Hot flashes are a common symptom that is often caused by menopause, although other conditions that affect your hormones may also cause this symptom. Hot flashes, notes MayoClinic.com, are exceedingly common, affecting about 75 percent of women going through menopause. If you do not tolerate hot flashes well, you may require treatment. Certain supplements may help treat your hot flashes, although it is always wise to discuss the use of supplements with your doctor first.
Hot flashes, states the National Women's Health Network, may be mild or infrequent, although some women may experience numerous hot flashes every day. In some cases, hot flashes -- instantaneous and profuse sweating -- may impair your ability to get a full and restful night's sleep, which may affect your mood and your ability to concentrate. Common signs and symptoms associated with hot flashes include pressure inside your head, heat of varying intensity that spreads throughout your body and a rapid heartbeat.
Certain supplements may be commonly used in treating your hot flashes, although further testing using formal scientific research methods may be required to validate their use. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, black cohosh, evening primrose, magnesium, soy and vitamin E supplements have traditionally been used in treating hot flashes. Other helpful dietary supplements may include essential fatty acids, lecithin granules, quercetin, zinc, potassium and vitamin C with bioflavonoids.
A Commonly Used Supplement
Black cohosh may be one of the most commonly used dietary supplements in treating hot flashes. According to Dr. Sharol Tilgner, a naturopathic physician and author of "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth," black cohosh helps suppress luteinizing hormone surges associated with hot flashes in menopausal women. This dietary supplement has also traditionally been used in treating menstrual cramps, endometriosis, joint inflammation, influenza, muscle and nerve pain, and nervous irritability of your reproductive organs.
Hot flashes, though a common part of menopause, may be extremely uncomfortable and bothersome. If you suffer from hot flashes, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss all relevant treatment strategies, including dietary supplements. A qualified health care professional, especially one who is trained in clinical nutrition, can provide you with valuable information about the most effective supplements to use and how to use them. Review proper supplement dosage and likely drug interactions with your doctor.
- MayoClinic.com: Hot Flashes
- National Women's Health Network: Hot Flashes
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Herbs and Supplements for Hot Flashes
- "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth"; Sharol Tilgner, N.D.; 1999