June 11, 2004
Take the Heat out of Hot Flashes
Hot flashes affect 80 to 85 percent of American
women during menopause. Related to fluctuating estrogen levels,
the episodes increase blood flow to the brain, organs and skin,
causing you to feel warm. They may be followed by chills.
Hot flashes are physically draining, since
your body loses fluids and minerals in the process of perspiring.
And if they occur at your workplace, they can be embarrassing as
well. Night sweats and hot flashes may disrupt your sleep and soak
your sheets, leaving you exhausted and cranky.
To relieve hot flashes, I recommend soy
isoflavones (50 to 100 mg daily). Recent questions about the
effect of purified isoflavones on breast tissue in older women may
make other options better, particularly if you have a strong history
of breast cancer in your family.
I also recommend the herbal remedy Black
Cohosh (80 to 160 mg daily), which has been used by Native American
women for centuries. I’ve also had great results for patients with
vitamin E as d-alpha-tocopherol (800 to 2,000 IU daily).
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