During the meeting, heat travels to your face, clearly the beginning of a hot flash. Hot flashes, also called vasomotor symptoms, are a mild annoyance for some people, but for others they cause them to sweat and then experience severe chills. Most women (80%) experience hot flashes when they reach perimenopause, which can last her 7 to 10 years.
Many women suffer from hot flashes but do not seek help. However, there are some treatments available to reduce hot flashes. New FDA-approved treatments Veozer (Fezolinetant). While many may think that hot flashes are just part of women, hot flashes are associated with serious health conditions.
why women get hot flashes
Estrogen helps regulate body temperature, and changes occur when its levels drop.
“Our thermoregulation takes place in the thermoregulatory zone of the brain, and basically there are many mechanisms that maintain the function of the thermoregulatory zone, one of which is these neurons, the KNDy neurons, the NK3 neurons.” Professor Lauren Streicher, Ph.D. A PhD from Northwestern University, “Inside Dr. Streicher: The Menopause Podcast,” reports her TODAY.com. “One of the pathways that control KNDy neurons is estrogen, so when you lose estrogen, you lose that controlling element.”
When estrogen drops, KNDy neurons become ‘hypertrophied’ and ‘overloaded’. They too stop functioning and can no longer regulate body temperature properly. Streicher says there are multiple pathways that contribute to body temperature, which could explain why some people don’t experience hot flashes.
3 treatments for hot flashes
“Hot flashes are associated with cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and bone loss,” says Streicher. “It’s not just the lack of estrogen, it’s the hot flashes themselves.”
Treating hot flashes makes women feel more comfortable and less likely to experience other health problems. Streicher shares data-backed remedies that can help relieve hot flashes.
“Estrogen is the drug of choice. It’s been around for a long time. We know it’s safe. We know it works,” says Streicher. . “We know it does more than just reduce hot flashes.”
Once people start taking estrogen to treat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, it will likely need to be taken for life, she added. For hot flashes, estrogen works by binding to her KNDy neurons, “re-regulating them.”
Estrogen has many other benefits, she says, including strengthening bones, reducing the potential for cognitive decline, enhancing cardiovascular function, and improving vaginal health.
However, many people fear taking estrogen because they believe it increases the risk of breast cancer. A study published 20 years ago by the NIH Women’s Health Initiative on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) showed that the treatment increased some health problems, such as breast cancer. These results scare women away from taking hormones. A new look at the data shows that HRT is safe for most people. TODAY’s Maria Shriver spoke with Dr. Janine Austin Clayton, director of the NIH Women’s Health Laboratory, in a segment that aired on May 17.
“There’s a lot of new evidence. Arguments like what we’re doing are the right way to get as many women as possible,” she told Schreiber. “We understand that this has led to anxiety about menopausal hormone therapy. Hormone therapy is now known to be safe and effective in relieving menopausal symptoms in women approaching menopause.” The benefits may outweigh the risks.”
Streicher agrees that most people can take estrogen without harming their health.
“Not only is there no increased risk of breast cancer, we know that breast cancer risk is reduced by about 18 percent and all-cause mortality is reduced by 30 percent,” Streicher said. “But the message is not getting through.”
She added that she is not surprised that women are afraid to take estrogen because they have been “misinformed.”
“If you ask them, the majority of people will say … ‘Is estrogen safe or does estrogen increase the risk of breast cancer?'” ‘ she says. “The message, despite being misinformation, is still prevalent.”
According to FDAthere are people who cannot take estrogen to manage the symptoms of menopause, including those who:
- certain cancers, such as breast cancer
- history of thrombosis
- heart attack or stroke
- genital bleeding
- liver disease
Fezolinetant, like estrogen, also acts on KNDy neurons.
“This tricks the KNDy neurons into thinking that estrogen is binding to these KNDy receptors,” says Streicher.
Doctors currently have only 52 months of data on this new treatment. Still, it seems to have about the same effect as taking estrogen.
“It has the potential to reduce hot flashes by up to 80%, which is essentially as effective as taking estrogen,” says Streicher. “For women who truly cannot or choose not to take estrogen, this is a welcome option.”
She added that there didn’t seem to be any intolerable side effects.
“The side effect profile was very minimal,” says Streicher.
Side effects, according to the FDA, include:
- stomach pain
- back pain
- hot flashes
- liver injury
“If you have liver disease, you probably don’t want to use fesolinetant,” says Streicher.
S-equol is an over-the-counter supplement that uses soy metabolites to manage hot flashes.According to an article published in the journal Current developments in nutritionSince only 20-30% of the US population can produce equol, equol is not a natural boon for most people.
“Not everyone can metabolize soy in general, so[eating]soy doesn’t work for everyone,” says Streicher. “S-equol could be an over-the-counter supplement or herbal medicine. It’s worth a try for women, especially if they have mild hot flashes.”
For many people, S-equol doesn’t do much to control hot flashes, says Streicher. People with moderate to severe hot flashes (hot flashes that become “freezing cold” after wearing multiple layers of clothing or sweating profusely) may not notice a change when taking S-equol. there is.
“People with moderate to severe hot flashes may get some relief, but they won’t go away in the same way as estrogen or fesolinetant,” says Streicher.