Hot flashes are the worst.
They can come at any time, when you least expect it. For some women, they’re so bad that they tend to avoid going out altogether.
But for others, eating brings them on. And not just certain foods. Pretty much any and every kind, from each food group can cause some sort of hot flash reaction.
Mealtimes turn into a new form of torture.
These women pretty much have to put themselves on a starvation diet. Certainly eating out in social settings becomes off-limits. But even meals at home become something to dread on a daily basis.
(And let me tell you, if you’re trying to drop a few pounds, starvation is NOT the way to go. Whatever weight you lose will only come back eventually, double-fold. Diets of deprivation never work.)
So how do you go back to eating without the torture of hot flashes? And what causes hot flashes after eating?
As a woman’s estrogen level declines during perimenopause, her internal thermostat gets disrupted. Certain foods, like spicy food, alcohol and coffee, dilate blood vessels and stimulate nerve endings bringing on hot flashes. Dramatic blood sugar levels spikes after a sugary snack could also cause flushes.
Not everyone will react the same way to all foods. But there are certain foods that are more likely to bring on hot flashes than others. To ease symptoms, you’ll want to avoid the following foods:
· Caffeine (coffee, in particular)
· Excess Sugar
· Refined Carbohydrates
· Spicy Foods
· Meat (especially red meat)
· Dairy Products
Easing flushes is not as hard as you might think. It’s really a matter of eating the right foods and taking the right supplements to balance out your hormones.
In addition to avoiding the above mentioned foods you’ll want to add lots of fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains to your diet. The phytoestrogens found in fermented soy are also great for easing hot flashes, as are flax seeds.
During your perimenopause years, your estrogen levels begin to drop. In an ideal world, that decline is gradual and symptoms are manageable. Sure you may experience some hot flashes as a result of waning estrogen levels, but they are nothing you can’t handle.
Unfortunately, that’s just not the case for many of us. The symptoms we experience during our perimenopause years can be numerous and quite severe. Some women spend those years before menopause in agony as their hormones plummet and fluctuate drastically.
Why is this the case?
A combination of factors really. Women nowadays are exposed to more toxins and more stress than ever before. These toxins, or xenohormones as they are called, have a negative impact on our hormones as does stress. Those two factors plus a poor diet can do a real number on our estrogen and our progesterone levels.
The good news is that by changing your diet, reducing exposure to hormone disrupting toxins and managing your stress you can experience fewer perimenopause symptoms. Even certain supplements can have a positive impact and help ease your worst hot flashes.