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The Quest for a Hot Flash Cure!
By Brigitte Cutshall

Like clockwork " it came by 9pm each night, and it came suddenly. It only lasted about 2 minutes, but it happened for every hour until about 5am the next day. My face got red and I started sweating profusely - centered on my back, chest, face, scalp and neck. This definitely affected my sleep.

The Cure for Hot FlashesIt was extreme. During the winter I dressed in layers. I literally stripped down during my son's ice hockey games. All the other parents knew I was having a hot flash then. Afterward I would be cold because my clothes were damp and I'm standing in a cold hockey rink.

Going through menopause is just another phase in a woman's life. Every woman is different. Mine just happened to be severe from being pushed into menopause due to chemotherapy treatment last summer.

Millions of women before me have gone through the same thing. Since everyone is unique, each person has different menopause
"symptoms" and the duration varies. There is a lot of advice out there and I tried some of them. Only one thing worked for me " and it was discovered by accident.

This is what was recommended:

" is relaxing overall, but meh on hot flashes. Yoga is a great way to stretch, tone your body and relax. Yoga doesn't stop the hot flashes but helps you deal with it. Deep breathing takes your "mind" off the heat.

Melatonin " Nope. Just got a melatonin hangover. Your body makes melatonin in order to naturally regulate your sleep. One of my doctors recommended this supplement to help me fall and stay asleep, since I was waking up multiple times from night sweats. I still woke up hot as hell multiple times and felt worse in the morning.

Dong Quai " This phytoestrogen herb from China has been used for thousands of years by women for alleviating menopause symptoms. It helped slightly, but I gained 5 pounds on it and it made me constipated. And one of the side effects is sun sensitivity. Not good for someone who is outdoors a lot.

HRT " hormone replacement therapy " not an option for me (breast cancer history).

Effixor " this anti-depressant is prescribed a lot now for treating hot flashes, especially for those who have had breast cancer. It helped with the hot flashes, but of course I got a rare side effect. The side effect was a random severe facial twitch " it would make the left side of my face pucker up. My left eye would close completely and would occur daily for at least 1 minute a day. This happened once while I was driving on the highway and that is a scary feeling. Not worth it. Was only on the prescription med for a total of 3 months. I had to be taken off of it gradually " you can't just don't go cold turkey.

This is what worked for me: running. I had this to desire to run every day since my cancer treatment. I thought running would help me sleep better mostly. After 3 weeks of running (3 times per week) " voila " my hot flashes were gone. Mind you, it was gradual and incorporated walk/run/walk at first. I can now run 3 miles at a steady pace again without stopping. And I incorporate yoga stretches after each run. Stretching is an important part afterward.

If you plan to incorporate running into your lifestyle, make sure it is gradual. You will be sore all over at first but it will subside after your body gets used to it. Keep the faith that things will get better after two weeks at least.

Every person is different and hopefully continuing to run on a consistent basis will keep my hot flashes away.

The key takeaway from this experience is to keep active, be creative and stay motivated. This too shall pass.

Brigitte Cutshall ...    Continue

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