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I had a partial hysterectomy when I was 36 years old. I have experienced hot flashes for 20 years now. Food, any food hot or cold seem to be a trigger. Could it be something else?

By Anonymous March 9, 2009 - 3:09pm
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Food, any food hot or cold seem to be a trigger. Could it be something else?

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Anon, 20 years! Wow. We stand in sympathy.

Are you on any hormone replacement therapy since your partial hysterectomy? (Does partial mean your ovaries are still intact?)

Have your hot flashes increased in severity or number in recent years, or has it been like this since your surgery?

Here are a couple of Empowher posts and pages where the topic is controlling hot flashes:




Here's an article that talks specifically about diet and hot flashes. In Japan, fewer women have hot flashes at all (7 percent of Japanese women, vs. 55 percent of American women!), and they believe it is because of the higher levels of soy and vegetable protein in their diets, for instance:


Here's an excerpt:

"In addition to soy and tofu products, women can help combat hot flashes by eating more calcium-rich foods, magnesium-rich foods and foods rich in vitamin E -- like cold-pressed oils, green leafy vegetables, nuts and almonds, as well as plenty of mineral- and fiber-rich foods, like whole grains and fresh vegetables. Janet Zand, Allan N. Spreen and James B. LaValle -- authors of "Smart Medicine for Healthier Living" -- suggest women who suffer from hot flashes add sea vegetables to their diets. "The minerals in these foods replenish necessary electrolytes lost through perspiration," they write.

"During menopause, it is also important for women to get plenty of water. "One of the best things you can do during this time is to be sure to drink plenty of quality water -- at least 2 quarts daily," writes Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Dietary Wellness." "Drinking water replaces fluids lost to perspiration during hot flashes and can even prevent or minimize the hot flashes themselves."

"Foods to avoid to prevent hot flashes
"Perhaps as important as which foods women should eat to prevent hot flashes are those foods they should avoid. Many foods are thought to contribute to or worsen discomfort from hot flashes. Alcohol, caffeine, excess sugar, dairy products, meat products and spicy foods rank among the top aggravators of severe hot flashes as well as mood swings. In Prevention Magazine's "New Choices in Natural Healing," Eve Campanelli, a holistic family practitioner in Beverly Hills, Calif., says, "Hot flashes often flare up when women drink wine or coffee, which acidifies the blood and strains the liver. One way to avoid this acidification is to cut down on these beverages and to drink more fresh vegetable juices, which counteract the effect by alkalinizing the system."

Does any of this help? Do you see things on this list that might be affecting you?

Do you have other symptoms of menopause as well? (Insomnia, mood swings, forgetfulness, changes in skin or hair, etc)?

Please let us know and we'll see what else we can find out for you.

March 11, 2009 - 9:59am
Expert HERWriter

Have you ever taken anything for your hot flashes? You were very young to have had a complete hysterectomy. And to have suffered from hot flashes for the past 20 years is so not fun!!

There are certain foods that will make you flash more. Spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol are the top three that come to mind. I'm sure there are more listed on our site and or our moderators will be happy to give you a complete list of foods you should steer clear of.

Hope this helps. There are lots of things you can do to help your hot flashes. Let me know and I can give you so more tips.

Do you have night sweats as well?

Best in health,

March 9, 2009 - 3:35pm
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