What is a hot flush?
One of the most common symptoms of the peri-menopause is night sweats and hot flushes.
“a sudden feeling of feverish heat, typically as a symptom of the menopause”
UP TO 79% OF WOMEN EXPERIENCE HOT FLUSHES
The Hypo what?
Although the root cause is not clear, research shows that they are to do with the hypothalamus which amongst other things regulates your body temperature.
During the menopause, oestrogen levels slowly drop. Although not fully understood, scientists think that this drop in oestrogen causes a hiccup in the way the hypothalamus senses body temperature, making it think that you are too hot.
This causes a response designed to cool down the body (your body is amazing and clever!) . More blood rishes to the skin (one of the causes of hot flushes and reddening of the skin) and sweat glands start working (the menopausal sweat).
Another thing that can cause the dreaded night sweats (i remember them well!) is adrenal fatigue. Simply put this is when the adrenal glands have been worked to the point of exhaustion by prolonged chronic stress, illness or acute stress. In the worst case scenario the adrenals barely function. this = burnout 🙁
It’s also important to look after your adrenals glands as they continue to produce progesterone post menopause. During your fertile years your ovaries are the main source of oestrogen and progesterone. When your menstrual cycle ends the ovaries stop producing these hormones. Your adrenal glands continue to secrete a small amount of progesterone. However your adrenal glands prioritise your survival hormones (often called your flight, fight or freeze hormones) over producing your sex hormones . It’s mother nature looking after you. If you are under constant pressure/stress then the chances are you will be producing less progesterone.
“During adrenal fatigue your adrenal glands function, but not well enough to maintain optimal homeostasis because their output of regulatory hormones has been diminished – usually by over-stimulation. Over-stimulation of your adrenals can be caused either by a very intense single stress, or by chronic or repeated stresses that have a cumulative effect.” http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/
One of the key pillars in my menopause plan is to look at lifestyle, particulary stress. I also talk about it in more detail in the free hot flush help guide. When going through the peri menopause the body is hyper sensitive to stress due the the reduced estrogen and progesterone. This is also one of the causes of the shape change some women experience; hour glass to apple.
Many women find that certain foods can trigger a hot flush/nights sweats.
Avoid stimulants which are notorious for setting off hot flushes; things like coffee, alcohol, chocolate and spicy foods.
An over use of convenient foods, processed food and sugars can all put an extra load on the body’s organs so reducing/eliminating these can make a huge improvement to your symptoms. Lay your health foundations by eating whole food diet that contains lots of leafy green vegetables and you will build a more robust system. It may sound basic but I know many clients that have reduced menopause symptoms just by changing their diet.
Is it your thyroid?
Many menopause and hypo/hyperthyroid symptoms are similar and it can be confusing to know which is which. Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism can cause the body not regulate it’s temperature whether it’s too hot or too cold. This can be a cause of the hot flushes/night sweats and feeling cold and shivery. Problems with the thyroid can come to light at the same age as women are going through the peri-menopause. So how do you know which is which? The first thing to do would be to see your Doctor and ask them to test you. Once you know which it is or maybe it’s both then you can make a plan of action.
10 Tips that may help reduce hot flushes
- Stress management – investigate the many stress reduction methods like; deep breathing, relaxation, walking, meditation, gentle exercise etc.
- Keep a Hot flush/sweat diary so you can see any patterns or triggers.
- When you feel one coming on….practice deep, slow breathing, it will take practice but this can work.
- Using Sage can help, make tea or take a good quality supplement.
- If you feel you need to then get your Thyroid checked by your Doctor.
- Eat foods containing phytoestrogens which mimic your body’s natural oestrogen but in much smaller doses.
- Ensure you wear natural materials and wear layers that are easily removed.
- Regular exercise can help many of the symptoms of menopause.
- Try bio-identical HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), your doctor can prescribe these.
- Use cool showers to lower your body temperature, this could be especially useful in the evening before bed.
Why not check out my free email course which will go into more detail about what you can do today to eliminate your hot flushes and night sweats. This course will give you a better understanding about what is going on with your body and what you can do to become a hot flush free zone. You’ll also get my ‘secret weapon’ against hot flushes that I only usually share with my VIP clients. Click below to get instant access.