Non-Hormonal Treatments For Hot Flashes
Although hormone therapy, antidepressant therapy, and newer medication classes just reported in the news can stop hot flashes, doing simple natural things can treat hot flashes as well. And for those women who are interested in the newest alternatives not yet published, consider clinical research trials at Women’s Health Practice
1. Bright Light therapy, also known as chronotherapy when combined with specifically awake therapy, has mostly been studied for depression and seasonal affective disorders (SAD) and found to be effective for both.
2. Sleep improvement with light and wakefulness treatments is also well established. To the extent that light therapy would improve sleep secondary to hot flashes, it would improve overall health and mood in women with hot flashes. Chronic pain syndromes, such as chronic back pain, have also been treated with light therapy with some success. The therapy can be as simple as spending some extra time outdoors on a sunny day, or as complex as light shined on the ear drum for specific amounts of time per day.
4. Weight management. Weight, cardiovascular, and overall mood and appearance can improve with the use of exercise. To the extent that either exercise improves your BMI you are physically less hot, and to the extent that exercise releases heat a woman is less likely to sweat or feel heat from hot flashes.
5. Acupuncture. Acupuncture has not been found to be consistently helpful in treating menopausal symptoms or hot flashes. In some studies acupuncture was able to relieve some of the severity of the hot flashes, but not the frequency. In other studies acupuncture gave relief of menopausal symptoms, but the treatment effect was not long lasting. Many of these same therapies have been found to be beneficial for reduction of muscular and joint pain and thus benefit you in many ways.
6. Herbal therapies, this is best discussed with your health provider and find out what formulas are both safe and effective for you. The helpful herbs include black cohosh, ginsen, dong quai, kava, red clover, St. John’s Wort, Chaste tree, ginkgo biloba