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The Question Is…Does Menopause Ever End?

MatureHealthyFemale_lying on bedIn short, NO! The menopause never ends. It’s just the beginning.

It always astounds me when I hear women say, “I’m over the menopause.” That’s because in reality, the menopause never ends. It’s just the beginning.

Yes, the more disruptive symptoms, such as hot flushes/flashes, mood swings, weight gain, depression, sleep disorders, and others, do subside as our body adapts to the new hormonal environment (one of low hormone production). Incredible but true – our body adapts to this situation. But the more serious and deleterious issues just keep on chugging along. What do I mean by that?

Let’s take a look.

The Three Stages of Change

There are three phases of menopause, hmm…maybe four if we count premenopause (before perimenopause and menopause! 🙂 ) When we are still considered to be in our reproductive years.

All three have a name because all three exist.

Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the ‘symptom stage’ where we get all cranky and become another person really. Or the majority of us do anyway. Not the person we used to be. We don’t feel good. This is the stage in which our body is suffering from a sudden and drastic loss of female hormones. Our body is now in a hormonal revolt and is determined to let us know by way of symptoms.

Basically, our body is in hormonal-starvation-mode, it is suffering withdrawal symptoms. The body needs its hormones back to allow us to function correctly and rid us of all those life-destroying issues. And to allow us to return to the ‘us’ we once were.

This is when we should start thinking about embarking on a programme of bioidentical hormones restorative therapy (BHRT). Imagine the peaceful and symptom-free life you would have!

Perimenopause usually lasts from 5 to 10 years, starting at about age 45. This is an approximation of course. It can start before, last longer or start later and finish sooner. Everyone is different.

Menopause

Menopause is the, ‘you no longer have a period and haven’t had one for over 12 months. 1 year, in other words’, stage. And where your symptoms start to ease. Our body is becoming used to living without hormones. It has adapted, even if it doesn’t want to, it has to.

When we are born, we are born with 1 to 2 million undeveloped eggs in our ovaries and, by the time we reach puberty and start menstruating, approximately only 300,000 immature egg cells (or follicles) remain. Following this, an average of 600 follicles die per month, which are not replaced. By the time we reach menopause, there are no eggs left. As eggs are the main producer of female hormones, this is why we slowly become deficient (in female hormones).

Menopause means the end of our reproductive life as we know it. You can no longer make babies. We have no eggs left and without eggs there will be no oestrogen production and consequently, this leads to no more progesterone production either.

Believe it or not the brain doesn’t like this scenario, it likes to think we are still reproductive. Yes, it may sound crazy but it’s true. The brain gets confused and thinks we are of no use anymore. It believes we are only here to reproduce. Biologically speaking we are here to perpetuate the species (of course, we know better :)). We know we still have a lot to give. Unfortunately, though, the brain isn’t convinced about this. Luckily, we can now do something about it…we have an option. BHRT is that option.

Bioidentical hormones, ‘the miracle molecule’, help reset the brain into thinking all is well again. They kind of trick the brain. Life will continue as before, or maybe even better than before! Even if we are no longer capable of making babies. Hormones nourish the brain and the body and keep it working at optimal.

Post-menopause

So what happens after menopause, when symptoms of perimenopause have subsided and we no longer have a period? Does this mean the menopause has ended, that everything goes back to normal and life just starts all over again? Was the perimenopause just a hiccup? Was menopause just a message telling us we could no longer reproduce? Not exactly.

Yes, it is true that the majority of menopausal women find that symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, sleeping difficulties, mood swings, etc are transitory. And last only as long as it takes the body to adapt to the lower hormone levels. But don’t kid yourself, the menopause is not over. There are other menopausal health issues that are happening within the body. We are talking post-menopause here.

In fact, more important and permanent changes such as drying and thinning skin and vaginal membranes, dry eyes, foggy memory and a decreased urinary tract tone, to name a few, are the next step in this body-change. Basically, this is your body breaking down, sad to say but true. This is your body talking to you. You need to listen to it and take action. We do have a choice now, an alternative…an option!

As time passes, other developments such as heart disease, osteoporosis, cholesterol disorders, cancers, diabetes, and cognitive problems all become more apparent. All of these health issues are known as age-related diseases. They are related to ageing and hormonal loss. Our repair molecules are missing. Hormones play a critical role in repair and regeneration because they are the most comprehensive messaging machine in the human body.

They are the human network of health. They are what keep us in one piece. They are what make us work. With missing or low levels we will feel it. In truth, low hormone levels put an enormous stress on the entire body. Imagine putting petrol in a diesel car…same concept. It won’t work very well. Chug chug! Then it grinds to a halt.

With low hormone levels the body cannot repair or regenerate itself as fast as it once did, and certainly, will not function properly. It will start to ‘chug’ and slow. You see this every day on the streets. Just compare a young woman of 20, in her prime, to a woman of 50, then to a mature woman of 80. Do you notice the ‘chug syndrome’?

This is what happens to the body post-menopause. You don’t feel it like you feel the initial symptoms in perimenopause because it’s moving so slowly, but the body is giving us other indicators now. Your body is struggling. It’s running on low. It’s in breakdown mode.

I am not saying that bioidentical hormones stop us from ageing totally, we all age and we all die. But they definitely slow and ease the ageing process. We age more gracefully. They make us feel and look good. They help us avoid unnecessary pain and discomfort. We can choose how we want to age. In illness or in health. We can hold back age-related and chronic diseases…honest we can. We now have a new template for change. Let’s embrace this change, this new way of ageing. We no longer have to accept the traditional way of ageing, we CAN make ageing good.

We can choose whether to take bioidentical hormones or not. They are truly the key to optimal health and optimal ageing.

Please don’t kid yourself that the menopause ends. Just because your symptoms have subsided does not mean you are no longer in menopause. In fact, as you’ve now understood, you are seriously in menopause…big time. The trick is to keep your body, brain and immune system strong. All of which bioidentical hormones do.

Why am I telling you this?

Why? Because I truly want to help you understand that we DO NOT have to sit quietly and suffer the symptoms of menopause, or in the long-term, the consequences of post-menopause (body breakdown), which brings with it turmoil and the age-related diseases mentioned above, and many many others.

When we restore our hormones we can avoid the symptoms of perimenopause, curb chronic disease, and slow the ageing process. Isn’t that just great. This is for real. I know it myself. I see and feel it every day. I could not live without my hormones. I am vibrant, energetic, focused, positive, happy, sensual, sexy, and enjoy the things in life I always did.

I am sixty-one this year but my biological age is 45 years. How’s that for trumps? I have been on bioidentical hormones for more than 12 years now. I love my life! Embracing BHRT was the best thing I ever did. I am happy and look forward to even better things to come every single day.

I am straight and upright, not bent and crooked. My body is strong, and my mind is the best it has ever been. I am living the optimal life. You can too.

My last tip of the day

If you are considering taking bioidentical hormones (BHRT) make sure you go to an expert. Hormones are safe and work efficiently when prescribed by an expert doctor. BHRT, if not followed and prescribed correctly, can be just as detrimental as synthetic hormones. It is important to find a doctor qualified in this sub-speciality. Always check him/her out! Ask where and who trained them.
Bioidentical hormones aid us in ageing with style, grace, vibrancy and energy, and in maintaining that easy movement of youth. That clarity of thinking, sexuality, sensuality, and zest. What more could you ask for? When we are healthy, feel and look good, each stage of life is wonderful.

For Your Information
If you would like a more in-depth look at menopause, how your body works and exactly what BHRT is check out my book, “The Menopause Cure – Hormonal Health”. I know you’ll enjoy it. It’s an easy read and life changing. Live your life to the fullest.
If you are looking for a qualified BHRT doctor click this link, or drop our team a message or email us – we’re here to guide you.

Your health is our priority.

To Your Health 🙂

Jill xx

Bioidentical Hormone Restorative Therapy (BHRT) – Let’s Start At The Beginning.

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Not All Hormones Are Prescribed Equally

Not all hormone therapies that are prescribed and taken are created equally. HRT and BHRT are two very different therapies.

Unfortunately, all hormones in any form are considered a controversial topic. This, of course, would be due to the outcome of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study which was halted ahead of schedule, in 2002, after it was found that HRT (hormone replacement therapy), a combo drug of synthetic oestrogens and progestins commonly known as PremPro, increased the risk of both heart disease and breast cancer.

Since the WHI study, both synthetic and bioidentical hormones have been bundled together as ‘bad’ and disease-causing.

This, of course, is totally untrue.

The Importance Of Understanding The Difference Between HRT And BHRT

It is important for everyone to understand the difference between these two forms of hormonal therapies – synthetic and bioidentical – and to have the correct information, otherwise, we will never get over this misconception of bad meets bad.

The major difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones is that synthetic hormones (HRT) set-up new reactions in the body that it is unfamiliar with. In short, they declare war with our physiology (in other words, body-balance and health); they mess with it! This is largely due to the fact that they are synthetic and the body and brain cannot quite get around that fact. The body/brain set-up gets confused when something ‘non-natural’ is put into it.

The body doesn’t produce synthetic hormones, never has done, and never will do. I am wondering why then, should we replace our declining hormones with alien or counterfeit ones – ones that have never ever existed in the body? And ones that have been seen to create detrimental and lethal health issues. It just doesn’t make sense. Instead, we should be restoring the missing hormones with bioidentical ones, identical to those produced in the body. Ones that do not cause health issues but rather enhance our health.

Bioidentical hormones restore normal physiological pathways with optimal body response. In other words, they work, they make us feel well. They calm our symptoms’, and at the same time slow the ageing process. They create harmony within the body – not disharmony! That is because the body/brain set-up understands them with great ease.

Hormones – The Human Network of Health

Hormones are miracle molecules that are naturally produced (endogenous) in the body and keep us alive and functioning. They are precious – we have been blessed with them. If we want to remain healthy, vibrant, positive and young, we need to keep them in the body at the correct levels and ratios.

With age, our hormones decline. When hormones decline, our health, both physical and mental, also declines, leaving us in a weak position. Maintaining optimal hormone levels is key to keeping us young, beautiful and sexy. And it is the most independent factor for a healthy, strong and vibrant immune system. And for keeping our hearts, brains, bones, joints, and bodies functioning correctly…at optimal.

Hormone ratios are very important to body health and maintenance. It’s not just the levels of hormones that counts but the ratios between these hormones. Hormones ratios such as oestrogens to progesterone and cortisol to DHEA, which greatly impact our health.

Hormones are messaging machines that interact with each other to literally form ‘a human network of health’ – they are, in fact, what helps us ‘keep it all together’! With a decline, we begin to fall apart slowly but surely. This is when the first signs or symptoms of ageing become apparent: withered, wrinkled and thinning skin; loss of muscle tone; weight gain; low sex drive; low mood; aching joints – these are just a few from a long list of health issues that occur with a hormonal decline. Menopause, in truth, is the beginnings of the ageing process, like it or not. This, of course, is also valid for men – they don’t get away scot-free either. They suffer hormonal decline just as we do, but in a slower and more gentle way.

When we restore declining hormone levels with bioidentical ones, we ‘keep it all together’, slow the ageing process, hold off chronic disease, and regain and/or maintain our health. It is never too early to start – the sooner, the better. We now have an option.

Let’s Take a Look at Bioidentical Hormones

Bioidentical hormones are an exact copy of the hormones produced in the body, they act and are read by the body exactly as our own. They come from soya and wild yam, and other plant extracts that are biosynthesised in a lab to become an exact copy of the human hormone. We are so lucky to have these miraculous molecules within our reach these days.

They are life-giving molecules that protect and enhance our declining and maturing health. They do not challenge the body in any shape or form – they are safe and efficient when prescribed by an expert doctor. BHRT, if not followed and prescribed correctly, can be just as detrimental as synthetic hormones. It is important to find a doctor qualified in this sub-speciality. Always check him/her out! Ask where and who trained them.

Bioidentical hormones aid us in ageing with style, grace, vibrancy and energy, and in maintaining that easy movement of youth. That clarity of thinking, sexuality, sensuality, and zest. What more could you ask for? When we are healthy, feel and look good, each stage of life is wonderful.

I admit, there is no magic bullet for the so-called ‘fountain of youth’ but, if I were to tell you that bioidentical hormones were also the golden key to better sex, a leaner body and a more youthful skin, would you believe me? You’d better! Typically, women taking bioidentical hormones look and act 10 to 15 years younger than women who don’t. And did I mention weight loss and thicker hair too?

For Your Information

If you have read my book, “The Menopause Cure – Hormonal Health”, and/or checked out my website, you will have understood why it is important to restore your body with bioidentical hormones. And the huge benefits these natural molecules provide. Life is fun again!

If you are looking for a qualified BHRT doctor click this link,drop our team a message or email us – we’re ready to help.

Your health is our priority.

To Your Health 🙂 xx

Why Are You Not Taking Bioidentical Hormones?

Peri_wordswhite abckgrouI often ask myself why every menopausal woman (including perimenopausal and postmenopausal women), isn’t on bioidentical hormones. A therapy known as bioidentical hormone restorative therapy (BHRT). To me it is a phenomenon that just doesn’t fit. Something is wrong here. I’m perplexed, considering the immense benefits they can give you, both short-term and long-term.

Is it because they don’t know enough about this therapy? Is it because they’ve been conned into thinking it is dangerous or, that they just don’t work. Of course they work!

Could it be because they have never heard of them before? It is true that we don’t often hear people, including doctors, debating or talking about bioidentical hormones in Europe. And when we do it’s usually negative, strangely enough. Even if it has existed for over 30 years in America.

That’s basically a long-term study right there for you. We need studies to give us scientific proof, facts, and truths. Long-term studies are the best for bringing out the truth and to see if the subject in question is valid or not, whether it be a medicine or a plastic implant for joints. This long-term study on BHRT, that I put before you is definitely a resounding YES! It works. And how it works!

To give you a better understanding of bioidentical hormones, and body physiology, let’s take a quick look.

Hormone Decline

Hormones decline with age, starting at about age 30. The decline is slow until we reach about 40ish, let’s say 45, where the majority of women enter menopause. And where there is a sudden and drastic drop in female hormones. This phase is known as perimenopause, and usually lasts from 5 to 10 years. Perimenopause is where women begin to suffer symptoms, due to the hormonal decline, such as hot flushes/flashes, mood swings, brain fog, aching joints, sleepless nights, weight gain, and many more, that I am sure you are all aware of.

When our hormones decline many women lose themselves…or at least I did. I was no longer the person I had once been. I lost my lust for life, my positivity, my stamina and Jill herself. She was gone. She has of course since returned, and better than ever. Thanks to BHRT.

When there is a hormonal imbalance, havoc erupts within the body and trouble begins. Basically, when hormones decline it creates problems within the endocrine system (where hormones are made) and follows on to other body systems, including immune, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. You may have noticed you don’t digest foods as easily as you once did. That’s a sign (or even symptom)…listen to it!

If you want to be healthy, both physically and mentally, and continue to be healthy you need to optimise and balance hormone levels so as to support optimal physiology. Hormones are vital for repair and are the most powerful agent in the regulation of optimal physiology. Physiology simply refers to a healthy, well-functioning body and mind.

What Your Local GP Usually Has to Say

When symptoms occur and perimenopause hits, women usually go to their local GP and ask if they are in menopause…of course you are. Your age suggests it and your symptoms are telling you you are.

Your GP will most likely offer you HRT (synthetic), antidepressants, and sleeping tablets. Pat you on the back and tell you, all will be ok, and that it will pass. Hmmm…I’m not so sure about that! In fact, it doesn’t pass, hormonal decline only gets worse.

Your symptoms will pass once your body has adapted to its new hormonal environment…low hormone production. But hormonal decline doesn’t go away unless you do something about it…like restore them. It only gets worse. We are now moving towards total degradation and chronic disease, but that’s for another discussion.

Your symptoms by the way, are actually withdrawal symptoms, due to lack of hormones (hormonal decline). It’s a hormonal revolt. It only makes sense the body is going to suffer if it is missing the major messaging molecule. Yes, hormones are our messaging machine. They make us or they break us, simple as that.

Bioidentical Hormones And What They Can Do For You

What are bioidentical hormones? Why are they so good…GREAT really?

Bioidentical hormones are biologically identical to the hormones that are produced in our body. They are identical in molecular structure – hormone replicas. They come from soya, wild yam and other plant extracts. This is one of the reasons they are so well accepted by the body (because they are exact in structure), and therefore, can be used just as our own hormones, for regeneration and repair.

Importantly, they make us feel great…fantastic in fact. They give us our life back. They are miracle-molecules. They nurture the brain and feed the body. One way of looking at it is, they are the body’s endogenous (made in the body) food. When perimenopause is upon us we are in hormonal- starvation mode. Do we really need this when we can restore them so easily?

Hormones are the essence of life itself. They regulate every bodily function: sleep, growth, blood pressure, heartbeat, breathing,– without them we would simply die. They control muscle tone, build bone, make us fat or thin, maintain correct levels of sugar in the blood and tissue, control women’s menstrual cycles, make men males, rule the passage of time and the voyage into menopause.

They make us happy or sad, they make us cry or laugh, they are us. They give us beautiful skin, nails and hair or vice versa. When hormones decline our skin begins to wrinkle and sag before its time. Hair loses its shine and thickness, and nails start to crack and become brittle, or even become soft. That is just a few examples for you.


Hormones and Immune System Support

Another major benefit of optimal hormone levels is they support our immune system and its function. When hormones decline so does our immune system.

We are the ones that make the choices which strengthen or weaken our immune system. Our immune system is the protector of our health and vitality, which enables us to feel good both physically and emotionally. If our immune system is weak we are less able to handle stress and more susceptible to illnesses. When our immune system is suppressed over a long period, we are definitely more likely to suffer from far more serious diseases such as breast cancer, arthritis, autoimmune diseases and more. I am protecting my protector. You? A major component of having a strong immune system is restoring hormone levels.

In short, without optimal levels of hormones our body slows down and becomes inefficient. We then deteriorate at a great rate and age at a faster speed.

Why do that to yourself?

Take this opportunity to live your best life.

If you would like to know more please read my book, “The Menopause Cure – Hormonal Health

To your health

Jill

Three Key Supplements To Fight Hot Flushes With

Vitamin E, Folic Acid and Krill Oil: Good for Hot Flushes – and a Lot More

Vitamin E, folic acid and krill oil are three supplements that have all been shown to help ease the miseries of hot flushes ― but when you take them for menopausal symptoms, surprise! You get lots of wonderful health benefits as a bonus.

Here are a few. . .

Vitamin E: A Power Antioxidant

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s a key player in organ, enzyme and brain function. It helps with vaginal dryness as well as hot flushes. But it also:

Fights free radicals:

Take, for example, cholesterol. You’ve probably been told, and wrongly so, that cholesterol is bad for you. Unfortunately we are not being given the full picture here.

Read my book The Cholesterol Puzzle and get the truth and a full understanding of cholesterol and its benefits.

Cholesterol has many, many important functions in the body and is a necessary building block of just about every system in the body. In other words, it is a major part of what keeps the human infrastructure up and running correctly. It is essential to keeping your hormones, cells and nerves healthy and functioning properly.

It’s only when free radicals (rogue molecules) oxidize cholesterol that it can become harmful. Once oxidized it can more easily slip through the endothelium (innermost layer of the arteries). Oxidation is the damage ― something like rust ― caused by free radicals. We call that oxidative stress.

As a powerhouse antioxidant, vitamin E combats oxidative stress, not only to cholesterol but to cells throughout your body. Less free radical damage means less risk of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

  • it improves your resistance to disease:

Vitamin E’s ability to prevent cellular damage and inflammation helps prevent cancer (lung, esophageal, colorectal, etc.) as well as heart disease, and it naturally helps slow the ageing process.

Researchers have also found vitamin E’s ability to reduce oxidative stress promotes better blood glucose control. The result is improved blood sugar balance, which, if not controlled, can lead to type 2 diabetes, a key player in cardiovascular disease.

What is more, vitamin E keeps your immune system strong and disease-resistant by combating viruses and harmful bacteria.

Further, clinical research shows that while vitamin E may not prevent Alzheimer’s disease, it slows functional decline better than a commonly prescribed Alzheimer’s drug. This effect may be due to its role in synthesizing acetylcholine, a primary neurotransmitter for memory and cognition that has been shown to be at low levels in Alzheimer’s patients.

Folic Acid: The Multi-Purpose Vitamin

A 2010 article in Gynecological Endocrinology reported that folic acid (vitamin B9) reduces the number and intensity of women’s menopausal hot flushes. It also lowers risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Great news for women, but folic acid does much more.

Activated folic acid assists with DNA synthesis, prevention of birth defects, immune and nervous system function, and mucous membrane tissue health (digestive tract, cervix and vagina). In addition,

  • it reduces homocysteine:

Homocysteine, an amino acid, is an inflammatory marker linked with hardening and thickening of blood vessels. If your levels are high, it doubles or triples your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Folic acid improves heart health by lowering homocysteine levels, thereby lessening atherosclerosis and reducing arterial wall thickening. Research shows that patients who are most successful in decreasing homocysteine levels have the greatest reduction in cardiovascular risk.

Homocysteine is also associated with Alzheimer’s disease, brain atrophy, hearing loss, osteoporosis, cervical cancer, migraines and even macular degeneration.

Krill Oil: The Super Omega-3

Canadian studies show that krill oil can reduce your number of hot flushes, the effects of stress and menopause-related depression. It also improves inflammation, joint function, energy metabolism and blood glucose levels. As if that weren’t enough,

  • it protects your heart:

In multiple studies, krill oil has proved to be more effective than fish oil at lowering high triglycerides ― a primary risk factor for heart disease.

Krill EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) also quell inflammation in your blood vessels.

In addition, krill oil lowers blood pressure. Its anticoagulant effect helps to prevent atherosclerosis and blood clots, which can cause heart attacks and strokes (although people on blood thinners should use krill oil only under a doctor’s supervision).

  • it nourishes your brain:

Sixty percent of your brain is fat, so the EPA and DHA long-chain fatty acids of omega-3s are critical to brain health, especially the DHA of krill oil. DHA alone makes up about 15–20 percent of your brain’s cerebral cortex.

The DHA in krill oil differs from that in ordinary fish oil in that it binds to phospholipids ― a particular form of fat that allows increased uptake of DHA into the brain. This is important because low DHA may result in memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder.

In recent years, researchers discovered that supplementation with krill oil in elderly people resulted in significant improvement in memory, verbal fluency and rate of learning.

In short, these three remarkable supplements ― vitamin E, folic acid and krill oil ― provide research-tested relief from menopausal symptoms, but their wide-ranging benefits give you plenty of reasons to take them at any time of life.

SOURCES:

Manning PJ, Sutherland WH, Walker RJ, Williams SM, De Jong SA, Ryalls AR, Berry EA.Effect of high-dose vitamin E on insulin resistance and associated parameters in overweight subjects. Diabetes Care. 2004 Sep;27(9):2166-71.

Barrington, R. Vitamin E and Insulin Resistance. RdBNutrition. Nov. 26, 2015.

Estrogen Metabolism Diet. YourHormones.com.

Hormone Balance ― How to restore it or maintain it. Amazing Wellness Magazine. Nov. 1, 2012.

Hot flashes reduced by folic acid. Life Extension Update. Life Extension Magazine. Dec. 17, 2010.

Jenkins, J. Information on Supplements That Help Neurotransmitter in Brain. LIVESTRONG.com. Nov. 17, 2015.

Mercola, J. A Daily 900 mg Dose of Omega-3 Fats Helped Reverse Memory Loss. Mercola.com. Feb. 6, 2012.

Mercola, J. Vitamin E May Offer Benefits for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. Mercola.com. Jan. 23, 2014.

Phillip, J. Folic Acid for Heart Health. Nutrition Digest. Vol. 38, No. 2.

Torda, C. and Wolff, H.G. Effect of vitamins on Acetylcholine Synthesis. The Apparently Specific Action of Vitamin E. Experimental Biology and Medicine. Vol. 58, Issue 2, 1945.

Vitamin E. MedlinePlus.gov.

Wright, Y.L. and Swartz, J.M. Secrets About Bioidentical Hormones!

Hot Flush Supplements

Can Hot Flush Supplements Really Work?

Hot flushes are the affliction most commonly associated with menopause ― for good reason. It’s estimated that between 75% and 85% of women experience hot flushes during their menopausal journey.

They’re felt as intense attacks of heat and sweating, and may cause your heart to beat in a rapid, percussive staccato. They can begin in your face, your chest or at the back of your neck and spread throughout your body. You may feel hot to the touch and experience nausea. They may rob you of sleep and extinguish your sex life.

And the effects often extend well beyond the physical. Depending on the severity and frequency, hot flushes can disastrously affect your relationships and home life, your social life and your ability to work.

For some, hot flushes may strike dozens of times a day, each lasting between two and thirty minutes. According to a 2015 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, they last for around seven years on average, but may continue for as long as 11 or more years.

Despite all its associated symptoms, menopause is not a disease. It’s a natural part of life! Nonetheless, the symptoms can be life-disrupting, and women want ― and need ― relief. But can supplements really deliver you from the misery of hot flushes?

Let’s take a look at three frequently recommended hot-flush remedies: vitamin E, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids.

Vitamin E

Clinical studies from as long ago as the 1940s have found menopausal women taking vitamin E had around a 50% reduction in the number of hot flushes they experienced.

In an Iranian study, hot flushes dropped from five a day to three for menopausal women taking 400 IUs of the alpha-tocopherol and tocotrienol forms of vitamin E daily for four weeks. They also became less severe.

These studies reflect the experience of many other women. Around 50 to 75 percent of women affected by menopausal symptoms, especially hot flushes, find vitamin E works reliably and effectively to provide relief.

We are still learning about the mechanisms involved in hot flushes, so our understanding of exactly how vitamin E works to relieve this troubling symptom is incomplete. Nonetheless, some things are becoming clear.

We do know, for example, that oestrogen deficiency is not the sole, direct cause of hot flushes and night sweats. That commonly held belief is an oversimplification.

In perimenopause, women typically experience falling progesterone levels while oestrogen levels may decrease to a lesser degree or remain consistent. In fact, oestrogen may be the last hormone to decline, with the lowest levels being reached in full menopause.

The result is an imbalance in the ratio between progesterone and oestrogen ― that is, too much oestrogen relative to progesterone. This imbalance, called oestrogen dominance, likely increases activity of the hypothalamus gland in the brain.

The hypothalamus, which is responsible for regulation of body temperature, responds by activating secretion of two hormones from the adjacent pituitary gland: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH).

If vitamin E levels are low, FSH and LH levels increase, causing blood vessels to dilate and allowing greater blood flow to the skin, which elevates temperature ― the symptoms of hot flushes. Interestingly, women in one study who were experiencing hot flushes were found to have elevated levels of the LH chemical 66 out of 66 times tested.

Supplementing with vitamin E helps decrease FSH and LH levels and reduce oestrogen production from the ovaries by interacting with oestrogen receptors and blocking it. This lowers hypothalamus activity and allows a “cooling off” period.

During the menopausal years, FSH and LH strength may increase by as much as 1,300 percent over previous levels.

Adelle Davis, a pioneering nutritionist who based her recommendations on evidence-based studies, wrote, “During the menopause, the need for vitamin E soars ten to fifty times over that previously required. Hot flushes and night sweats often disappear when 50 to 500 units of vitamin E are taken daily, but they quickly recur should the vitamin be stopped.”

Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)

Folic acid’s effectiveness as a therapy for hot flushes has been the subject of considerable research, although most folic acid studies assume oestrogen deficiency as the cause of hot flushes.

One trial pitted 1-mg folic acid tablets against a placebo once a day for four weeks. Researchers saw significant symptom improvement and suggested that folic acid is an accessible, affordable method of treating hot flushes.

Another study focused on folic acid’s role in synthesis of the transmitters serotonin (which elevates mood) and noradrenaline (which increases stress) in the brain. Elevating serotonin increased its “feel-good” effects, and reducing noradrenaline lowered stress levels, which reduced hot flush symptoms.

The researchers in this study assumed that folic acid acted on these neurotransmitters in the same way as oestrogen and suggested that it therefore could be used as an inexpensive and effective alternative to oestrogen therapy.

Omega-3s

Omega-3s, which are fish oil, contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Every cell in your body requires these fatty acids, and, since your body can’t make them, they have to come from diet or from supplements.

A 2009 double-blind, controlled study of 120 women found that EPA, given over eight weeks in daily 1000-gram doses, could reduce hot flushes by half.

An Italian study compared omega-3 fish oil capsules with a soy isoflavone supplement and placebo. The omega-3 group, unlike the other two groups, experienced a steady decline in hot flush frequency.

The researchers explained that the omega-3 fatty acid’s ability to relieve hot flushes was likely due to their influence on neuronal [brain cell] membranes and/or their modulation of serotonin neurotransmitters, which lighten mood and relieve stress.

Yet another study focused on a link between hot flushes and the hypothalamus, the area of the brain mentioned above that regulates body temperature. The researchers hypothesised that insufficient oestrogen causes the hypothalamus to get the wrong signals and, as a result, turn up body temperature.

Omega-3s were thought to help ease hot flushes by reducing production of a particular type of eicosanoid (a signaling molecule) that promotes heat-generating inflammation.

How Do You Survive Hot Flushes?

Science is still learning about alternative treatments for hot flushes, and it appears performance of specific supplements may vary for different women. However, each of the above supplements has brought relief to significant numbers of women and made life bearable again.

Since conventional wisdom still attributes hot flushes solely to loss of oestrogen, it’s unsurprising that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most common recommendation. The idea is to replace what is thought to have been lost ― namely, oestrogen.

However, traditional HRT can pose risks for heart attack, stroke, blood clots and cancer. A far safer option is bioidentical hormone restorative therapy (BHRT), which uses plant-derived ingredients that duplicate the molecular structure of the hormones produced naturally within your body.

A great advantage of BHRT is that it enables accurate rebalancing of your hormones, which will bring oestrogen and progesterone into the proper ratio ― an excellent solution for taming hot flushes and, at the same time, for protecting against disease.

BHRT doesn’t carry the same health risks as HRT. Plus, advance testing enables formulation to meet your exact requirements, so it gives optimum results, including much-needed relief from hot flashes.

SOURCES:

Bani, S. et. al. The Effect of Folic Acid on Menopausal Hot flashes: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J
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Cohen, L., et. al. Efficacy of Omega-3 Treatment for Vasomotor Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Menopause. 2014 Apr: 21(4): 347-354.

Dexter, M.B. Vitamin E for Menopause. Love to Know.

Ewies, A. Folic acid supplementation: The new dawn for postmenopausal women with hot flushes. World Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Nov 10, 2013; 2(4): 87-93.

Ferrari, N. Menopause-related hot flashes and night sweats can last for years. Harvard Health Publications. Feb. 23, 2015.

Harpaz, M. Can Vitamin E Reduce Hot Flashes? Menopause Matters. Jan. 6, 2013.

Hot Flashes. Women Living Naturally.

How to increase progesterone. Miscarriage Research.

Kelley, J.W. Fish Oil & Hot Flashes. LIVESTRONG. Aug. 16, 2013.

Menopause Symptoms and Treatments. DrWeil.com.

Northrup, C. Is This Your Perimenopause Transition? DrNorthrup.com.

Pick, M. Your Omega-3 Fatty Acid ― Essential for Health and Long Life. Women to Women.

Progesterone (not Estrogen) for Hot Flushes in Perimenopausal and Menopausal Women.

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Sail Through Menopause with a Little B and E. Alive. Jul. 31, 2015.

My hot flush! Described by 5 real women.

Describing a hot flush as a ‘sensation of warmth’ just doesn’t cut the mustard, when we know there are woman utterly blindsided by their first attack.

You say hot flash, we say hot flush!

The standard description of the British hot flush is a sudden feeling of feverish heat. In the United States they are more commonly known as a hot flash and described as temporary but recurring episodes of flushing with a sensation of warmth or heat.

What we can all agree on, is for the 75% of women affected during the perimenopause, they can be deeply unsettling, distressing and, on occasion, make life darn near impossible. Women experiencing an abrupt decline in oestrogens often suffer the worst.

So, fans at the ready, we’ve scoured forums and the blogosphere to share the most descriptive accounts of a hot flush on the web. If you are going through hell with hot flushes you may find a little comfort in knowing you are not alone.

And for the lucky ones… read on and be better prepared to help; turn the heating down, keep a spare ice pack at home (and at work) and cover for your girlfriends when they need you too!

We’ve got your back! #WomenRock

Darcey Steinke on wanting to kill the menopause

“Hot flashes are inner apocalypses, singeing the body and the brain. During my first volcanic night sweat, a chaotic force moved through me. Heat rose, busting through the top of the thermometer, and swept through my body like the special effect I’d once seen on the set of a horror movie. Flames spread through a wire and rose up encircling a cabin. It was horrible, but also exquisite. Finally, I thought, God was going to communicate with me physically. Like a biblical character, I felt overwhelmed, scared, and sublime.”

Read the full article, What Menopause Taught Me, on NYMag.com for a wonderfully raw account with a surprisingly uplifting conclusion.

 Lesley Grant Timmins on threading a moving needle

“My first hot flush started with a chill, followed by a roaming band of heat that crawled up my legs to my back, all the way to my scalp. Soon I was drenched in sweat. Within the next few months the pattern took hold, repeating every half-hour to 45 minutes, interrupting every daytime activity and, worse, sleep.”

Read the full blog, Confessions of a hot flush queen, on Alive.com

Girlywhirly answering a plea for help on Mumsnet

“My flushes feel like the blast of heat you get when stepping into a hot sauna, except that the heat is from your inside! I don’t seem to break into a sweat though. The ‘heat’ lasts for about 30-40 secs and subsides. I know what you mean about the duvet! I push the duvet on and off and stick a leg out at the side. DH and I have only a 4.5 tog duvet all winter. I think my neck sweats most at night. In my case, I am interested to note that these ‘flushes’ disappear when a period is due, for a couple of weeks before and after, although this is only twice a year now (age 51).”

Read the full discussion, Please describe a hot flush to me, on Mumsnet.com

Skinny And Single on how the bitch turned

“The wonder of going from cold to roasting in an instant. The wonder of bleeding through 17 layers of cotton, two towels and a mattress. The wonder of my new beard. That’s cool though, people have a new beard fetish lately, I’m good to go. I guess I’m just old, I’m going grey and getting deep wrinkles. I have random pains and the occasional limp. But hey, when I was 23, I had problems too, I’d rather be here, any day. This shit’s a breeze, I got this. PS: I just want my armpits to dry.”

Read the blog, Rest In Peace To My Uterus, on Skinny And Single

Barbara Younger on hot flashes at school

“I could barely respond. I was standing there, in the middle of the circle of students–my favorite format for conducting class– trying to keep my “cool” and remember what I was doing there. I had felt a hot flash mounting up my legs from the very bottom of my feet, increasing temperature as it ascended, until it got to its highest tension in my face and head. It then erupted in visible sweat that flashed my face and made my neck and armpits moist. It was a power surge indeed, and my face was red as a tomato and my consciousness astral travelling. When I was able to finally come back to my senses, I sat down in front of twenty faces that looked at me in horror. And then I calmly said: “It’s a hot flash!”

Read the rest of the blog to find out how she got coped through the class in Friend For The Ride

We’d love to hear more personal descriptions of a hot flush. Have you read one that should be included on our list. Can you share your own experience of a hot flush with us?

September is Menopause Awareness month and we’d really like to get the message out – no more suffering alone. Sharing experiences and tips can and do help.

If you’d like to contribute please leave a comment below.