Question: I’m a woman of 55 going through menopause and I suffer terrible hot flashes, but they seem to strike only when I eat. Is there anything I can do about this?
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
Hot flashes that strike only when you eat may not necessarily be from menopausal hormone deficiency. Menopausal ("wet") flushing is usually accompanied by sweating. Dry flushing is commonly associated with vasodilator mediators, medications, and underlying disorders.
Dry flushing can also be caused by vitamins such as niacin, hot drinks, and alcohol in some people with certain conditions. Many chemicals, such as trichloroethylene, can cause flushing, as do spicy and sour foods, MSG, spices, nitrites, nitrates, and other additives.
Carcinoid syndrome often causes dry flushes that can be brought on by eating certain foods (cheese, chocolate, spices, plums, walnuts, avocados, red wine, red sausage, and eggplant). Stress can also be a contributing factor.
I’d recommend that you see your personal physician for an evaluation of your hot flashes. In the meantime, drugs such as Zyrtec may provide temporary relief.
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