Hot flashes are intermittent periods of excessive heat in the body that can happen during menopause and can last up to ten years past, according to a new study at the University of Pennsylvania. The study, known as the Penn Ovarian Aging Study, monitored approximately 250 women from 1996-2012 and found that eighty percent reported a continuation of moderate to severe hot flashes up to ten years following menopause. Seventeen percent had mild conditions while three percent had none.
The greatest risk went to overweight individuals. The study, published by the journal ‘Menopause’, recommends individualized treatment for changing hormonal levels. Hormone therapy is helpful for some, but only 5 years are advised of treatment. Other alternative ways to combat hot flashes are a holistic diet, supplements and weight loss.
Following a holistic diet can aid hot flashes and a number of other chronic issues but takes time and patience. Estrogen fluctuates from perimenopause into postmenopause so it’s crucial to maintain a healthy diet. A woman’s body develops from pear shaped into apple shape leaving the midsection of the body prone to visceral fat. Issues to consider are blood sugar stability, hormones in general and understanding body functions.
When there is malnutrition or less producing estrogen happening, the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates temperature, goes haywire. Going through menopause triggers hot flashes due to estrogen fluctuating. Certain foods can mimic estrogen and fool the body into thinking it’s estrogen. Flaxseed, an essential fatty acid, has estrogen qualities stemming from chemical compounds called lignans. Lignans are important in a healthy diet, but there is still ambiguity regarding whether or not they are beneficial in hormonal issues or hormone associated cancers. Sticking to a diet using whole grains verses processed, refined ingredients may help. Whole grains such as quinoa, amaranth or whole wheat stabilize blood sugar which can make a huge difference during menopause. Snack on quality plant based protein. Whole foods including fruits, vegetables, eggs and organic, free range meat and poultry not only taste better, but are much better for you. It is crucial to maintain blood sugar and not let it spike, so the type of carbohydrates are very important. High levels of cortisol, secreted from the adrenal glands, can contribute to visceral fat, so keeping caffeine under control can make a difference. Discuss diet needs with a healthcare provider.
Supplements can benefit one going through or past menopause. Black cohosh, Mexican yam, starflower, red clover or evening primrose oil can help, but need t be taken consistently for at least three months before seeing results. Vitamins and minerals, like B6, magnesium, zinc all aid in keeping the body nourishes. Evening primrose oil helps regulate hormone levels while red clover contains vital isoflavones. Always discuss herbs and supplements with a healthcare practitioner for optimal results.
Losing unwanted pounds can help regulate blood sugar, maintain blood pressure and help in several different ways. Exercise daily to improve weight loss. There are many great weight loss companies that help support losing pounds.
Hot flashes can make anyone feel miserable and every individual is unique to what works for their own body. Experiment with lifestyle, diet and supplements because what works for one person may not be successful for some one else.
‘Diet and Hormones’; Healthline.com
‘More than a third of women have hot flashes after menopause’; Science Daily
‘Top ten hormone replacement supplements’; biosynergy.com