Hot Flashes and Homeopathy…

So you have hot flashes. You are going through menopause or you are perimenopausal and maybe you just get hot, so you think, that can’t be hot flashes.  You might perspire, you might not.  You might turn bright red. Or not. You might get cold first and then hot.  You might feel a wave or a flash or have nonstop heat.

Yes hot flashes come in every variety.  As your ovaries stop working, your pituitary gland (the master gland located in your brain) keeps ‘calling’ your ovaries, hoping they will pick up the phone and respond with estrogenic hormonal production.  When your ovaries do not answer the phone call from your pituitary gland, the phone just rings and rings.  Those are hot flashes.  The secret is not to take external hormones to silence the phone call from the pituitary gland, the secret is to have other endocrine glands answer the call.  Internal production of hormones is ALWAYS safer than any hormone supplement you can take, whether that is synthetic or bio-identical or herbal. The other endocrine gland that can answer the phone is your adrenal glands.  Your adrenal glands are also responsible for answering the phone when an emergency or fright takes place.  They produce cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine in response to stress.  They help you meet the demands of stress.  So if the adrenal glands are overworked, they may not have the ability to fully meet your estrogen/progesterone needs as called upon by the pituitary gland.  So here is what you can do to help your adrenals help you.

  • Get plenty of rest.  Period. No arguments. No excuses. Just do it.  There is absolutely no substitute for 8 hours of sleep.  And the best sleep for your best immune function and best hormonal function occurs in a dark room from 10pm to 2am.  All you ‘night owls’ are short changing yourselves in melatonin production and in the formation of essential immunoprotective substances (read: cancer protection).
  • Moderate the temperature inside and outside. Inside yourself keep things cool. That means no hot tea, no hot spicey foods, no alcohol, no heated arguments, no strong emotions…. this is your opportunity to practice equanimity. Outside yourself keep the house cool, keep your shower temperature moderate, keep your clothing natural cotton or linen or fine wool so your skin can breath and any perspiration can be wicked away.  Polyester and silk can make you hot.  Cool down before bed: this will make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.  Even just wading in a cool kiddies pool can help before bed.  Sleep cool, very cool.  The trend in building now is to have 2 master suites so that each spouse has a bed. Your partner may snore or get very hot under the covers and that can interfere greatly with quality sleep.
  • No caffeine. None. Nada. Caffeine demands a response from your adrenal glands.  This fatigues your adrenal response and jacks up your insulin response.  Both lead to more hot flashes.
  • Stop the white sugar. Stop the processed food. Stop the refined carbohydrates. Eating these ‘foods’ jacks up your insulin response and then your blood sugar crashes, and during all that you will hot flash.  Years ago I saw a segment on Oprah where Oprah had invited Dr. Christiane Northrup to answer questions from the audience about women’s health.  One audience member asked why she was still having hot flashes even though she was now in her late 60’s.  A look of deep thinking came over Dr. Northrup’s face and the doctor asked the woman if she had blood sugar problems.  Indeed, the woman had diabetes.  So Dr. Northrup’s answer was that when the woman stabilized her blood sugar, then her hot flashes would stabilize and stop.
  • Eat good fats.  Some of my thinnest clients have the worst hot flashes.  Body fat stores estrogen and progesterone to be released when the pituitary gland calls in.  Eating bad fats does not count.  What are good fats? Organic butter, wild salmon, oily fishes, avocados, coconut oil, free range beef and bison and venison and lamb, nuts, organic whole fat dairy in small quantities, olive oil…all good fats.  Your body needs fats to create hormones.  If you do not give your body these good fats, your body will create a fatty waxy substance you know as cholesterol, so that you can make the hormones you need.  So many times I see women on a low fat diet to loose weight and their cholesterol skyrockets and their blood sugar goes pre-diabetic.  Stop that. Low cholesterol is not good; you are probably shortchanging your hormonal production of things like DHEA. Very high cholesterol levels just means that your body is so inflamed that fats are needed in large quantities to soothe your inflammation.  Homeopathy can help you with that inflammation.
  • Reduce or stop your exposure to xenoestrogens.  Xenoestrogens are estrogens from outside of you. They come in all forms: plastics, exposure to BPA, petroleum distillates (in cosmetics, lotions, lip balms…), birth control pills and rings and injections and things…even entering our drinking water, soy products, caffeine (yes it mimicks the estrogen molecule). Xenoestrogens interfere with the natural feedback process of all your hormones and they get deposited in estrogen receptor sites like your breasts, uterus and ovaries…contributing to a higher risk of reproductive cancer.  And xenoestrogen excess can overbalance what progesterone you have, making you more prone to hot flashes.
  • Do I recommend the progesterone cream (plant based) that is in the health food stores and is recommended Dr. John Lee and Dr. Northrup for hot flashes? …Not unless you have lost your ovaries and suffer adrenal exhaustion.  Homeopathic progesterone is far safer; it does not ‘give’ you the hormone from the outside, but provokes your body to use what you do have better.  Many women get complete relief from using it and better sleep as well.
  • Do I recommend bio-identical hormone replacement therapy? …Not unless it is for a very short time while you are transitioning to homeopathic care, or you have lost your ovaries and suffer adrenal exhaustion. There are usually underlying health problems that drive very troublesome hot flashes.  Those underlying health problems need to be addressed or the use of exogenous hormone therapy can ignite more health problems, including cancers.

I believe that menopause is a protective development in a woman’s life.  With less estrogenic hormones, a woman is at less risk for cancer.  As we age, cellular damage tends to increase and using external hormone therapy can tip that cellular damage towards cancer.

Have a happy menopause.

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Thanks so much for addressing the very common causes that we as women experience as we age gracefully. I am lucky to have a roommate who does extensive research on womens issues and she sent this article to me. It really has given me a deeper insight into what is going on in my body. The article also has some great information which has given me insight into what is happening and what to be aware of and what to avoid for my body. Thanks so much for being intune with us!!

I do take bioidenticals…very, very low dose….I do sleep better, I do notice less hot flashes….less of them…and sure enough, enter 1 fun Pumpkin Spice from Starbuck’s.,,even decaf, or 1 sangria..and I will get a low grade of a hot flash…albeit, short in duration, I feel the flush…so if I watch my diet, yes, symptoms decline…or ramp up..but you know what, my weight hasn’t dropped, and yet being on bioidenticals, has somehow curbed my appetite…why can’t I lose weight, then??

Dear Vita Maria, The complexities of hormonal ‘balance’ are both a subtle dance and an ever widening vista of exploration. These are the issues we would deal with in a private consultation after a complete health history and symptom history exam. The answers can range from insulin resistance to not enough orgasmic oxytocin in your life. I hope this is some help, Lynn

So far the most information in one place I can find. I work in a heath food store and help people with supplements. I have read that adrenal and blood sugar can be part of the problem of hot flashes.mean while I am dealing with mine .I always pull away from natural replacement for my self, so now I will try homeopathic . Any books I can read?

Hi Christine, glad to be of help. One of the best books about homeopathy is Everyday Miracles by Dr. Linda Johnston. Her book will reveal why hot flashes belong to constitutional treatment, rather than over the counter treatment, because they are indicative of the all of you. We bring our whole health to menopause and thus menopause reflects our whole health. May your journey be fruitful. Lynn

I am suffering terribly with hot flashes and am in bed and 10 and up at 7 to ‘try’ to get a good night’s sleep. I agree wholeheartedly that we need sleep – what if you wake up every 20 minutes with a hot flash? or every 40 or 60 minutes – all night? I haven’t had a solid 8 hours of sleep in years. I am 53 and have been menopausal for 5 years. I am taking homeopathics now to try to get relief.

Dear Kim, When a factor like sleep becomes so disturbed with menopause, then you need constitutional homeopathic care by a qualified and experienced homeopath. Why? Because there are many other factors at play than just menopausal hormone flucuations and those factors are making your menopause more difficult. So difficult that it is not possible for you to get quality sleep.