As I explained in the post about yeast infection, the topic of my interview on Here’s to Your Health this week was women’s health. Josh ended the show asking me about what homeopathy can do to relieve hot flashes. I am posting a more complete answer here because we were short of time on the radio and there are one or two things that I want to add.
Hot Flash is a feeling of warmth all over the body. It is usually brief (less than a few minutes) and can be accompanied by flushing and sweating. Most of the time it is experienced by many women (2 out of 3 premenopausal women) prior and at the beginning of menopause. It can be a few months or even several years before menopause. The symptoms can be very mild or quite extreme (who has not heard of women needing to change their sheets in the middle of the night because of heavy sweating?).
The main cause is low estrogen (there is a progressive decrease of estrogen before menopause) or low-level of testosterone. It can also happen in some medical conditions (in men and women) where thermoregulation is affected, or because of certain treatments (such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, anti-testosterone treatment and so on).
Conventional treatments consist of:
hormone replacement therapy (tablets or patches of estrogen alone or with progesterone)
bioidentical hormone therapy that are synthesized from plants extracts and applied as gels or creams
It can even be selective SRI such as Effexor for depression and anxiety, Clonidine (an anti-hypertension drug), anti-seizure drugs, and more.
All those have side effects, interactions and potential long-term risks (some well-known, some not yet established).
Phytoestrogens that are isoflavones extracted from soy, chick peas, and lentils, are also used because their structure is similar to that of our estrogen. They are much less potent though and we do not have enough feed back about their efficacy and safety yet.
Let’s talk about some homeopathic medicines: They are many several medicines for hot flashes. they are safe and highly effective and they also take into account the emotional characteristics of each patient. I selected the main ones that you can use individually or by alternating them.
In all cases:
Lachesis mutus 30C :
- 5 sublingual pellets 2 to 3 times a day. If hot flashes happen mainly at night, take 5 pellets at dinner time, and again before bed.
If there is profuse sweating: Belladonna 6C
- Take 5 pellets in the afternoon until perspiration subsides. Or 5 pellets when needed.
If there is throbbing headaches in conjunction with very sudden hot flashes: Glonoinum 6C
- Take 5 pellets at each sudden flash until symptoms are relieved.