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HOT FLASHES

Things are heating up and it’s not just the weather!

HOT FLASHES: WHY DO THEY HAPPEN? WHAT ROLE DOES STRESS PLAY?

 

Hot flashes occur due to a narrowing of the core body temperature range due to something called norepinephrine. But hang on, aren’t hot flashes due to estrogen? Yes and no. Despite amazing advances in medicine, we don’t know the exact mechanism behind a menopausal hot flash. We do know that it can’t be due to low estrogen alone. If that were the case, every menstruating woman would experience hot flashes during their period when estrogen is very low.

It’s theorized that what might be the cause is the effect of high follicle stimulating hormone, FSH,  and low estrogen increasing the stress hormone and neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. Yes, stress! Combine these natural hormonal changes with the stress of everyday life and your hot flash becomes a volcanic eruption!

Calm the stress to calm the hot flashes. Controlling the stress response is a part of a holistic approach to controlling hot flashes. Some of the things I recommend is a relaxation practice such as meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, and slow walking. Herbs that support your adrenals will calm the stress response. Acupuncture is proven to induce relaxation and clinically has reduced the number and intensity of hot flashes. And if none of these natural remedies work, I prescribe both natural estrogenic herbs and bio-identical hormone replacement.

Stay tuned for my next article where I’ll explain how estrogen supplementation works. Until then, be healthy and stay cool!

I’m interested. Please comment below if using relaxation techniques have help to reduce your hot flashes. If not, what worked for you?

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