According to OB-GYN Montgomery County Dr. Rania Ibrahim, the intense heat, sweating and fast heartbeat commonly associated with with hot flashes can range from a mere annoyance to an incapacitating condition for the three out of four women who report experiencing them while going through menopause.
While hormonal treatments are readily available, some women cannot – or choose not to – use them for medical reasons or personal preference. Some 50 to 80 percent of women approaching menopause try non-hormonal therapies to ease their symptoms.
But scientific proof regarding which of these treatments actually works is scarce, so women often resort to a trial-and-error approach. Your OB-GYN Montgomery County finds that many women try one thing after another, and months go by before they stumble upon something that truly works for them.
Researchers analyzed the studies that are currently available to determine which treatments work and which don’t. Following are their findings.
Researchers found evidence that certain cognitive behavioral therapy techniques such as relaxation procedures, implementing good sleep hygiene, and learning to take a positive approach to the challenges of menopause were successful in reducing women’s menopausal symptoms.
Sitting in front of a fan or putting an ice pack under your pillow at night might seem like logical ways to beat hot flashes, but your OB-GYN Montgomery County reports that there was no scientific evidence that such methods are effective for treatment.
While women are often advised to avoid hot flash triggers like alcohol, spicy foods and hot foods or liquids, researchers found no clinical studies that have actually studied the effects of these supposed triggers.
Regular aerobic exercise has been connected with a decrease in hot flashes in some studies, but others showed no relationship between the two. Your OB-GYN Montgomery County finds that vigorous exercise may actually trigger hot flashes in some symptomatic women.
In Asian countries where soy is a dietary staple, those women tend to have less hot flashes than women in our country. But while some studies found evidence that soy foods help decrease hot flashes during menopause, others have shown no benefits.
Researchers found that some non-hormonal medications are helpful in reducing hot flashes, though they may not offer as much relief as hormones. These medications should be used at the lowest doses first, then gradually increased as tolerated. Selecting which medication should be used depends on the individual, and the decision should be made after weighing the benefits and risks with your OB-GYN Montgomery County.
Acupuncture – typically practiced in traditional Chinese medicine – involves inserting tiny needles at predetermined, specific areas on the body. Some studies found that it may help against hot flashes; however, in other studies, it proved no more effective than a mock procedure that placed needles at random. It was concluded that there is not currently enough evidence to endorse acupuncture for the treatment of hot flashes.
If you need relief from hot flashes, call the office of OB-GYN Montgomery County Dr. Rania Ibrahim today to schedule a consultation. You don’t have to suffer in silence!