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Researcher looks for answers and treatments for hot flashes

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Hot flashes are something a majority of women will experience in their lives, but they often aren’t openly discussed.

Laura Musell is one of the 75 percent of women who experience hot flashes.

“All of a sudden I am sweating and, so it just, when I have hot flashes it is hard to explain, but they start in my upper body and the heat is inside and it just travels up and it just seems to grow in intensity,” Musell said.

IUPUI researcher and professor Janet S. Carpenter found a way to measure them using thermal imaging.

“It’s not all in a woman’s head. It’s a real phenomenon,” Carpenter said.

There’s still a lot of mystery around hot flashes like why they happen and treatments for them. Carpenter created an exhibit and wants to educate women to see they’re not alone. She says there are some treatments out there, but many women don’t know what to ask.

“Definitely talk to a healthcare provider because there are prescription medications that can be taken or there are these other options that aren’t prescriptions like the cognitive behavioral therapy hypnosis,” Carpenter said.

Musell created her own clothing line to help with night sweats. They are pajamas made from bamboo to keep women cool.

Carpenter says people can contact her if they are interested in bringing the exhibit to their community.

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