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Mechanism Hot flashes are attributed to central alpha2-adrenergic activity
Aetiology Idiopathic, due to response of autonomic nervous system to decreased oestrogens; they are responsible for osteoporosis, atrophy of vaginal epithelium, leukorrhea and pruritus
Management While hormones—e.g., oestrogens in women and androgens in men—ameliorate symptoms of age-related hormonal decline, they are contraindicated in women with breast cancer, and in men with prostate cancer; megestrol acetate decreases hot flashes by 85%—vs. 20% with placebos. Oestrogen replacement ‘drives’ proliferation of endometrial tissue, which may result in adenomatous hyperplasia and occasionally endometrial carcinoma
Note: Hot flashes occur in eunuchs and in most men who have been acutely deprived of testosterone as in castration, a therapeutic modality for advanced prostate carcinoma; diethylstilbestrol may stop the flashes, but exacerbates cardiovascular disease and blood clots; in Europe, cyproterone acetate is used
hot flashesHot flush Gynecology A symptom afflicting 80-85% of middle-aged ♀, first occurring during the perimenopause, continuing with ↓ intensity for yrs, manifesting itself as transient waves of erythema and uncomfortable warmth beginning in the upper chest, face and neck, followed by fine sweating and chills; HFs are precipitated by emotional stress, meals and environmental cues, and are more intense if ovaries are surgically removed than if the decline of ovarian function is less abrupt Etiology Idiopathic, due to response of autonomic nervous system to ↓ estrogens; they are responsible for osteoporosis, atrophy of vaginal epithelium, leukorrhea and pruritus; relationship of ↓ estrogen to CAD is unclear Therapy Although hormones–eg, estrogens in ♀ and androgens in ♂ ameliorate the symptoms, they are contraindicated in ♀ with breast CA, and in ♂ with prostate CA; megestrol acetate ↓ HFs by 85%–vs 20% with placebos
Patient discussion about hot flashes
Q. How Can Hot Flashes Be Treated? I am 62 years old. I have been experiencing hot flashes recently that really bother me. How can this be treated?
Q. Hot flashes while on tamoxifen - is there anything to do? Hello, Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after surgery and radiation, I was given tamoxifene. In the beginning it was OK, but now I have hot flashes. Usually I can to hold my self until It passes, but some times (like during work) it’s just so bothering- is there anything I can do to make these flashes go?
Q. Does any one have any suggestions for hot flashes? Soy is prohibited.
There are several options. First you can try to dress appropriately, exercise regularly refrain from certain foods, coffe and smoking. There are several dietary supplements that may curb your hot flashes such as black cohosh.
You can read more here (http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/hot-flashes/HQ01409/METHOD=print).
There are also medications to treat this condition (such as hormones, anti-depressant etc.) but they require prescription. You may consult your doctor to see what the best option for you is.