Persistent night sweats, sudden surges of heat, redness in the face, spontaneous sweating. Hot flashes sound fun, right?
Most commonly caused by changing hormones, specifically a drop in estrogen, hot flashes are often a symptom experienced by women in perimenopause. Thankfully there are some researched ways we can help reduce hot flashes!
1. Reduce caffeine: Caffeine is a vasodilator which creates a flushing sensation. Hot flashes are a product of vasodilation so caffeine only acts to amplify hot flashes. Keep caffeine to 1 cup of coffee per day.
2. Optimize your melatonin levels: Dim the lights, get to bed before 11pm, keep your room dark or wear an eye mask. Melatonin supplementation has been shown in research to be helpful for hot flashes at night. Supplementation should only be done on the recommendation of your ND or GP.
3. Increase flax intake: Flax seeds and flax oil have also been shown to mitigate hot flashes.
4. Reduce stress: Stress will naturally "boil your blood", and make you more print to hot flashes through cortisol production. Easier said than done but incorporate stress calming activities like walking, yoga, or meditation.
5. Balance your blood sugar: The more volatile your blood sugar, the more likely you are to have hot flashes. Work with an ND for nutrition techniques to help this.
Consider reaching out if you are interested in a personal plan for perimenopause and beyond. You don't have to suffer through hot flashes.
Dr. Melissa Bingeman, ND is passionate about mental health, hormones and gut health. She has a virtual and in-person practice in Kitchener, Ontario.