The number one symptom menopausal women complain of is HOT FLASHES. I doubt that's a big shocker to anyone reading this article. And just so you know, I've heard just about every statement imagineable from women who try to describe their FLARE-UPs to me in the office. I love hearing them and have collected some favorites throughout the years which I now look back on and smile about.
Flinging the covers off at night, fanning like a crazy person, running the A/C in 50 degree weather are all explanations talked about day-in and day-out around here. It's fun in the way that they describe the problem of hot flashes, but I promise you there is a sincere cry for help when they get to the point of seeing me to help uncover the problem. I remember a patient a few years ago that sat in the chair and dripped with sweat as I tried to interview her. It was sad to have to watch her suffer in that way but there was an even greater problem that the hot flashes had brought about. The affection of her spouse had dimished because of her constant and profuse sweating. She felt half-human at that point and really needed some answers.
So what happens when a "Hot Flash" strikes? (no pun intended.....I told you I've heard them all)
Vasomotor flushing is the technical term and happens when blood vessels in the skin of the head and neck open more widely than usual, allowing more blood to shift into that area. This creates the heat and redness that a woman feels during a "Hot Flash". The reasons for the onset of the hot flash can be many, but usually are the result of declining estrogens and rising levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The real problem is that one never knows when they are going to happen. NEWS BULLETIN!!!..... Usually 'hot flashes' will occur right during something very important or when you are in front of A LOT of people. (Murphys Law right?)
What should you do if you are feeling Hot, Hot, Hot?
Hormone testing (saliva is my preference) helps to identify the degree to which things are out-of-whack and should always be used as a guide for care and treatment. Everyday, I work with M.D.'s, Nurse Practitioners, and PA's from all over the area and in other states who are more than welcome to call and discuss your care plan with me. Why? Because a patient should use only the hormones that are identified as deficient and not something that is convenient and packed with unnecessary components for their body. I suggest a full hormone panel before doing ANYthing in the world of hormones. In my patients, I require Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, and sometimes DHEA, and Cortisol levels to be tested. Hormone testing just gives a good picture of what's going on inside. The other important part of the process is a patient interview. This helps me to consider other health concerns and family history information.
Throughout the years I have been surprised a few times to see that the problem was not estrogen, but one of the other hormones (that I mentioned above) being out of balance. There have also been a few times that the problem was not hormonal, but a stress related condition for which I recommended herbal remedies and lifestyle changes. Honestly, it would have been terrible to put estrogen therapy on board with these patients when estrogen wasn't the problem at all. That's why I enjoy serving in the field of customized medicine. It's about each person and each need and it's why this field of medicine is growing almost exponentially throughout the country. "Cookie cutter" medicine is simply not the best approach to hormone problems anymore.
So if you're "all fired up" and feeling Hot Hot Hot, please don't hesitate to give me a call.
Maybe I can help cool things down a bit for you.
To your good health,
Sitting at work or at home for hours at a time could be cutting years off your life, doctors say.
“The chair is out to kill us,” James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, told the Los Angeles Times.
And it’s not just trouble for our tushes. Keeping your cheeks planted poisons the rest of the body as well, said Dr. Anup Kanodia of Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. “Sitting is the new smoking,” the doctor declared. The doctors weighed in after researchers in Australia discovered that serial sitting slows the metabolism and increases the risk of a heart attack and stroke.
Slugs who roost on their rumps at least 11 hours a day increased their death risk by 40%, they found.