Not every women go through discomforts just before or right after menopause, but most will experience some kind of symptoms, each include night sweats, pain during sex, increased anxiety, the need to urinate more frequently, and hot flashes.
Hot flashes are the most frequent symptoms of menopause. A hot flash is a temporary sensation of heat that comes with a red, flushed face and sweating. What triggers hot flashes? It’s still unknown what causes of hot flashes, but could possibly be associated to circulation changes.
How can hot flashes be avoided or minimized?
A new research review suggests that soy supplements can indeed help women find relief from menopausal hot flashes.
For the new study, researchers combined the results of 17 previously published clinical trials on the question.
Overall, they found, women who used soy isoflavone extracts had a 21 percent greater reduction in hot flashes compared with women given a placebo.
And when they did have hot flashes, they tended to be less severe.
The extent of the effects did vary among the different studies. But nearly all showed a “pattern” of soy isoflavones working better than a placebo, according to senior researcher Mark Messina, of Loma Linda University in California.
“I feel completely comfortable with recommending (soy isoflavones) to women who want to try them,” said Messina, who also directs the Soy Nutrition Institute and regularly consults with companies that make soy products.
If you get no relief after about four weeks, Messina said, then it may be time to move on. A month’s supply of soy supplements costs about $12.
Is this approved by the FDA as a hot flash relief treatment?
The one consistently supported treatment is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and right now, it’s the only treatment specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for hot flashes.
But HRT is also linked to increased risks of blood clots, heart attack, stroke and breast cancer. So experts say hormones should be limited to more-severe cases of hot flashes, and that women use them at the lowest dose and for the shortest time possible.
Those safety concerns have meant that many women and doctors are looking for alternative hot flash relief.
A researcher not involved in the current study said it was “interesting” and “well done.”
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