Nourish - Guide to Managing Menopause the Natural Way Part 2: How to Treat Menopausal Hot Flushes the Natural Way
Hot flushes are those troublesome times when your skin feels hot, causing you to feel almost feverish and sometimes even sweaty. About 75% of women experience this during menopause, but just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it isn’t a nuisance.
So what’s causing them? Well, it’s falling levels of oestrogen. Although it’s not fully understood, scientists believe that this fall in oestrogen causes a glitch in the way the hypothalamus (the gland in control of regulating temperature) senses the body’s temperature. This glitch makes it think that you are too hot which his causes a response designed to cool the body down. As a result, more blood goes to the skin which is one of the causes of hot flushes and reddening of the skin. Additionally, it signals to the sweat glands to start working (aka the menopausal sweat).
Some common triggers for hot flushes include:
- food sensitivities such as gluten and dairy (some people can develop sensitivity to a certain food during this phase of life.)
- processed and refined sugars and simple carbs
- hot food (both spicy and temperature)
- stress (a big one!)
Within this blog post, I’ve pulled together a few natural ways to help combat these symptoms.
Treating Menopausal Hot Flushes
No. 1 – Keep Blood Sugar Levels Balanced
During this phase of life, it’s possible to become more sensitive to sugar. Consumption of sugar can actually increase heart rate and blood pressure, elevating the body’s normal temperature. Hello, hot flush! Low and dipping blood sugar levels are actually one of the big causes of hot flushes. Luckily, this can be easily prevented by eating a well-balanced diet and eating regularly.
To learn more about balancing your blood sugar levels, have a read over my blogs:
- 13 Natural & Easy Ways To Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels | 1
- 13 Natural & Easy Ways To Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels | 2
Here I cover what to eat for a well-balanced diet, which herbs and spices to include and some supplement tips too.
No. 2 – Opt for Anti-Inflammatory and Nourishing Foods
Opt for foods that are anti-inflammatory by nature, such as green leafy vegetables, colourful fruits and vegetables.
I encourage plenty of soups, stews, broths and porridge to help nourish your body. After all, it’s going through some pretty big changes.
Broths are a really easy way to get a whole bunch of proteins, minerals and amino acids into the gut. These help support and improve immunity, digestion, sleep, energy, skin and joints.
Additionally, chai tea, ginger tea, sage, turmeric lattes and matcha are great to help nourish and support the body. They offer anti-inflammatory properties and powerful antioxidant levels.
To learn more about them, check out these blogs:
- How to Get Greens Powders into Your Daily Routine During Winter [including recipes]
- What’s the Scoop On: Turmeric
- What’s the Scoop On: Matcha
No. 3 – Work on Stress Management
Stress is a big one for triggering hot flushes. It’s also likely to increase your chances of night sweats and play a role in insomnia.
For most people, we tend to experience some kind of stress or anxiety in our day-to-day lives. Then we add on the menopause itself with all the internal changes going on and we have quite the toll going on our nervous systems.
Unsurprisingly, our nervous system tends to get a bit more sensitive to everything during this time and lots of little things can actually then trigger the nervous system. As a result, these trigger a rush of adrenaline or histamine and that, in turn, then triggers the flush. Both emotional upset and stress increase adrenaline levels. These make your sweat glands work harder and cause the release of chemicals that promote hot flushes.
I have no doubt that you’ve often heard this, but, you need to reduce your stress! Unfortunately removing whatever is stressing you just sometimes can’t be done. Perhaps you’re a busy parent, carer of have a high-stress job. In that case, you need to find some ways to manage your stress. You need to find ways to minimize its impact on your mind and body.
Try relaxing techniques such as:
- deep breathing exercises
- incorporating essential oils for stress reduction (I love lavender, peppermint oil and clary sage oil.)
- Journaling/write a gratitude dairy
- take adaptogenic herbs to ease symptoms of stress such as Ashwagandha and Rhodiola
- work on reducing anxiety with tips from my blog post 10 Tips for Overcoming Anxiety Naturally
No. 4 – Take Sage
When you’re looking at what herbs are useful for supporting you during menopause, sage is a remedy that we always start with. Sage has traditionally been used for relieving excessive sweating associated with menopausal hot flushes. Plus it’s also very useful for night sweats.
Don’t forget to speak with your doctor/naturopath. They can help figure out if there are any other underlying causes of your hot flushes, for example, hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is overactive and makes excessive amounts of thyroid hormone. Too much thyroid tells your metabolism to speed up, making you more prone to hot flushes and sweating.
We’ve got lots more tips for handling menopausal symptoms with natural solutions in the rest of our series on Menopause:
Nourish’s Guide to Managing Menopause the Natural Way
For an introduction on menopause and a general overview of how natural supplements can help.
Combating Weight Gain, Anxiety and Irritability During Menopause
Bust through the blues and keep your body happy with these tips on how to keep both your mind and body in shape during menopause.
Tips for Defeating the “Drying Effect” During Menopause
Sometimes our hair and skin dry out during menopause. Here’s how to handle it if it happens to you.
Staying Strong: How to Keep Your Bones Healthy During Menopause
Strong bones are imperative to our health, but sometimes menopause can take a toll on our bones. We give you a few tips to avoid that.
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication.