What is a hot flush?
Hot flushes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause, and they affect around 75% of menopausal women. We all have our own experiences, but put simply it’s a sensation of intense heat, which seems to appear from nowhere. They normally appear as a rising redness on the chest, neck and face. The hot flush can last for just a few seconds or several minutes. They make you feel over heated and sweaty. There’s usually no warning that you’re going to have one, it just happens and away you go!
What causes a hot flush?
Officially, it’s not exactly known yet why hot flushes occur. However, the general thinking seems to be that the hormonal changes our body goes through during menopause plays a part. We know that the change in hormone levels can cause our body’s temperature to be confused. This is because of the complex interaction between the fluctuating estrogen levels, and the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that controls our body’s temperature). With the drop of estrogen levels, our body thinks that it’s getting too hot and reacts correspondingly. So more blood is sent to the skin (hence the red face) and our sweat glands start working making us feel over heated.
Common causes to trigger a Hot Flush
- Caffeine: Sometimes drinking a bit too much coffee can make us feel overactive? And hyper? This is because the caffeine triggers our sympathetic nervous system, which as a result can cause hot flushes. Try to cut out the nasty caffeine, replace for Superfoods or herbal teas.
- Unbalanced diet including processed and unrefined sugars: We all love a sweet treat, don’t we? But too much sugar in our diet increases the chances of a hot flush. Look for natural alternatives and watch out for hidden sugars . Processed foods, are not only full of hidden sugars they also add no nutritional value to our diets.
Top Tips of Overcome Hot Flushes
1) A Good diet for hot flushes:
- Eating a well-rounded balanced diet, can really help keep the hot flushes at bay. Our diet should include good sources of protein such as chicken, fish, seeds and nuts. Making sure to have plenty of healthy fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados and nut butter. And not forgetting the ‘Greens'. Dark leafy greens vegetables are great nutritional sources.
- Eat plenty of foods containing phytoestrogens, such as Soybeans and Tofu, as they contain compounds (called genistein and daidzein) which have been shown to help control hot flushes in some studies. They mimic biological estrogen and in turn will help to control hormone levels.
- Remember to treat yourself… we know too much alcohol can increase our risk of a hot flush. However a glass of red wine may actually help… It slows down estrogen removal from the body, helping to maintain estrogen levels and our hormone balance. Best to keep to one glass a week though.
2) Remember to breath:
Stress can be one of the biggest causes of hot flushes. If you are feeling overwhelmed take time to ground yourself. Take a moment to check in on how you are feeling. When we are stressed, we generally breathe very shallowly and this does not help to take the body off of this alert. Try breathing in for 4 counts and hold for 2 and out for 8,if this is too difficult in the beginning, then build up to it. After repeating for a few times, you should begin to feel more mellow and calm. This technique can really help ease the more extreme hot flushes and lessen the severity, especially if you do it during one.
A product that you may not be so familiar with is the Reishi mushroom. This mushroom contain selenium, a mineral that’s linked with higher stress in people who don’t get enough of it. Stress triggers a surge in epinephrine, which triggers hot flushes. So eating mushrooms can lower stress levels. They also provide excellent support and help to remove harmful toxins from our body. In TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) hot flushes are associated with a dysfunctional liver, so strengthening the liver throughout menopause can with hot flushes. You can find the Reishi Mushroom within our Detox Blend .
3) Keep Exercising:
Exercising will really help us through the menopause transition, not just physically but mentally too. We don’t have to become crazy fitness warriors, just taking the time to get some headspace, shift our energy and wellbeing is so beneficial. Even if that means taking a walk on our lunch breaks, factoring in that time will help. Let’s get those happy hormones and endorphins flowing!
4) Keep cool:
One of the best hacks for temperature control is making sure we have layers on and that they are flexible to take on or off. Wearing multiple thin layers of clothing especially items made from natural fibres such as cotton (more breathable) is a really good idea. This makes sure we are warm when we need to be, but we can shed layers when we feel things heat up, even in public.
5)Try to eat organic where possible:
It may be more expensive, but the pesticides which are used in agriculture are commonly known to affect our hormones negatively, and contribute to hormonal imbalances. Particular fruit and vegetables have higher proportions of pesticides residue on them than others. It’s just important to be aware of what potential harm these can cause our bodies. You can find lists for this from the UK Pesticide Action Network. All of our Living Better Health Superfoods are organic and naturally derived.
So there you have it our top tips to help you navigate hot flushes in this stage in your life. There are plenty of things to try, and it definitely isn’t one cure for all. Check out of facebook page dedicated to the Menopause, where I am live every week with supportive tips & ideas throughout. Click on the link below