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Hot Flashes

Sonya asks: Every time I see a product claiming to "treat hot flashes" I think to myself: "Can that actually be true? Is there really a magic solution? So, is there?"

My reply:

Thank you for cracking open this important question; one that I think about daily! 




Because as a health advocate for midlife women, I know we are the most sought-after demographic for both media and marketers. And, now that menopause is enjoying its due time in the spotlight, we are also exposed to a lot of promising “magicians.” 


Magicians, in my world, are not the brewers of potions and lotions. No. Magicians, in this context, are the copywriters and the opportunists who want us to hand over a share-of-our-wallet in exchange for promises and products that not FDA- or Health Canada-approved, not evidence-based, and in some cases, not even willing to disclose ingredient lists (Hello, has anyone ever turned a bottle around only to read “proprietary blend?”)


FYI: Proprietary blend is another way of saying “we want your money and we think you're desperate or dumb enough to give it to us.”


So let's set the record straight:

  • There is no magic wand. The only magic, when it comes to our health is being surrounded by quality information and feeling confident to advocate for our own health.

  • Vasomotor symptoms (aka hot flashes and night sweats) are an important signal (I like the analogy of a “check engine” light on our vehicles) from our body that it needs attention. Paying attention to vasomotor symptoms (rather than “pushing through”) is important for two reasons: 1) you are not meant to suffer and 2) often vasomotor symptoms provide a window-of-opportunity for us to invest in other key areas of our health: heart, bone and genitourinary health. Vasomotor symptoms are an invitation for us to have an investigative conversation with our health provider about how we can prioritize our health, and what options might be best for us.

  • Not everyone will experience vasomotor symptoms. The majority of vasomotor symptoms begin in perimenopause. Everyone who lives long enough to reach menopause will experience a decline in both estrogen and progesterone, and that directly impacts other areas of our health--potentially for the next 3-5 decades.


Approved options for treating vasomotor symptoms: 


Buyer beware: things that can be made to sound “magical,” but do not actually treat the root cause of vasomotor symptoms:

  • Fans, cooling products, dressing in layers: You deserve to feel comfortable so use whatever works for you…just don't be tricked into believing that you are suppose to suck it up or suffer, or that these options are treating the root cause of your vasomotor symptoms.

  • Nightwear, sheets: Sleep is SO important--please sleep in whatever is best for you! And also be sure to turn the other way if a marketer tries to tell you their sleepwear “treats" hot flashes and night sweats.

  • Most (if not all) of the 18.2 million “solutions for hot flashes” found on google!

You are smart. And savvy. Trust yourself and THANK YOU for surrounding yourself with the quality information and education at Menopause Chicks.


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