The majority of woman experience hot flashes at some point during cessation of their menstrual cycle. For most, the average duration is six months, for some hot flashes can last 25 years. Why the big difference? What does this mean? Let’s look at the facts:
1. Hot flashes are caused by fluctuations in the level of Estrogen – not a lack of Estrogen and are common as a woman transitions through menopause. These fluctuations are short term; the average time being 6 months.
2. Hot flashes triggered by stress affect the adrenal system, and can last many years.
Confusing the issue is that both types of hot flashes can occur simultaneously.
The adrenal glands are the nature’s backup generator for hormone production after menopause; in fact they they become the top hormone producer. They handle how our body copes with stress. Stress can be physical (including trauma and surgery), emotional, chemical (including diet), electromagnetic or geothermic, or triggered by a virus, fungus or bacteria; in a word EVERYTHING. Common stressors triggering hot flashes are: stimulants such as coffee, chocolate, alcohol, spicy or hot foods, too much work or too little sleep and excess emotions. If your adrenals are depleted, you are much more likely to suffer hot flashes, and for as long as you are stressed.
At Austin Quan Yin, the major herbal remedy used is based on a classic herbal formula called ZHI DI BAI DI HUANG WAN which clears heat and tonifies the affected organ systems. I use NOURISH by Evergreen Chinese Herbs, and supplement with additional formulas to manage other problems such as poor sleep or pain. When hot flashes are unremiting, I use BALANCE HEAT by Evergreen Chinese Herbs.