Menopause Hot Flashes

Menopause symptoms can arrive suddenly or creep up on you slowly.

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Menopause Hot Flashes

One of the first symptoms you notice may be hot flashes or flushes. Temperature changes which may range from mild feelings of heat to uncontrolled sweats. They can leave you feeling confused and frustrated. Menopause medications and supplements may help, but so too does lifestyle change specific to the menopause transition. This is what the My Menopause Transformation (MyMT™) programmes, helps you with. Scientifically evidenced lifestyle strategies which help to empower you to turn down the heat and get you through menopause.

What Are Hot Flushes?

As mentioned in my online Masterclass on Menopause, going through menopause is a natural biological process that all women go through. What you do have control of, however, is how you manage your menopause symptoms like hot flashes.

During menopause, hormones that regulate temperature both in our thyroid and the pituitary region of the brain are affected.

When you experience hot flashes, it is often a sign that your body is attempting to cool down, regardless of the surrounding temperature.

This occurs due to increased inflammation in blood vessels, which can put up blood pressure.

All hot flashes are linked to your blood pressure and your changing thyroid and pituitary hormones as oestrogen levels decline.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hot Flushes?

Hot flashes, or hot flushes, can be categorised as a sudden feeling of heat or warmth that spreads in your upper body. For most women, they will likely experience the most intense sensations over the face, neck, and chest and these may also be at night or overnight.

You might experience (de Zambotti et al., 2014):

  • Increased and/or rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating on upper body
  • Anxiety
  • Flushing
  • Chilled sensation after hot flash subsides

Hot flashes can be different for each woman, but the core symptoms remain the same. They can be mild or severe and can occur at any time. Hot flashes during the evening, known as night sweats, might even rouse you from your sleep.

You can experience hot flashes before, during, and after menopause. However, it is important to note that you are likely to experience hot flashes post-menopause if you do not manage your symptoms appropriately. If you are in post-menopause, then feelings of heat are linked to blood pressure changes and changes to the elasticity of your blood vessels, a condition known as vascular or arterial stiffness.

What Causes Hot Flushes?

Hot flushes, referred to as Vasomotor Symptoms (VMS), are a form of temperature dysfunction, reported by up to 85% of menopausal women (Santoro et al., 2015).

As I have previously mentioned, hormonal changes during menopause can disrupt your body’s reactions and responses to heat loss. This can present as VMS or hot flushes.

Inflammatory changes around the body are caused by this dysfunction of temperature regulation, which is why hot flashes now act as an early indication of inflammatory changes around the body and in the hypothalamus.

In essence, your hypothalamus acts as your body’s thermostat, and when it believes that your body is too warm, even when it’s not, a hot flash is triggered to help cool you down. Hot flushes occur because the body’s thermostat does not function as well when it is deprived of oestrogen.

It also becomes worse when melatonin (your sleep hormone), is impacted by your changing hormones and you aren’t sleeping.

This is because there is a powerful connection between our pituitary gland in the brain, where sleep hormones are produced, our thyroid gland, which regulates temperature, blood pressure and metabolism, and the ovaries.

Our adrenal glands are part of this connection too, which is why high levels of stress also impact hot flushes.
This hormonal connection between all these glands is how our body’s temperature and other metabolic systems remain in balance. Peri-menopause through to post-menopause, may cause these connections to get out of balance due to the decline in oestrogen and progesterone and the master reproductive hormones in the pituitary gland.

Normally and ideally, there is a good balance between the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands, where hormones are produced. However, there are numerous factors that can cause these powerful organs to get out of balance. These factors include our changing levels of reproductive hormones, our sleep quality and quantity, (too much, or not enough sleep), too much or not enough exercise, stress levels (past and present), the loss of elasticity of blood vessels (which increases blood pressure) and our diet, including alcohol intake.

Other Causes Of Hot Flashes Besides Menopause

It would be misleading to state that hot flushes are a menopausal symptom on its own – it is also possible, though rare, that other medical conditions might also be causing temperature dysregulation.

This includes:

  • Certain cancers
  • Side effects of drug therapies
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Side effects of medication
  • Iron-deficiency anaemia
  • Over-training syndrome
  • Immune health/ thyroid disorders

However, for most midlife women, including myself, the reason for my hot flashes was due to menopause.

How Long Do Hot Flashes Last
& At What Age Do Hot Flashes Start?

Hot flashes can last up to four minutes, but they can be as frequent as once a day to multiple times every hour. If you are experiencing more than 5 hot flushes per hour, then this may be indicative of higher blood pressure and changes to the blood vessels.

Moderate to severe hot flashes were reported to last an average of 10.2 years, with the most common ages being 45 to 49 years at onset (Freeman et al., 2011).

You can also experience hot flashes during perimenopause. The majority of women will begin natural perimenopause from the age of 40- 45 yrs, though instances of perimenopause starting before 40 are also reported.

I know how frustrating it can be to experience hot flashes at inconvenient times. This is why it is important that you begin to think about how you can change your lifestyle to adapt to your menopause transformation.

Do Hot Flashes Go Away After Menopause?

How long you could experience hot flashes can vary from person to person, but it’s possible that without accommodating the hormonal changes that come with menopause, symptoms can continue even into the post-menopause years – so, it is important that you, as I keep reiterating, take the initiative to take back control of your health as you enter, progress through, and leave menopause.
You can talk to your Doctor about hormone replacement therapy and understand what this is evidenced to achieve and of course, also change your lifestyle to allow your body to transition naturally through this life-stage.

How Are Hot Flushes Treated?

Hot flushes are far more common during the menopausal transition, with a frequency of approximately 40 percent in the early transition and increasing to 60 to 80 percent in the late menopausal transition and early postmenopausal stage (Loprinzi et al, 2023).

For many women, they can be very distressing and disrupt their quality of life.

This is why many women go on menopause hormone replacement therapy (MHRT), or take menopause supplements. Many women find relief in these therapies which enable them to get on with their lives! But others may not find the relief they seek.

From my own experience, and my expertise and years of research on lifestyle science, there is so much that women can also do to change their lifestyle to allow their bodies to adapt to their menopause transition.

Lifestyle Changes to Improve Hot Flashes

Menopause is a time for lifestyle change. I can’t reiterate this enough! Thousands of women globally have now learnt what to do and why they should do it with the MyMT™ programmes. There is Circuit Breaker for thinner, leaner women and Transform Me, for overweight women.

These two lifestyle change programmes, which differ depending on body type, allow women to understand the specific strategies to put into place to balance their changing hormones. While I have comprehensive step-by-step strategies in the MyMT™ programmes, I share some of these lifestyle changes for managing menopause-related hot flushes below:

Menopause can disrupt your circadian rhythm. As such, hot flushes can be a direct result of messed-up circadian rhythms. This then has a drop-down effect on other aspects of your health, from blood pressure to your immune system, joint health, muscle function and gut health.

These structures and tissues are also influenced by your circadian rhythm. When you enrol in my programmes, I’ll work closely with you to help you balance your circadian rhythm according to your lifestyle.

Hot Flashes: What We Can Learn from Blue Zone Women The Okinawan Ratio refers to the oldest living people in the world, the residents of the Japanese island of Okinawa. Women on the island are known to not only live longer, but they also live healthier, too – compared to their Western counterparts.

Okinawa is known as a ‘Blue Zone’, an area where people live longer than average. Women living here don’t tend to experience hot flashes.

As a healthy ageing researcher, when I discovered this I was fascinated. I immediately wanted to understand “why”? What can western women learn from those in Okinawa? What I learnt and then went on to share in my programmes, has been a game changer for over 15,000 women who have signed up to my programs.

Watch my 2 hour Masterclass on Menopause to learn more.

Watch Here

Like me, you may have noticed that your weight creeps up when you reach midlife. Yet what we eat affects more than just weight: certain foods can worsen hot flashes, too. Making simple changes to your diet can go a long way towards reducing your hot flashes.

In my program, I talk about how certain foods affect metabolism and temperature regulation, causing you to feel hot. But it’s not just about avoiding certain foods, it’s about embracing others! And I’m NOT talking about going keto – far from it. Certain nutrients from foods can reduce hot flashes and lower the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancer.

Knowledge is power, and once you know what these foods are you can reduce your hot flashes and enhance your overall health.

There are other lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your symptoms, and some of them are surprisingly simple.

Menopause is not a disease. It is however a time when your body’s hormones are changing drastically, as it prepares for biological ageing. Adapting to this new environment and working with your body instead of against it, helps reduce hot flashes and set you up for a healthy ageing process.

Learn more by watching my 2-hour Masterclass on Menopause (yes, you can ‘pause’ it anytime and you have access for 3 months) and take control of your healthy ageing.

Learn More

Take Back Control of Your Health

When women come into the MyMT™ ‘Transform Me’ programme, I teach them powerful lifestyle strategies which they can utilise to not only lose weight but to reduce hot flushes, and bloating and restore energy levels and gut health.

For too long menopause has been the domain of medicine and supplement companies, but when we position menopause itself in the research for healthy ageing, we can reduce hot flashes and prevent menopause-related weight gain and bloating.

To get started, watch my 2-hour Masterclass On Menopause. Take control of your hot flashes and other symptoms and set yourself up for your healthy ageing years ahead of you. What could be more important?


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