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Acupuncture for hot flashes


For some women, the symptoms of menopause are unbearable. Unpredictable hot flashes or varying severity can disrupt and embarrass. A small study in Acupuncture in Medicine suggests that traditional Chinese medicine like acupuncture may lessen the severity of this and other symptoms.

The study followed 53 middle aged women who had all stopped having periods. They were experiencing hot flashes, vaginal dryness, urinary tract infections and mood swings in varying degrees. They used a five point scale to report these symptoms to researchers. Levels of estrogen, follicular stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone were all measured before and after the study.

About half the women got acupuncture twice a week for ten weeks. The rest had some kind of placebo-like/sham acupuncture.

At the end, women given traditional acupuncture reported lower scores for all symptoms except urogenital with the severity of hot flashes being reduced the most. And the severity decreased as the treatment progressed.

They think that acupuncture may boost the levels of endorphins and that might stabilize the body’s temperature. No matter, if it reduces nasty hot flashes, especially for women unable or unwilling to take hormones, then it’s something that should be discussed with your doctor.

Source: British Medical Journal, ScienceDaily


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