Why You’re Having Hot Flashes Even If You’re Nowhere Near Menopause
When most people think of hot flashes, they probably picture someone in menopause drenched in sweat, gripping one of those battery-operated fans. But it turns out that you can experience hot flashes at any age and for reasons that have nothing to do with the completion of your menstrual cycle.
Because the fluctuation in hormones and decline in estrogen production during menopause can cause hot flashes, other conditions that affect hormone levels may cause them, too, according to Dr. Qurat Mudassar, a primary care physician for Western Connecticut Medical Group.
No matter the underlying cause, hot flashes are the bodys way of responding to heat. It starts with the brain telling the body it needs to cool down, stat, so the blood vessels immediately begin to dilate. This increases blood flow to the surface of the skin so the body can remove excess heat, Mudassar said.
Odds are, the occasional hot flash is nothing to worry about. But if they happen frequently enough that theyre concerning you, keep track of when you get them especially in relation to meals youve eaten, stressful life events, health changes or other potential symptoms you might be experiencing.
Then share this intel with your doctor, said Dr. Erkan Buyuk, an associate professor of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Womens Health at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. This can help your doc pinpoint what may be causing them so you can finally score some relief.
Can Diabetes Cause Night Sweats
- Did you know that if you enjoy a glass of wine or beer before bed, you may be stopping your liver functioning to produce glucose overnight? If youve ever woken up in a cold sweat after a night out this is the cause!
- Exercising lots during the day can mean you use up your bodys stores of glucose if you dont replenish these before bed you could suffer from nocturnal hypoglycemia..
How To Ease The Symptoms Of Diabetic Night Sweats
- Prepare your sleeping environment: Make sure your bedroom is not too warm. Open windows or use fans to keep air circulating around the room, and make sure you turn down your heating in enough time for the room to cool before you will be heading for bed. That way your nocturnal hypoglycemia symptoms can be kept to a minimum.
- Choose natural fibers to sleep in: Curling up in natural fibers, as opposed to synthetic ones, can have a miraculous effect on your sleep. Bedding made from natural fibers can help to regulate your body temperature, and will absorb moisture, taking it away from your body. Wool, in particular, is known for its ability to keep you feeling dry and cool throughout a warm night, as it is more absorbent than other natural fibers such as feather or down. This means that even if you are suffering from diabetic night sweats, wool comforters and nightclothes can help you get a better nights sleep.
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Can Menopause Raise Blood Sugar Levels
Some studies have shown that when insulin production decreases during menopause, the secretion of insulin also decreases. This means that, even though a womans body may be producing lower levels of insulin than she really needs, it takes longer than usual for this insulin to leave the body. This definitely affects the levels of blood sugar during menopause, leading to fluctuations that can be detrimental to the body.
Learn More With Overcoming Estrogen Dominance
The body has an amazing ability to heal. We just need to give it the right resources.
In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, my goal is to empower and give you the tools to take control of your hormones and health.
More than 70% of women experience estrogen dominance. The symptoms range from lumpy and fibrocystic breasts to thyroid nodules, hot flashes, fibroids, uterine polyps, painful, heavy or irregular periods to infertility and miscarriages, from mood swings to insomnia, weight gain to fatigue.
So many women have experienced the pain and frustration that comes when they feel their symptoms and complaints are dismissed or minimized. This is particularly true for women who are experiencing the symptoms of hormone imbalance. Even when doctors do offer treatment, its typically in the form of prescription medication or invasive surgical procedures.
In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, I hope to show that those extreme interventions are often unnecessary, and to give women a roadmap to reverse estrogen dominance using food, herbs, supplements and natural protocols to rebalance hormones.
To get your copy of Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, go here.
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Hot Flash Trigger #: Increased Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide levels are known to rise in hypothyroidism, estrogen dominance, and in response to severe traumatic stress.
Its also known to trigger hot flashes.
Nitric oxide synthase inhibition attenuates cutaneous vasodilation during postmenopausal hot flash episodes.
CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that the mechanism for cutaneous vasodilation during hot flash episodes has a nitric oxide component.
Research also shows that inhibiting nitric oxide can prevent or stop hot flashes from occurring.
Regulating thyroid function and metabolism will effectively lower nitric oxide levels, as can addressing the underlying estrogen dominance, which we often do with our Molecular Progesterone Oil and our Vitamin E Complex.
The 3 Hypothyroidism And Hot Flash Triggers And How To Fix Them
Heres what we do know
Some studies have demonstrated that hot flashes can be triggered by certain imbalances, and that correcting those imbalances can effectively prevent or reduce the risk of a hot flash occurring.
These hot flash triggers include:
Whats interesting is that these imbalances are also commonly found in hypothyroidism and caused by estrogen dominance.
How can that be?
If these hot flash triggers are caused by estrogen dominance , then why would estrogen improve hot flash symptoms?
How can something be both part of the problem and the solution at the same time?
This is exactly what continues to confuse so many.
The truth is that while large amounts of estrogen may alleviate the severity of hot flashes, its certainly NOT part of the solution.
Studies show that estrogen effectively lowers both body temperature and the environmental temperature at which your body begins to release heat.
Chronic hormone replacement therapy alters thermoregulatory and vasomotor function in postmenopausal women.
These results suggest that 1) chronic ERT likely acts centrally to decrease Tre , 2) ERT lowers the Tre at which heat-loss effector mechanisms are initiated, primarily by actions on active cutaneous vasodilation, and 3) addition of exogenous progestins in HRT effectively blocks these effects.
In other words, its not fixing the problem.
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What Causes Hot Flashes In People With Diabetes
To remain healthy, the body needs to maintain a constant temperature. This process relies on the nervous system detecting changes in the external environment.
If the nervous system detects a drop in temperature, it sends a message to the hypothalamus region of the brain. The hypothalamus then triggers a series of reactions to raise the body temperature. These include shivering and the body hair standing on end to trap warm air.
Likewise, if the nervous system detects a rise in temperature, the hypothalamus must trigger reactions to cool the body down. The primary way it does this is by sending messages to the skin telling it to release sweat.
From skin infections to nerve damage and organ failure, learn about possible complications of diabetes, and what you can do to prevent them.
However, if the nervous system is not functioning well, these messages can become confused. The brain may think that the body is too hot, even when it is not. This is why diabetics with nerve damage may be prone to excess sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis. Furthermore, sweating can be a sign that the blood sugar has fallen too low. In this case, it may be accompanied by other symptoms such as dizziness, irritability and reduced concentration.
These effects may be even more pronounced in menopausal women who are already having hot flashes. Fluctuating hormone levels can play havoc with the blood sugar, making it more difficult to regulate.
Other Dietary Tips For Hot Flashes
Studies have shown that stabilizing blood glucose levels will help diminish hot flashes. A woman can take certain steps to stabilize her glucose levels, such as the following:6,7,8
- Do not skip any meals or wait too long between meals.
- Consume more cinnamon, especially Ceylon cinnamon, which can lower blood glucose levels between 3 – 5%, making it an attractive option for pre-diabetics.
- Eat more fiber from legumes, fruits, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Follow a Mediterranean diet for heightened success.
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Your Menopause Brain On Sugar
Its certainly not news that eating too much sugar disrupts our health but how does it affect menopause?
Sugar is a really broad term for carbohydrate molecules. Sugar can occur naturally in foods or result from processing . This latter category is called added sugars because these are added to other foods as sweeteners.
Added sugars are typically the culprit behind health issues like weight gain, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Added sugar can also put you at greater risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Below, we take a closer look at how excess sugar can specifically impact menopause symptoms and midlife brain health – and what you can do about it.
The Connection Between Sugar & Estrogen
Studies have shown that women with diets high in sugar can experience worse menopausal symptoms than women with diets low in sugar. One study in particular followed 6,000 women for 9 years, and the results showed that women whose diets were high in sugar were 20% more likely to experience hot flashes and night sweats than their lower-sugar counterparts. Why did this occur? It all has to do with estrogen.
Estrogen levels fluctuate a lot during peri-menopause. Its these dramatic spikes and falls in estrogen that can cause uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. And after you consume a lot of sugar, your insulin levels spike, which simultaneously lowers the amount of a protein in your body called SHBG. SHBG stands for Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, and when your SHBG decreases, your estrogen goes up. In essence, eating a lot of sugar will cause an estrogen spike. So if youre consuming a lot of sugar, your bodys already-fluctuating estrogen will take bigger spikes and falls, worsening your menopausal symptoms.
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Diabetes And Women: How Hormones Affect Your Blood Sugar
3/8/2019 by mySugr
All of you female monster tamers that there are many factors that can impact your blood sugar including stress, sleep, food, activity, medication, illness, and HORMONES. Hormones are sometimes overlooked, but can turn your blood sugar into a crazy roller coaster ride.
Night Sweats And Hot Flashes Tied To Diabetes Risk
Women who experience common menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, may have an 18 percent greater risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study led by researchers from the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and the University of Washington School of Public Health.
In a study of more than 150,000 postmenopausal women, those common signs of menopause, otherwise known as vasomotor symptoms , were linked to higher chances of type 2 diabetes diagnosis. This risk increased with the severity and duration of womens symptoms.
Menopause may be an opportune time for clinicians to encourage their patients to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and getting enough physical activity, which may improve VMS in the short-term and reduce cardiovascular risk in the long-term, says Dr. Kristen Gray, a research health science specialist at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System and senior fellow in health services at the UW School of Public Health.
The study was supported by funding from the VA Health Services Research & Development Program. Results were published Dec. 6 in Menopause.
Over an average 13 years of follow up, 33 percent of participants experienced VMS and 18,316 developed diabetes. Overall diabetes incidence was 9.3 per 1,000 people per year of follow up.
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Blood Sugar Levels Rising Too High
By this point, our body is so desperate to get our blood sugar levels up that we tend to get the release of a sugar cravings or we tend to want to drink a cup of coffee. And, unfortunately, these two things will shoot our blood sugar levels back up really high very quickly, which, in the immediate afterwards, we’re going, “Oh, that feels so much better. I feel a lot calmer. Everything’s fine.” But it lifts them up far too high. So the nervous system then comes in again. It goes, “Whoa, things are far too high. We need to lower everything.”
So there’s a mechanism that then pulls your glucose out to the bloodstream. But because there’s all these constant toing and froing going on, it pulls it down far too low, so you then end up in exactly the same situation you were a little while ago. You then get all the symptoms back again. Your body’s going, “Oh, for goodness sake, I need something else really quick.” And this can end up in a really big yo-yo situation with your blood sugar levels going up and down the whole time and also triggering these menopause symptoms quite regularly as well.
Why Is Prednisone Making You Feel Old
Isnt that like old-people stuff?! said a young prednisone warrior describing her many prednisone side effects.
Yes, prednisone causes all sorts of side effects that make you feel like youre suddenly old. There are things that you shouldnt worry about until you are in a care center but now are possible thanks to prednisone!
Like a clock ticking too quickly prednisone makes us feel old too soon.In this article, discover how prednisone ages you before your time and what you can do about it.
How Does Prednisone Work?
Prednisone mimics our bodys natural hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is also known as the wear and tear hormone because it leads to body parts and systems wearing out and breaking down. Prednisone makes you feel old because it leads to your body wearing out faster than normal from side effects.
Which Prednisone Side Effects Make You Feel Old?
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
And the list goes on! Throughout the rest of this article, find out more about each of these side effects.
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Balancing Your Blood Sugar
Even if you are eating relatively healthy, you may still have insulin resistance. The key to fixing insulin resistance involves understanding how your bodys unique responses to each food. Also, other factors like sleep quality, stress, and chronic inflammation, can make you insulin resistant. In my Sweet Spot solution program, I coach my students through a step-by-step protocol to address these factors to balance their blood sugar.
Hot Flash Trigger #: Progesterone Deficiency
As mentioned previously, progesterone deficiency is common in hypothyroidism.
Not only is progesterone deficiency known to promote hot flashes, restoring progesterone levels is known to prevent them.
Progesterone for hot flush and night sweat treatmenteffectiveness for severe vasomotor symptoms and lack of withdrawal rebound.
In summary, progesterone is effective for severe VMS and does not cause a rebound increase in VMS when stopped.
In this study of early menopausal women, 300 mg was shown to be effective against severe hot flashes.
Also, when the progesterone was stopped, the hot flashes didnt come back with a vengeance as they do when you stop estrogen.
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Why Avoid Excess Fat And Sugar
Diets high in unhealthy fats and sugars are scientifically found to increase the frequency of menopausal hot flashes and night sweat because they raise blood sugar quickly.2,3,4
Other common choices that may be consumed in a high-fat diet include alcohol and caffeine, both of which have been shown to evoke the onset of vasomotor symptoms.
How Menstruation Affects Your Blood Sugar
Your menstrual cycle and fluctuations in your hormone levels have an impact on your blood sugar. Hello, extra challenge!
The amounts of the hormones estrogen and progesterone change a few days before the start of your menstrual period, often increasing blood sugar levels as a result. Learning more about your cycle and the fluctuations in hormones can help you manage your blood sugars throughout your menstrual cycle. Try tracking your menstrual cycle in your app to see how blood sugars and/or medications change over the month.
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Hot Flash Trigger #: Hypoglycemia
Hypothyroidism is also well known to promote blood sugar issues and hypoglycemia, due to hypothyroidisms effects on your liver.
Being hypothyroid and prone to low blood sugar also makes you more susceptible to hot flashes.
Menopausal hot flash frequency changes in response to experimental manipulation of blood glucose.
RESULTS: There was a significant reduction in the incidence of hot flashes during the experimental elevation of glucose concentrations compared to the fasting state .
This is why hot flashes tend to occur more frequently at night when blood sugar is often lowest and during times of stress when blood sugar is used up more rapidly.
We always recommend eating the proper balance of nutrition, and frequently enough, to keep blood sugar stable.
Hypothyroidism is very common in menopause, and needless to say Ive worked with a lot of menopausal clients.
Correcting these three hot flash triggers has been instrumental in alleviating hot flashes with many of them.
Yet, its not only menopausal women who suffer. Ive also worked with non-menopausal women who experience hot flashes, and these same tips apply to them as well.
Unfortunately, the current medical approach to menopausal symptoms and hormone replacement therapy is extremely dangerous.
Putting yourself at unnecessary risk of developing life threatening diseases like cancer, thyroid disease, and stroke is surely not the solution