Niacin is good for HDL and causing hot flashes |

Niacin is good for HDL and causing hot flashes

Fried Rice
Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Heidi Rice

“HOT!” Husband-Head screamed, throwing off the comforter shortly after we went to bed the other evening. “I am so hot, I can’t stand it!”

However, it was only mid-May and the temperature was, maybe, in the 50’s at the most.

I lay on my side of the bed and giggled to myself under the covers.

“Another hot flash?” I asked innocently. “Wow, it looks like we’ll be going through this together. That’s so sweet. Perhaps we’ll both spontaneously combust at the same time, although it won’t have anything to do with sex. …”

“Not funny,” Husband-Head said. “I’m serious ” my face is about to explode.”

“Mine too,” I agreed, sympathetically.

But Husband-Head’s doctor had recommended that he take a vitamin supplement called “Niacin” to help boost his good (HDL) cholesterol. The dosage requirement was to be taken in increasing increments that would help reduce the side effects, which included “hot flashes and flushing.”

Apparently, Husband-Head was feeling some of the side effects.

“I think I’m going to sleep outside,” he announced, flailing around in the bed like a jumping bean. “I’m totally HOT!”

Funny that he has never seemed to care all that much when I occasionally complain that my face feels really hot and I want to open a window.

“Maybe we’re both going through menopause,” I joked, silently laughing at the thought. “Maybe you’re having sympathy pains for me. Or … maybe I’m having sympathy pains for your …”

“This is not funny ” shut up and just open the window!” Husband-Head ordered as he held his head in pain. “I think I’m going to shave my head like Lex Luthor.”

I thought for a moment.

“Who the hell is ‘Lex Luthor,'” I asked, tentatively.

Husband-Head forgot about his hot head for a moment in disbelief that I didn’t know who this person was.

“Ummm … Lex Luther was the evil scientist villain that always wanted to kill Superman,” he said slowly and deliberately, as if speaking to a mentally challenged child.


“I suppose you don’t know who ‘Pluto’ is either?” he suggested sarcastically. “Or Bluto and Popeye?”

“I do too know who Popeye is,” I said defensively. “He was a one-eyed sailor with superhuman strength after eating canned spinach that would make his arms bulge out and he was married to Olive Oyl and he was always fighting with Bluto.”

Husband-Head was impressed.

“What about Billy Barty? he challenged. “Any idea who he was?

Billy who?

“Billy Barty was the midget who played Dr. Shrinker’s evil villain sidekick, Hugo, in the Saturday morning cartoon,” Husband-Head explained, as if I was from another planet. “Dr Shrinker was a mad scientist who created a shrink ray gun that could minimize anything ” including people.”

Although apparently the series wasn’t all that popular as it only lasted for one season.

And what’s with all the evil cartoon villains, by the way?

“Don’t tell me you can’t remember Snidely Whiplash ” the arch villain to Dudley Do-Right in ‘The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show,” Husband-Head challenged again.

“Do who?” I asked as I turned over, getting sleepy and tired of the cartoon conversation.

“What planet did you grow up on?” Husband-Head demanded to know, becoming rather agitated. “What the hell did you DO on Saturday mornings when you were a kid?”

I contemplated whether or not to smash one of the pillows on his head.

“I spent my formative years in Germany,” I explained for the umpteenth time. “We had no American television. We had to watch German commercials that featured naked people in the shower. That’s all I remember.”

Then I remembered something I’d forgotten to tell Husband-Head.

“You know, I’m supposed to increase your dosage of Niacin every two weeks, and tomorrow you start getting more,” I said, trying not to laugh

“You mean I’m going to get even hotter?” he asked with horror. “No, I can’t do that.”

Welcome to my world. …

Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Her book collection of columns, “Skully Says Shut It!”is available for purchase at the Post Independent or through her website at

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