We often see breast cancer treated with chemotherapy. Some drugs found in chemotherapy can cause women to go into menopause or temporary menopause (depending on the individual’s age). Basically, the chemotherapy puts the ovaries to sleep causing a fluctuation in hormones (ie. change in estrogen and progesterone levels) which can lead to different signs and symptoms. One of the main symptoms women suffer from is hot flashes.
Here are some simple tips to help curb your hot flashes. Please consult your doctor before proceeding with any of these suggestions to make sure they are safe for your individual circumstances.
Clary Sage essential oil
Clary Sage may be very effective in supporting and harmonizing estrogen balance and reducing symptoms of menopause like hot flashes. There is a component in clary sage called sclareol, which mimics the effects of estrogen in the human body. A few drops of this essential oil in a diffuser used throughout the day or night may help you manage your hot flashes. Diluted clary sage oil on the bottoms of the feet may also be a way to reduce hot flashes.
There has been a lot of controversy around soy products over the years but truth be told, soy products can help manage fluctuations in estrogen levels and therefore curb hot flashes. Studies have shown that it may only take 20-60 grams of soy products per day to help manage hot flashes. To give you an idea, 64 grams is 1/2 cup of soy milk. Other soy products that may be less controversial but deliver the same benefits are fermented soy products like Miso or Tempeh. When buying soy products, opt for non-GMO, organic selections.
Be mindful of what you eat
Hot and spicy food, sugary foods, caffeinated drinks and alcohol can all trigger hot flashes so limit these in your daily diet.
If you are dehydrated your hot flashes and night sweats can worsen. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. If you exercise and drink caffeinated drinks, you will need to drink even more water as these both cause dehydration.