- Women's Health
Miracle Cure for Hot Flashes?
What is the miracle cure for hot flashes? That is the million dollar question many menopausal women want to have an answer. Hot flashes are a troublesome symptom a majority of women experienced while going through menopause. If you aren't one of them, you'll be glad of what you miss: A volcanic eruption at your waist, shooting up to your chest, neck, and face, then raining down on your arms and legs.
These volcanic flashes create problems when out of control. They embarrass you with extreme sweating, cause you anxiety and nausea, suffocate and disrupt your life. With them giving so much trouble, it's understandable the desperate need of a cure for hot flashes worldwide. Yet, the cure remains elusive.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), or simply Hormone Therapy (HT), once held the title of the miracle cure for hot flashes. As the name suggests, it involves the use of medications designed to artificially boost hormone levels. Estrogen, progesterone and the newer bioidentical hormones are the usual ones used in the treatment.
HRT is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and has been administered extensively with a 80%-90% success rate to reduce hot flashes. Then the Women's Health Initiative report in 2002 dropped a bomb. The study found that long-term HRT increases the risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, blood clots and strokes.
Fortunately, new evidence has come up to support hormone replacement therapy as an efficient short-term treatment. Most experts now prescribe HRT in the lowest dosage possible for five years or less. This however means that a long-term solution is yet to be found.
A variety of antidepressants are now commonly prescribed as cure for hot flashes even though they may be outside of the approved-FDA usage. The usage stemmed from a study that found breast cancer patients taking antidepressant drugs to have fewer hot flash strikes. Not all women can benefit from these drugs though. If you have menopausal symptoms for more than a year, antidepressants are unlikely to help much.
Antidepressant is not without its side effects. It appears to cause anxiety, insomnia, and loss in sex drive. It is also unclear what are its effects on brain functions in the long run.
Can a pill used for nerve pain be the next miracle cure of hot flashes? Maybe. A recent study says pregabalin is another treatment option for those who opt out of hormonal replacement therapies or antidepressants.
Pregabalin is a newer version of gabapentin, which is long used to treat pain as a result of nerves injury and to reduce hot flashes. Testing shows that pregabalin does relieve hot flash severity and frequency. It apparently offers the same benefit as gabapentin and antidepressants but requiring less dosage.
More work still needs to be done to study the side effects of the new drug. Nonetheless, pregabalin is now one of the latest additions to the list of medications offering benefit against hot flashes.
Alternative Cure for Hot Flashes
You can always look for another alternative cure for hot flashes if you're worried over the side effects of drugs.
Hypnosis is one method currently under utilized. Results of some studies indicate that the treatment is remedial. This is very encouraging because few other options are both safe and effective.
Herbal remedy is another choice many women turn to. They find these natural remedies to be an effective part of their treatment against hot flashes. The common herbs used in this regards include black cohosh, soy, and vitamin E amongst others.
Dietary changes can also play a part. Certain food and beverages tend to set off hot flashes. Removing them from the diet will improve your symptoms.
With so many options around, which is the true miracle cure for hot flashes? The simple answer is: The one that works for you. Everybody is different. It's no use if a proclaimed miracle cure works on everyone else except you. You know and understand your body best. Just listen to it carefully and you'll find a miracle cure of your own.