Let me be frank.....being a woman can sometimes suck. Puberty comes and we get greeted with a friend (or foe in many cases) that visits every month. And for the next 20-40 years we put up with pain, emotional rollercoasters every month or at the very least a couple of days of feeling just 'a bit off'.
And then comes menopause, some may call it sweet relief, but for others it can open up a whole new can of worms in terms of symptoms. Anxiety, insomnia and HOT FLUSHES.
From a Naturopathic persepctive hot flushes can occur from the changes in hormone elvels (in particular oestrogen) as the body transitions into menopause, but it can also have to do with how your liver is able to balance these hormone changes, as well as dietary influences and stress levels.
If hot flushes are getting you down then don't dispare. There is so much that can be done to reduce the frequency and duration and you can start today by doing 3 simple things.
1. Cut back on dietary triggers
The big triggers seem to be caffeine and alcohol. Whether it's the impact they have on the liver, or the changes that occur at a thermoregulatoy level with these particular compounds, either way they are a good place to start in terms of reducing the trigger.
You don't have to cut them out 100% but try and reduce the amount you're consuming. They will also help you get a better night sleep, and if we are sleeping well then everything else is also improved, even slightly.
2. Stress less- or at least manage your stress better
Even if you don't feel stressed, this is a MUST
If you are finding that your're only getting hot flushes at night, then this is especially important! The stress hormone cortisol can have a big impact on the bodies natural hormone levels, but more importanly elevated cortsiol levels at night can often present themselves in night sweats, and this is what people sometimes misstake for hot flsuhes.
So exercising more, taking time for yourself, no screens before bed, mindfullness/meditation daily, whatever it is that helps you manage stress- do it! Even something as simple as a Calming herbal tea before bed to help you wind down (GET OUR FAVOURITE HERBAL TEA HERE) all of these things can help.
3. Increase oestrogen modulating foods into your diet
These are foods that mimic the action of oestrogen, helping to reduce the significant changes in hormone levels which can often result in symptoms like hot flushes.
My favourite foods to reccomend women begin to encorporate more into their diets include flaxseed meal and alfalfa. These are just 2 of many different foods which have a phtyooestrogen action, and they are crazy easy to encorporate into your everyday. Flaxseed meal can be added to cooking, smoothies, or sprinkled over avocado on toast or salads. And alfalfa, well you know what to do with it...add it salads or jam pack your salad rolls. Soy is another great phyto-oestrogen but many people are quite scared of it. Soy can be a very effective tool in balancing hormones through peri-menopause and menopause, but just make sure it is organic and non-GMO.
So there you have it, sounds pretty easy right? If you have done all of the above and are still suffering then don't put up with your hot flushes, book in with one of our practitioners today and get on top of them ASAP! You can book online by clicking HERE or call the clinic on 0352982642.
Karah is a degree qualified Naturopath with over 8 years experience in the health industry. She practices from Geelong, Ocean Grove and Bannockburn and specializes in digestive conditions.