Patient Comments: Alternative Treatments For Hot Flashes - Experience

Question:

Please describe your experience with alternative treatments for hot flashes of menopause. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: CS, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 22

I have had hot flashes for 10 years. I tried every herbal treatment I could find, gabapentin, clonidine, a gluten, diary, sugar free diet, and hormone replacement therapy. Nothing really helped. I was having hot flashes several times per hour and almost solid hot flash from 4 am to 7 am. I started trying Benadryl to help with sleep and wow! I have a few mild hot flashes a day, especially if I have caffeine, but otherwise am doing awesome. I sleep all night! I am a much happier person.

Comment from: Marli, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 12

I suffered from severe hot flashes of menopause, up to 4 per hour and the subsequent chills, depression and fatigue for 6 years. I tried hormone replacement therapy for a year, then Effexor (didn't work) and Estroven OTC. Finally I found Smoky Mountain Naturals cream, Estro-Life and Progesto-Life. It takes about 6 weeks to work well but I swear it saved my sanity. I went off it once and the symptoms came back gradually but just as bad. Now I make sure to order it early. My skin and nails improved greatly also. I also found that reading books about menopause helped me realize that I wasn't crazy.

Comment from: Sandy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 11

I have found that half of a Benadryl pill about every 3 to 4 hours works best for my hot flashes of menopause. I hope it is ok to be on a constant low dose of Benadryl all of the time. My hot flashes, night sweats and anxiety from menopause are much better. I take a whole pill at bedtime. Hopefully this helps someone else.

Comment from: JG, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 24

I had been plagued by hot flashes for over 5 years. I had many during the day, and at the worst, every hour during the night. Black cohosh worked for a while, and meclizine worked wonders, but only temporarily. About 18 months ago I started taking Vitex Fruit, a chasteberry product by Nature's Way. It's been a godsend! My hot flashes and night sweats are greatly reduced both in number and intensity! The product is very inexpensive, and I have only been able to find it through Swanson Vitamins. I tried a different chasteberry product from GNC, but it didn't work like the Vitex. You have to take it for about three weeks before you start to see results, but stick with it, you will see results!

Comment from: Leisa364, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I have started taking black cohosh extract for hot flashes of menopause. I no longer have night sweats and my hot flashes during the day have decreased. I may get about two during the day. You cannot take it on an empty stomach, it will make you sick.

Comment from: me2, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

Half a Benadryl when a hot flash starts and it keeps them away for hours. Otherwise it's constant torture.

Comment from: Julie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

My My GP prescribed Effexor in January. Hot flashes were frequent each day (and also at night), plus I felt anxious, was crabby (not usual for me) with no tolerance for stupidity! I also had difficulty sleeping, so lack of sleep wasn't helping my general frame of mind. I didn't feel like "myself" and I often wondered where an outburst had come from! After about 3 weeks, the hot flashes disappeared and I was ecstatic. After another 3-4 weeks I felt back to normal again no mood swings, I didn't feel anxious etc. and sleep was back to normal. After about 3 months, though, I started to get a bit anxious again, so I went to max dose of XR. It's now July and I feel great except the hot flashes are as regular as they were before I started, and have been for around the last 5 months. I have tried Black Cohosh, "Harmony" tablets no noticeable difference. I am now resigned to having to put up with them, and always carry an elegant fan, so I can help my face cool down. With each hot flash, the sweat (it's not perspiration or a "glow") runs down my face and neck, and down my back. It's horrible, but what can I do? Thank goodness for Effexor, though.

Comment from: Dmh1972, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 19

I have accidentally discovered that Benadryl has also tremendously helped out with decreasing the number of hot flashes I have in a day.

Comment from: LC, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

For hot flashes that wake you up at night and interrupt your sleep cycle I have found that Maca Root by Whole World Botanicals helps to stop the horrible night hot flashes. I take 2 for the day time and 2 before bedtime. They are a blessing and absolutely no side effects!

Comment from: dripping, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I am a 63 year-old woman who has experienced severe hot flashes since my mid-40s. HRT controlled the hot flashes, but that was stopped after 10 years, at which time the severe hot flashes resumed. With a little anxiety like a party, getting ready for work, a small glass of wine, I have dripping hot flashes from my face/neck area. I never go anywhere without a fan. NSAIDs for arthritis, Effexor XL, and Prilosec are my only meds. Xanax taken as needed helps a little. I am miserable, embarrassed, several times a week; have gotten used to night sweats. Black cohosh and soy products have been unsuccessful.

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Comment from: nanabasic, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I had to have a complete hysterectomy when I was still relatively young. I was put on HRT and was on it for about 15 years. By then, my physicians had heard that for people with a family history of breast cancer, and mine has a strong history, we should probably not use HRT as it adds more risk. So, they just took me off the HRT cold turkey. I then had many of the same symptoms as anyone would with menopause. I found an herbalist who gave me a product she called menopause formula. It had one pill for the morning and one for the evening. It had black cohosh and valerian in the evening pill, and I don't remember what the morning pill consisted of, I wish I did. I had no side effects and was able to focus more during the day and sleep at night and had 0 hot flashes on them. I slowly weaned myself from these and have been fine since. I truly wish that I could find this lady now as my daughter is going through having a hysterectomy. She has the hot flashes, sudden mood swings, night sweats and can't sleep well. I will continue to look until I find the same type treatment for her, as I firmly believe in this alternative medication.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I am 62 and have had severe and frequent hot flashes for 13 years! I am in a high-risk group for breast cancer, so HRT was not a possibility. Four years ago, my doctor suggested trying 37.5 mg of Effexor XR daily. After trying other supposed remedies without success, I was astounded that it worked! It was a miracle treatment for me. I occasionally get mild hot flashes, but nothing like the severe ones I had before. Unfortunately, my health insurance will not pay for the medicine and it is $100 for 30 tablets. So, I pay for it out of pocket, and it is worth every penny!

Comment from: Tammy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I have found the best thing for eliminating hot flashes and night sweats. It's a product called Soy Balance. You can purchase it over the counter, and it works wonders, at least for me. When I don't take it, my hot flashes and night sweats are unbearable. When I continue to take it, I have no symptoms. I hope this information helps.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 30

I happened to come into contact with poison ivy this summer (first time ever) and had a very severe reaction. The doctor prescribed steroids to help, and I also switched from Claritin (for my allergies) to Benadryl (to help the itching). Four weeks later, when I was finished with my poison ivy, I realized that while I was suffering with the rash, I didn't have any hot flashes. I went back to my routine with Claritin and noticed the hot flashes were back. The next day, I switched back to the Benadryl and the hot flashes were only a few a day, and they weren't as “hot” as before. Twice I have switched back to Claritin to see if it was the Benedryl that was really helping, and it seemed it did.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 25

I am a 57 year old woman. I have been experiencing hot flashes for about 10 years, they don't improve once you stop getting your period. I don't take anything for them. I know soy doesn't work - tried that. I just put up with them and minimize them by trying to keep my core body temperature cool.

Comment from: Weeniebeep, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 16

I was told from many in the medical field the soy only works if it's in your diet not in pill form and that is why Japanese women do not have these menopausal symptoms, soy is part of their diet.

Comment from: AnnieKK, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I haven't found any kind of alternative treatment that works yet for my hot flashes. I've tried progesterone cream, black cohosh, dong quai, red clover, and combinations of licorice and burdock. I've been fighting this for four years. (I'm 52). I don't want to do hormone therapy because I've got a family history of strokes. At times, I've had a hot flash every one to two hours. Sometimes they are short, just a couple of minutes (never so short as less than a minute) and sometimes they last for 30 to 45 minutes, generally at night. Sometimes they will quit for several months and then start up again.

Comment from: millie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

I am 56, and I had a hysterectomy 25 years ago. I did HRT for several years, but after suffering blood clots twice in my legs (deep vein thrombosis), I am no longer a candidate for HRT. My problem now is a hot flash with a different life of its own. I can tell when they are coming. First, my legs start tingling. Then my stomach starts burning. I get very nauseated, have shortness of breath, and then the heat starts in my breast area and works up to my face. I am disoriented, frustrated, and want to run and scream. It lasts two to five minutes. This happens about every 30 minutes to an hour.

Comment from: Cool now, Female (Patient) Published: March 16

I use gabapentin prescribed for another medical issue, and it is great for my recent surgically-induced menopause symptoms.

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Comment from: mkde, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I have had extreme hot flashes (every 45 minutes around the clock with extreme heat and perspiration) since 2001. After trying all of the "natural" over-the-counter remedies with no success, I started a course of HRT and found relief for six years. In 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer (very early, very small) and was told that I can never take hormones again. I have tried Effexor and Paxil ER and get very little relief from them. I haven't slept through the night since July 2008.

Comment from: soccergranny, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I was able to have my compounding pharmacy make a version of bellergal-s, and that has helped my menopause symptoms.

Comment from: cynfran2006, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 23

While suffering the hot flashes you describe, I was visiting at the time with my sister-in-law from Germany. She advised me to drink soy milk daily. I began the test to see if soy milk would help with hot flashes and finally was able to bring it down to 2 regular sized glasses of soy milk everyday would reduce quite significantly the extent and experiences of hot flashes.

Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 30

I am 70 years old and still have hot flashes. A generic medicine with belladona/ergotamine/phenobarbital was prescribed. It stopped the flashes and enabled me to get six hours of uninterrupted sleep. They have stopped making the product, and I can't find a similar one.

Comment from: Lady crimson, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 30

I began having night sweats in my late 30s and began taking black cohosh herbal supplements. This alone was successful for about three years, however, last year the hot flashes began to increase to several hours daily, and I resorted to prescription Estodial. Within the year, I increased the Estodial dosage to 1 mg daily in the morning followed by taking two herbal estrogen supplements at night, which contain black cohosh and a number of other supplements. This combination gives me the best benefit and restful sleep, which results in an overall better ability to cope emotionally and mentally with my day.

Comment from: Lynn B., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I have been taking Estrol Natural extra strength for a month now. I see no effect for my hot flashes. I stopped taking this product for a week now and I have as many hot flashes now as when I was taking this product.

Comment from: penny, 45-54 Female Published: August 17

I'm 47 and not sure if I'm experiencing hot flushes, I've been feeling warm then slight itchy feeling on my arms like I'm due on a period, happens through out the day evening very hard to explain the feeling really.

Comment from: cwe6, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I have had hot flashes for a year now on and off. I use meclizine such as Dramamine to help with mine. It's for motion sickness, so I found out by shear accident that it works for hot flashes too. I take it every night before bed until I go 24 hours without an episode. Sometimes I can wait a week or two before taking it again, but it has also lasted several months without an episode. When the hot flashes are very severe it takes longer for the medication to work but it gradually gets better until they go away completely. I have a friend who also uses it now for her hot flashes and we both swear by it.

Comment from: Sarah, Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I've been having hot flashes, and I've been using a fan to cool myself off. I've read about different techniques with ice cubes, etc., but that's not convenient.

Comment from: maymel97, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I started to have night sweats in my mid forties. They were not bad enough to interrupt my sleep; I just woke up damp around the neck. At 54 my period stopped. The hot flashes started and they came about one per hour. This was the worst feeling especially during the summer months. I tried several over the counter natural supplements to no avail. I finally called my OBGYN and was prescribed Activella It seems to be working, but I hope to discontinue use within a year. I hope my hot flashes don't last for 5 yrs.!

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Comment from: patrick58, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

I might be experiencing hot flashes after a period of 2 years without them; I started having them in my late 40's. The hot flashes diminished after a few years. I am now 58, and when urinating (with urgency), experience an intense sweating, and it feels like fever. Are these hot flashes, or is this common when urinating? Or are these fevers? Does anyone else experience this?

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

Due to medical problems I had a hysterectomy at age 40. I had horrible hot flashes especially at night and couldn't get a decent night's sleep. I was falling asleep at my job and basically was exhausted throughout the day. Because several members of my immediate family have had breast cancer HRT's were out of the question. My doctor prescribed Bellergal-s and it worked miracles I was finally able to sleep through the night and stay awake during the day. Unfortunately, the medication is no longer available and I am at my wits end!

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