Hot flashes can be very irritating because they disrupt sleep. They occur as estrogen levels change in the body, not because of a deficiency of estrogen, a common misconception. What you need to consider as possible treatments are anything that will help support a constant level of estrogen in your body.
1. Pour on the flaxseeds. Add two to three tablespoons of flaxseeds to protein smoothies, salads, cereals, yogurt and oatmeal each day. They should be purchased ground, in a sealed container and kept in the freezer for freshness. You could also purchase whole flaxseeds and grind them yourself at home.
2. Include one serving of (non-GMO) soy in your diet each day. Sources of soy include soy milk, soy nuts, tofu, tempeh or edamame. Flaxseeds and soy are phytoestrogens, which means they can assist with the symptoms of menopause.
3. Try taking evening primrose oil. Take 1000 mg twice per day with 400 IU of vitamin E. This combination has been found useful for some women with hot flashes.
4. Consider taking herbs that support estrogen levels such as black cohosh and angelica or herbs that support progesterone levels such as vitex and wild yam. You may also want to look into a mixed herbal combination for menopausal support. Another herb, sage, has been found to be useful for treatment of sweating and hot flashes.
5. Consider having your hormones tested via a saliva hormone analysis conducted by a medical doctor or a naturopathic doctor in your area. There are many hormonal changes involved in menopause including three types of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEAs and all of these changes affect your symptoms. It is important to identify an unhealthy balance of the three types of estrogen, which if left unaddressed, can increase your risk of cancer. Bio-identical hormone replacement is a viable option for many women. I use this in my practice to great results, but it is essential to have proper analysis and follow-up testing. You never want to have hormones in too high or too low quantities.
6. Take relora to help with hot flashes and sleep disruption associated with menopause (two in the evening, one upon waking).
8. As I recommend for everyone, be sure you are covering your basic nutritional needs and requirements for bone health by taking a high-potency multivitamin, fish oil supplements, antioxidants and calcium/magnesium.
Wishing you perfect balance,
Dr. Natasha Turner ND