Wendy Hoffman blogs about menopause and women's health—particularly focusing on how diet and nutrition can positively affect a woman's life around the age of menopause.See all posts »
The Quest for Hot Flash Solutions Continues
While attending the recent annual conference of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), I learned about a very interesting, NIH-funded, multi-location research network, called MsFlash, that is conducting randomized clinical trials to test a variety of “promising treatments” for alleviating menopausal symptoms such as vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats), sleep disorders, and sexual function.
They recently concluded one study, involving nearly 250 post-menopausal women, that investigated whether Yoga, exercise or Omega 3 supplements can help with vasomotor symptoms. I was disappointed to learn that there was no evidence that any of these purported remedies reduced the frequency or severity of hot flashes, though I shouldn't have been so surprised. As I close out my 50s, I'm still experiencing hot flashes despite a lot of exercise.
So the quest for a safe, natural solution that is proven to work on hot flashes continues. In the meantime, many enterprising women have created products that can help post-menopausal women who are experiencing hot flashes and night sweats cool off.
For example, at the NAMS conference, I met Alli Truttmann, the young founder of a company called Wicked Sheets, which manufactures bed sheets that are designed to wick away moisture that your body creates during all those “flashes.” They’re really soft to the touch and they are wrinkle free to boot.
The RejuvenAir Medical Fan was created by Dr. Laurie Klein, a dermatologist, in Laguna Niguel, CA, whose own hot flashes led to her invention of a “personal cooling device.” It’s small enough to place on your bedside table or on your desk and it features a built-in timer with multiple pre-set options so you can set it to go off automatically. Lately, I’ve been using this instead of my usual hand-cranked fan. It cools me off while I fall back to sleep.
Finally, if you’re like me and at constant war with your heavy, down-filled comforter, check out the silk-filled comforters and satin-trimmed blankets made by Seattle-based Mulberry West. Founder Lana Abrams says no other company is using Grade A mulberry silk, which offer a “lightweight veil of warmth or a naturally cooling cover, whichever the body needs.”