Hot shots on the face, neck, décolleté, or profuse sweating … Many women are embarrassed on a daily basis by these manifestations of menopause. The hormone substitutes are not the only solution ..
Black cohosh, for general well-being
The World Health Organization considers the effects ofblack cohosh (Cimicifuga) as clinically proven in the treatment of hot flashes, but also sleep disturbances and irritability.
“Slightly estrogenic, it acts more on the pituitary gland, at the base of the brain, with a central regulatory effect. There are therefore fewer contraindications than for other estrogenic plants such as soy, sage or hops, ”explains Dr Jean-Ernest Altherr, gynecologist.
How to use black cohosh? There are standardized dry extracts in tablets or capsules (Solaray, D. Plantes, Cimipax …).
- It should reach 40 to 80 mg per day, or 1 to 2 tablets of 20 mg, twice a day.
- Count 3 to 4 weeks of treatment to evaluate its effectiveness, and make a course of 3 months minimum.
- As a precaution, to be avoided in people who have suffered from hormone-dependent cancer (breast, ovary) for less than 5 years. If there is a family history, it can be considered on medical advice.
Clary sage essential oil for menopausal sweats
Sage is recognized for its estrogenic effect which compensates for the hormonal drop, and for its antiperspirant action. Clary sage essential oil (ET) is useful if heavy sweating accompanies hot flashes. “In 70% of cases I see a reduction in hot flashes after 3 to 4 weeks,” notes Dr Altherr.
How to use the EO of clary sage? We can take it pure : 1 drop on a sugar or a neutral tablet, 2 to 3 times a day. “To avoid the risk of overdose, it is used diluted, in the form of capsules or oral solution prepared by the pharmacist, ”says the gynecologist.
Take 1 capsule or 15 drops (2 ml of EO in a 60 ml bottle of 60 ° alcohol) morning, noon and evening. Double the dosage if the improvement is insufficient after one month and take a break after 3 months, before resuming a course of treatment if necessary. The essential oil of clary sage contains lots of phytoestrogens : do not use it in the event of a personal or family history of hormone-dependent cancer.
Homeopathy for hot flashes
Without no contraindication, homeopathy is useful when no hormonal treatment or phytoestrogens can be taken. “Often, hot flashes are only linked to menopause and not to any particular terrain. It is therefore quite easy to use the major drugs that correspond to this symptom, ”notes Dr Christelle Charvet, homeopathic gynecologist. In 2012, a study showed that the homeopathic specialty Acthéane (Boiron) caused a decrease in hot flashes by about 37% after 12 weeks, which is 21.5% more than with placebo.
- As a basic treatment, take Acthéane, 1 tablet to suck 4 times a day.
- “Add to it, on a case by case basis, Lachesis 7 CH if the puffs are mostly nocturnal and are accompanied by hot sweats, and Belladonna 7 CH in case of hot spots with redness », Explains Dr Altherr, 3 granules 1 to 2 times a day + 2 more at each puff.
Without improvement, consult a homeopathic doctor for a more personalized prescription.
Physical activity to manage hormonal fluctuations
“In general, the women who remain most active during menopause suffer the least from its effects, especially hot flashes,” says Dr. Charvet. Sport indeed helps to regulate hormonal fluctuations, which are very important during menopause. It also allows rreduce stress and overweight, which tend to make hot flashes worse.
In 2012, a US study found that women had fewer hot flashes within 24 hours of a 30-minute session of moderate cardio activity. So we practice 2 to 3 times a week at least ½ hour of activity which is a little short of breath : brisk walking, cycling, fitness or dance lessons, aquagym …
What matters is regularity : better 3 ½ hour times than 1 hour 30 minutes. We put more on soft gyms (yoga, tai chi, qi gong …) once or twice a week. According to a recent study, 1 hour 30 minutes of yoga per week can reduce the frequency of hot flashes by 66%.