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Post-menopausal hot flashes

By September 23, 2010 - 11:46am

I'm 67 and still have hot flashes, the worst being night sweats. I stopped HRT after being on them for 9 years. The flashes started again and 7 years later I still can't get a good nights sleep. Desperate for a break, I started a very low dose of estrace and promethium 3 months ago and was able to considerble reduce symptons on this dose, but of course, felt uneasy taking them. My doc (new) has started me of Effexor for the flashes with the intention of slowly reducing the hormones. I am dubious about the Effexor because of reports of difficulty stopping them, possible weight gain, and in fact so far they have not helped. I think the flashes are a bit worse. I still take the HRT. I am in excellent health and all tests are normal. I take no other medications and am slim and fit. But what a mess I'm in now! I have tried absolutely everything. Will I ever get relief?

By March 21, 2011 - 10:59pm

I just learned a way to change my blood flow so my hands and feet warm up, so it might work on blood flow in hot flashes. It's done by using "reverse breathing." When most people breathe in, they expand their abdomen, pushing the diaphram down. When they breath out, they contract the abdomen, and push the diaphram up. However, reverse breathing does the reverse - contracts the abdomen in when breathing air in, and expands the abdomen out when breathing out. In the exercise, you stand in "second position" for ballet (actually shikadash in karate) and reach the arms out to your side. The hands are curled and then uncurled as you breath out. This is all pretty complicated to explain with words. You might get a tai chi or yoga teacher that could help you with this. I'm not sure if it works on hot flashes, but it definitely helped my chronically cold hands and feet. I'm rather shy of using breath techniques without direct, in person instruction from a knowledgeable person since breath is such as basic, but vital function of our bodies, and ultimately our minds.

March 21, 2011 - 10:59pm
By October 28, 2010 - 7:35pm

I'm curious as to how many women find cohosh helpful. I didn't. I notice that one of the articles posted here about cohosh gives it a "C" grade in terms of effectiveness. Frankly, I've tried just about everything there is. And the one thing that does seem to help, Amberen, is now in question for me, since while it contains no hormones, it raises estradiol levels, albeit naturally, in the blood. For people like me who have close relatives with estrogen receptive breast cancer, it's scary to think that even when my body naturally produces it's own hormones, it could put me at risk. I just keep thinking about how much my life has been affected by relentless flashing day and night, and I'm reluctant to give up this respite. The manufacturers insist it's safe, but they're the ones making the money. I'm really aggravated when I think about the lengths I'm having to go to in order to get some relief and quality back into my life.

October 28, 2010 - 7:35pm
By October 28, 2010 - 7:20pm

I was on effexor for over a year. My gynecologist prescribed it for horrific, constant flashing and night sweats. It initially helped, but then about 8 weeks into the initial 37.5mg dose, began to wear off. He doubled the dose. It worked again. I noticed weight gain. 8 weeks later I'm sweating like crazy. He wanted me to increase the dose to 150mgs. I suspected the med was causing the 20 pound weight gain. I talked him into 112.5mgs. When the sweats returned with a vengence, I looked into this drug, and found that not only did it cause sweating, it also was responsible for weight gain. And withdrawal from it would be difficult. And difficult it was!!! It took 4 months of slow weaning off of it, and it still required a week off from work, as the brain zaps, mental fog, nightmares, ringing in the ears and lack of coordination prevented me from functioning once I stopped completely once I reached 18mgs. Get off the junk if you can NOW. Not worth the aggravation. It took a full 6 months for me to feel normal. I realize not everyone is so sensitive, but it's more common than the MD's realize.

October 28, 2010 - 7:20pm

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