SEATTLE (Ivanhoe Newswire/WTVM) - Hot flashes can happen in an instant, and they can be annoying, debilitating, even embarrassing. So what works and what doesn't when it comes to this common symptom of menopause?
About 75 percent of menopausal women will experience hot flashes.
Bonnie McGregor, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Behavioral Scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, recently discovered an unlikely link between women who had surgery that put them into menopause and children.
"The women that had children under the age of 13 reported fewer hot flash symptoms," McGregor says.
One possible reason is they might produce more oxytocin, the love hormone.
Katherine Guthrie, PhD, Associate Member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, looked at remedies that don't work in her recent studies.
She found omega-3 supplements, exercise and yoga don't relieve hot flashes. But one thing that did work, antidepressants.
"We saw improvement in more than half the women," says Guthrie.
Teresa Vandeven participated in a study to test antidepressants for hot flashes. She went from having 20 a day to just a couple a week.
"My life changed, just changed. I wasn't miserable, I had a good night's sleep, I was feeling better," says Vandeven.
Guthrie says studies have also shown that black cohosh in combination with a multibotanical supplement does not help hot flashes.