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Hot Flashes: Possible Causes and Possible Treatments: Editorial

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Acupuncture decreased hot flashes by 50% in half of the sample, whereas in the control group, only 16% of women reported that their hot flashes were cut in half. Hot flash reductions were statistically significantly greater in the acupuncture group over controls, and this also was associated with more sleep, which was also considered to be statistically significant. The primary weakness of this study was the lack of a control group to account for attention and provider interaction.

Hence, there are some compelling data to study acupuncture further, and the biggest challenge is to develop an adequate control that will not be active in the same way acupuncture is but will control for the nonspecific effects of the intervention (particularly attention). Although acupuncture may eventually be shown to do some good for some women with hot flashes, there is, as of this time, no definitive evidence base to prove its efficacy or to direct its use in clinical practice.


The authors of the three articles related to hot flash conundrums published in this issue of Menopause should be commended for tackling critically important issues related to the science of hot flash management. The future of effective interventions for hot flashes with low or no toxicity lies in the elucidation of hot flash physiology, mechanisms of interventions, new trial paradigms, and hot flash measurement.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.
Charles L. Loprinzi, MD
Debra L. Barton, RN, PhD
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN
1. Goldberg RM, Loprinzi CL, O’Fallon JR, et al. Transdermal clonidine
for ameliorating tamoxifen-induced hot flashes. J Clin Oncol 1994;12:
2. Loprinzi CL, Michalak JC, Quella SK, et al. Megestrol acetate for the
prevention of hot flashes. N Engl J Med 1994;331:347-352.
3. Loprinzi CL, Sloan J, Stearns V, et al. Newer antidepressants and gabapentin
for hot flashes: an individual patient pooled analysis [published
online ahead of print March 30, 2009]. J Clin Oncol doi: 10.1200/
4. Pandya KJ, Raubertas RF, Flynn PJ, et al. Oral clonidine in postmenopausal

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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