagulants such as warfarin, heparin, aspirin, apixaban and rivaroxaban
- antidepressant drugs, especially SSRIs or serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors
Dong Quai Angelica Sinensis
Dong quai root is one of the most widely used traditional Chinese herbs for women’s health, including for period pain, menopause and menstrual irregularity. Some women believe it is useful for hot flushes, but overall the evidence is not very supportive however, doses of dong quai used in research have been much lower than traditional Chinese medicinal dosage, and traditionally it is also used in combination with other Chinese herbs as powder or pill formulae.
Precautions: Due to the potential for oestrogenic effects, some test-tube evidence suggests women with breast cancer should avoid dong quai until further safety information becomes available. You should also exercise caution if you are on anticoagulant medication, such as warfarin, heparin or aspirin, as it can increase bleeding time. For this reason, you should stop taking it a week before any surgery to avoid bleeding complications.
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Benefits And Risks Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
The main benefit of HRT is that it can help relieve most menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes, brain fog, joint pains, mood swings and vaginal dryness.
It can also help prevent thinning of the bones, which can lead to fractures . Osteoporosis is more common after the menopause.
Some types of HRT can slightly increase the risk of breast cancer and blood clots in some women. You need to discuss whether you have any risk factors with a doctor or nurse.
Evidence says that the risks of HRT are small and usually outweighed by the benefits.
Your GP can give you more information about the risks and benefits of HRT to help you decide whether or not you want to take it.
Natural Home Remedies For Menopause Symptoms Women Should Know
Menopause is a natural part of a womans life. When a woman has passed through menopause, her monthly periods will end and she could no longer get pregnant naturally. Many women experience some emotional as well as physical symptoms during menopause, caused by hormonal imbalance. Typically, a woman will start to experience menopause symptoms around her mid-40s when her own bodys reproductive capability comes to the end. Women could look this article on Vkool for expert advice on natural home remedies for menopause symptoms.
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Black Cohosh For Hot Flashes
When it comes to natural treatments for menopause symptoms, black cohosh is probably the most studiedand most effectiveherbal remedy. Almost all clinical studies on this herb use a standardized extract, either Remifemin or Klimadynon. Three out of four well-designed clinical trials found these remedies effective for treating hot flashes. They may even be appropriate for women who have had estrogen-sensitive breast cancer who cant take hormone therapy. But be patient: it may take 6 to 8 weeks before you see full results.
Cambios En El Estilo De Vida
Si bien este primer nivel de tratamiento para el sobrepeso implica el menor riesgo, tambiÃ©n exige el mayor autocontrol. No obstante, realizar sencillos ajustes en la rutina diaria puede contribuir, en gran medida, a controlar el peso y mejorar el bienestar general.
Los dos pilares sobre los que se apoya este tipo de tratamiento para combatir el sobrepeso durante la menopausia son: mejoras en la dieta y actividad fÃsica regular, que permiten acelerar el metabolismo y equilibrar las hormonas, al tiempo que se implementan otros hÃ¡bitos saludables para obtener Ã³ptimos resultados.
Aprender quÃ© y cuÃ¡nto comer para mantenerse en forma Ã³ptima son elementos clave para elaborar una dieta para la menopausia bien equilibrada. Se aconseja a las mujeres que opten por comidas frecuentes pero en porciones moderadas, elaboradas con ingredientes integrales, tales como:
La actividad fÃsica regular no solo puede ayudar a controlar el aumento de peso durante la menopausia, sino que tambiÃ©n promueve el equilibrio hormonal, fortaleciendo los huesos, estimulando el estado de Ã¡nimo, liberando el estrÃ©s y contribuyendo a aliviar otros sÃntomas de la menopausia.
Para nutrir el cuerpo de adentro hacia afuera y complementar los esfuerzos para controlar el aumento de peso, se alienta a las mujeres a inculcar prÃ¡cticas saludables para obtener los mejores resultados. Pueden incluir lo siguiente:
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