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Old 04-01-2010, 11:51 AM   #41
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I am actually on prescription Vit D because I am deficient so have that covered. However, will add EPO and Vit E to my daily mix. Dr did tell me to take Coenzyme Q10 and Omega 3s to try and lower my awful cholesterol numbers (thanks again menopause).

Freebird, I slept with the cold pack by my bed and when I flushed last night stuck at the back of my neck and think it did help as don't think that it was a often last night.

My menopause probably started around 40 and at 47 my Dr considers me post-menopausal. Kind of surprised me as my mother did not hit menopause until her early 50s and both my grandmothers had their last children at 44.
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:23 PM   #42
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Well, I'm totally new to this board and seem to be older than all the posters (70) so having said that, I have been having hot flashes for about 20 years. The first 5 were the worst.
Now, being of this age, and still having the dreaded flashes, I take hrt at the lowest dose in pill form three times a week. If I decrease that, then I can't sleep which makes me a bull the next day, so I take them.
I also take vitamin D which I consider my happy pill as I haven't been much of a bitch since taking both these little pills.
20 years? That's just unfair!
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:30 AM   #43
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Yeah isn't it crazy...my doctor says that some women have it forever. well thank you very much. Sometimes though if I'm off the hrt, I do have changes to my sweet temperment...so it's safer for those around me if I just keep taking the little green pill.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:02 AM   #44
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I was pretty lucky. I only had mild symptoms with menopause. I went through a relatively short period of time where I would throw the blankets off of me at night. Sometimes, I would get up and throw some cold water on my body. My worse time was at work when I would get stressed and then feel the hot flash. Only happened a few times at work, thank goodness.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:23 AM   #45
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When I saw the thread title "Hot Flushes", my first reaction was to suggest checking the water supply on the toilet
Great minds think alike ...

Reminds me of the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" (with an actress that I adore - Diane Lane) in which her toilet is "serviced by hot water".....
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:06 PM   #46
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I will soon be 56 and have not yet medically entered menopause. A few months ago I sought help for the hot flashes and my internist prescribed 75mg of Effexor. It worked alright, it worked great, but the vivid dreams were so disturbing that I stopped taking it after 10 days. I dreamed I was standing in front of a maternity room window looking down at my baby. The "baby" was conjoined frozen Butterball Turkeys with the cartoon heads of Foghorn Leghorn from Bugs Bunny. I dreamed that James Earl Jones poked a hole thru my tonsil. I dreamed that people were driving up to my mailbox and putting babies in the newspaper slot and they were coming out the back and piling up like cordwood. I just couldn't take it anymore! I guess I will just suck it up like my ancestors did!
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:21 PM   #47
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I will soon be 56 and have not yet medically entered menopause. A few months ago I sought help for the hot flashes and my internist prescribed 75mg of Effexor. It worked alright, it worked great, but the vivid dreams were so disturbing that I stopped taking it after 10 days. I dreamed I was standing in front of a maternity room window looking down at my baby. The "baby" was conjoined frozen Butterball Turkeys with the cartoon heads of Foghorn Leghorn from Bugs Bunny. I dreamed that James Earl Jones poked a hole thru my tonsil. I dreamed that people were driving up to my mailbox and putting babies in the newspaper slot and they were coming out the back and piling up like cordwood. I just couldn't take it anymore! I guess I will just suck it up like my ancestors did!
Wow - remind me not to take that - I already have vivid dreams and always have. A couple of nights ago I dreamed that my DH was a USB thumb drive, kept on my key chain. Freud would have a field day...
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:04 PM   #48
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Ok I had enough of the hot flushes so I went to my Dr to discuss my options. She went thru the medication channels but also suggested acupuncture.

I have decided to go down the acupuncture route before I try any of the drug options. As the acupuncturist said, taken estrogen etc. is just trying to fool your body. The idea of the acupuncture is to try and help your body ease into menopause rather than fight it. Supposedly we need to create more water in my body to put out the fire which is the flushes.

Will be interested to see how I go. Dr said try it for 4 to 6 weeks, so today was visit 2. I also have some chinese herbs to try. To me it is worth trying rather than getting addicted to taking more medication.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:08 PM   #49
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Ok I had enough of the hot flushes so I went to my Dr to discuss my options. She went thru the medication channels but also suggested acupuncture.

I have decided to go down the acupuncture route before I try any of the drug options. As the acupuncturist said, taken estrogen etc. is just trying to fool your body. The idea of the acupuncture is to try and help your body ease into menopause rather than fight it. Supposedly we need to create more water in my body to put out the fire which is the flushes.

Will be interested to see how I go. Dr said try it for 4 to 6 weeks, so today was visit 2. I also have some chinese herbs to try. To me it is worth trying rather than getting addicted to taking more medication.
Acupuncture is totally worthless crap. You might as well have someone dance around you waving feathers and screaming like a chicken.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:17 PM   #50
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Since you are open to acupuncture, you might want to see if you can locate an acupuncturist who is trained in NAET. I was all grumpy when I went in for a treatment (balanced my harmones) and was chriping like a happy little bird when I came out. DH said I don't know what the doctor did, but you need to make another appointment!

NAET is actually an allergy treatment program...yes, I know, it's all smoke and mirrors, but it worked for me. Actually, it worked for my granddaugher, too. Poor kid was allergic to almost everything and she's doing quite well now.

I hope you find some relief...soon!
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:20 PM   #51
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I started out with bio-identical hormones. At the time I had a high-stress job in the health field, and it wouldn't do to have a hot flash in the middle of a therapy session. My doctor was holistically oriented, and her mentoring me through that phase really helped me!

After about 7 years, I started taking an herbal tincture from HerbPharm (an herb company from Oregon). You can order online, and the products are excellent. They have a menopause formula, and the hot flashes, mood swings, etc. eased, and I mellowed out.

I know many women who said they would not touch any hrt - until they were in the midst of menopause. I have found that both the pharmaceutical world and the world of botanical medicine offer gifts, and can work well together.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:43 PM   #52
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Dangermouse:

If you aren't satisfied with using acupuncture, consider this article describing the use of neurontin (generic name, gabapentin) to help with hot flashes:

PERSONAL HEALTH; A Chance Find, and Voilą! Goodbye, Hot Flashes. Hello, Sleep. - New York Times

I had been prescribed gabapentin (low dose of 300 mg, taken at night) for periodic nerve pain from overstressed muscles. My discovering that increasingly problematic hot flashes simultaneously disappeared was a pleasant surprise. I hadn't known they might. Using black cohosh, remifemin, and Chinese herbs had not been effective plus would be much more expensive over the long haul. My SIL was prescribed gabapentin directly for her hot flashes but unfortunately received no relief.

And to follow-up on the estrogen thread, another recent NY Times article discussed the possibility that estrogen can be highly beneficial to a woman who starts it in her 50s while having the reverse effect on a woman 10 years older. I've only bookmarked and then skimmed the article intIending to plow through it later. Think one of the hypotheses is that some of the negative findings on estrogen use for women just at menopause may (except for breast cancer) may be an artifact caused by the inclusion of proportionally more older women in order to ensure that were an adequate number of disease events within the entire study group.

The Estrogen Dilemma - NYTimes.com
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:11 PM   #53
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Acupuncture is totally worthless crap. You might as well have someone dance around you waving feathers and screaming like a chicken.
Actually I am going to have to disagree with you on this one. I am a great believer in complementary therapies, I was surprised when I came to California how they really have failed to embrace AT, the first solution to everything seems to be to reach for the prescription pad.

However, I have previously had acupuncture for other issues and it has done nowt, so I was skeptical going in. To my amazement, after 3 treatments I think there is some improvement in my condition. Now you could say it is mind over matter, but I don't believe that to be the case, because a hot flush is not something you bring on or rid yourself of, by the power of positive thinking. It's not something that is on my mind until it happens. I know it's not the herbs, because I rarely take them. I was thinking last night there is some improvement because normally when I am watching the telly I flick the blanket off on and my legs a dozen times. Last night, not at all. Same during the day, normally I have my hoodie off and on an annoying amount of times. Have been in a constant status of everything remaining on for the past couple of days.

Not to say the flushes have gone. Occasionally I can feel my body building up to flush, and I am getting some flushes, but they are just not to the degree they were before and not the number they were before. I will see how it goes the more treatment I have.

I did read that NY Times article which is what pushed me into going to my Dr about the flushes to start with. It made very interesting reading.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:10 AM   #54
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However, I have previously had acupuncture for other issues and it has done nowt, so I was skeptical going in. To my amazement, after 3 treatments I think there is some improvement in my condition. Now you could say it is mind over matter, but I don't believe that to be the case, because a hot flush is not something you bring on or rid yourself of, by the power of positive thinking. It's not something that is on my mind until it happens.
If something works, great but keep in mind that correlation is not proof of causation. Interestingly, I have read that there can be a strong placebo effect (IIRC, maybe 20 to 30%) in hot flash treatment studies. So yes, hot flashes can respond to placebo treatment.

The interesting question is whether treatments that are not supported by research and are not theoretically sound should nevertheless be promoted if they work for some simply due to placebo responses. I think not because that undermines the integrity of science and it would be ethically suspect. But maybe a closer question is whether it is fine to just ignore such treatments and not argue against their use provided that the treatment isn't something that could be harmful or if serious harm could result by avoiding legitimate medical treatment.
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:57 PM   #55
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Interesting thread!

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I was surprised when I came to California how they really have failed to embrace AT, the first solution to everything seems to be to reach for the prescription pad.
Dangermouose,

Which state/city did you come from? I live in the valley too but I see acupuncurist offices everywhere here. Even my health insurance (from work) covers acupuncture treatments.
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Old 05-09-2010, 01:15 PM   #56
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Ok I had enough of the hot flushes so I went to my Dr to discuss my options. She went thru the medication channels but also suggested acupuncture.

I have decided to go down the acupuncture route before I try any of the drug options.
I have a friend who is a retired medical librarian (at NIH). She told me that there was a strong political push a few years ago to research a number of alternative therapies, including acupuncture. The results were inconclusive for all the other therapies except for acupuncture - the results for acupuncture were positive. I hope it works out for you - it certainly sounds preferable to taking drugs.
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Old 05-09-2010, 01:37 PM   #57
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Interesting thread!


Dangermouose,

Which state/city did you come from? I live in the valley too but I see acupuncurist offices everywhere here. Even my health insurance (from work) covers acupuncture treatments.
We came to California via London. We originally went to San Diego but are now in Los Gatos. My health insurance covers acupuncture, on a $60 treatment I have a copay of $42. The acupuncturist I use was recommended by my physician who I have great respect for. Without a doubt she is the best Dr I have ever seen. She listens and her mantra is if it is not good enough for her, it is not good enough for her patients. She is a breast cancer survivor and when she was on tamoxifen she had bad flushes. Using acupuncture she was able to reduce the flushes, not eliminate but get them to a manageable level.

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I have a friend who is a retired medical librarian (at NIH). She told me that there was a strong political push a few years ago to research a number of alternative therapies, including acupuncture. The results were inconclusive for all the other therapies except for acupuncture - the results for acupuncture were positive. I hope it works out for you - it certainly sounds preferable to taking drugs.
I find that as I age I could easily become nothing more than a rattling pill bottle. I have to take medication for thyroid, I have high cholesterol which I am trying to fix thru diet, exercise and vitamins - I will know if I have been successful when I have the next round of blood tests. I just feel as if I want to try other options before I submit to paying drug companies for the rest of my life. It actually makes me angry how quickly people turn to gastric bypass surgery or take medication for the onset of diabetes instead of taking control of their situation and fixing what they can thru natural treatments and I include diet and exercise as natural treatments.
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Old 05-09-2010, 01:52 PM   #58
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I've used acupuncture several times. Read somewhere that, in contrast to Western medicine with a tradition of peer review and publication of findings, Chinese practitioners have at least in the past kept private effective techniques. There can be differences in how needles are inserted and other factors; plus even though I'd guess the meridians of energy are agreed upon some seem to use different points. So think having a negative or inclusive experience with one acupuncturist may not be a valid predictor.

My very first session I was bored out of my mind and felt ridiculous. But then read that the impact of acupuncture can be cumulative; found that true for me. Too, the value of acupuncture can lie in the diagnostics. Not necessarily needed for hot flashes - there the cause is pretty clear!!! But many are faced with less specific issues. Here, older Chinese-trained practitioners whose training included an medical degree can be superb.

Not sure why it can work; may well be the placebo effect. There have been, however, lots of fascinating articles in the last few years showing how that effect can be shown in scans to alter the brain in ways comparable to drugs (particularly for pain). Maybe the reassurance, body contact, and soothing music enhance the impact. But if it works ...
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:15 PM   #59
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My health insurance covers acupuncture, on a $60 treatment I have a copay of $42. The acupuncturist I use was recommended by my physician who I have great respect for.
I, too, started acupuncture at the recommendation of my neurologist. Would be using acupuncture now (tinnitus from an old ear infection just flared again) but have switched health plans and it's no longer covered. Here a treatment is about $100. So I turned to a cheap generic drug that has minimal side effects that helping a lot. Think throwing the kitchen sink (including alternative, exercise etc.) at a potential problem early can hopefully prevent issues. If not, at least tried ...

Oh - meant to mention Japanese acupuncture. So different from Chinese - the needles are inserted much more lightly and primarily along the spine. It had a dramatically different impact. Total relaxation - it was a few minutes before I could walk. Had heard of that happening with Chinese acupuncture but had never before experienced it.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:11 PM   #60
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I've used acupuncture several times. Read somewhere that, in contrast to Western medicine with a tradition of peer review and publication of findings, Chinese practitioners have at least in the past kept private effective techniques. There can be differences in how needles are inserted and other factors; plus even though I'd guess the meridians of energy are agreed upon some seem to use different points. So think having a negative or inclusive experience with one acupuncturist may not be a valid predictor.
There are no 'meridians'.

Quote:
My very first session I was bored out of my mind and felt ridiculous. But then read that the impact of acupuncture can be cumulative; found that true for me. Too, the value of acupuncture can lie in the diagnostics. Not necessarily needed for hot flashes - there the cause is pretty clear!!! But many are faced with less specific issues. Here, older Chinese-trained practitioners whose training included an medical degree can be superb.

Not sure why it can work; may well be the placebo effect. There have been, however, lots of fascinating articles in the last few years showing how that effect can be shown in scans to alter the brain in ways comparable to drugs (particularly for pain). Maybe the reassurance, body contact, and soothing music enhance the impact. But if it works ...
And maybe they are the 'impact'.
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