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Hot Flashes: Possible Causes and Possible Treatments: Editorial

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This is particularly true if participants have a high number of hot flashes at baseline16 and may be more common in participants receiving treatments that are associated
with more intense attention.

Also, there was an alarming prevalence of adverse events (22%) that were not insignificant, including burns and negative physical reactions to smoke. Given the lack of proven efficacy and such toxicity, moxibustion is not something that should be recommended for clinical practice.

Nonetheless, this study raises the question of the value of acupuncture as a treatment for hot flashes. There are multiple claims suggesting that it might be beneficial for women with hot flashes in the medical literature, in the lay literature, and on the Internet.

A recent PubMed search of the following terms "hot flash" and "acupuncture" with limitations of "humans," "randomized controlled trial," and "English" revealed 11
clinical trials of interest (Table 1). These studies ranged from 18 to 267 participants. Seven of them had acupuncture and sham acupuncture arms, none of which reported any significant advantage for the purported active acupuncture
arm.(17-23) The sham acupuncture arms involved shallow needling, no needling, or using different points. Given that the mechanism of action of acupuncture is not precisely known, developing a sham that is assuredly not active has not yet been accomplished. Individual studies compared acupuncture with estrogen (22,24) and applied relaxation,(25) neither of which reported a significant advantage for the acupuncture.

One report compared transdermal estrogen versus placebo in one trial and then compared electroacupuncture versus superficial needling (sham) versus oral estrogen in another trial.(26) The authors then went on to perform a statistical analysis by combining the sham and electroacupuncture arms and compared them to the placebo arm from the other trial, something which is not considered to be
a statistically valid approach. A recently reported trial, involving 267 postmenopausal women, randomized participants to receive either acupuncture or a self-care pamphlet.27

Add a Comment6 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Good Info

January 7, 2015 - 11:12pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thanks for the informative article you have provided regarding hot flashes and the after effects. One of my relatives who is having 50 years, was suffering from the hot flashes is searching for a treatment. I am sure this article would be helpful for us.

May 29, 2013 - 10:47pm

Hot flashes are experienced by many women, but not all women undergoing menopause experience hot flashes. A hot flash is a feeling of warmth that spreads over the body, but is often most strongly felt in the head and neck regions. Hot flashes may be accompanied by perspiration or flushing. Hot flashes usually last from 30 seconds to several minutes. Although the exact cause of hot flashes is not fully understood, hot flashes are thought to be due to a combination of hormonal and biochemical fluctuations brought on by declining estrogen levels.
Menopausal symptoms can be caused due to Lower level of estrogen and progesterone. But estrovera might be help you to solve all the menopausal issues like vaginal discomfort, hot flashes, loss of libido, mood swings, insomnia, weight gain and more.

March 12, 2013 - 2:52am
EmpowHER Guest

Don't overlook the power of food to help with hot flashes -- everything from strawberries to garlic! http://www.womentowomen.com/menopause/hotflashesnutritionalrelief.aspx

Women to Women Contributor

October 9, 2012 - 8:36am
EmpowHER Guest

Some natural herbs and supplements help women with hot flashes. Black cohosh, dong quai, flaxseeds and soy can be quite beneficial.

:) Elizabeth


September 24, 2009 - 8:42am

I had 50+ hot flashes a day. My doc put me on an adrenal support supplement (all natural). I don't feel that hot flashes need to be addressed with drugs, there are natural alternatives that are effective. I get no side effects and have not hot flashed since I started taking the supplements regularly.

From how it was explained to me, since I wore down my adrenals living a stressful life, I needed supplementation to build back up my adrenals. I reduced my stress and started doing yoga as well.

Hot Flashes are your bodys way of trying to regulate it's temperature, that's where the adrenals come in... when those are not working properly.. your body can't regulate.

September 21, 2009 - 7:08am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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