5 Ways to treat hot flashes

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PHOENIX -- Hot flashes. They're one of the main symptoms of menopause and any woman who has experienced them will tell you they are not at all pleasant.

Dr. Art Mollen gave Kaley O'Kelley the lowdown on hot flashes and menopause.

In addition to the hot flashes, many menopausal women will experience night sweats and a pounding heart, among other things. These symptoms generally set in and estrogen levels start to fluctuate and affect your hypothalamus, which is essentially your body's thermostat, Mollen explained.

While the symptoms of menopause can be annoying and difficult to deal with, they also can have physical effects.

Mollen said there are several things woman can do to mitigate the symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and night sweats.

He suggested that slow deep-breathing exercises can be effective, as can supplements like black cohash and St. John's wort and herbal remedies like dong quai, a Chinese remedy that is sometimes called the "female ginseng."

Daily exercise, something as simple as walking, can also go a long way in alleviating the symptoms of menopause.

"We can't underscore the importance of that enough," Mollen said. "Walking every day is very, very important."

Hormone-replacement therapy is another option. Mollen says if you choose to go that route, you should start with the lowest possible dose of estrogen.

Mollen went on to explain that if you don't want to take hormones, some antidepressants can be beneficial, as well.

"I like that better that estrogen-replacement therapy because there are certain risks with ERT," he said. "There's an increased risk of breast cancer. It's been suggested that there may also be an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Those are controversial issues."

Mollen’s practice is located at 16100 N. 71st St., Scottsdale. For more information, call 480-656-0016 or log onto www.drartmollen.com.

Coming up next month...

Join Dr. Art Mollen and members of the 3TV family for a unique road race through the heart of the city to benefit a cause close to our hearts -- wiping out childhood obesity.

The 3TV Phoenix 10K has grown in popularity since it humble beginnings 36 years ago.

>>> Learn more about the 3TV Phoenix 10K