Hot Flashes

Hot Flashes

I want to talk to you today about those awful hot flashes.  Do you wake up in the middle of the night in a pool of sweat even though it is 65 degrees in the room or in the middle of the day doing your normal activities. Maybe at work or in a meeting?  This feeling of warmth begins to take over your body and you end up with a pool of sweat. This cycle can make you tired and cranky with your family, and your work performance can suffer because of fatigue.

Did you know that Hot Flashes occur in 75-80% of menopausal women. So what causes Hot Flashes anyway? The truth is that question is still under debate.  The thought is that there is a dysfunction at the hypothalamus and this messes up the thermoregulation when estrogen levels decrease. The conventional approach is to assign the Hot Flash as strictly due to low estrogen and the standard solution is hormone replacement therapy.  

The Functional Medicine approach has shown that adrenaline and cortisol levels may be a major contributor to Hot Flashes.  If your adrenaline levels are high and your estrogen levels drop, this can trigger a Hot Flash.  If you live a busy and hectic life, your adrenal hormones may be out of balance and your individual adrenal function should be evaluated. Diet and exercise also play a part as well.  It is important to look at all of your hormone functions in addition to your gut in order to balance these systems.  Imbalanced hormones and gut imbalance all play a key role in how your body responds to lower estrogen levels.

Now, I am not an all or nothing Practitioner.  There are solutions in Functional Medicine that help with understanding causes of imbalanced pathways that should be addressed.  However, there are times when patients need a low dose hormone to help with the side effects of menopause.  This should be weighed carefully with risks of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, blood clots, and stroke.  Bioidentical hormones are the best choice because they are similar to the hormones produced by the human body. They are derived from plant estrogens that are chemically identical to those the human body produces.

Are you ready to get control of those terrible hot flashes? Would you like to have a thorough evaluation with solutions? Most women have many contributing factors for Hot Flashes other than just low estrogen.  I would love to help you on your journey to feeling your best again for yourself and for those closest to you. 

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