The outside thermostats are definitely rising this summer. But the heat outside shouldn’t mean sudden bursts of “personal” heat, otherwise known as hot flashes!

Oddly enough, I have personally experienced fewer hot flashes when I am at the beach! Is that a strange but true fact? Indeed it is. But there is a great explanation. It’s not the outdoor temperature which contributes to those hot flashes, it’s actually Cortisol fluctuations that wreak havoc on our internal thermostat.

Many women are surprised to discover that their saliva tests indicate significant imbalance with their adrenal glands. These tiny glands located right above each kidney secrete a number of hormones to help the body deal with stress. Cortisol is commonly called the “stress hormone” due to its involvement in your response to stressful situations.

Adrenal fatigue from chronic stressors such as blood sugar imbalance, inflammation, insomnia, as well as emotional issues can manifest itself through intense hot flashes and/or night sweats. Unless Cortisol levels are measured, it’s difficult to treat because both high and low levels can have the same symptoms. Healthy adrenal glands significantly improve a sense of well-being!

Insulin resistance also contributes to those personal internal fireworks. Because insulin, like cortisol, is a major hormone, it is very difficult to establish hormone balance between estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone until your insulin metabolism is balanced. In other words, those relentless surges of heat will continue to bombard your body if too much insulin is allowed to build up.

Excess blood sugar from simple carbohydrate intake causes our body to release more insulin. This initially allows our cells to receive glucose and keep blood levels normalized. After a while, our cells become resistant to insulin, and so levels increase. Prolonged elevations of glucose and insulin eventually disrupt cellular metabolism and spread inflammation. The good news is that we can evaluate both hormones at Seasons and implement healthy changes.

Most people believe that low Estrogen can be the major culprit for hot flashes. While this can certainly be a factor, the opposite is also true! Many health care providers prescribe transdermal hormones and then remeasure with a blood (serum) test in a few months. When levels have not improved, doses are increased. Symptoms may become exacerbated with new ones such as breast tenderness, weight gain, depression, acne, and hair loss noted.

Transdermal hormones quickly enter the bloodstream but then are transported to hormone receptors in tissues all over the body. Serum (blood) tests will not measure these levels.Saliva testing will reveal more accurate levels as well as identify how your body metabolizes each hormone. At Seasons, we will design a customized wellness plan to balance your hormones using such strategies as removing excess hormones through detoxification or safely providing accurate doses for symptom relief and optimum health.

If you have noted record highs with your internal thermostat, give us a call. We would love to help you adjust the temperature with our restorative health plans. There are many variables causing similar symptoms, not just the summer weather!

In the meantime, identify stressors and change your routines. Don’t forget to play and have fun this summer, eat your veggies, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep! And if you have had record highs but were able to quench them, share your comments with us. Hot flashes don’t have to be inevitable during the summer months…or anytime, for that matter.

 

Nan Sprouse, RN, MSN, FNP-BC

Nan Sprouse, FNP-BC, received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at University of Tennessee, Knoxville and her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Carson Newman College. Nan is currently completing a fellowship in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. Nan is a member of the Tennessee Nurses Association.

Nan has been married to Randy Sprouse for over 30 years. Their family consists of 4 sons of whom three are married to incredible young ladies! She has one granddaughter and another one soon to be born.

Nan’s desire is to help people have abundant life through all stages of life. Many health issues ranging from weight gain, depression, sleep issues; sex drive, energy, and self esteem have strong correlations to hormone balance. Using innovative testing through saliva and blood work, accurate measurements can be obtained and then corrected.

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