What is the deal with hot flashes? One minute you are comfortable in your own skin and the next you are a raging inferno. I remember when my mom suffered with them as she was going through menopause. I would find her laying on her bed, in her underwear, with the fan on, trying to get some relief. I am going to be honest, that was a slightly disturbing sight to see when I was a little girl. As the female body moves into perimenopause and menopause, estrogen production can become more erratic. Hot flashes can occur when the estrogen levels are too low or too high. Often women are prescribed hormone replacement therapy to supply the body with an even dose of estrogen in these cases. What I have found with several clients is that the estrogen levels on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be too high. The form of estrogen prescribed is estradiol, which is the most powerful form of estrogen that the female body produces. It is this form of estrogen which stimulates a follicle to develop and be released during ovulation. The form of estrogen which women naturally produce in menopause is estrone. This form of estrogen is much less powerful and does not stimulate follicle development. It does, however, still prevent hot flashes, maintain bone density, reduce brain fog and all the wonderful things that estrogen does for our bodies. Interestingly, estrone is not produced in the ovaries but by the adrenal glands. Meaning, women who have oophorectomies can still make estrone just fine. We just may need to get the body back into balance so the adrenal glands function as they should. Another reason why estrogen can be too high is because of stress. Excess cortisol, our stress hormone, can stimulate estrogen production. Think about the last time you or someone you know experienced hot flashes. Was there anything stressful that you or they were facing at the time? A move, a difficult relationship, a career change etc.? Often when my clients take time to reflect, they begin to see how situations in their life are connected to physical symptoms. These negative symptoms are the body’s way to communicate that we need to address something in our life that is out of balance. It could be nutrition, sleep, exercise as well as acknowledging what is bothering us. Journaling can be a tremendous tool to help discern what we can do or cannot do about a situation that may be bothersome to us. Learning to let go of a situation that we are trying to control where we do not have any control can be very liberating and will allow our bodies to relax. This takes practice and involves a series of steps that are not very intuitive without guidance. This is a lifelong process for all of us. I had to let go of control of a situation recently. It was challenging but when I embraced letting go, I felt peace and calm. My sleep returned to normal and I was able to feel more positive and hopeful. If you are experiencing hot flashes or other hormone imbalance, getting data is an important part of determining what needs to be addressed. I have several hormone tests that I use depending upon the situation. There are also some very helpful adaptogenic herbs that can help balance hormones when combined with other lifestyle changes and techniques to manage stress better. Let me help outline a plan for you to get your hormones back in balance so you and your body can become friends again. Go to my forms tab on this website and fill out your health history and upload your most recent lab work. You will be contacted to schedule your free initial consultation.
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