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HOT FLASHES:What causes them and What to Do

Aug 17, 2007
Probably, the Big Mama Menopause Symptom, Hot Flashes come in Different Styles. We'll look at a few types. Note the Differences in:

How Intense?
How Often?
Night or Day?
Sweating or Not?

Sally, has Heat Flushing up from her Chest, up her throat,to her Cheeks,that become Bright Red. She feels like an uncomfortable Furnace for a minute or so and then it fades out. It happens a few times a day, especially in the afternoon. Sally sleeps Well at night. No sweating involved.

Jane is OK during the Day, but wakes up every few hours throughout the night...
Boiling Hot and Sweating Profusely...Throws the covers off...and may even experience palpitations, feeling Wired and Jittery. Thirsty,too.

Sandra isn't bothered so much by Heat. It's the Sweat pouring out like a faucet that's so uncomfortable and embarrassing. Day is worse. Sandra feels fatigued most of the time.

Amy wonders if the slight sudden warmth she feels once in a while is a Menopause Symptom.

All of these Women are having Hot Flashes. Right? But each one is having such a different experience. These differences are significant in Alternative Medicine Systems like TCM and Ayurveda. In fact, the style of the HotFlash or other menopause symptom, gives many clues as to What is causing it. and...even What to do about it!

There are a lot of things that can help.

One of the first is make sure you are DRINKING enough...fluids. That means water, juice, herb teas, etc. That means at least Two liters a day. Many women tell me they don't drink at all after their morning coffee.

But First, a brief "Western" Bio-Chem Interlude...
Hot Flashes are considered a Specific symptom of EstrogenDeficiency . Not enough Estrogen makes you Hot and Sweaty. Here's How it happens...

If a Woman's Estrogen levels are Too Low for her body's needs, the Brain will pick up on it.

The Hypothalamus, in the Brain with it's many Amazing Functions, is the Supply and Demand Processing-center of the Body.

It sends a messenger called GRH (Gonadatrophin Release Hormone)to the Pituitary. This Master Hormone-Producing Gland (located in back of your eyes) then starts to produce FSH. (Follicle Stimulating Hormone). This is a Message to the Ovaries.

..."More Estrogen Please!"

If the Ovaries Respond and Produce more Estrogen, Fine. If not the Message gets Stronger,More GRH, More FSH,More FSH, More FSH. and still no Ovary response.

Usually, the FSH level needed for Ovulation is around 20. Menopause FSH levels can easily be 100 or more.
So, What causes the Hot Flashes?

OK, here it comes... The Hypothalamus,busy sending all these messages, is part of the LIMBIC System. That part of the Brain is also in charge of Autonomic (that means it happens by itself)Temperature regulation, Sweating and many other Vascular Stress responses.

Like when you're Stressed...

You can feel Flushed, a knot-in-your-stomache, Sweating, Heart Pounding,Wired, even Pupils Dilate...
Welcome to your Limbic System!

It's the Hyperstimulation-no response situation that Stresses out the Hypothalamus. That triggers the Hot Flashes. Its a Red Alert from a Stressed-Out Brain!

...Like a Hungry Baby not getting Fed. Poor Baby Screams but no Food appears! So he Screams Louder!

The less Estrogen, the bigger the Hot Flash. Thats why,Hormone Replacement of Estrogen, although dangerous in the long run, stops the Hot Flashes ,calming everything down.

Western European Herbal Medicine uses "Plant-Estrogens" or Phyto-Estrogens to Relieve Hot Flashes. Research has Proven this Successful.

Plant Estrogens, or Phyto-Estrogens are gaining popularity. These are Plants whose structure is similiar enough to Estrogen, to bind to Human Estrogen Receptor Sites.

Although these plants are 200-400 times weaker than actual hormones, there is often significant Menopause Symptom relief, reported. Common Estrogenic Plants of this sort are Black Cohosh , Red Clover,Suma, Sage, and Soy. These Phyto-Estrogens are often combined in formulas and sold commercially.
Soy is well known as a PhytoEstrogen, BUT TOO MUCH can Slow Down Thyroid Function!! DO NOT take large amounts of Concentrated Soy Alone as the Main Source of your PhytoEstogens.
About the Author
Aliza Adar Levine RNMH is a Nurse,Midwife,TCM Herbalist,and Medical Researcher for over 20 years. Learn how to manage your own menopause naurally at http://www.Womens-Health-Issues-Menopause.com and about other women's Health Issues at at http://www.health-Xpert.com
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