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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

What to do when you get off of sugar

What to do when you get off of sugar

If you think going off sugar is a good idea, you’re definitely on the track towards vital and vibrant health. Removing sugar from your diet is a smart way to lose weight, increase your energy levels and improve your mood, but only if you do it the right way.

 

So often people get rid of sugar without really knowing what to do. Here are my top tips for making sure you get the results you’re after when you eliminate sugar.

 

What Not to Do

 

1.    Don’t get rid of sugar and fat at the same time

 

Maybe you think you’ll kill two birds with one stone and cut fat at the same time as sugar. First of all, fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does. Even if you eat 4 tablespoons of coconut oil in one sitting, you’ll STILL lose weight if you cut sugar. Fat is essential for stabilizing for blood sugar levels and curbing your sugar cravings, so make sure you get plenty of healthy fat at every meal.

 

2.    Don’t drink or eat “diet” anything

 

Aspartame is NOT healthy and will make it so much harder for you to lose weight. It’s totally toxic and was originally invented as a type of rat poison. Practically everything labelled diet or sugar free has aspartame so stay away from anything with these labels.

 

3.    Don’t load up on natural sugar like dried fruit and bananas

 

Some natural sugar is okay is there’s enough fibre to counter the insulin spike. Bananas and dried fruits like dates are notoriously high in sugar and will make it all the more difficult to eliminate cravings.

 

4.    Don’t keep eating bread and refined carbohydrates

Bread and refined carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes and white rice, don’t look like they contain sugar, but these foods break down into sugar once digested. If you keep eating them, you’ll keep craving sugar, and you’ll wonder what you’re doing wrong.

 

5.    Don’t be too hard on yourself if you mess up

Everyone slips up now and again. Be gentle with yourself if you make a mistake or have a weak moment and vow to keep trying. Don’t let one slip up start you on an outright binge.

 

Want even more great tips to help you lose weight, improve your digestion, increase your energy and end your sugar addiction once and for all?

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

 

To your wellness,

Angela