NourishDoc: Well, hello everyone, to all the women over 40 and entering perimenopause; you don’t sometimes know what’s going to hit you; night sweats, hot flashes, all kinds of sudden symptoms. Well, we want to talk about natural remedies today that can help you Norelle is here with me; she is a naturopath joining me live from Australia; thank you so much, Norelle.
Naturopath Norelle: Thank you greatly for being here and talking about this very important topic; well, every woman will go through menopause perimenopause, so it’s good to have some strategies to manage it all.
Natural Remedies For Hot Flashes
NourishDoc: Well, I’ll just let you talk about different natural remedies that can help women when they are going through perimenopause and menopause.
Naturopath Norelle: Before even getting to the remedies themselves, look at some of the foundational Health factors that can exacerbate hot flashes. It’s important to go through that well at any time, but especially going through the perimenopause transition to how that healthy diet particularly makes managing blood sugar important at this time of life. We naturally become slightly less sensitive to insulin as we transition through menopause.
So it’s really important to have a diet that supports blood sugar balance, which means cutting back on the sugar simple carbs and putting in lots of the complex carbs and things like that. Some research says if you’ve got a more high-sugar diet, your hot flashes can be 33 percent worse, and I’m sure no one wants that, so diet’s foundational. The other two important factors are to make sure you move your body so that exercise can help; it helps with so many things, but there’s some beautiful research, especially on yoga for hot flashes.
So if you like that kind of exercise, that’s something to consider incorporating into your life. However, simple things like just regularly going for walks in nature are also going to be beneficial you don’t if yoga is not your vibe. There are many other ways to support it. Generally, in terms of exercise, you’re looking not to be doing too much high-intensity hardcore exercise, especially if you’ve got flashes that are pretty bad because they’ll probably make it a bit worse, so sort of that more gentle little exercise can be quite beneficial the final sort of thing in that foundation that is stress can exacerbate well exacerbates everything when we’re feeling stressed.
But hot flashes that will trigger those quite a bit because as you’re ovaries, you drop off hormone production in your ovaries through the perimenopause transition; you do make up a little bit with your adrenals, but if your adrenals are busy being super stressed and producing lots of the stress, hormones they’re going to have less capacity to give you that little bit of the extra estrogen progesterone that will help sort of even out the bps so certainly stress management is a big component of that. So that’s the foundation of lifestyle.
What Type Of Diet Is Recommended For Hot Flashes?
NourishDoc: So these are very general guidelines for exercising, diet, yoga. I would like you to go a little bit more specific as to what is what kind of a diet you talk a lot about diet talking about complex carbohydrates, but is there any other type of vegetables to maintain the blood sugar, or do we go through fluctuations should we increase the cruciferous vegetables, so I want us to go a little bit deeper into just cell prevention.
Naturopath Norelle: Yes, certainly, so those things you mentioned, cruciferous vegetables are really important in terms of that, but just generally vegetables in general making sure you’re getting at least the I know in Australia that the government recommendations of five serves of vegetables a day I’m not sure where there are elsewhere but a minimum of five serves of vegetables a day which many people don’t get the get around three.
So upping the vegetable intake upping the fruit intake pulling back on alcohol is a big one, so either you’re pulling it back entirely it can that can make a massive difference in terms of hot flashes and or moderating it down to no more than one drink standard drink a day with two alcohol three days a week is what I advise many my clients to do.
With that, generally, I find at this time that reducing the amount of animal protein can be beneficial, especially when you consume it at night; it tends to be a bit protein tends to bit thermogenic, which means heat rises in the body, so switching to more plant-based protein, so your legumes and lentils they also have things in them that work on the estrogen receptors so you might have heard of phytoestrogens mentioned.
That can be beneficial with things like Alfalfa soy can be useful. However, it would help if you were mindful of choosing organic, non-GMO soy. In Australia, most of it is non-GMO, but that might not be the case elsewhere in the world, so essentially, just pulling out a lot of refined sugars boosting the vegetables, and switching to more plant-based protein, less animal brace protein depending on what kind of diet you’re following of course.
Herbs For Hot Flashes
NourishDoc: Okay, so talk to us a little about the herbs. I was researching black cohosh and some other herbs that women should take by themselves; what is the research about it? Does it help those kinds of things?
Naturopath Norelle: I find herbal medicine is especially for this kind of thing; it can work well. Things like black cohosh and there are some simple remedies that sort of people most people can probably take themselves. However, when you get into it, herbal medicine works best with a herbalist or naturopath that can do a formulation that suits your specific needs. Women’s needs change because perimenopause can go from five to eight years in the transition.
There are different kinds of symptoms and severity throughout that change, so having a trusted healthcare practitioner who can guide you through that and what your needs are is helpful. As black cohosh is a herb that’s sort of its kind of almost known as menopause heard, but we shouldn’t shoehorn herbs into a type of thing; it does a lot of other things; it’s not; people often mistakenly say that it’s estrogen-containing; it does not contain estrogen it’s thought that it may work in a couple of ways again like a bit like a phytoestrogen it may stimulate mildly estrogen receptors in the body so that might mean if you’ve got any history of hormonal cancers, breast cancer especially that might be something you would only use under the supervision of a practitioner, I would not be self-prescribing in those situations.
But then also think it might work on serotonin receptors as well, so there are a few different things it’s been long has a long history of traditional use. I often combine it with Saint John’s Wort and Saint Mary’s thistle as a baseline tonic. However, there’s certainly a much different scope with herbs. I look at supporting the liver, which is a big thing we need to do. Some recent research on St. Mary’s thistle, or milk thistle as it’s sometimes called, and that helping reduces hot flashes after about 12 weeks of use.
Sage & Herbal Teas For Hot Flashes
Hence, it’s one I often consider in my formulas in terms of the more stuff you can DIY one that’s known for hot flashes is sage, and sage works quite well as a tea. However, you need to do it cold if you have hot tea; hot Sage Tea will worsen hot flashes. So Sage Tea can be helpful; it’s something that I find I get women to use when they’re getting; you don’t need to take it all the time because Sage is quite drying and look like menopause is kind of a bit of drying as women who’ve gone through all know that dryness is a kind of big thing dryness everywhere.
So you want to avoid taking Sage Tea all the time only to deal with the hot flashes as needed, and I’ve got various blogs that give you the detail on how to make Sage Tea and that. So that’s one most people can tolerate unless you’ve got an allergy to the Salvia family of plants. So other ones that I like that can be really useful for hot flash, especially nights which is the lemon bar it’s got It’s from the mint family lovely lemony taste; it’s helpful also for digestion and sleeps; it’s particularly good for if you’re getting those light night sweats or even not sweats per se many women say they don’t sweat.
However, they feel like they get really warm at night, and it wakes them up, so that is an excellent cooling herb and supports sleep. So they’d be the two I’d start with in terms of tea; red clover can also be useful; I find it less useful just from my experience, but many women do find that useful.
NourishDoc: So quite a big list of what you just shared with us; it’s a really good list, and the thing is there anything unlike women, and you talk about this sage tea so women can take it by themselves, some of the other herbs they should concern with someone like yourself like a naturopath. Anything else you want to add for women to take care of their hot flashes?
Naturopath Norelle: No, I just sort of focus on, I would sort of say at the first thing, even before getting into herbs, focus on your underlying health and well-being, and that is the foundation, and the herbs can come on the top to just sort of even out the spikes, and also some women do tend to get for various reasons they do none of this stuff will work I do have cases with that.
Bioidentical HRT For Hot Flashes
So don’t be afraid to work with a good doctor to look at hormone replacement therapy as I potentially just because if especially with there’s sort of some bioidentical stuff that can be quite good especially to help with sleep and that if you’re just not getting asleep, it’s really hard to sort of look after yourself if you’re dragging yourself through the day.
So sometimes I have to counsel women to consider because they sort of they’ve been this horror stories from 20-odd years ago about hormone replacement therapy, but that’s not where it is today. When nothing else has worked, I also say to talk to your doctor, and they’ll be able to address all your concerns. But don’t rule it out if you need to temporarily do all those other things to support your health and make you feel better through this transition, which is a natural transition. We’ll all go through it, so I’m very passionate about making sure we’re advocating.
NourishDoc: Well, thank you. So much this is a quick 10 to 15-minute session that we’re doing daily really educate women; we’re focused on women’s health, women 40 and above because we feel that that’s a segment that’s a little bit ignored; everyone focuses on the pregnancy and Beyond and the mom and then once you you’re still a mom but after that, we forget about women what women go through, and that’s what we are focused on. Any last comments from you before I wrap up? Thank you for all your support in making this a success. We are creating an amazing resource and a platform for women over 40.
Naturopath Norelle: No, what you’re doing is so important, and it’s great for women to be able to have these resources because sometimes it’s just that you don’t know that there are other options out there, so I do encourage all women to explore those options and know that you can go through this transition with it all being not as bad as it’s made out to be we go we need to change the narrative around that all.
NourishDoc: Well, thank you so much; keep supporting us; we are launching our programs in January specifically for Women’s Health, so you keep giving feedback and supporting us. With that, thank you so much. Have a great week.