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What helps hot flushes: think your hot flashes away

What helps hot flushes: think your hot flashes away
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Simply wishing your hot flushes weren’t real won’t work, but a double-blind, controlled study (the best kind), published in Menopause, found that using a mental technique called cognitive behavioural therapy was effective at diminishing both hot flushes and night sweats. CBT is a simple type of psychological therapy you can do on your own that works by challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive ones. In this case the women were taught to change their beliefs about how well they could cope with and control their hot flashes. Sound too simple to work? The researchers reported that CBT worked significantly regardless of a participant’s age, body mass index, menopause status, or psychological factors.

What helps hot flushes: set up your ideal sleep situation

What helps hot flushes: set up your ideal sleep situation
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Hot flushes and night sweats can wake women up as often as every hour, leaving them a sweaty, shaky, tired mess the next day, according to the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center. Unsurprisingly, this can make women grouchy and depressed. But while you may not be able to stop your hot flushes, practicing good “sleep hygiene” can reduce them. The researchers recommend keeping your room cool at night; avoiding hot showers or baths at least two hours before bed; eating a small bedtime snack, preferably one rich in vitamin E like almonds; and ditching caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Read on to find out about the three stages of menopause.

What helps hot flushes: hypnosis

What helps hot flushes: hypnosis
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One study published in Menopause found that women who had just six session of hypnosis experienced 56 fewer hot flushes per week compared to only 12 less for a control group who was simply taught an attention technique. Even better, the women in the hypnosis group reported that the hot flushes they did have were less severe than before.

Here the questions about menopause you’ve been too embarrassed to ask.

What helps hot flashes: weight loss

What helps hot flashes: weight loss
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Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can go a long way in reducing the discomforts of menopause, according to a recent study done by Baylor University. The researchers assigned women experiencing at least four hot flushes a day to two groups: one designed to help the participants lose weight and a control group. After six months, the dieting women had lost an average of 8 kilograms and reported their hot flushes to be significantly less. The women who lost the most weight experienced the most relief, the researchers noted.

What helps hot flushes: mindfulness

What helps hot flushes: mindfulness
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Stress can make your hot flashes worse, but a study published in Menopause discovered a particular stress-reduction technique that can help: mindfulness-based stress reduction. MBSR focuses on meditation and staying present even while in pain or distress. Women trained in MBSR experienced an immediate reduction in hot flush intensity, insomnia, anxiety, and stress levels while also improving their overall quality of life, the researchers reported.

What helps hot flushes: soy supplements

What helps hot flushes: soy supplements
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There are many, many supplements that claim to ease hot flashes but evidence is mixed about their effectiveness, according to the Australian Menopause Society. One exception, however, is a soy-based supplement called S-equol. In a randomised, controlled study published in the Journal of Women’s Health, researchers found that women who took 10 mg of S-equol had significantly fewer hot flashes than women on a placebo. As an added bonus it also appeared to reduce muscle and joint pain.

Read on for the body signs no one tells you will come before menopause.

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What helps hot flushes: acupuncture

What helps hot flushes: acupuncture
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Most people don’t love needles but acupuncture, a type of therapy where many small needles are inserted at certain points into the body, may be an effective treatment for hot flushes, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.  The study was done on breast cancer survivors as they often experience hormone-related hot flushes but aren’t good candidates for traditional drug therapies. After eight weeks of weekly treatments, the researchers found that women who got electro-acupuncture (a type where a small electrical current is run through the needles) had far fewer hot flushes than people who took a prescription medication for hot flushes or people who got a placebo version of the acupuncture. The best part? The benefit lasted even after the treatment stopped.

What helps hot flushes: exercise

What helps hot flushes: exercise
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The North American Menopause Society recently did a meta-analysis of all the research into treatments for hot flushes in an attempt to separate the old wives’ tales from cold, hard science. Surprisingly, the group says there is no scientific evidence supporting exercise or yoga as effective treatments. But don’t ditch your daily jog just yet. Exercise is one of the best “medicines” we have and has a multitude of health benefits, including ones that might reduce hot flushes like weight loss, improved sleep, and stress reduction. Regardless of the effect on your hot flushes, it’s still totally worth your time and effort to get out and get moving.

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Source: RD.com

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