This is a guest blog by Dr. Anna Cabeca, who will be a guest on our radio show, Essentials for Healthy Living, on Sunday, March 10.
Hot flashes can hit at the most inconvenient times. While you’re having a business meeting with an important client. Maybe you’re out with friends, having a great time. Perhaps while you’re in bed with your partner during an intimate experience. With absolutely no warning, your face flushes. Your heart rate accelerates. Your body feels like a steam vent. Perspiration washes all over you. Hot flashes are like an unwelcome guest – often ill-timed, uncomfortable and you can’t wait for them to leave.
You’re not alone if you suffer. Research shows about 70% of women report having hot flashes during menopause. About one-third describe their hot flashes as frequent and/or severe.
The question becomes, what causes hot flashes? Because when you know the culprit, you can put out the fire. Many healthcare practitioners don’t provide a straight answer. Some tell you they don’t know. Or they’ll argue that the research is inconclusive. Their stock answer is “declining estrogen,” but that’s because there are really many reasons.
I know how infuriating those answers can be. After all, you’re already struggling with other agonies: weight gain, night sweats, fatigue, insomnia, memory loss, hair loss, brain fog, irritability, diminished libido, and all the other craziness hormonal imbalances can trigger. (To understand more about what’s going on with your hormones and how to fix them, get my free e-book here.)
Many women resign themselves to accepting vague answers. Others take to medication to deal with these frustrating symptoms, believing that this is normal or that there is nothing more we can do. But I’m here to say that it isn’t normal, and that you don’t have to simply accept this situation.
A lot of my clients have grown fed up with inconclusive or unhelpful answers about hot flashes. they also don’t want to live on meds or experience their side effects. They want to get to the root of their problem.
I know one key cause of hot flashes (and other menopausal miseries) that when addressed makes hot flashes and so many more symptoms go away. I can sum it up in two words: insulin resistance.
Insulin delivers glucose, or blood sugar, from the bloodstream into cells, where it’s burned for energy. Insulin resistance means this hormone has become less efficient at “making the delivery,” like the mail person who can’t make it to your house to give you your letters. And just like those letters pile up at the post office, sugar levels rise in your blood.
Insulin resistance lurks beneath many of the most common symptoms you experience during menopause including fatigue, difficulty concentrating and weight gain. I’m not alone in this conclusion. Data presented at the North American Menopause Society 23rd Annual Meeting linked insulin resistance with menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Insulin affects our other key hormonal players like progesterone and cortisol.
Once you know the real cause of something – in this case, insulin resistance – you can heal the problem rather than mask it with drugs. Here’s how I help patients fix hot flashes and other symptoms.
1. Get on my Keto-Green™ Diet. My plan helps regulate insulin and reverse insulin resistance with one important shift: you go into ketosis while having alkalinizing low carb foods, hence the greens. This helps your body become more insulin sensitive. (Alkaline is the often-overlooked needle mover that traditional keto diets miss.) Going keto keeps your carbohydrate stores almost empty, so your body literally uses fat for fuel. This makes your body more sensitive to insulin, taking care of hot flashes and night sweats. An added bonus is that you lose weight quickly.
2. Do Keto-Green™ fasting. This modified form of intermittent fasting means you go 13 to 15 hours without food. You’ll be sleeping for much of that time, so it should feel nearly effortless. Let’s say you finish dinner at 6 pm. Have keto-tea or coffee the following morning and make a late ‘break-fast’ at 9 or 10 your first meal of the day. Research shows that intermittent fasting can help you become more insulin sensitive, while giving fat loss a big nudge in the right direction.
3. Stop snacking. I know how pleasurable something crunchy or chewy mid-afternoon can be, but especially if you’re over 40, snacking can downplay your weight loss goals. Frequently grazing can trigger insulin resistance, weight gain, hot flashes and inflammation. Many people snack because they’re bored or stressed, not genuinely hungry. If you do feel hunger pangs, eat more healthy fats, oils and nuts at your meals. Eventually, you’ll break the snacking habit for good.
4. Douse the fire with Mighty Maca. As an adaptogenic herb, maca can help support your adrenals to quench the impact of burnout and chronic stress. Maca also helps alkalinize your body so you maintain all the benefits of the Keto-Green™ way. This fabulous herb can also support hormone balance, sex drive and mood while nixing those miserable hot flashes.
5. Supplement with omega-3 fish oil. Lots of things can trigger hot flashes. If you’ve had them, you know stress can do it. So can chronic inflammation, a big driver for nearly every disease on the planet. Supplementing with fish oil can quench those inflammatory fires. In one double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial, 120 women going through menopause took either a fish oil supplement providing 1,200 milligrams of EPA and DHA or a placebo for 2 months. Prior to the study, these women averaged about 2.8 hot flashes daily. After 8 weeks, their hot flashes decreased by 55% in the EPA and DHA group but only 25% in the placebo group. A good omega-3 supplement will have 360 milligrams EPA and 240 milligrams DHA per 1,000-milligram capsule.
After over 20 years working with patients, I’ve found an answer for hot flashes. My approach helps you get healthy and balance hormones so you can feel like yourself again. If you’re tired of getting vague answers or offered medications to solve hot flashes and other menopausal problems, I want to provide you with a better solution and one that actually works. That’s why I wrote The Hormone Fix, which you can preorder here (and receive nine great bonuses, as well!).
Dr. Anna Cabeca, a triple board certified, Emory University trained physician and hormone expert was diagnosed with early menopause at age 38. Devastated, she set out on a personal wellness journey to reverse her menopause side effects, which resulted in her delivery of a healthy baby girl at the age of 41.
After experiencing her own health successes, Dr. Cabeca began counseling others, ultimately changing the lives of thousands of women across the globe. Her new book “The Hormone Fix” and other empowering transformation programs have helped women of all ages become their best selves again. Her successful line of all-natural products features the alkaline superfoods drink Mighty Maca® PLUS and the rejuvenating vulvar cream Julva®.
Recently, Dr. Cabeca was named “2018 Innovator of the Year” by Mindshare Collaborative, the premier community for health and wellness influencers and entrepreneurs. In 2017, the Age Management Medicine Group presented her the prestigious Alan P. Mintz Award for Clinical Excellence.