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Supplements for Relief of Hot Flashes

written by: Janet Scheffler • edited by: BStone • updated: 3/14/2011

Women who suffer the discomfort of hot flashes have various supplements to choose from; both vitamin and herbal supplements. Menopausal symptoms don't have reduce your quality of life.

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    ice Women going through menopause often have to deal with one of the most uncomfortable symptoms — hot flashes. Supplements for hot flashes tend to help reduce some of the discomfort. One school of thought believes that hot flashes are caused from inadequate estrogen circulation, but in fact we still do not know for sure what causes them. Hot flashes during the night are referred to as night sweats. The skin heats up, the body flushes and sweating begins. Keeping a supply of clean pillow cases and pajamas on hand helps.

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    Vitamins and Minerals

    Vitamin E can be an effective weapon to help reduce hot flashes. Follow the recommended daily dose and be patient. It may take a few weeks to really notice the effects. Use caution with taking vitamin E with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions or when taking heart meds such as digitalis.

    Vitamin C, a potent anti-oxidant, is depleted with hot flashes and a supplement is necessary for balanced health. Vitamin C is essential for tendon, metabolic health, bone and blood vessel health. If loose stools result, reduce the dose. Smokers require more vitamin C than non-smokers.

    Magnesium is also depleted during hot flashes and a supplement is suggested. This mineral, essential for the absorption of calcium, is a much-needed nutrient for women as they age, as is potassium. Magnesium is used in all functions of the body; cells, organs, tissue and as an electrolyte. Magnesium deficiency can cause migraines and fibromyalgia, two additional issues many women in menopause experience.

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    Herbal Supplements

    Evening Primrose oil or gamma linolenic acid has been used for years as a relief of the symptoms of PMS and menstrual issues. Primrose oil relieves hormonal fluctuations, hot flashes and aids in the reduction of mood swings. Again, this is a supplement that takes a bit of time to get into your system and patience is suggested.

    Ginseng is used to alleviate hot flashes. Dosages are determined according to body weight. Ginseng is considered an adaptogen, bringing imbalanced bodies and their chemistry into balance. It aids in building resistances to stress, chemical changes and input. Ginseng tends to react according to the body, its physical health, muscle health and so on. Studies show a tendency for ginseng to help reduce skin temperature. Ginseng has also been shown to help with sleep and sleep interruptions such as night sweats — hot flashes that happen to women through the night.

    Black Cohosh is an herbal supplement considered to help with the intensity of hot flashes, although various studies show an unremarkable result; there are as many showing little or no result as showing an improvement. Women report success with black cohosh, but many times this is a grouping of supplements taken together, the results somewhat muddied. Black cohosh has a long history of being one of those "women's" herbs, used in situations of female issues; period discomfort, menopause and miscarriage. Caution should be used with black cohosh. It can cause stomach and digestive problems in some people.

    When considering the use of supplements and herbs, research each and know what you are taking. Check with your doctor before starting supplements for hot flashes.

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