We’ll try to take a look at some of the alternative hot flash treatments for controlling hot flashes and night sweats include some natural remedies, herbal remedies, soy, effexor and more.
Alternative hot flash treatments. Some people claim that alternative hot flash treatments such as soy foods, soy isoflavones, topical progesterone cream, fish oil, vitamin e, Chinese herbs, Omega-3 fatty acids and antidepressants is effective as alternative medicines for hot flashes. Some of them are natural remedies and herbal remedies while others are alternative hot flash remedies. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Soy for hot flashes
Soy is one of many types of isoflavones. Soy - one of the natural remedies for hot flashes - contains phytoestrogens which are believed can help alleviating many symptoms related to perimenopause and menopause. Isoflavones are estrogens which come from plants, but it is not alternatives to estrogen. Therefore, if you need to avoid estrogen you should not intake soy since it is a form of estrogen, even though it is from a plant.
Some research indicated that soy would help menopause symptoms but there are still conflicting results as to its efficacy. Some studies show that soy can cause multiplication of breast cells, implying that it may increase breast cancer risk. Unfortunately, the FDA does not control these trials, and therefore the purity and ingredients vary from bottle to bottle, even with the same manufacturer.
In addition, because of the lack of FDA control, manufacturers have no requirements to prove safety or side effects. This means that because of the lack of required research information, much more is known about the side effects of prescription estrogen than about soy for hot flashes.
Another study was conducted recently in which 37 women who used the soy supplement. 75 percent reported relief from hot flashes. Tests showed they also experienced a measurable increase in bone density as well. It was concluded that including soy products in your diet may offer many health benefits. However, you should exercise caution with soy supplementation for hot flashes until more research is done.
Omega-3 fatty acids
While a research by Torino Team on 57 post menopausal women; with intense hot flashes problem; showed that Omega-3s may fight hot flashes better than soy. The researchers believed that Omega-3 fatty acids could remedy hot flashes through their influence on brain cell membranes or the modulation of the neurotransmitter function and the serotoninergic system.
There is no clear evidence why antidepressants seem to have a cooling down effect in the hot flashes of some women. The connection was made only by chance in the studies of women with breast cancer. There are some cancer drugs that can set off hot flashes, and researchers noticed that women who were also taking the antidepressants known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors had fewer flashes.
There are studies which showed that the use of these and other serotonin-altering drugs to treat hot flashes in healthy menopausal women have shown disappointing results. On the other hand, Wyeth’s Effexor and GlaxoSmithKline’s Paxil, have shown a meaningful benefit in high-quality controlled studies, as per a review published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Effexor and hot flashes - In one Effexor trial, the antidepressant users reported about 60 percent fewer hot flashes. By comparison, studies of hormones show estrogen reduces the frequency of hot flashes 80 percent. However, some women also complained of some side effects, such as constipation, dry mouth and nausea.
Different studies produce a variation of results in connection with the drug responses. A study of the antidepressant Zoloft which was sponsored by its maker, Pfizer, and published this month in the journal “Menopause,” has reported that one-third of the subjects actually had more hot flashes while taking the drug, a third stayed about the same or experienced just a slight benefit, and another third reported far fewer hot flashes. Such finding is similar to trends shown in other studies of antidepressants for hot flashes, which include Prozac and Paxil.
Figuring out which type of women have the most to gain from taking antidepressant drugs is the real challenge but the number of women to be studied should increase in order to come up with significant conclusions. In the Zoloft trial, only 27 women were in the high-benefit group.
A very interesting trend emerged among women who were recently menopausal. These women who had just stopped having their periods turned out to receive the most benefits from antidepressant treatment. However, women who had been menopausal for a year and those who were just starting to experience the effects of hormonal fluctuations fared worse on the drug.
The biggest concern about antidepressant use for menopause is that the drugs may worsen some symptoms already common during perimenopause and menopause - things like anxiety, sleep problems and loss of libido. And while the drugs have been used safely for years in people with depression, there’s no long-term data on their use in healthy women with healthy brains.
Women who will opt to try antidepressant alternative hot flash treatments should first consult professional healthcare provider. Regular follow-up is also necessary in the first weeks after starting the drug.
One of herbal remedies that Chinese Medicine practitioners often use for symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness is called “Liu Wei Di Huang Wan”, or “Six Flavor Tea”, which contains rehmannia, cornus, Chinese wild yam, moutan bark, poria, and alisma. These herbs are not commonly known, but this formula’s function is to moisten the body and nourish yin. These herbs may also have phytoestrogenic properties. The herb, vitex agnus castus, or chasteberry can also be useful for reducing discomfort.
How to stop hot flashes the better way. Many women find that with the proper support, their own bodies can correct the hormonal imbalance which may be the real cause. Certain nutritional and lifestyle changes are very useful. Avoid any known triggers food, choose the right clothing for hot flashes, don’t smoke, and don’t be overweight. It is crucial to eat healthy food, stay fit and reduce stress during this time in your life, and if possible, in the years leading up to this change.