“Is it hot in here?”
Symptoms such as hot flushes can be experienced in Peri-menopause and Menopause.
Peri-menopause is defined as the transition phase where women are lucky enough to experience no symptoms or menopausal symptoms commence (Mood changes, hot flushes, insomnia, night sweats, irregular periods… all the fun stuff!) and continue right up until the last menstrual period. Everyone is different with relation to the time frame this phase can last up to 5 or 6 years in duration for some women. Menopause is defined as the last menstrual period.
In Peri-menopause your oestrogen production via the ovaries starts to decline. Once you reach Menopause, the ovaries decide to retire and cease to produce oestrogen and progesterone. Fair enough too, they have served you well over the years! This is your adrenal gland’s time to shine! Your adrenal glands produce forms of progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone. So supporting your adrenal glands with their job is essential to you feeling great!
What can assist with those nasty hot flushes?
Research has shown that the following can result in fewer hot flushes and also reduce the severity:
- Avoiding caffeine – yes ladies this does mean coffee! BUT there are plenty of other yummy alternatives such as roasted dandelion root, Teeccino (contains organic carob, barley, dates, chicory, almonds, figs etc.) in addition to the whole spectrum of gorgeous herbal teas that are available. Just make sure initially that you wean down your intake on a week to week basis making the transition easier. It is not advisable to go cold turkey as it amplifies the withdrawal symptoms.
This has a negative impact on adrenal production of your menopausal hormones leading to hormonal imbalance and resulting in menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes. Your adrenal glands produce cortisol to cope with stress. Coffee increases the production of cortisol, so what does this mean?
This means that your production of DHEA declines. Cortisol and DHEA work like a sea saw if cortisol is up, DHEA is down. DHEA converts to testosterone and oestrogen. So consuming caffeine can arise in elevated cortisol levels, resulting in low DHEA levels and thus arises in a reduction in our testosterone and oestrogen levels. Hormonal imbalance arises and menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes take control!
- Reduce or limit spicy food – for some women this can trigger hot flushes so just be mindful of this. Spicy foods increase circulation and cause vasodilation which may result in triggering a hot flush. If you enjoy a good hot curry perhaps switch to a milder version that doesn’t contain chilli but other spices instead.
- Eat foods high in phyto-oestrogens – alfalfa, sesame seeds, linseeds (flaxseeds), miso soup, tempeh (fermented soy), lentils, split peas, beans such as chickpeas, broad beans, lima beans, kidney beans, black eyed beans, black turtle beans, soybeans etc. Phyto-oestrogens actually bind to the oestrogen receptors which results in healthy, substantial oestrogen levels.
- Promote Relaxation – Prolonged stress can initially result in high cortisol levels which as mentioned above can result in lower DHEA levels and thus testosterone and oestrogen levels will decline resulting in menopausal symptoms such as your hot flushes. Stress management is important so doing something that you find relaxing such as: Pilates, yoga, meditation, walk on the beach, reading or sitting down and having a nice herbal tea can provide great benefits of relaxation.
- Symptomatic relief – Sage tea can be beneficial for treatment of hot flushes and night sweats, 2-3 cups of tea per day is the recommendation. Let the leaves or tea bag infuse for about 5-10 minutes. Either drink it hot with some lemon and honey or have an iced tea with sage, lemon, honey and mint for a nice refreshing cold drink to promote that cool change.
There is no need to suffer with hot flushes or any other symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause; here at Reproductive Wellness we can help you! There are various herbal medicines that can be used to support and balance your hormones providing relief from menopausal symptoms.
There is not a one size fits all approach to treatment of menopause. Every female’s hormonal presentation is different, so after conducting the appropriate hormonal pathology testing. We will work at developing a treatment plan to suit your presentation therefore providing positive outcomes for you! An exciting cool change is in the air!!