Hot Flashes: Soy Remedy
There are medical treatments that can help with hot flashes, but most are extreme and will not be used unless there is a problem.
You can always turn the heater or air conditioner on to alleviate the symptoms, but other people who live in your house may not be as willing to make this change. If you’re under the impression that you just have to live with these symptoms; think again.
Soy beans have been used for a long time to help relieve some or all of the symptoms associated with menopause.
Soy has chemicals in it called isoflavones, which are a type of phytoestrogen (plant estrogen). These compounds are similar to estrogen and act like human estrogen in your body.
Not only have studies shown that women in countries with higher soy content have fewer flashes than women in cultures that eat less soy, many women who begin getting more soy in their diet report fewer and less severe flashes.
While soy does have the benefits of acting like human estrogen, its effects are fairly weak. Many women with mild to moderate flashes report decreases in their symptoms, but women with more severe symptoms will probably not experience much relief.
Soy can be found in many different forms. Not only can you get it in supplement or such as food, there’s also various types of soy food products.
As with any supplement, you should only take soy isoflavone supplements if it is impossible for you to get enough soy (or other isoflavone sources) in your diet. While taking a pill is probably easier, food is the natural way to absorb chemicals and it’s generally more effective.
When it comes to specific soy foods, avoid soy milk. It doesn’t contain as many isoflavones as other types of soy and probably won’t be effective.
As with any supplement or dietary changes, there are concerns associated with soy. One is that because it acts as an estrogen in the body, it could result in an increased chance of breast cancer. This is why it’s important to have regular mammograms and self exams.
You should also monitor your soy intake. More than 50 grams per day may increase the associated problems. Consult your doctor before making major dietary changes; he or she can help you figure out if soy is right for you.
While you can’t avoid going through menopause, there are breakthroughs that can alleviate some of the symptoms. If you have problems with hot flashes and night sweats, eat right, get exercise, and add some soy to your diet.