LONG-TERM STRATEGIES TO EASE HOT FLUSHES AND SWEATSFeb 05, 2024
Mastering perimenopause: long-term strategies to ease hot flushes and night sweats
Perimenopause is not just a phase; it's a profound physical and mental (emotional) transition, and for many women, it brings a frequent, unwelcome guest: hot flushes. These sudden, usually unwelcome waves of heat, can disrupt daily life, especially in the heat of Summer when we’re already feeling hot and frazzled. In this blog, we'll delve into understanding and managing flushes (or flashes if you’re in the USA!), not just temporarily by suppressing the symptom, but for the long-term, by addressing their root causes. This means that instead of just making the hot flush end more quickly in that particular moment, we are going to work on having LESS (or no) hot flushes overall.
Decoding the hormonal changes in perimenopause
The journey to menopause is a complex hormonal dance, involving fluctuations in oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, follicle stimulating and leutinising hormones. It is chaotic! Because they don’t all just quietly decline, giving our bodies time to adapt, but can go higher than high, and lower than low, all within a 24-hour period (or less)! The changes in oestrogen and leutinising hormone, along with your stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, have the most influence on hot flushes, by influencing your body’s thermostat that is in your brain. If you would like to know more about the hormonal interplay, then check out my previous blog - ‘Having hot flushes? Here is your handy action plan.’
For now, know that dramatic drops or changes in hormones throw your body's internal thermostat off balance, leading to those intense sensations of heat known as hot flushes. So it thinks “oh no, Sarah is too cold! Let’s warm her up!” and cue the hot flush. But oops, then your thermostat says your too hot, so sends out the sweat notice and you end up shivering cold because your PJs are wet through and you threw the quilt off when you were burning up.
Understanding this hormonal interplay is key to managing these symptoms effectively.
The Perimenopause experience is unique for every woman
It's important to recognize that menopause is as unique as you are. While some women experience intense hot flushes, others may not have them at all. Not experiencing hot flushes doesn't mean you're not in perimenopause. I’ve even had a client who had cold flushes, not hot flushes! Don’t forget to look at my freebie, The Perimenopause Decoder, for more help on deciphering whether you’re in perimenopause or not.
Identifying and managing Summer hot flush triggers
Summer can amplify menopausal symptoms. Factors like dietary and lifestyle changes, increased social activities, and moving from hot to cold places (and vice versa) can trigger or worsen hot flushes. Recognising these triggers is the first step in managing them. Adjusting your diet and routine to suit your body's needs can significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flushes.
Embracing dietary changes for hormonal balance
Diet plays a pivotal role in managing menopausal symptoms. But it isn’t just about salads and smoothies! (Don’t get me wrong, those things are great, but it’s about more than that for getting rid of those hot flushes.) Keeping your blood sugar levels and insulin balanced, resolving insulin resistance, helps in reducing hot flushes. Changes in oestrogen during perimenopause make you more susceptible to developing insulin resistance, so eating meals that support this balance is key. (This is part of the reason it can be hard to lose weight in perimenopause, because you’re in fat storage mode a lot of the time.)
Incorporating a diet rich in proteins, healthy fats, a wide variety of vegetables, whole fruit, and reducing processed foods, can aid in maintaining your blood glucose and insulin hormonal balance. Three meals/day, no snacks is great, using vegetables and whole fruit as your main source of carbohydrates. I use Metabolic Balance personalised nutrition plans with my clients to help them resolve insulin resistance and keep their blood glucose and insulin levels in a healthy range. Because blood glucose levels that bounce high or low, increase hot flushes.
Lifestyle adjustments for long-term relief
Stress management and regular physical activity are crucial in alleviating menopausal symptoms.Building stress resilience is essential as stress can exacerbate perimenopausal symptoms, and the hormone changes of perimenopause reduce your stress resilience. Practices like yoga and strength training not only reduce stress but also help in reducing the severity of hot flushes. Research has actually shown this to be the case. These activities are as effective as anti-depressants (often prescribed by doctors to reduce hot flushes), without the side effects that these medications can bring.
Addressing underlying causes, not just suppressing symptoms
My philosophy always is focused on addressing the underlying causes of the symptoms (like hot flushes). This means going beyond temporary relief of symptom suppression, and instead addressing the driving factors, to have a lasting impact and reduce or resolve the underlying issues, so the symptoms naturally go away. It also means that you aren’t reliant on pills, powders, medications, to keep symptoms at bay. In perimenopause (like any other phase of life!), knowledge is power, but it also brings peace of mind, understanding and comfort.
If you’re looking to take a deeper dive into managing your perimenopause symptoms by understanding exactly what your body needs to thrive, and a plan that’s tailored just for you, then please reach out. A free Clarity Call is your next step towards mastering the chaos of perimenopause and feeling cool, calm, in control; more confident and comfortable in your body.
Is it perimenopause hormone changes or something else making you cranky, exhausted, overwhelmed, and gaining weight in your 40s?
UNLOCK THE MYSTERY BEHIND YOUR SYMPTOMS WITH THE PERIMENOPAUSE DECODER
Don't continue to feel stuck and confused - download The Perimenopause Decoder now and gain clarity on your journey to perimenopause!