Thursday, 30 July 2009

hot flash for the menopausal set!


we all complain about hot flashes, and no wonder – they are a pain in the butt!

"The faster you go through the transition from regular periods to no periods, the more significant your hot flashes are. Hot flashes are severe after surgical menopause, and they can also be quite difficult after a chemotherapy-induced medical menopause. If you haven't been warned about hot flashes, a sudden severe episode can be frightening; you might even confuse the flash with a heart attack."

Oh joy – I have had the surgical menopause. Lucky me. One piece of info I noted with interest is that thinner women suffer less than heavier women – MUST lose weight! ;o)

The only non-hormonal treatment I have been recommended so far by my oncologist has been Oil of Evening Primrose. Which I take every day. And which doesn't appear to make a blind bit of difference. Humph.

According to studies, hot flashes respond to placebo. ''The majority of studies confirm that women taking placebo experience about a 20% reduction in hot flash symptoms.'' So, gimme a placebo that I 'think' will work, and it'll work? Probably that's why the Oil of Evening Primrose doesn't. I never imagined it would. Oh me of little faith!

Then there's black cohosh. Some women get relief from black cohosh, but it has been linked to liver problems and most studies have lasted 6 months or less. So it's recommended that you avoid taking this remedy for more than 6 months at a time. Liver problems? On top of everything else? Er – that'd be a big fat NO thank you. Plus the oncologist gave me a rather rude look when I asked her about it. Trust your oncologist. Especially if she rolls her eyes. Good idea.

So! Failing being able to 'eat' things that may help, we have to think of something else. My first thought was exercise, and that seems to be helping everything. My flashes have lessened considerably since the chemo was completed and I started circuit training, but I still get them, especially if I am stressed, and sometimes when I am very tired. They tend to make one feel rather furious, and the aura before it arrives is quite unpleasant. Off to the internet for a solution!

Tadaah! I found this little fan. It's brilliant – I can put it on the bedside table, and when I wake up feeling like a malaria patient I can switch it on pointed at my face. This seems  to do the trick. For me anyway. It's so little I can take it everywhere, and it runs on batteries and it's not noisy. Cool! ;o)

turbo travel fan


  1. I don't have hot flashes but my bald head sure seems to sweat a lot more than my haired head ever did. I'm grateful that our summer is comparatively cool this year for if I had to leave the house on a swelteringly hot day, I'd surely have to go bare-headed.

  2. I'm the same as you Sandhy... Chemo induced menapause!
    I'm actually taking a type of HRT that my womens health specialist put me on just over a year ago...

    and i still get the hot flushes! when i feel one coming on i tend to try to think of an icy cold day where i'm shivering cold.. sometimes it works.. if not i have a massive noisy fan that i aim and fire at my body!! works a treat hehe x

  3. Your post 'the day before check-up" will be published tomorrrow (Wednesday) as this week's guest post at I included two links to your blog as well as a link to the original post, and... your photo. Keep up the great writing!
    Take care, Dennis

  4. Ok, thanks Dennis! :o) You keep up the good writing too!


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