80% of women are believed to experience hot flashes or night sweats at some point. Scientists don’t really know why but certain things can exacerbate and drive them such as:
- Oestrogen fluctuations
- Having a high BMI and obesity
- Having high glucose levels in your blood (a high carbohydrate diet)
Time to focus on solutions:
1. Slow down and take some time out for you – this is a non negotiable!
You will have to either cut something out of your life (work hours, commitments) or add some ‘me time’ or get some extra help such as a cleaner – whatever it takes.
Meditating is the number 1 thing that could get you through. Research shows it makes you resilient and better able to manage stress and overwhelm.
2. Reduce the booze and caffeine
Alcohol affects how oestrogen is detoxified by the liver, it affects progesterone’s production and how it works (progesterone is a calming hormone).
Caffeine specifically has been shown to lower oestrogen. Try decaffeinated coffee and herbal teas instead (tea and cocoa both contain caffeine also).
3. Exercise smartly
Extreme exercise can also lower estrogen levels (due to it being a stressor) so check in with a personal trainer (like Andrea) and check to see if you are exercising at the right amount and level for your circumstances.
4. Eat right
Look at your diet – reduce the highly refined carbohydrates and sugar foods (cakes, breads, biscuits, lollies, packaged and processed goods…you know the stuff). It may also be worth trying to go gluten free as there is an association with gluten and oestrogen related problems.
Eat soy – it is not evil and you don’t need to be scared of it – just once or twice a week. Make sure that you have sufficient iodine in your diet. Miso soup for lunch or some stir fried tofu. Soy is what is known as a phytoestrogen because it helps to modulate the uptake of oestrogen into our cells.
Flaxseeds are also phytoestrogens and also antioxidants – one study showed 2tbsp flaxseed twice a day for 6 weeks reduced hot flashes by half. You can grind them up and add them to cereal, salads and smoothies.
5. Try acupuncture
Acupuncture has been shown to relieve hot flashes and night sweats
Try the following breathing technique at least every day or during –
Breathe in for 4 seconds, Hold for 4 seconds, Breathe out for 4 seconds, Hold for 4 seconds…repeat.
You can play around with the time e.g. breathe in for 4, hold for 8 etc. One study showed that this type of breathing reduced hot flashes by 44%.
7. Supplements & Herbs
- Magnesium – it relaxes us and helps to regulate our stress response
- Taurine – this is an amino acid which also has a calming effect on the body.
- Vitamin B6 – it helps with the production of oestrogen and progesterone and boosts something GABA which is a calming brain chemical.
- Maca – this is an amazing herb and has been shown to help with many menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes plus anxiety depression, low libido…I love https://www.selenohealth.com/
On a positive note – women who have hot flashes have a 50% lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who have never had a hot flashes (1) plus 11% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke (2).
Come and join our free Facebook Group Hormone Health Tips for Women 40+ and be part of an amazing group of perimenopausal women
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