Dr. Pamela Dee, OB/GYN, is a paid spokesperson for Estroven®. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice or to replace professional medical care. You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new medication or dietary supplement. The opinions stated herein are those solely of the writer and do not portray the opinions of the Estroven® brand, i- Health, Inc., or DSM.
Dr. Pamela Dee^ (Dr. Pam) is America’s leading menopause expert & OB/GYN, and she is on a mission to encourage honest dialogue about the physical and emotional symptoms that accompany menopause. Her goal is to de-stigmatize menopause and start the “Menopause Romance Revolution.” Her new film, LOVE, SWEAT & TEARS shares an empowering message of hope and action. Dr. Pam^ won’t rest until every woman knows the truth about menopause, that there is hope and that the third part of a woman’s life can be the best and most romantic.
During menopause, nearly 25 percent of US women experience hot flashes bad enough to seek help from a physician.1
Although nothing cures hot flashes, there are a few things that might help you find some relief. Hot flashes will usually stop eventually without any treatment, but there is no way to know when this will happen. Actually, no treatment is necessary unless they affect your quality of life. Treatments for the symptoms of menopausal hot flashes include lifestyle changes, non-prescription remedies and (if all else fails) prescription drugs, all of which may be helpful in decreasing the frequency and/or severity of hot flashes.
Every course of menopause management should be tailored to a woman’s medical history, her goals and her personal attitude toward menopause. Before you get in to see your doctor you can try personal lifestyle changes that may make a world of difference for your hot flash severity. Simple changes to your diet, habits and purchases might get you on track toward a cooler, more enjoyable life during menopause.
1. Keep cool
During menopause, it is beneficial to take active measures to keep your core body temperature as cool as possible. Try:
- Dressing in layers
- Stocking up on chilling towels
- Buying a chilling pillow
- Sleeping on moisture wicking sheets and pillows
2. Keep an eye on the scale
It is important to maintain a healthy body weight, especially during menopause. Hot flashes are associated with higher body weight as larger fat deposits maintain a higher core body temperature.
3. Lose the cigarettes
It’s time to quit smoking. Aside from the numerous health risks associated with cigarettes, smokers are also more prone to hot flashes.
4. Stay active
Regular exercise increases serotonin production in your brain, which can help you:
- Balance your metabolism
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Decrease the frequency or severity of hot flashes
- Experience more restful sleep
5. Try to relax
Anxiety has been associated with increased severity and frequency of hot flashes. Practice some of the following to help reduce stress:
- Try paced breathing when hot flashes start
- Get some zen time with a yoga class—you can even practice yoga with a video in the comfort of your own home
- Plan your day/weeks—knowing what to expect may help ease anxiety when things become overwhelming
6. Change your diet
Certain foods can play a large role in how your body behaves during menopause. By eliminating the triggers listed below, you can effectively take steps toward hot flash relief:
- Spicy foods
- Hot drinks
7. Consider a supplemental remedy
When dietary changes are not enough to give relief for hot flashes, adding a natural, hormone-free supplement to your routine should be strongly considered. There is no down side in trying such remedies. As a physician, no one will be happier than me if you find relief from your hot flashes without resorting to hormone therapy. I want you to try something that will not cause unwanted side effects. Try vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids or over the counter products like Estroven® that contain Black Cohosh extract and Soy Isoflavones—specially formulated to help relieve menopause symptoms including but not limited to hot flashes and night sweats.*
8. Talk to your doctor
If after trying the suggestions listed above, you still have not found relief, you may want to discuss other prescription methods with your physician. But remember—almost all women will eventually stop having hot flashes. So, it is important that regardless of the management option used, all treatments should be stopped (or at least re-evaluated) periodically to see if you still need them. You should not take a medication if you do not need it.
Estroven® is a trademark of DSM.
^Dr. Pamela Dee is a paid spokeswoman for Estroven®.
1Alexander, Linda L, et al. “Chapter 8 .” New Dimensions in Women's Health, 4th ed., Jones & Bartlett Learnings, 2007, pp. 294–294.