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Hot sweat and flashes!
[00:00:00] Okay, it's Monday night. I'm gonna go to sleep early. Still tired from the week. I can't talk about menopause and perimenopause right now just cuz it's a bigger subject. So I will tackle it maybe tomorrow, Tuesday, my day off. Um, but I'm gonna talk about the hot flashes, so I'm doing things backwards, but I'm talking about the hot flashes because they are so germane to me right now.
Um, long story short, you guys all know I went through menopause three years ago when I had ovarian cancer. I went through what's called surgical menopause, meaning my ovaries were removed, and so overnight I was in menopause and my hot flashes were horrible the first couple weeks. And we can talk about how I dealt with those at a different time.
I really allowed myself to have medication at the time because I needed something to just keep me calm during chemo and hot flashes. What ensued was not as bad as I would've told all my patients. So when we do hysterectomies, where we remove people's ovaries as well, um, and they, we put them into menopause, we kind of are groomed as a gynecologist.
Say, [00:01:00] okay, you're gonna go through menopause and we're gonna give you hormones, right? My situation is a little nebulous as to whether or not I could use hormones, and so I decided I was gonna try to really fix them. And through some of the integrative teachings that I had done when I did an integrative quasi masters a couple years ago, I learned some techniques.
And so that's what I wanna share because the obvious answer to how can I help hot flashes is you can take hormones, so you can take estrogen. Um, and progesterone, if you have a uterus and that will help your hot flashes and it will work and it will make you feel potentially great and youthful. And it can help not just the hot flashes, but the sleep and anxiety.
Um, it really potentially makes your skin kind of look a little bit more elastic, like all things that I would want. But there are risks, and the risks are that you can have heart attack, stroke, blood clot, breast cancer. Those risks are relatively minimal, but they're. Because I had ovarian cancer, I'm not necessarily gonna take on those risks.
Um, that said, I, I am a huge advocate for my patients taking, um, hormones if [00:02:00] they want or need them, as long as they are smart about the tests they need to do in order to stay safe like they're mammogram, like making sure that they're not doing things that are gonna increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, for example.
So some obvious things they can do. Um, and some women really need their hormones. Another medication you could take is SSRIs, which are things like Prozac or Effexor or other antidepressants that can really help with hot flashes. In low doses, they found that women who can't take hormones, for example, if they had breast cancer, um, then they take these SSRIs, there's low doses of antidepressants and it really helps with hot flash.
Um, I've dealt with them largely on my own in a way that's helped me a lot. And until these last couple weeks, I've been pretty, I don't wanna say good or bad because I don't wanna be self judgey, but I've been pretty faithful to mostly doing intermittent fasting and a healthy, I say healthy keto diet, meaning I'm not eating like bologna and Velveeta every day if they even [00:03:00] make bologna and Velveeta, I'm having.
A lot of grass fed, grass fed beef, free range eggs, lots of good quality fat like avocados and nuts and seeds, olive oil, um, tons of vegetables. And when I really stick to that, , I feel awesome. I feel like I can fast for long periods of time and it helped me lose weight. And I've never lost all my weight in the last 10 years that I've been kind of dealing with it even more than usual.
But I certainly have kept it much lower than my highest weight. Um, so doing that helped me also really with my hot flashes, because some people will believe, and I'm one of them, that carbohydrates. So bread, rice, pasta, sugar, really can stimulate hot flashes and whether. There's data. This is one of those times where I would say, do your own data.
Ladies, this week that I've been eating the carbs, I feel horrible. So not only am I tired just from the work week, but the carbs have made me feel flashy, sweaty, and when I get my hot flashes, I get like a, Tingly feeling in the back of my neck and it's very unpleasant and my sleep has not been as [00:04:00] good either the few hours I've gotten every night.
So carbohydrates like bread, rice, pasta, sugar, not carbohydrates in the form of vegetables, which are still har carbohydrates, but very good, healthy carbohydrates. So those are fine for me, but. Bread, rice, pasta, sugar, any of the processed, especially comp complex processed carbohydrates and simple sugars, um, make me feel very sweaty and many women would agree.
Alcohol, wine killer for me. Margaritas. Terrible vodka ca sota. pretty good tequila with fresh lime, pretty good. Um, and caffeine. I can't give up my caffeine, but when I have the conglomeration, which this week it was a real, you know, it came to a head of a lot of sugar and a lot of caffeine. There was no alcohol.
But those two things. So in general, when I'm better about, alcohol, caffeine, and carbohydrates. I feel better, and then I'd find that I can even get away with one or two cups of coffee a day. Then occasionally I'll say to myself, you know what? I'm gonna have that margarita and I'm gonna hot flash, and it's [00:05:00] okay because I've already kind of proven to myself that I'm able to control it.
The two other supplements that I've found really have helped, I've talked about them before, but vitamin D, and there is some anecdotal evidence in the integrative literature about getting your vitamin. Above 50 might help with hot flashes, and I've definitely found that when my vitamin D level is above 50 to 70, I feel better.
Um, many of you will be told that you have a normal vitamin D and normal in the typical lab will be above 30. Some of the integrative literature would argue that we should get it above 50 or 60. Some of the regular Western doctors would even say above 40, but again, the lab will say 30. So you might be being told it's normal and it is.
but you might feel better if you get your vitamin D level up. And I've spoken about magnesium before, but four or 500 milligrams of magnesium, which improves the D'S absorption and helps with sleep, anxiety, pooping leg cramps, headaches, that helps as well. So I take magnesium and vitamin D every night.
And again, I try to decrease [00:06:00] sugar, alcohol, caffeine. Like right now I'm having a hot flash. I feel tingly. I feel like prickly. It's very unpleasant. Um, and then there's herbs that you can take. So there are herbs, something called black cohosh. There's multiple varieties. If you even went to just Whole Foods or in our area, fairway, those natural food stores, they will have all kinds of brands.
I can't say there's one brand that's better than the other because they're all just different formulations that are not studied by the fda. , but they are certainly harmless. Um, you're not taking huge doses of them. You should follow the instructions on the bottle, but they really can help patients. And there's another, um, overthe counter herb called Relain, which is Swedish Flower Extract.
You buy it from the company directly, R E L I Z E N. And patients have come to me saying, wow, we used this and we loved it. So I've actually learned about it from you guys. Um, that can take about six to eight weeks to kick in. Patients just said it really helps with their hot flashes. And again, you can buy that on their website or sometimes on natural, natural food [00:07:00] stores.
I don't get any money for that stuff. Um, but tell them, and maybe they should pay me. So again, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, magnesium, and vitamin D. If you need hormones, I'm an advocate with certain populations. If you need SSRIs, like low doses of antidepressants, that can help. And then herbal supplements, the obvious ones would be black cohosh or rez.
Um, also, I shouldn't forget, acupuncture has been really shown in studies to improve hot flashes. The downside, as you can imagine, is you have to go weekly. So it's not something that you can do easily if you don't have the. Okay, so that's my little hot flash Diddy. Tomorrow maybe we'll talk about menopause and perimenopause.
I have a whole list of things I need to address. Okay, bye.