Acupuncture To Treat Hot Flushes

Middle aged woman with menopausal hot flushes
Exciting new research has just emerged from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania suggesting that acupuncture is better than medication for hot flushes post breast cancer.

Whilst hot flushes are typically associated with the menopause, patients are often left with low levels of oestrogen after treatment. These low levels often leave the patient with insomnia. Surviving breast cancer means the conventional treatment Hormone Replacement Therapy is out of bounds. Typically patients are instead prescribed gabapentin, a very potent medication typically used for pain relief and epilepsy.

What is Gabapentin?

  • Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic drug typically used to treat epilepsy, migraines and pain. It can have serious side effects of, amongst others, nausea, visual disturbances, depression, tremor, confusion and, ironically, headache. In other words its not something you should be jumping to take..

Details Of The Study On Acupuncture For Hot Flushes

A sample of 120 women who had undergone treatment for breast cancer were assigned to treatment of either Gabapentin, acupuncture, sham acupuncture or placebo. Acupuncture was carried out twice weekly for two weeks then weekly for the remaining 6 weeks of the trial period. Excitingly acupuncture lowered the severity and frequency of hot flushes – more than gabapentin, with the added bonus of a reduction in side effects compared to the drug.

I have treated a number of menopausal patients successfully for hot flushes and insomnia. Its great to see medical research now backing up my own experiences.

About Tim Wright, Acupuncturist In Swansea

I have spent two years volunteering at The Old Mill helping patients with the side effects of cancer treatment. I now have my own clinic in Mumbles in Castleton Walk Arcade. I see acupunctures greatest strength in assisting the body to get back into balance and treating physical and emotional pain.

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