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"Would vitamins help with menopausal hot flashes?"
I am nearly 55 and started experiencing symptoms of menopause approximately a year ago. The hot flashes are the worst part; I can deal fine with everything else. I have had two children; both born by C-section, when I was 29 and 37. I had surgery at age 39 which removed my uterine lining due to horrific bleeding and menstrual cramps. I keep hearing about vitamins for hot flashes in menopausal women - would they actually help? I do not want to take hormones if possible. Sometimes the hot flashes go away for two or three months, then return with a vengence.
Hot flashes are the most common hormonal related symptom that women seek treatment for when menopause comes around. They are caused by temperature regulation problems that occur when the hormones estrogen and progesterone decrease. The most effective way to treat them is with hormone replacement therapy. However, replacing these hormones does come with some risks. We now know that women that take hormone replacement for prolonged time are at increased risk for heart disease and some cancers. Therefore we only use them for short durations of time and only for severe hot flashes and symptoms of osteoporosis. Recently, there have been reports that a class of medicines known as the SSRIs can help with hot flashes. Examples of these medicines include Prozac, Celexa, and Zoloft. You should discuss this possibility with your doctor. Unfortunately, there are no vitamins that have been shown to help with hot flashes, though it is always a good idea to make sure that you take in adequate amounts of all them. Your next best move is for you to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician (family doctor or internal medicine doctor). He or she can discuss all the non-hormonal options for hot flashes along with the risks and benefits of short courses of hormone replacement therapy. Good luck.
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