Are There Alternative Ways to Treat Hot Flashes?

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Are you a woman in that certain age, experiencing random hot flashes that are making you absolutely miserable? Is that horrible combination of fatigue and extreme mood swings now sending your family in hiding?

Yes, it’s that dreaded and unavoidable time that every women experiences at some point. We all know what I’m talking about, so let’s just say it…

Menopause!

Menopause is one of the most emotional and challenging times for us. During this time, we’re not only responsible for running a household, we’re often under intense pressure at work, where little sympathy is shown for our daily hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, and forgetfulness.

Medication, such as hormone replacements, is available to help alleviate the symptoms, but some women would rather try an alternative treatment with less side effects.

Some women CAN’T take hormone replacements

Let’s not forget about cancer survivors, who’s bodies are actually forced into menopause prematurely, from their chemotherapy treatments. What makes this challenging for cancer patients, is that they can’t take estrogen to treat their hot flashes in combination with their chemotherapy.

So, where else can we go to get treatment for menopause symptoms?

A study on acupuncture as an alternative treatment

In 2009, Lorna Lee, licensed acupuncturist at Partners in Health and Wellbeing, was recruited to work on a clinical research study at the University of Pennsylvania, to compare the drug gabapentin versus acupuncture, for reducing the frequency and severity of hot flashes caused by menopause.

Lorna specifically treated women with breast cancer, who were thrown into menopause prematurely from chemotherapy, and were unable to use estrogen for their hot flashes. This was a significant study, and because of the severe medical condition that these women were in, Lorna initially felt uncertain, thinking, “Could our little needles really be effective?”

Regardless of the uncertainty, breast cancer survivors willingly signed up to try acupuncture, and some actually traveled two hours to participate in the experimental treatment.

Did acupuncture reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes?

It took five years to gather 120 patients for the study, and then another two years for the research to be documented and published.

The final results determined that the acupuncture treatments were significantly more helpful with reducing hot flashes than gabapentin. Not only that, the study also showed that the results lasted. Women reported that six months after receiving their acupuncture treatments, they still felt better.

After successfully proving that acupuncture can effectively treat hot flashes, Lorna now helps numerous menopausal women find relief, cancer patient or not.

Is acupuncture right for you?

If you, too, are experiencing side effects from menopause, know that there are, indeed, medications available. But also keep in mind that acupuncture is available as an alternative treatment for cancer patients who can’t take hormones, and for women who would simply prefer to take a different route for treatment.

To learn more about Lorna Lee’s experience as a licensed acupuncturist, you can visit her bio. To schedule an appointment you can call Partners in Health and Wellbeing at (302) 655-2627, or click here.

To read more about the University of Pennsylvania hot flash study, visit:

http://jco.ascopubs.org/cgi/doi/10.1200/JCO.2015.60.9412