Updated from 6 June 2018 post.
Welcome to my Weekly Wisdom, I am very excited to be launching my brand new ‘Shape Up For Summer' series.
Summer is almost upon us and it can be a very daunting time. We are not feeling our usual confident selves. We might have put on weight, feel anxious about having hot flushes in the warmer weather, loss of confidence generally and wanting to hide from the world when everyone is expecting us to be outside.
But don’t worry help is at hand over the next few weeks, I’m going to be discussing everything from exercise to body image and a whole lot more. In week one I will am starting with hot flushes as this is something that affects many women going through menopause, especially during the Summer.
Why do have hot flushes?
As our oestrogen levels fall the brain tries to kickstart the ovaries back into function which causes the hot surges in our bodies. Ovarian function does not decline in a straight line, which means that oestrogen levels and flushes can rise and fall at different times.
The frequency, duration and intensity of hot flushes vary from one person to another. You could get several a day or be plagued constantly day and night. They can last from a few seconds to around five minutes, with four minutes being the average. As well as the sudden rush of heat, you may experience a racing heart, dizziness, anxiety and irritability.
Some women describe getting an 'aura' before a flush which makes them feel weird or anxious.
The good news is that hot flushes can be switched off using a natural approach. Mother Nature provides the tools for us to fool the brain into believing we have normal circulating oestrogen and those thermal surges cease.
1. Boost your oestrogen levels
Topping up oestrogen levels is really important and you can do so by eating foods containing naturally occurring oestrogen called phytoestrogens. These foods help to fool the brain into thinking you have normal circulating oestrogen. Phytoestrogens are found primarily in foods containing soy. I also recommend supplements with red clover in them, particularly a standardised one called Promensil.
2. Get your body into good nutritional shape
During the perimenopause and menopause, nutritional levels become lower which is what causes hormonal swings. These are unsustainable and the brain chemistry and hormones stop functioning. Take multivitamins and minerals to keep nutritional levels in good order. Avoiding certain food and drink like chocolate, alcohol and caffeine is a great way to get into good nutritional shape.
3. Try Relaxation and meditation
Research shows that if you do formal relaxation for at least 20 minutes every day you can reduce your flushes by 60%. I recommend an app called Pzizz, which takes you to a really relaxed state and helps you cool down.
4. Use layered bedclothes
There are certain things you can do to help you sleep if you suffer from hot flushes for example layered clothing, chill pillow and a fan by your bed.
5. Take supplements and herbs
If you have trouble sleeping some natural supplements and herbs might help you relax at night.
If you want to know more about how to deal with hot flushes and other common menopausal problems, join me for my next free Virtual Class. Additionally, you can join my Facebook group for extra support and information about going through menopause.