Do you get Hot Flashes? Difficulty Losing Weight?
Wow! I have been getting a lot of questions about hot flashes, and night sweats. Hot flashes can be so frustrating as they disrupt sleep, and quality of life.
This past weekend I was talking to a friend who is having extreme hot flashes 21 times a day, that is a lot. She said she tries to do all the lifestyle factors that help with hot flashes.
She even had a massage that day, and her massage therapist could feel the heat coming off her body. She was getting a hot flash right there doing something so beneficial for her body, getting a relaxing massage.
I get it, she said you know Crystal there is a little vanity involved, she works and when she gets a hot flash her hair gets all wet, and her makeup starts coming off. So when you are a t work it is just frustrating, and embarrassing sometimes, to get all red and start dripping sweat. She always gets a hot flash from the waist up for…not fun.
Some women want to try and avoid going on Estrogen which is one of the fastest ways to stop hot flashes, as it’s the decline in estrogen that causes the hot flashes, hormonal imbalance.
I remember having hot flash, when I was out with my husband for dinner. I could feel my face starting to get hot, and I started to feel annoyed. I was like oh, no not a hot flash now. I can remember fanning myself and how and uncomfortable and embarrassing I felt. Thank god I did not start sweating 🙂 and it was a very short one.
It was the hot flashes in the night, and night sweats that made me want to pull my hair out. I would be comfortably asleep, and be woken up by this intense feeling of being HOT.
I would be driving poor Joe crazy with throwing off the covers and then feeling freezing and having to put them back on.
I have been right there with you ladies, Joe would always think I was crazy if we went somewhere and I would ask him, do you feel hot? I got this strange look from him.
Some women will breeze through menopause with not to many symptoms at all, and then other women will suffer with terrible hot flashes and night sweats. I did not get the night sweats that you can soak through your cloths and your sheets, thank god.
Hot flashes originate in the hypothalamus, and this is the part of the brain that regulates the bodies temperature. It is linked often times to menopause because estrogen and testosterone can influence the hypothalamus, and during menopause when levels of estrogen drop. The hypothalamus will think that the body is over heated and go into over drive. There is more science about blood vessels dilated etc… basically we get a hot flashes, and then we get the chills as the body is cooling.
Hormones are very complicated and I’m not doctor, this is my understanding or take.
I read a new book where Dr Tara Allman “ Says that some women seem to have more sensitive thermostats than others, meaning that you feel more comfortable only within a small range of temperatures” meaning we have a goldilocks range and when we go higher a hot flash can occur.
Around 80% of women in the United States will get hot flashes. Wow! That is a lot of women. There is a great website with good information the North American www.menopause.org with the newest science, also www.sleepfoundation.org
There are also other reasons you could experience a hot flash such as thyroid disease, estrogen blocking drugs, infection, some antidepressants, medications for the treatment of osteoporosis, etc..
So check your thyroid have a panel run your to see if you are at optimal levels, with your TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) optimal level is 2 on a lab test, most doctors will only run the TSH, if it is above the reference range maybe they will also check your Ft3, Ft4, and reverse T3, i would run them all if it was me.
Also check your DHEA’s which is a blood test, as optimal levels of DHEAS can decrease hot flashes as well, likely because of DHEAS conversion to estrogen. We all decline in DHEA’S as we age.
Peri-menopausal, Menopause, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, sometimes for some women just taking out sugar, alcohol, and sometimes coffee hot flashes will go away, but for others they may need to do more, or use estrogen therapy.
Symptoms of low estrogen, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, depression, anxiety…to name a few.
Some of the best Strategies to help prevent hot flashes
- Managing stress appropriately, just slowing down, reading a book, walking helps
- Exercise – even 20 minutes a day, can raise our mood and help are hormones if not over done, it is a huge component of hormonal health
- Sleep try to get enough, hard to do if having hot flashes at night.
- Watch the alcohol (even one glass of wine for some Triggers hot flashes)
- Spicy foods, hot peppers
- Caffeine ( coffee for some can contribute to hot flashes ) sad 🙁
- Sugar ( can worsen Hot Flashes)
- Hot food ( when I eat a hot dish I feel hot)
- Also smoking, being overweight, can increase you having symptoms.
- Plus if you had really bad symptoms, when you got your menstrual cycle when you were young, you may experience more symptoms at menopause.
- Estrogen therapy does help prevent hot flashes the best and fastest, helps bone density as well, my doctor has me on for that reason, and cognitive function, and more.
- Air conditioner was so helpful, haha!
- Drinking plenty of water
- Eating real food, proteins, fibrous veggies, fruit and starchy carbs to tolerance
- Get to know your trigger foods, and drinks. What may trigger a hot flash for you
Other strategies that may help with night sweats, and hot flashes
- Flax seeds, to optimize hormones, you can sprinkle, on yogurt, put in pancakes, sprinkle on protein shakes.
- Maca: helps to balance hormones and adrenals, its an adaptogen. I use Maca still, I buy Macapause by Femmenessence
- Vitamin E maybe helpful for reducing hot flashes and vagina dryness, low levels have been associated with estrogen deficiency. Dr Tami Meraglia talks about this in her book The Hormone Secret.
- Ashwagandha: is an adaptogen, it helps the adrenals, thus helping with balancing hormones and estrogen.
- Black Cohash: Some say work, traditionally used to treat hot flashes for a short time. It does not have any estrogenic activity, but it has been shown to help with estrogen deficiency. Dr Tami talks about this one to, as always talk with your doctor.
- Vitex helps to increase progesterone, which usually we are low in at menopause and beyond as it falls the fastest.
Adaptogens usually help to balance our hormones, some say this works some say it does not. It helps to work with a very knowledgeable doctor and have all hormones tested.
Good digestion helps us too.
What we use on our bodies as well as ingest (eat) effects our hormones, I know we can just do the best we can sometimes.
- Plastics, pollutants all effect the hormones.
- Using environmental dish, soap, laundry soap, our make up, creams we use on our skin, these things are very disruptive to our hormones.
- Lifestyle strategies, the women who have strong adrenals when going through menopause usually do the best with less symptoms, as the adrenals take over producing our hormones later in life as the ovaries stop mostly.
- So if you have been running around over exercising in your 30’s and earlier, and dieting, creating chronic high stress, then the poor adrenals won’t have enough reserves be there to help us along as much with producing our hormones.
Ask your mother how her transition was, if hers was easy yours might be too. She may not have had a lot of hot flashes so you may be lucky and follow in your mothers footsteps.
My mom had a hysterectomy in her 30’s, as was common to have for her generation, so I don’t know about her.
But I had an easy time with my periods when I was a teen and onward, no bad PMS, cramps etc..So my menopause seemed ok, compared to some of my friends and other women I know symptoms. (hot flashes did drive me crazy)
Lastly eat more of the things you know are good for you and less of the things you know are not good for you, we all know what they are.
Eating an optimal diet at menopause, can really help with your symptoms, and not gaining weight. I treat treats as treats, because I just cannot tolerate, or eat the exact way I did when I was younger.
Our fat cells are little hormonal factories, toxins like to stay in our fat cells. So if we try to keep body fat in a healthy body fat range it helps as well.
As our hormones change what worked for us before like we could just go along, and coast, and eat what ever we wanted, and exercise like crazy, usually does not work now at menopause with the drop in our hormones.
We can though eat a ton of greens and fibrous veggies, moderate protein, some fruits, and colorful berries, watch the starchy carbs, alcohol, sweets and treats.
Really nothing is totally off limits it is finding how much your body will tolerate, that you feel, strong, vibrant with lots of energy, and of course you want to sleep well.
Figure out the triggers for you, do you get a hot flash after eating any particular food or drink?
So many women are turning to wine and alcohol to feel more relaxed, happy and better, but is it really relaxing you? Do you wake up in the night from a blood sugar crash? And more hot flashes?
I know I drink wine 1-2 days a week, as it can disturb my sleep a lot of times, and then cause cravings the next day, I don’t get hot flashes anymore, funny in my forties and fifties I gave up coffee as I thought it was effecting my sleep…that may have helped my hot flashes, an I really did not drink wine in my 40’s either. I seemed to have picked up the one habit in my 50’s 🙂
I hope you found this helpful, ask me a question on my Facebook page, I love to help 🙂
I also have a FREE Blast Your Belly Fat Guide you can get here with some of my best strategies for diet and exercise, and resources for articles, blogs and podcasts. www.crystalpecora.com/7-simple-strategies-to-whittle-your-middle/
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