The Heat is On
While menopause creates many troublesome symptoms, none are quite as annoying as HOT FLASHES. I've heard many women describe them as power surges, a sudden burst of heat, hot flushes, and personal summer. They are extremely uncomfortable and often humiliating. Hot flashes and night sweats are a normal part of menopause. In fact, over 85% of women experience them and some as often as every hour. The research shows that they can last 6 months and even as long as 2 years.
The decrease of estrogen as women approach peri-menopause and menopause is one of the primary reasons for the heat surges and seems to create the most side effects with altered sleep patterns, irregular body temperature, and changing sex hormones.
Common Symptoms of Menopause
Poor memory and forgetfulness
Light or irregular menstrual cycle
Painful intercourse due to vaginal dryness
Thin facial wrinkles around eyes or lips
A leaky or overactive bladder
Stress & anxiety
Fatigue & Low Energy
Our Broken Medical Model
Women are faced with many options as they search for relief from these frustrating symptoms. Some of them can actually cause more harm than good. Studies have shown that the use of synthetic hormones increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, strokes, and dementia. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may seem like an easy solution, but this type of treatment is not focusing on the root cause of the problem. It is a broken medical model that focuses largely on treating symptoms. We all want a quick fix, but quick fixes aren't sustainable. There has also been more interest in bio-identical hormones as a natural alternative. However, this type of treatment also focuses on external management, not an internal solution. True health is achieved by focusing on healing from the inside out. In fact, putting synthetic hormones into your body alters your normal hormone production and can lead to dependence for the rest of your life.
Natural Remedies for Menopause Relief
Menopause and hot flashes are a normal part of the aging process that won't last forever. Embrace it and follow these natural ways to make this stage of your life more comfortable.
1. Maca Root
Maca is a root vegetable similar to a turnip. Maca has gained a reputation for helping balance hormones and reducing the symptoms associated with menopause. Maca has been shown to be beneficial for all sorts of hormonal problems especially hot flashes and night sweats. Maca is also a fertility enhancer and is best known for improving libido and sexual function in both men and women. It is an endocrine adaptogen, meaning that it does not contain any hormones, but rather it contains the nutrients necessary to support normal hormone production. Maca is considered to be a "superfood" because it is so nutritionally dense. It is also shown to boost energy and improve mood. It has an abundance of benefits for men and women. I recommend taking 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day.
2. Essential Oils
Essential Oils have been used throughout history in many cultures for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Essential oils have powerful, plant-based intelligence that seek out imbalance in the body to support health. I have become very passionate about sharing essential oils with my patients, family, and friends and I use them in my everyday life. So, naturally, I recommend the use of essential oils to help balance hormones and help control the symptoms associated with menopause. The most effective oils for hot flashes, hormone balance, and other menopausal symptoms are as follows...
Clary Sage - promotes hormone balance, aids in estrogen balance, and eases hot flashes & night sweats
Geranium - aids in increasing libido, helps ease agitation, improves hormone balance
Ylang Ylang - aphrodisiac, increases sexual energy, aids in stress reduction, uplifts & balances mood
Peppermint - cooling effect on hot flashes, combats fatigue, promotes alertness, invigorating & stimulating
The essential oil blend I recommend more than any other for hormonal health is our HORMONE BALANCE Blend. It is a blend of oils specifically formulated to help manage the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause and other hormonal issues. This blend is especially helpful for relieving HOT FLASHES, easing cramps, nausea, fatigue, and emotional swings associated with PMS and menopause.
3. Try Adaptogens
Adaptogens are essentially a class of herbs (found in many herbal supplements) that are intended to boost your resistance to and tolerance of stress-emotional and physical. As the name suggests, they adapt to meet your needs. Adaptogens include Ashwaghanda, Rhodiola, Ginseng and Cordyceps to name a few. The herb I recommend most for hormone balance is Ashwagandha. It is a superstar herb that relieves many hormone problems in women. This supplement includes Ashwaghanda as well as Stinging Nettle. Both help to balance hormones and aid in diminishing other menopause symptoms including hot flashes
4. Eat This, Not That
Our body cannot produce hormones correctly or maintain hormonal balance without the proper nutrients. Certain foods can cause unpredictable, critical imbalances and thus create more intense menopausal symptoms.
Eliminate harmful, inflammatory, hormone dysregulating foods such as sugar, grains (including gluten), dairy, processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners. I would also recommend specifically avoiding chocolate, red wine, fried foods, and spicy foods as they are considered to be triggers for hot flashes.
Enjoy healing, whole, real, fresh foods such as high quality protein, fresh organic vegetables and fruit, and healthy fats. Healthy fats are critical for proper hormone balance and are often the missing link for finding balance - coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, grass fed beef, grass fed butter, whole eggs, and ghee.
5. Avoid Triggers
Certain foods, activities, and lifestyle choices increase our chances of having hot flashes. Be sure to avoid these.