A whopping 80% of women experience hot flashes during menopause. While hormone therapy (HRT) is a safe and effective treatment for many menopause symptoms, some women prefer to explore non-hormonal options.
As luck would have it, there are many!
So if you’re feeling the heat, we’ve got you covered with five expert-approved diet, lifestyle, supplement, and medication recommendations to help you ward off hot flashes.
Tofu lovers rejoice! Soy products contain isoflavone, a compound that helps combat hot flashes by mimicking natural estrogen. When possible, we recommend organic soy over conventionally produced soy, which can contain pesticides. Whole soy (edamame, soy milk, tofu, miso) in moderation does not increase breast cancer risk. Learn more about menopause friendly foods here.
Disclaimer: For women with autoimmune conditions, whole soy may not be optimal – but soy isoflavones can still be used.
2. Swedish flower pollen
Swedish flower pollen can help fight hot flashes by targeting the part of your brain that controls your temperature. It’s extracted from the pollen and pistils of grasses and is not a phytoestrogen, making it a good choice for women with hormone-positive breast cancer.
3. Breathing exercises
Deep, sustained breathing can have a positive effect on hot flashes. Take 5 minutes per day and train yourself to breathe 6-8 breaths per minute. Work your session length up from there. This technique has the stamp of approval from the North American Menopause Society!
SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) can be effective antidepressants (Lexapro, Zoloft, and Effexor, to name a few). Lesser known fact: these neurotransmitters can also be taken to treat hot flashes. By regulating serotonin levels (the “happy hormone”) and norepinephrine (our “fight-or-flight” hormone), these medications can regulate your hot flashes. If you’re interested in SSRIs or SNRIs, speak to a trusted medical provider.
5. VEOZAH™ (fezolinetant)
On May 13, 2023 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved VEOZAH™ (fezolinetant) from Astellas for the treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms (aka menopausal hot flashes and night sweats). It’s taken once daily as an oral pill.