Flaxseed Oil Keeps the Flashes Away

One interesting treatment for menopause that few people know about is flaxseed. Flaxseed? Yes! Some people have found, and some preliminary research has found, that flaxseed may actually reduce hot flashes in menopausal women. While it hasn't been found to help with other symptoms, this could certainly be a nice remedy for many women.

What Is Flaxseed?

Flaxseed is a seed that comes from the flax plant. It has omega 3 fatty acids and lignans, which are similar to fiber. Our digestive tracts have bacteria in them. The bacteria will work with the lignans, changing them into a hormone-like substance. To get the same amount of lignans that you get from only an eighth of a cup of seeds, you'd actually have to eat 60 cups of fresh broccoli!

The Study

The Mayo Clinic did one study with 29 women who were experiencing at least 14 hot flashes each week for more than one month. They excluded all women who had a history of diabetes or of bowel or bleeding disorders. Each person in the study had 40 grams of ground or crushed flaxseed a day for six weeks. At the end of those six weeks, the participants reported a reduction by about 50% in their hot flashes. Unfortunately, there were a few side effects, which included bloating, diarrhea and gas.

What Should You Do?

If this study interests you, it's certainly worth it to talk to your doctor about using flaxseed. You may want to start off with a trial period to see if the flaxseed has any effects on your symptoms and if it has any side effects. Start out by taking two tablespoons of flaxseed once a day. You can put it on your cereal, yogurt or fruit. Try this for three weeks and then increase to two tablespoons twice a day. Make sure to drink plenty of water and other fluids while you are using the flaxseed. The amount of flaxseed that is recommended actually depends on the way that you decide to take it. If you take it as oil, you'll need 1 to 3 tablespoons a day; for capsules you need 1300 mg a day; and for ground meal you need 30 grams a day.

Flaxseed is certainly a remedy for hot flashes in menopause that is worth investigating. It costs very little to purchase and doesn't impact on your day in any significant way.  It doesn't require any medical treatment, as do many other remedies. Some people may experience bloating and gas, but these should be kept to a minimum. While more research is needed, flaxseed is certainly an interesting option and one that may help women with hot flashes, naturally.

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