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[personal profile] annathepiper

I’ve been bitching about this on the social networks, so a lot of you know this already–but here’s a post on the general theme of It’s Official, Surgically Enforced Early Menopause Sucks. By which I mean, the vicious hot flashes that’ve been swamping me for the last few weeks. My sleep’s been shot to hell, and I’ve been waking up at least three or four times a night.

Which has meant I’ve been pretty much thrashed, physically and mentally. I’ve been just functional enough to keep making it to work, but not much besides that, including getting any decent progress done on the writing or music. It’s very hard to write a book when you have an inner dragon doing this.

What Hot Flashes Feel Like

What Hot Flashes Feel Like

So what have I been doing about this? A few things.

One, I’ve been horribly snorky lately as well, so at Dara’s recommendation I’ve been hitting some first-generation antihistamines before going to bed. Specifically, the stuff in Benadryl, diphenhydramine.

Two, at the recommendation of my massage therapist, I’ve been taking an adrenal supplement to get my system to stand down out of crisis mode (due to having to recover from surgery), and decrease the amount of cortisol running through me.

Three, most significantly, reading around on the Internets (and in particular, skimming the forums on pointed me to references about how it’s common for Asian women to not have hot flashes nearly so badly, due to high-soy diets. I deemed this as requiring immediate investigation–and discovered, after ordering a tofu dish from the Chinese place near our house, that two nights’ worth of using that dish as dinner tamped down the hot flashes HARD.

I have since been able to replicate this with another tofu dish, and am therefore now deploying an emergency soy surge to my diet for the next few weeks until my scheduled physical with my primary care doc, and my followup with my oncologist as well. We’ll be discussing a proper game plan for dealing with these symptoms, as well as whether dietary changes are a feasible plan long-term.

For now though I’ve got some soymilk for putting on cereal and into my tea, as well as some soy-based yogurt. And I’ve been having miso in the morning AND in the evening. It’s helping. It scales down my inner dragon to this.

Really, the Dragon Just Wants a Soy Smoothie

Really, the Dragon Just Wants a Soy Smoothie

Either way, Internets, this is where YOU all come in. Tell me about your favorite tofu recipes! What are interesting things to do to tofu?

Also tell me about your favorite soy-based snacks as well! And thank you all in advance for any pointers!

Mirrored from

Date: 2014-01-16 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have yet to find a tofu recipe I like (the texture of it weirds me out for some reason), but I am cheering for you! I know menopause really sucked for my mother, so I am having that kind of sympathy that is possible while not actually knowing first-hand what it is like. I wish you virtual ice cubes.

Date: 2014-01-17 01:13 am (UTC)
drglam: Cloned kitten, in a beaker (Default)
From: [personal profile] drglam
I've got some alternative advice. There's several non-hormonal medications that can be used off-label to relieve hot flashes, that might be worth exploring. My doctor suggested this route to me when I was miserable with hot flashes, because he thought I was a poor candidate for HRT (monster fibroids). We were going to try the options sequentially, but the first one worked nigh-miraculously for me: Clonidine (brand name Catapres), which is a blood-pressure lowering drug (ironically, I've already got low blood pressure). Some antidepressants work for other menopausal women (we were going to try Effexor if Clonidine failed); paroxetine mesylate (Paxil) has recently been FDA-approved as a hot flash treatment (brand-named Brisdelle).

Tofu-wise, I like to pan-fry it till the outside surfaces are chewy, then toss into a stir-fry. I've also crumbled blocks of tofu into a pot of chili.

Date: 2014-03-27 02:40 pm (UTC)
drglam: Cloned kitten, in a beaker (Default)
From: [personal profile] drglam
I had a non-tofu based thought...

I've been experimenting with peanut butter alternatives in PB cookies, as one of my housemates can't eat peanut butter (cashew butter...makes a nice cookie, flavor was unpersuasive to PB-loving me though everyone else liked them). Soynut butter is a thing, and on my list to try.


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