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Too hot to handle: menopausal hot flashes

Is your smokin' hot body too hot to handle? Here are some therapies to discuss with your doc.

extreme menopausal hot flashes

Ladies, feeling hot but not in that come-hither-cowboy kinda way? More like in that come-hither-cowboy-and-I’ll-reheat-your-leftovers-with-my-face kinda way? You’re not alone. At some point in our lives, our hormones go a little wonky. Our estrogen levels drop, our luteinizing hormone pulses, and the heat regulatory center in our brain gets all messed up. Even the slightest increase in our core body temperature makes our blood vessels release heat, turning us into an insufferable human torch to ourselves and everyone in our path. We are desperate for the day, 5 or even 10 years, down the road where we no longer have to negotiate thermostat settings with our roommates. We are desperate for simply a night of undisturbed sleep.

And there are plenty of products out there eager to answer our cry for help. There are some that are supported by evidence, and plenty that are not, but we use it anyway because we want to believe it works. Menopause is a natural, physiological process. Understandably, many of us want to allow nature to take its course and ameliorate the symptoms, naturally. We guzzle soy milk, eat tofu burgers, take isoflavone supplements in hopes to quell the flashes despite the fact that plant-based (phytoestrogen) based therapies efficacy is not well established. Others may promote black cohosh, lignan rich foods, evening primrose oil even though they are not more effective than placebo. For those with mild symptoms, placebo may go a long way. But since alternative treatments may have undesirable side effects (as in the case of phytoestrogens or black cohosh in women with breast cancer) it’s a good idea to discuss treatment options with your provider. Afterall, we all want to reclaim the appropriate come-hither look, safely and effectively.


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