by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© October 2010, The Center For Development
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms among women aged 40 to 60. A hot flash is a sudden sensation of heat, often accompanied by intense sweating and often a rapid heart rate. They usually begin in the face, head or neck area and may spread to the rest of the body.
They may be more common in hot weather, and usually last 2 to 30 minutes. Hot flashes at night when one is asleep are among the worst, as they can wake a person up several times a night. This is one of the most common times when women experience them.
Men do not seem to experience them, or at least not very often. Men who are castrated often experience them. This would point to a hormonal involvement.
To stop hot flashes, medical and other doctors usually offer estrogen and progesterone replacement hormones, and perhaps herbs that stimulate hormone production. However, ALL hormone replacement, even bio-identical hormones, carry some risk of cancer, strokes and heart disease, so responsible doctors often suggest trying other alternatives first.
This article explores the underlying reasons for hot flashes, and remedies that are safe.
THE THYROID AND HOT FLASHES
I have observed that a product we use often called Thyro-complex often stop hot flashes quickly and easily. Thyro-complex is distributed by Endomet Laboratories in Phoenix, Arizona. It contains glandular extract of thyroid, thymus, spleen and adrenal glands. It also contains some kelp and a few vitamins. It contains no appreciable amounts of any hormones and it contains no herbs other than kelp, which is a vegetable.
The fact that this product works so well, so often, interests me. It points to a connection between hot flashes and thyroid activity. Thyroid and adrenal gland activity is least during the night. This may be why hot flashes often occur during the night.
BORON STOPS HOT FLASHES IN SOME CASES
Another observation I have made is that a nutritional supplement of boron, about 3 mg, one to three tablets daily, also often stops hot flashes. Not too much is known about the mechanism of this action. However, boron is known as an essential nutrient for plants, and an essential trace mineral for human beings as well. It is possible that a subtle deficiency of this element is involved in hot flashes as well.
WHICH WOMEN TEND TO GET HOT FLASHES?
I find that it is the women who push themselves hard. These are sometimes working women, or those who stay up too late, those who do not take the best care of themselves, those who are nutritionally depleted, or just those who like to drive around a lot, go shopping, and go out a lot.
In contrast, women who are well-nourished, who rest a lot, and care for themselves very well do not seem to suffer from severe hot flashes. I have observed this repeatedly.
Studies show that Asian women have fewer hot flashes, and this may be because they are better nourished, or perhaps because they are more traditional and not as often pushing themselves to copy the men and be out in the working world. In other words, they may care for themselves better.
Some say the reason is that Asian women eat a lot of soy products. However, this is not really true. They eat some soy products, but most do not eat a lot of tofu, tempeh, soy sauce and miso.
This is a misconception that is often used to sell women on the idea that they must eat a lot of soy. Also, the Asian women eat the naturally fermented soy, not the “junk food” soy that Americans eat which consists of textured vegetable protein, soy powders, and even soy milk, though that is at least a natural product.
This takes us back to the possibility that hot flashes have something to do with what we call sympathetic dominance, which means a person who overuses the sympathetic nervous system. Eventually it becomes depleted, and the thyroid and adrenal glandular activity diminishes.
WHY DON’T MEN HAVE HOT FLASHES?
Loads of men certainly have sympathetic dominance and a depleted glandular system. Yet few suffer with hot flashes. There must be a reason. I believe it may be because:
1. Women’s hormones change abruptly at menopause, whereas men’s hormone levels decline slowly with age, so they have more time and opportunity to adjust to their lower hormone levels.
2. Women are perhaps more stressed today than men.
3. Copper is higher in women and copper and estrogen are related and seem to play a role in hot flashes.
WHY DO NUTRITIONAL BALANCING AND AVOID HORMONE REPLACEMENT?
The short answer is that hormone replacement therapy is dangerous. Some people choose to try some soy products. However, these are all yin and somewhat toxic, in my experience, although they may help.
Often, all that is required is to rest more and the hot flashes will diminish. If this is not enough, then I suggest a nutritional balancing program.
In short, it is the difference between drugging and healing. It is the also the difference between the “magic bullet mentality” of allopathic and even herbal medicine, and really deep healing that is the concept of nutritional balancing science.
The differences between these two approaches are discussed in many articles on this website. However, it all comes down to how one wishes to live one’s life. Drugging can, indeed, take care of symptoms in many cases. However, drugging oneself for hot flashes or other things does nothing to improve one’s overall health. In fact, it makes it much worse.
All hormones are toxic, and all hormones taken by mouth or in creams or shots are completely unnatural to the body, which is supposed to make them and adjust their dosages minute by minute. We find that most are carcinogenic, even the all-natural, bio-identical hormones. These are better than synthetic ones, but not always that much better.
As mentioned above, soy products are not healthful foods, in general. They are too high in copper, very yin, often processed with harsh chemicals, contain enzyme and thyroid inhibitors and for all these reasons we don’t recommend them except maybe for a little tofu and tempeh.
In contrast, by following a healthful diet, resting more, and taking several targeted nutritional supplements, one is literally rejuvenating the glands and organs. One is removing toxic metals and toxic chemicals that are impeding the functioning of the adrenals, the thyroid and the ovaries.
This deep healing is the goal of nutritional balancing science. Nutritional balancing may not be for everyone, but it is available for those who want superb health ad rejuvenation, and not just drugging with hormones, herbs or even vitamins and minerals.
For more on hormone replacement, read Hormone Replacement Therapy on this website.