Q: Will vitamins be effective for hot flashes and other symptoms?

You mention joint pain, weight gain, and food cravings in addition to hot flashes as symptoms of menopause. Menopause has such a variety of symptoms, depending on each individual. Lifestyle matters more; exercise is more important; adequate sleep and good nutrition—all of these have a greater impact to quality of life now than they did previously.

I wish I could tell you there is good data suggesting vitamins have a favorable impact on menopausal symptoms, but the trials looking at the specific supplements you mention and others suggest no benefit greater than placebo. But, hey, placebo has about a 30-percent response rate in any trial, so there is certainly no harm in using them. They provide some general vitamins that will not be harmful, and may help if you aren’t getting them in your diet.

The symptoms you mention could all potentially benefit from hormone therapy (HT). The loss of estrogen is huge for most women, and the loss of progesterone to some extent as well. For many women the only way to address symptoms adequately is to consider HT. More and more data suggests that HT is beneficial for women specifically with weight gain; that was a lead article in one of my journals just this week.

It’s a complicated journey that is nuanced, and each woman needs to assess her own symptoms and goals and determine the best approach to managing through menopause. It’s difficult to address all of the treatment options in a single Q&A. You might find the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) website helpful: menopause.org. They cover many issues related to menopause.

Good luck!


2 Responses

Dr. Barb
Dr. Barb

November 06, 2017

We have a blog post going live today on one possibility, called Relizen. You might also reread an article on triggers that can make us especially susceptible: https://middlesexmd.com/blogs/drbarb/46954883-when-i-say-i-m-hot

And this article lists a few options for botanicals, complete with cautionary notes: https://middlesexmd.com/blogs/drbarb/46965251-herbs-to-manage-menopause-maybe

Kumudini Sandesha
Kumudini Sandesha

November 01, 2017

Is there an alternative treatment for the symptoms associated with menopause? HRT has its adverse effects and I was wondering if there’s some other remedy for hot flushes and night sweats.

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