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Complementary Medicine

What Can be Taken to Relieve Hot Flashes and Night Sweats?

08/29/2003

Question:

What can I take to relieve hot flashes and night sweats?

Answer:

Hot flashes can be severely disruptive for menopausal women. Many women find relief with phyto estrogens, which are female hormones derived from a plant source. The two which have been subjected to the most research are Black Cohosh (see previously answered question on this herb) and soy. Soy has also been shown to be helpful for hot flashes, and more research is showing improvement in bone density, as well as cholesterol! The research is based on dietary soy (soy milk, beans, nuts, tofu, miso, tempeh, etc), not on supplements. Many of my patients swear by Vitamin E 800 units/day, although the research has not supported this. The research is certainly behind mind-body techniques such as meditation and guided imagery or biofeedback to help curb hot flashes.

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Response by:

Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd
Formerly, Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University