Alternatives for treating hot flashes facts. Introduction to menopause and hot flashes. Women frequently ask what symptoms they can anticipate during menopause. In reality, each woman experiences menopause differently. Some women have changes in several areas of their lives.
It is not always possible to tell if these changes are related to agingmenopause or both. While one woman is certain that insomnia is a menopause symptom for her, another feels joint aches are her primary menopause symptom. Doctors find it difficult to communicate to their patients about menopause and what could be a host of uncomfortable symptoms.
For example, medical science cannot explain how declining hormone levels during menopause could cause joint pain. Yet many of the menopausal symptoms may mimic signs caused by diseases. When do women undergoing menopause need treatment in the first place?
The same pattern of hot flashes in two women can have a very different psychological impact. For one woman, they can greatly disturb her daily functioning, while another may hardly be bothered, tamoxifen and hot flashes. Menopause symptoms can be perceived as physical problems, emotional disturbances, tamoxifen and hot flashes, or problems associated with sexual functioning.
What are hot flashes? Hot flashes are experienced by many women, but not all women undergoing menopause have this experience. A hot flash is a feeling of warmth that spreads over the tamoxifen and hot flashes, but is often most strongly felt in the head and neck regions.
Hot flashes may be accompanied by perspiration or flushing. On average, they usually last from 30 seconds to several minutes. Although the exact cause of hot flashes is not fully understood, they are thought to be due to a combination of hormonal and biochemical fluctuations brought on by declining estrogen levels. What is known is they can vary in severity, frequency, and duration. Sometimes hot flashes are accompanied by night sweats episodes of drenching sweats at nighttime.
This may lead to awakening and difficulty falling asleep again, resulting in unrefreshing sleep and daytime tiredness. How are hot flashes usually treated? Traditionally, hot flashes have been treated with oral by mouth or transdermal patch forms of estrogen, tamoxifen and hot flashes. Hormone therapy HTalso referred to as hormone replacement therapy HRT or postmenopausal hormone therapy PHTconsists of estrogens or a combination of estrogens and progesterone progestin.
Oral and transdermal estrogen are available as estrogen alone or estrogen combined with progesterone. Whether oral or transdermal, all available prescription estrogen replacement medications are effective in reducing hot flash frequency and severity. Later studies of women taking estrogen therapy alone showed that estrogen was associated with an increased risk for strokebut not for heart attack or breast cancer, tamoxifen and hot flashes.
Estrogen therapy alone, however, is associated with an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer cancer of the lining of the uterus in postmenopausal women who have not had their uterus surgically removed. Tamoxifen and hot flashes is tamoxifen and hot flashes recommended that if hormone therapy is used, it should be used at the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Which alternative prescription medications are effective in treating hot flash symptoms of menopause?
A few prescription medications, in addition to estrogen, can provide relief for hot flashes. Why are some doctors reluctant to recommend nonprescription therapies for menopause symptoms? Nonprescription products such as herbal supplements are not controlled by the FDA because they are considered food supplements by law.
Because they are not regulated like prescription medications, their ingredients and potency vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and even from bottle to bottle from the same manufacturer. Also, careful testing and proof of safety is not required as it is with prescription medications.
The only way the FDA can recall a nonprescription product is by proving that it is dangerous. Furthermore, there are so many nonprescription products available that a doctor cannot possibly know exactly what is in each preparation, tamoxifen and hot flashes. Moreover, not one of these products has been scientifically proven to be safe or effective, tamoxifen and hot flashes. So, how well have the nonprescription alternatives to hormone therapy been tested? Not one study has adhered to all of the stringent requirements that are necessary for approval of prescription medicines.
What alternative treatments for menopause have been scientifically studied? The alternative treatments for menopause that have been studied in tamoxifen and hot flashes trials include phytoestrogens plant estrogens, isoflavonesblack cohosh, tamoxifen and hot flashes, and vitamin E.
Isoflavones are chemical compounds found in tamoxifen and hot flashes and other plants such as chick peas and lentils that are phytoestrogens, or plant-derived estrogens. Red clover is another source of isoflavones that has been used by some women in an attempt to relieve hot flashes. Isoflavones have a chemical structure that is similar to the estrogens naturally produced by the body, but their effectiveness as an estrogen has been estimated to be much lower than true estrogens.
Some studies have shown that these compounds may help relieve hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. In particular, women who have had breast cancer and do not want to take hormone therapy HT with estrogen sometimes use soy products for relief of menopausal symptoms.
However, some phytoestrogens can actually have anti-estrogenic properties in certain situations, and the overall risks of these preparations have not yet been determined. There is some concern because of the fact that these products are selective estrogen receptor modulators SERMsthat phytoestrogens may stimulate breast cancer growth or limit the antitumor effects of tamoxifen Nolvadex. Data are conflicting in this regard, and it is important for women to understand that the long-term risks and potential effects of phytoestrogens have not been fully characterized.
For example, researchers have shown that long-term use of phytoestrogens in postmenopausal women led to an increase in endometrial hyperplasia overgrowth of the tissues lining the uterus which tamoxifen and hot flashes be a precursor to cancer. There is a perception among many women that plant estrogens are "natural" remedies and therefore safer than HT, but their safety has never been proven scientifically. Further research is needed tamoxifen and hot flashes fully characterize the safety and potential risks of phytoestrogens.
Black cohosh is an herbal preparation that has been popular in Europe for hot flash relief. This herb is becoming more popular in the U. The recommended use is up to six months because of its relatively low incidence of side effects. Some studies have shown that black cohosh can reduce hot flashes, but most of the studies have not been considered to be rigorous enough in their design to firmly prove any benefit.
The Herbal Alternatives for Menopause Trial HALT study, a one-year study described below, failed to establish any benefit of black cohosh in the treatment of hot flashes. There have also not been scientific studies done to establish the long-term benefits and safety of this product. Research is ongoing to further determine the effectiveness and safety of black cohosh. There is some concern about the potential estrogenic effect of black cohosh on the breast, tamoxifen and hot flashes, and it is not recommended as a safe therapy for women with breast cancer or who are at high risk for breast cancer.
The Herbal Alternatives for Menopause Trial HALT was a one-year study carried tamoxifen and hot flashes with peri- or postmenopausal women experiencing hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.
The women were randomly assigned to receive one of five treatments: After one year of therapy, conjugated estrogen reduced hot flashes more than placebo, but there was no significant reduction in the frequency or severity of hot flashes with black cohosh or with any of the herbal interventions when compared to placebo at any of the follow-up times.
Some zoloft and insomnia report that vitamin E supplements can provide relief from mild hot flashes, but scientific studies are lacking to prove the effectiveness of vitamin E in relieving hot flashes.
Taking a dosage greater than international units IU of Vitamin E may not be safe, tamoxifen and hot flashes, since some studies have suggested that greater dosages may be associated with cardiovascular disease risk. There are many supplements and substances, including ginseng; licorice ; evening primrose oil ; dong quai; chasteberry; and wild yamthat have been advertised as "natural" treatments for menopause.
Scientific studies have not been performed to prove the safety and effectiveness of tamoxifen and hot flashes products, although the HALT study see black cohosh, previously showed that ginseng and dong quai were no more effective than placebo in the treatment of hot flashes.
The North American Menopause Society recommends that women try behavioral modifications such as attempting to keep the core body temperature cooler to help relieve hot flashes.
Other tamoxifen and hot flashes include regular exercisetamoxifen and hot flashes, yoga and meditation. Several studies have failed to prove a beneficial effect of exercise on hot flashes, possibly because tamoxifen and hot flashes raises core body temperature and may, in fact, trigger hot flashes.
Still, regular exercise has important benefits in the prevention of obesitycardiovascular disease, diabetestamoxifen and hot flashes, and other conditions. Relaxation therapy and stress management interventions do not appear to be effective in the management of hot flashes, according to scientific studies. However, these interventions may be beneficial for women in maintaining overall health, physical well-being, tamoxifen and hot flashes, and emotional well-being during the menopausal transition.
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Gabapentin Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant, Fanatrex FusePag is a drug prescribed for the treatment of seizure disorders, nerve damage from shingles and postherptic neuralgia. Off label uses of gabapentin include treatment for:. The exact dosage depends upon the condition being treated.
It is not known if this drug is safe to take during pregnancy. Gabapentin is not a narcotic opioidhowever, it does share signs and symptoms associated with drug abuse and addiction. Patients taking this drug may experience withdrawal symptoms like goosebumps, sweating, vomiting, and nausea.
Gabapentin was approved by the FDA in Hot flashes or flushing is the most common symptom experienced by a woman prior to and during the early stages of menopause, and often is described as the feeling of warmth that spreads over the body, often tamoxifen and hot flashes at the head accompanied by sweating.
Symptoms of hot flashes include:. Diagnosis is made by taking a patient history and, at times, blood tests, tamoxifen and hot flashes. Treatment options include hormone therapy, bioidentical hormone therapy, and medications. There are non-FDA approved natural home remedies such as:. Hot flashes also can be caused by other conditions. Scientific studies to prove the safety and effectiveness of these products in relieving hot flashes have not been adequately performed.
Consult your health-care professional before taking any herbal supplement. Night sweats are severe hot flashes that occur at night and result in a drenching sweat. The causes of night sweats in most people are not serious, like menopause in women, sleep apnea, medications, alcohol withdrawal, and thyroid problems.
However, more serious diseases like cancer and HIV also can cause night sweats. Your doctor will treat your night sweats depending upon the cause.