12 Strategies for HOT Flashes. I have been talking to a number of women these past few months that have asked me about what to do about hot flashes, brain fog and the stubborn weight that happens to a lot of us around the time of peri-menopause, and menopause. Which I found to be beyond frustating to say the least.
I was thinking about when I was having hot flashes and the things I did with my diet, exercise and supplements that I think really helped me to NOT have a crazy amount of hot flashes.
I remember some nights I would drive my husband crazy with throwing the covers off then putting them back on numerous times…He thought I was going nuts 🙂
I was telling my husband about some of the questions I have been getting about hot flashes, I remember having some hot flashes at crazy times but not as many or as bad as some of my friends at that time.
“He said don’t you remember you would wake me up when you threw off the covers, and then I would be freezing”?
I was looking at him thinking how does he remember that ? As he does NOT seem to remember all the times he woke me up with his snoring. 🙂
Menopause can be really frustrating and a challenging time in our lives for sure.
Menopause typically starts around 51-52, but can start at a much younger age for some or even an older age. Women don’t always know they are starting to go through the change, or peri-menopause. Peri-Menopause usually starts in our 40’s.
Women may start experiencing brain fog, anxiety, low sex drive, hot flashes, low energy, weight gain and a shift of weight to the middle to name a few of the symptoms that start happening when our hormones start declining in our 40’s and beyond.
Some doctor’s do not take your symptom’s seriously, and may want to prescribe you an anti-depressant, or say its all in your head, or its just menopause, live with it. I was told this at one time.
I was never told that processed food, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine could be contributing to my symptoms, and cutting down on those things could help me to feel better and have LESS HOT FLASHES.
What happens in our late thirties into our 40’s our hormones start declining, progesterone goes down first and the fastest and estrogen starts fluctuating up and down. Which we can start having sleep disturbances, hot flashes, anxiety, brain fog, low energy, weight gain, or a shift in our weight to the middle.
Progesterone helps us feel more relaxed and plumps the skin too so when it declines our skin could start feeling drier as well.
Estrogen works with progesterone. Estrogen lubricates the skin, and joints, and helps us not to get vaginal dryness as well. It really helps our system to stay strong. Estrogen also helps sleep, memory, and the list could go on. When it goes down we get decreased memory, hot flashes, and brain fog etc…
Hormones are a very complicated subject. I would say to always talk with your doctor or find a new doctor if yours does not listen, before starting anything new such as taking supplements, starting a new exercise routine or changing your diet.
I know I had my hormones tested many times by saliva, and urine and blood tests. My progesterone and estrogen, and testosterone were always low. But it was the ratio between them that mattered most.
So even though my estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone were low my estrogen was higher which made me more estrogen dominant. Now my testosterone is still low, but it is the one that is highest out of the three of them, which can cause loss of hair on the head, and facial hair.
What I have learned is going into menopause with an optimal diet, and exercise program, plus strong adrenals can help us down the road with less symptoms, during menopausal years.
All our hormones need to be in balance for us to feel awesome.
Our adrenals take over producing our hormones when our ovaries shut down for the most part, and our adrenals may be exhausted from prolonged stress before we even hit peri-menopause and might not be able to meet the demand for more hormones.
I would say to always get all your hormones tested, even your thyroid. As the thyroid and adrenals work together.
Having a diet of lot’s of fibrous veggie’s, good proteins,and some fat helps. I was lucky I changed my diet and got into an active lifestyle at 40, that really helped me go through menopause alit more easily than some of my friends. BUT there were still some bumps in the road.
Some strategies that worked for me, and supplements at peri-menopause, menopause, and even now.
- Coffee can trigger hot flashes for many, and have you NOT sleeping well. Sometimes it disrupts blood sugar balance as well.
- Sugar can worsen hot flashes
- Alcohol can worsen hot flashes by disrupting hormones, for some just one sip or glass.
- Having sufficient protein is very helpful, it can help balance out your blood sugar
- Some may need to eat more frequently, if you have a blood sugar problems.
- Eat a snack of protein between meals, such as a protein whey protein shake.
- Eat a clean diet meaning limit highly processed refined food
- Drink plenty of water, which helps our skin and metabolism
- I used and it worked for me you would need to talk with your doctor to get bio-identical hormones, like a Bi-Est cream of 80% estriol and 20% estradiol. if natural supplements don’t help and diet and lifestyle changes. That is a personal choice. I went that route and took supplements as they wanted me to have more estrogen as my bone density was low. I took the smallest dose of estrogen cream, and progesterone cream for a while.
- Night sweats: estrogen is low, but then you can get surge’s in the night of estrogen, my Dr said, which can cause night sweats.
I tried some of these things BUT always ask your doctor before taking anything.
- Flax seeds: may help with hot flashes (I used)
- Maca: helps to balance the hormones and adrenals, then helping estrogen, I still use Maca.
- Vitamin E
- Ashwagandha: is an adaptogen, it helps adrenals and balance estrogen.
- The digestive tract effects your hormones, parasites, etc.
- Vitex, can help to increase progesterone which is usually out of balance with our estrogen. Most time ladies are estrogen dominant as progesterone drops down first and the lowest. We do make estrogen in our fat cells.
The things that helped me the most, and where I have Hashimoto’s I took the bottles to my Doctor and she said it was ok for ME
Always go through your doctor as I’m not a practitioner, and this is just my experience, and what worked for me, and my doctor knows my history etc you may need something different…
I loved all of Lorna Vanderhaeghe products she formulated them, put out now by Natural factors.
- Menosense : designed to support for symptoms associated with menopause, you can look it up to get the ingredients and she formulated to help herself and daughters.
- Estrosense: estrogen balancing, says balanced hormones, healthy breasts, effortless periods, PMS support, there is no estrogen in it. I take 2 capsules daily with my food in the AM
- Adrenasense: Adrenal nutrients help reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. Helps promote restful sleep.
All her products are put out by Natural Factor’s here in the US, in Canada I think Preferred Nutrition Ltd. I used to listen to all her audio’s to see how everything worked, and how to take the products etc… vitamin shoppe carries, and herb online etc…
More take aways I found very beneficial and worked well for me and ladies I work with…
- Eating less SUGAR and artificial sweeteners
- Watch for BPA, and Phytates found in many plastics can mimic estrogen an d work against you and your testosterone levels too.
- Pesticides, which can cause testosterone to drop
- Stress, watch the stress is huge, walk, take naps, read a good book, fun time with family and pets, and get out into the sunshine.
- Lift weights 2-3 days. Keeps us strong, optimizing metabolism, helps you have nice toned look, raise mood, helps bone density.
- High intensity interval training 1-2 days can be beneficial too.
- Low testosterone can cause brain fog, weakness, low pain threshold, low libido, loss of muscle.
One of my girlfriends ONE glass of wine and she had terrible hot flashes!
The women I have talked to, and work with when they cut the wine down and some totally cut wine out. There hot flashes became much better.
A simple template I find really helps me to maintain my weight and helped me lose fat as well.
When I switched my diet to more fibrous veggies, leafy greens moderate palm size portion of protein at 3 meals, starchy carbs to my tolerance. Plus a thumb of fat at my meals about 16 grams or less depends.
I also do well with a 1/2 cup of berries or small banana at breakfast after my workout with weights.
We are all unique so even though this works for me, it may not work for you. But if you are eating a lot or starchy carbohydrates, breads, pastas, etc…try less and see what happens.
More fibrous veggies than fruit.
The amount will depend on you, age, genetics, how hard you workout..do you do a lot of high intensity exercise?
Then you may need more than someone who sits all day or does no movement or resistance training.
I know I have talked about all of this before, but some ladies have asked me to refresh there minds or repeat it this.
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