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functional nutrition

Hot Flashes Baby...and the fun of Estrogen Dominance!

Hot Flashes Baby...and the fun of Estrogen Dominance!

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Lots of questions have come up in response to my video about Estrogen Dominance.  First of all, let’s bust a myth that hot flashes mean someone necessarily has overall low estrogen levels. Not true!  In fact, research does not generally show a correlation between circulating estrogen levels and the incidence (or severity) of hot flashes.

Surprised?  Most people are.  A hot flash is triggered by the hypothalamus in the brain and occurs to release heat that has built up in the body in response to a surge of norepinephrine and/or epinephrine (catecholamines or “stress hormones” – what we typically call “adrenaline”).

In fact, a woman can indeed be estrogen dominant (and even have relatively high levels of estrogen) and still wrestle with hot flashes.  It is a sudden drop in estrogen (meaning a higher level of variation) that can trigger the cascade that causes a hot flash.  But it’s more complex than than…  High cortisol, low cortisol, low progesterone, or low serotonin can all be drivers for hot flashes!    This is such a fascinating topic; I could go on and on…  Clinical study shows that not hot flash remedy works for everyone but here are a few biohacks to help support and balance your happy hormones (e.g.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1764641/  )

 

My favorite combination that seems to get excellent results for nearly all late  perimenopausal women with persistent (day and night) hot flashes includes:

  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed daily
  • Black cohosh and Vitex twice daily
  • Caffeine reduction (check out mt blog on bulletproof coffee)
  • Lower alcohol.  Elimination of wine (especially red wine!)  Sorry, but that wine night habit with your girlfriends is not helping your hormones
  • Dedicated help with Stress Relief and stress management habits (and why I LOVE to teach mindfulness & meditation)
  • And if you need more oomph –  perhaps maca root powder (This is the key item for some – myself included!  Start slowly though (e.g 1/2 tsp).  It’s highly stimulatory to some, while others need much more (e.g. 1-2 Tbsp)).

Chronic stress often causes HPATG axis imbalance or dysregulation which can deplete progesterone (aka “The Cortisol Steal”) and cause imbalance in estrogen receptor sensitivity.  In my clients, well over half of women with rough hot flash experiences get tested and find they have low progesterone.  Not a surprise since the ovaries begin to make less and less progesterone 5+ years prior to menopause, and drop more dramatically and sooner than estrogen does.  What the ovaries stop making, the adrenal gland has to pick up.  And it may or may not do that effectively given the other stressors at play!

For people of all ages who wake up with a “hot flash” type of experience in the 2-4 am timeframe (and really only struggle with the flashes at night), I find a surge of cortisol is usually the culprit.  Taking calming adaptogenic herbs at night before bed can help (e.g. holy basil, ashwaghanda) as well as extracts that help to calm the action of adrenaline (e.g. magnolia, l-theanine).  One of my favorite remedies for this is Xymogen’s CortiSolv.

Need more help getting your balance back on track, connect with me for an initial consultation!

Wishing you happy hormones and cool nights!

Angela

Regeneration:  Essential Minerals

Regeneration: Essential Minerals

Essential Minerals: Regeneration

Remember the periodic table from chemistry class? Do you remember all its elements? Well, dig them out of that dusty box in your brain, because those elements are also essential to our body’s cells.

What do you really need to know about this?

Well I was a bit shocked to when I learned that about 2/3rds of most people are deficient in magnesium.  And that's NOT GOOD.  Think anxiety, restlessness and feelings of stress among the vast amount of other symptoms that we tend to live with.

Sodium and potassium are crucial for the “message transmission processes” that are responsible for the entire activity of our nervous system. Deficiency of these minerals can cause disturbed activity of nervous system and can impair various bodily functions like sensations, cognitive function, and muscle movements. Sodium is critical for maintaining normal blood pressure

Most people come to me wanting to feel better and more inner peace.  Well that is pretty hard if you do not have these incredibly important building blocks that your body can process all of the functions that you need on a daily basis to FEEL GOOD and manage your metabolism.

It is not difficult to ensure you are incorporating these minerals into your meals. Sprinkle a small amount of Himalayan or sea salt on top of an omelet or a vegetable salad. Make a protein-rich meal or snack of meat and legumes topped with nuts.

Trace minerals should not be underestimated.  Almost everyone that comes to me has some type of imbalance that is throwing them off.  They are important components of blood and various enzymes that produce your body’s proteins. They also regulate a variety of critical bodily processes including cell renewal and repair, taste reception, metabolic processes, detoxification of poisonous substances and maintenance of blood sugar. 

Be creative and include a number of ingredients to build one meal rich in minerals, instead of concentrating on just one or two minerals. For example, cook a meal decorated with green vegetables such as broccoli. A super simple idea is to sprinkle some sea salt and kelp or dulse, which are sea vegetables loaded with minerals.

Make minerals a staple of your clean eating plan!

Another of my favorite way to ensure my minerals intake is to drink coconut water or mix it in with my smoothie.

Simple and easy. Make clean eating and looking younger easy because clean eating and looking younger should NOT be difficult.

Join me on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/143433966138096/?ref=br_rs where I’ll be sharing more information, tips and recipes to help you live a happier, healthier life.

To your health & happiness,

Angela XO