Your hot flushes are called ‘vasomotor symptoms’ or VMS to be precise. As you move from peri-menopause to menopause and oestrogen levels change, your hot flushes are caused by a dysfunction in the regulation of your temperature mechanisms … but when you understand how our body regulates our temperature, then there are some powerful lifestyle solutions you can action, to help you turn down the heat and stop the sweat during your menopause transition.
I talk a lot about hot flushes in my 12 week online programmes. You see, they are the leading cause of uncontrolled sweating in women who are in their menopause transition and the main reason women trudge to their Doctor or Pharmacist to go on Menopause HRT or other herbal remedies, which are generally sourced from the herbal anti-inflammatory plant, Black Cohosh. In the United Kingdom, many women also swear by the Lady Jane device, which is a magnet that reduces the effect of low oestrogen on our nervous system. And no, I haven’t tried it, but I have tried HRT and after a while, to my dismay, my hot flushes and night sweats continued. 🙂
No-one I went to for help during menopause, mentioned that the main cause of my hot flushes and night sweats was not menopause itself, which is a natural event, but instead, because oestrogen is lost in our skin and sweat glands. As well, if we don’t sleep, our circadian rhythm becomes dysfunctional too. This causes our temperature to go a bit haywire and then as the body tries to correct our temperature balance, we sweat even more.
With our core body temperature normally remaining in a specific range and oscillating with our daily circadian rhythm, it makes sense, that in menopause, these normal functions get out of balance.
Oestrogens are well-known as potent neuro-modulators (nerve-regulators) of numerous nerve pathways so, changing oestrogen levels during menopause may impact temperature balance or as it is better known as, temperature homeostasis. When our sleep is affected in menopause and because our blood vessels, sweat glands and nerves lose the role of oestrogen, it’s no surprise that we end up with exaggerated heat-loss responses that present throughout the day and night as hot flushes, night sweats or VMS. [Deecher, 2007]
When I realised all of this and put some research into our menopause symptoms, it made sense to me to better understand why my hot flushes were worse (and yes, not sleeping and the wrong diet for menopause matters to this too), but also how to use natural and effective lifestyle solutions to activate my body’s cooling mechanism. Afterall, we are mammals and we all have natural temperature regulation mechanisms that are part of our ancient physiology and as we age, these just need a bit of adjustment.
Did you know that when you are experiencing hot flushes and/or night sweats, this is a sign that your body is under dis-stress and trying to cool down? Part of this is because as we lose oestrogen, our skin cells and sweat glands change too. They aren’t as efficient as they used to be.
Understanding that our hot flushes and night sweats become worse because our body is trying to cool down, led me to become curious about why my body was over-heating all the time. Women just take this for granted, but we mustn’t! What we need to do is understand that one of the reasons we heat up is to do with our changing blood vessels and sweat glands losing their effectiveness as we age. It’s why, one of my powerful strategies that women learn to not only regulate their temperature, but to also control blood pressure, is to activate their ancient cooling mechanism.
The soles of your feet contain numerous blood vessels and walking barefoot helps to regulate our natural and ancient cooling mechanism. Why aren’t we told this when we line up for our HRT? 🙂
Part of the reason that we heat up, is because our body is an electrical circuit and when we feel hot, uptight, anxious and we aren’t sleeping well, we need to reduce the stimulation on this electrical circuit that is controlled by our nervous system.
According to research, the thing that helps the most to restore electrical circuit harmony and to reduce the build-up of heat in our body is walking barefoot. The soles of your feet are covered in nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic vessels and it’s part of your ancient cooling mechanism to walk barefoot.
Going barefoot settles your over-active nervous system, helping to reduce your blood pressure and temperature and slowing down your anxiety too. It improves your immune health as well.
“Evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems— may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly eﬀective environmental strategy against chronic stress, inﬂammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed heat regulation and cardiovascular disease. The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food and physical activity.” [Chevalier, Sinatra et. al. 2012)
When my blood pressure was high and I felt so hot and bothered and ‘angry’ a lot during menopause, I didn’t know to walk barefeet. But now it makes sense to me.
And what’s more, it’s also great for our posture too.
Shoes make our feet conform to their shoe design agendas. When our feet are free to strike the ground as they are designed to do, a biomechanical effect occurs that helps us to walk taller, improve our posture and strengthen our lower legs, hips and core muscles. Important for women who are going through menopause and are confused because they feel dizzy (I’ve written about this HERE).
When we rely on shoes to stabilize and support our feet, we don’t use our foot muscles. So going barefoot can help us improve our foot strength and stability – our balance improves due to enhanced signaling from the nerve endings on the bottom of the feet responding more naturally to the ground. As such, the blood pressure research is showing that stimulating nerve endings of the feet can also help reduce blood pressure, lower anxiety levels, boost the immune system as well as help to regulate our temperature. These are all changes in our health that are pertinent to us as women who are going through menopause.
As I say to all women whom I meet in my seminars, or who come onto the programmes (these are on my January sale for 2 more weeks only), menopause is a natural biological event. The ‘problem’ for many of us, is that we become vulnerable to the effects of our lifestyle during our menopause transition and our hormone balance is fighting with the lifestyles we lead and the diet and exercise we do as well. As well, it’s a period of our life, which for decades has been positioned in ‘sickness’ not ‘wellness’. My aim is to change that! Mid-life is when we should be thriving and feel healthy. If you don’t feel this way, then please have a look at my 12 week programmes (there are two different ones depending on whether you are overweight or not) and join me if you can.
If women aren’t changing their lifestyle to accommodate the momentum of hormonal changes as we progress through menopause into post-menopause, hot flushes, sore joints, anxiety and other symptoms hang-around, because this lowering oestrogen has effects on our blood vessels, muscles, joints and liver as we age.
Whether you are just entering menopause or you are already through it and in post-menopause, but still struggling with symptoms, then I invite you to join me on my special January Intake throughout the month of January, which has savings of NZ$50 making this revolutionary programme only NZ$87 a month for 3 months [AUS$80 or UK£45 a month for 3 months].
“I’m one of the Transformers mentioned and I want to shout it from the roof-tops how amazingly beneficial this program is! I wish all Women’s Health Practitioners, Gastroenterologists, Endocrinologists, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Cardiologists…..who are seeing all our menopausal symptoms in isolation to their specialty begin to recommend this program. It gets to the source of the multiple symptoms in peri-menopause! I just want to say that I wish I had measured myself before introducing the dietary changes. I know I have been changing shape around the middle rather than losing too much weight. I feel so much better. Thank you Wendy. Your programme has been life-changing for me.” [Bronwyn, New Zealand]