Today, I’m sharing my best natural remedies for hot flashes. But what really causes hot flashes? Ask any doctor and they’ll tell you that hot flashes and night sweats are caused by falling estrogen levels as women age. That’s it.
Anyway, that’s the answer most of my ladies in my community get when they ask.
Just a bit on me I’m Stephanie Dodier Clinical Nutritionist and Intuitive Eating expert and I lead a community of women over 40 so we are very familiar with the topic of hot flashes! I developed the Going Beyond The Food Method™️ a proprietary methodology that helps women make peace with food and their body. Chronic dieter and body shy women become intuitive eater & body confident women that live a full life unconditionally. If a life without dieting is something that sounds interesting I’d love to meet you.
Back to the topic of hot flashes.
So when you go to see your doctor say that you want to stop hot flashes and night sweats, what you’re most likely to get is a prescription for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and an extended talk about the issues that are associated with HRT.
Take a moment to stop and think about it though – how can all of this just be from falling estrogen levels? It just doesn’t make any sense, since every woman on the face of the Earth sees a drop in her estrogen during menopause, why don’t all of us get hot flashes? And the women who do get hot flashes get them at different times – some when they’re upset, others when they eat sugary or starchy foods.
Now think about what happens when you flash. You get hot, you get sweaty, your heart rate goes up, and you might well feel anxious. Doesn’t that feel more like someone came up and surprised you – something like a panic attack? A Fight or Flight reaction?
How can this be? Let’s break it down.
Adrenal Glands & Hot Flashes
The part of your brain that regulates temperature responds to both estrogens AND to adrenaline hormones. Adrenaline is a stress hormone in the same family of stress hormones as cortisol and norepinephrine. All 3 of these hormones are produced by our adrenal glands located on top of our kidney.
Your adrenaline level is usually low if you are in a state of relaxation and feel calm. We know that your if your adrenaline level is low that your estrogen level is high or low that you won’t a hot flash. However, if your adrenaline level is chronically high, i.e. you’re more stressed out than you should be, and you have a drop in estrogen you will trigger a series of reaction in your body that will produce a hot flash.
Yes hot flashes are in part due to estrogen level being low BUT it’s triggered by our stress level via adrenaline. Addressing your stress level is as important as considering how we can stabilize our estrogen level.
Natural Remedies For Hot Flashes: Stress Reduction Techniques
If you’re stressed, then your body is responding to stressors in your environment. We’re talking about physical and emotional things that are affecting your body to bring it out of balance. These are things that we know may cause hot flashes.
Environmental stressors can come from a myriad of places, and here are some examples. Check out which ones you think you might be struggling against.
- Lack of movement
- Negative thoughts
Reducing sources of stress in your life will help you to stop hot flashes. Let’s see how.
Diet-induced stress is a great place to start. We know that when we eat sugary & highly processed food our blood sugar levels go up. This makes our insulin kick in to reduce them. When insulin rises, cortisol goes up with it. ! Making dietary changes is one of the best natural remedies for hot flashes. Read more about how to modify your diet here.
Incorporating movement in your life can be incredibly critical when it comes to managing your hot flashes. Lack of movement is not only a cause of stress for pre and postmenopausal women but for everyone. For women in menopause, it can escalate to more symptoms than in many other people, so adopting a practice of mind/body light movement techniques like walking in nature, yoga or even swimming will have an amazingly calming effect on your nervous system, reducing the impact on your adrenal glands.
B-vitamins offer a great place to start supplementing to stop hot flashes since B’s are in high demand in the metabolism of stress in our body. They’re also a powerful methylator in the metabolism of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Find a complete B-complex formula and take it 3 times a day with food.
Herbal supplements have been studied and demonstrated to help manage your cortisol level and thereby your stress level, thus reducing the load on your adrenals. Licorice Root is well known for helping to support adrenal balance as well as energy levels and endurance. Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb that protects against stress-related fatigue and ultimate “burnout”, increasing mental clarity, supporting the immune system and assisting in balancing blood sugar regulation – an all around great supplement!
Vitamin C is another powerful nutrient that can be added to your daily regimen and will help support your adrenals. It’s also, of course, one of the most powerful antioxidants and an immune booster. Use 1000mg x3 day with food if you’re unsure where to start.
You can access my favourite brands and recommendation in my store right here
Your mind and thoughts: the most powerful tips for stopping hot flashes
One of the key natural remedies for hot flashes is focusing more on loving thoughts. Thoughts that bring you pleasure (like thinking about people you love or favourite pets) short-circuit the harm done by the body’s physiological reaction to stress.
This learning to “think with your heart” may be challenging at first, but it’s definitely worth it. If you faithfully work at this technique and regularly pay attention to the areas of your life that bring you joy and fulfillment, you will evoke biochemical changes in your body over time that will recharge your adrenal batteries. You can read more about my personal journey with connecting mind and body here.
Learning to quiet your mind and focus on positive thoughts can be easy with the practice of deep breathing or meditation. Start with a quick and easy 5 minutes a day as you wake up. Then as you get more comfortable, increase your quiet time (aka meditation) to 15-20 minutes a day. I teach techniques to overcome food cravings that can get you started on this journey to quieting your mind. In my free guide Crave Cure Guide I take you through my 4 steps to cure you cravings.
The good news is that there are many natural remedies for hot flashes and other unpleasant and unwelcome symptoms of peri–menopause and menopause. Reducing your level of stress in many aspects of your life can not only leave you feeling more relax and healthier but also cooler! You can stop hot flashes.
Next steps would be for you read the first article in this series Nutrition for Menopause and last one Sleep and menopause.