What Causes Hot Flashes
Its not exactly clear what causes hot flashes. Multiple studies are attempting to understand them. There is clear evidence that hot flashes result from hormonal changes in the body. Their connection to other health problems, such as diabetes, is also being studied. Obesity and metabolic syndrome are thought to increase the incidence of hot flashes. Some women barely notice hot flashes or consider them a minor annoyance. For others, the intensity may affect their quality of life in a rather negative way.
- smoking or being exposed to cigarette smoke
- bending over
You may want to start keeping a journal about your symptoms. Write down what you were doing, eating, drinking, feeling, or wearing when each hot flash began. After several weeks, you may begin to see a pattern that can help you avoid specific triggers.
Prescription Gabapentin For Addressing Hot Flashes At Night
Gabapentin is an epilepsy and nerve pain medication we have borrowed from our neurology colleagues to treat vasomotor symptoms. It is effective for easing menopausal hot flashes during the day and night, but at the same time, it may cause excessive drowsiness for this reason, Gabapentin is a non-hormonal treatment option for those with hot flashes at night as well as sleep disturbances. This is a prescription medication taken nightly. Traditional sleeping pills do not diminish hot flashes but may help with sleeping through them. Grogginess, headache and vivid intense dreams are all potential side effects.
Certain Antidepressants May Help Reduce Hot Flashes
Specific antidepressants in the SSRI /SNRI classes are often recommended for dealing with hot flashes. They are particularly helpful in those women who are also dealing with depression but are indicated for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms as well. While effective and well-studied, sexual side effects, including low libido and orgasm difficulties are unfortunately also common side effects. No thank you! Use with tamoxifen is relatively contraindicated as well.
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Why Is Hrt Considered Controversial
While traditional HRT using estrogen and progesterone, bioidentical or synthetic, is surely effective for addressing menopausal hot flashes, they come with some baggage. There may be an elevated risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer and cardiovascular disease with use. Similar concerns exist for compounded bio-identical hormone varieties. Always talk with your healthcare provider before considering hormones to determine the best treatment option for you.
Exercise Relaxation Techniques And Behavioral Therapies
Some women find these types of approaches help them with menopausal symptoms. Although there is only limited research showing these techniques might be helpful, theres likely to be little harm in trying them. Before starting any exercise program after being diagnosed with breast cancer, its important to speak with your doctor or someone on your health care team.
Some research has suggested that acupuncture might be helpful in treating hot flashes, although not all studies have found this. This might be another option to discuss with your doctor.
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Nonhormonal Medications To Treat Hot Flashes
If lifestyle changes are not enough to improve your symptoms, nonhormone options for managing hot flashes may work for you. These may be a good choice if you are unable to take hormones for health reasons or if you are worried about the potential risks.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant, to treat hot flashes. Researchers are studying other antidepressants, which doctors may prescribe for off-label use.
Women who use an antidepressant to help manage hot flashes generally take a lower dose than people who use the medication to treat depression. As with any medication, talk with your doctor about whether this is the right medication for you and how you might manage any possible side effects.
Effexor For Hot Flashes: A Non
Effexor is a medication that was originally approved by the FDA in 1993 for the treatment of major depression. Upon ingestion, Effexor functions as an SNRI by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, and to a lesser extent, norepinephrine. As a result of serotonergic and noradrenergic reuptake inhibition, concentrations of serotonin and norepinephrine increase within the synaptic cleft, allowing for improvements in neuronal communication.
Although clinically approved for the treatment of depression, Effexor is also commonly prescribed as a non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes. A hot flash is referred to as a brief or sudden onset of heat, often accompanied by facial redness, flushing, and sweating. The exact physiological underpinnings of hot flashes arent well-understood, but a cooling of blood vessels near the surface of the skin and/or changes in circulation are known to occur during a hot flash.
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Are There Foods That Can Help With My Hot Flashes
Many people try to add more plant estrogen into their diets to combat the hormonal changes that go along with menopause. The thought is that adding plant estrogens can help with your hot flashes. Plant estrogens, such as isoflavones, are thought to have weak estrogen-like effects that might reduce hot flashes.
Examples of foods with isoflavones include:
Study Bias May Not Be A Big Concern
This study was sponsored by Ogeda, of Gosselies, Belgium, a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas Pharma, which could raise concern about bias. Still, Faubion says, “The fact that it is funded by a pharmaceutical company does not necessarily increase that bias. They know what steps they have to take to get this drug approved by the FDA. They partner with experts in the field, and we are all for advancing the care of women. Do we have to be careful? Of course, but there are very strict standards in place for a reason.
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What If Your Hot Flashes Are Persistent Or Severe Despite Your Best Attempts To Avoid Them
Hot flash relief can be as simple as making some lifestyle changes.
Try to keep your weight under control. Overweight women have more hot flashes, according to research.
Keep indoor temperatures cool.
Dress in light, breathable and removable layers.
Avoid turtlenecks or any constricting clothing.
Keep ice water nearby.
Use a handheld and/or ceiling room fan.
Wear cotton pjs and use cotton sheets .
Place a frozen bag of peas or ice pack under your pillow .
Enjoy a cool shower before bedtime.
Intermittently stick your head in the freezer
Increase your level of activity. Studies show this may better control your hormone levels and inner thermostat.
Eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies. Studies find that a Mediterranean-type diet helps ease hot flashes for some women.
Catch your hot flash when its first beginning and use slow, deep abdominal breathing . Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, aiming for five to seven times per minute.
When In Doubt Avoid Caffeine And Manage Your Stress
In general, doctors recommend making a few lifestyle changes before starting any medications.
Try identifying whats causing your hot flashes so you can avoid them. For example, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, and cigarettes are known to trigger hot flashes in many women. If this is the case, try to eat a well-balanced diet and cut back on smoking.
Stress is also thought to be a major cause of hot flashes. Vasilev recommends exercising regularly and focusing on relaxation methods, such as yoga or meditation.
There is no one-size-fits-all method to managing hot flashes. Every body responds to treatments and methods differently.
Before starting a treatment plan, talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms, medical history, and goals.
There are a lot of options out there for keeping hot flashes at bay, and your doctor can help you choose a path thats ideal for you.
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Have You Used Effexor For Hot Flashes
If youve used Effexor as a treatment for hot flashes, share your experience in the comments section below. Mention whether you have an underlying neuropsychiatric condition along with hot flashes, or solely hot flashes that were being treated with Effexor. Document how Effective you perceived the Effexor to be as a treatment for hot flashes, as well as any additional favorable benefits you noticed while taking it .
Also share any unwanted side effects you experienced as a result of Effexor. To help others get a better understanding of your situation, share the dosage of Effexor that youre taking as well as whether youre taking other medications and/or supplements. Have you tried any other treatments for hot flashes such as hormone replacement therapy or alternative interventions such as acupuncture?
Realize that there is ample evidence to support the usage of Effexor for the treatment of hot flashes. However, if hot flashes are the only condition youre treating with Effexor, you may want to reconsider treatment and the consequences associated with using a potent antidepressant as a non-hormonal intervention . Do you think Effexor should be used as a treatment for hot flashes? Why or why not?
Drawbacks Of Using Effexor For Hot Flashes
Effexor should not be viewed as some utopian, non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes or any condition there are drawbacks associated with using Effexor. The drug is associated with unwanted side effects such as dry mouth, appetite changes, and hot flashes. Additionally, Effexors efficacy is usually unsustainable over a long-term and long-term usage may scramble your neurochemistry to such an extent, that upon discontinuation, you experience deleterious, protracted withdrawal symptoms.
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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
SSRIs are a class of pharmaceuticals that are most commonly used in the treatment of depression. They have been found efficient in alleviating hot flashes. On 28 June 2013 FDA approved Brisdelle for the treatment of moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. Paroxetine became the first and only non-hormonal therapy for menopausal hot flashes approved by FDA.
How Do I Treat A Hot Flash
Hot flashes may seem like an inevitable symptom of menopause that you just need to deal with. But there are treatment options to improve your hot flashes. If you have hot flashes, particularly hot flashes that disrupt your daily life, reach out to your healthcare provider to learn more about your treatment options.
In general, there are two categories of treatment options for hot flashes: prescription medications and over-the-counter therapies. Some prescription medications are used as off-label treatments to help reduce hot flashes. Using a product off label means that its not FDA-approved for the treatment of hot flashes, but is often used because it can be safe and effective as a treatment option.
Its important to talk to your healthcare provider about any treatment option and discuss the pros and cons. Your provider is aware of your medical history and other medications. Some treatment options may not be safe to take with your other medications or other medical conditions.
Prescription medications are typically considered to be more effective than over-the-counter treatments. These medications can include:
Hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement therapy boosts your hormone levels and can relieve some of the symptoms of menopause. Your provider will consider whether your uterus is in place or has been removed when prescribing hormone replacement therapy. Theyll prescribe:
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Why Women Seek Treatment For Hot Flashes
Although theyre a completely normal part of the menopausal transition, hot flashes feel anything but normal, especially when they may also come with nausea, anxiety and chills .
Dont worry your hot flash symptoms will subside. But while its happening, a hot flash may feel like it will never end. Thats because although some hot flashes recede in 30 seconds, some can last for as long as 10 minutes.
Hot flashes may hit once in a while, or they may plague you all throughout the day and night.
Hot flashes can be moderate to severe .
Although hot flashes usually subside and get less bothersome within a few years of reaching menopause, some women will continue to get them for 10 years or more.
Can You Stop Menopause Hot Flashes Without Hrt
In fact, Relizen® is just that! This over-the-counter nutritional supplement is the real deal when considering a really, truly hormone-free option for managing hot flashes and managing your day-to-day quality of life, including improved sleep! Made from a proprietary pollen blend extracted from four specific Swedish plants, and likely working through serotonin-like pathways in the brain, Relizen® has been shown in several clinical studies to reduce the frequency and intensity of menopausal hot flashes by more than 70%.1 In fact, results were so notable that a significant number of women in additional survey studies opted to remain on Relizen® for the treatment of their hot flashes voluntarily once the studies were completed.2 Of equal importance, side effects different from placebo were not reported and use in breast cancer patients is not controversial since Relizen® is not a phytoestrogen and does not act like estrogen in the body.
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What Causes Hot Flashes Other Than Menopause
Cristina Mutchler is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience in national media, specializing in health and wellness content. A multilingual Latina, Cristina’s work has appeared on CNN and its platforms, local news affiliates across the country, and in the promotion of medical journal articles and public health messaging.
Hot flashes are commonly associated with menopause, but they can also be caused by a variety of different lifestyle factors or medical conditions, and they are not always a sign of something serious.
A hot flash is a feeling of sudden intense heat on the upper body lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes or longer. The feeling is often joined by other symptoms like sweating, reddening of the skin, dizziness, and heart palpitations.
While there are other possible causes, hot flashes are extremely common when people are going through perimenopause/menopause.
Hot flashes happen when the bodys internal thermostat senses that its too warm. This starts a chain of events where your heart beats faster, your sweat glands spring into action, and the blood vessels that are near the skins surface widen to cool the body off.
Some Women May Experience Harmful Side Effects
Like any medication, oxybutynin has its side effects.
The anti-cholinergic effect means it can cause dry mouth, interfere with intestinal function, and, most importantly, can be a problem in patients with narrow angle glaucoma , Vasilev explained.
It can also be dangerous if mixed with other anti-cholinergic medications and some herbal supplements, Vasilev warned. Its crucial to discuss your medications with your doctor before using oxybutynin.
Lastly, theres some concern that oxybutynin may lead to cognitive decline. According to some health experts, its best to use the drug as a short-term solution.
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Research On Risks Of Menopause Hormone Therapy
In 2002, a study that was part of the Women’s Health Initiative , funded by NIH, was stopped early because participants who received a certain combination and dosage of estrogen with progesterone were found to have a significantly higher risk of stroke, heart attacks, breast cancer, dementia, urinary incontinence, and gallbladder disease. This study raised significant concerns at the time and caused many women to become wary of using hormones.
However, research reported since then found that younger women are at less risk and have more potential benefits than was suggested by the WHI study. The negative effects of the WHI hormone treatments mostly affected women who were over age 60 and postmenopausal. Newer hormone formulations seem to have less risk and may provide benefits that outweigh possible risks for certain women during the menopausal transition. Studies continue to evaluate the benefit, risk, and long-term safety of hormone therapy.
Before taking hormones to treat menopause symptoms, talk with your doctor about your medical and family history and any concerns or questions about taking hormones. If hormone therapy is right for you, it should be at the lowest dose, for the shortest period of time it remains effective, and in consultation with a doctor.
Experts Are Excited About Hot Flash Trial Results
Hot flashes and night sweats can disrupt womens sleep and can lead to anxiety, irritability, loss of productivity, and depression, according to research published in Health Quality of Life Outcomes. At the annual meeting, NAMS cited the research as one of the top abstracts presented at the 2019 NAMS meeting. We havent had anything new in the hot flash world in quite some time. This is a new drug that is different and works in a different way, so we are hopeful it will come to market, says Faubion.
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Only One Other Nonhormonal Drug Is Fda
Currently, the most commonly used drugs to control these symptoms are hormonally-based, which many woman should not take because they have estrogen receptorpositive cancer, leg or lung blood clots, stroke, liver disease, or unexplained vaginal bleeding, according to the Mayo Clinic. Currently the only nonhormonal medication available that is FDA-approved for use for VSM is paroxetine , a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor . This will be great if this drug works, because if we can impact hot flashes without hormonal medications, it opens up a new therapy for women who cant use or are concerned about using hormones. It gives us something else in our armory, says Stephanie S. Faubion, MD, medical director of NAMS.