Hot Flashes and Gut Health

Weird thought for the day:  Wouldn’t it be interesting if my ups and downs were actually a manifestation of bipolar disorder and have absolutely nothing to do with food or supplements?  Hm….


Trying a bunch of stuff lately.  My two biggest problems at the moment are fixing my leaky gut (and thus fixing my depression, food intolerances, and probably some other metabolic maladies) and making hot flashes go away.  Blood sugar is probably 3rd on the list, followed by concern over thyroid health and vascular health.

I’m finding that in general, hot flashes are pretty much just accepted as an inevitable inconvenience associated with getting older.  I joined a couple of peri-menopause groups on facebook and everyone is complaining about hot flashes and no one has any idea what to do about them.  There’s another group called Sisters in Estrogen Dominance that is more focused on using biomedical interventions rather than just complaining, but even in that group there does not seem to be much consensus about treating hot flashes.  Ray Peat says to take Progest E.  Well, I am….again.  I’ve been taking 3 drops every 2 hours (about 80mg of progesterone daily) and hot flashes continue at the same frequency and intensity they had before, occurring every 75-90 minutes and causing me to look like I just ran a 5K in July when really I’m just sitting in an air conditioned room sipping a cool beverage.   Yesterday I had a meeting with my supervisor lasting 90 minute.  In that time I had 2 hot flashes.  Twice trying to mop sweat off my face in a manner that wasn’t too obvious.  I don’t know this supervisor well enough to open up about my hormonal concerns, so I just pretended everything was fine.  It’s so uncomfortable.  Socially and physically.

I remember about 15 years ago seeing Christiane Northrup on Oprah and she was talking about menopause and how the symptoms of menopause can be treated, which often involves giving up things like alcohol, late nights and other physiological stressors because you just can’t physically tolerate things like that anymore.  I wonder if I’m experiencing this in my inability to tolerate dairy.  I can’t help but notice that hot flashes went away at the same time I stopped eating dairy in March (although I changed other things too), and then came back when I started eating dairy again 30 days later, and then went away when I stopped again, and then came back when I started again.

I guess I better stop eating dairy.

Full disclosure here…I got discouraged about feeling shitty all the time and started eating dairy again a few days ago. It had been 3 or 4 weeks since the last time and the hot flashes were still hanging around.  I noticed the first two times I gave up dairy it took weeks for the hot flashes to die down.  I think part of me doesn’t want to accept this.  Ok, I accept it.  I’m not like other people.  I can’t just wing it.

Some levity:

Anyway, new things I’m trying right now:

  • bombing myself with progesterone/vitamin E (will probably stop if hot flashes continue through today at the same rate and intensity)
  • Black Cohosh – I’ve been taking this for about 2 weeks for the hot flashes.  No difference yet.
  • 5-10g of L-glutamine per day
  • Turmeric – 2-3 Teaspoons of Golden Paste per day, added to food (eggs, salad dressings)

Actually my digestion has improved since I started the probiotic, turmeric, and L-glutamine.  (Sorry, I don’t know which one is actually helping.  I try to isolate variables but if I gave everything an appropriate evaluation time this would all just take too long.)  I notice I can eat a wider variety of foods now without mood problems or bloating including rice, sugar, and bread.  I don’t feel as good for other reasons (increased hunger, blood sugar swings) so I won’t be continuing those every day, but I try every now and then.

I’ll be stopping the 2nd round of antimicrobials….maybe today.  It’s time to rebuild.

Plan going forward: back to a low-carb paleo plan, mostly eggs, meat, veggies, and saturated fats.  I felt great doing that back in April so I’ll go that direction again.

6 thoughts on “Hot Flashes and Gut Health

  1. If you can handle some rice and sugar why not keep it as such for now. 80 mg is a big dose for progesterone. Once it kicks in try to reduce it. the glutamine is for leaky gut?

  2. The rice and sugar is making my blood sugar swing all over the place, they’re increasing my hunger and my weight is up a few pounds. As long as I’m still carrying around a lot of abdominal fat my work isn’t done and I shouldn’t be eating a lot of carbs. I’m done with progesterone already. I took high doses for a week and feel absolutely no impact on my hot flashes. I tried it again out of desperation, but it seems to me that if the problem is a lack of progesterone I should be seeing some shift. Yes, the glutamine is for leaky gut.

  3. Interesting!! I’ve been searching for 2 years to find out why I’m having these relentless hot flashes. I’m 65, way past menopause, and am having flashes every day & night, some days they’re coming 15 minutes apart! I have celiac disease, adrenal fatigue, leaky gut, & an overgrowth of yeast in my system, ugh!! Am now seeing a functional medicine doc, but so far no improvement. She gave me a food sensitivity test and I’m surprised at some of the stuff I’m sensitive to. I figured out on my own that certain foods cause worse flashes, but because of the leaky gut & intolerances it seems I get flashes no matter what I eat. I would suggest the general food panel: IgG, it’s a blood test. I’m pretty sure the leaky gut is causing the flashes, but the healing is difficult, especially with the yeast overgrowth. Having a hell of a time getting rid of that, and thinking that needs to go in order for the gut to heal. What a mess!! I’m betting there are a ton of people out there that are having the same issues 😦

  4. Hey Tinker – I don’t know for sure if dairy had anything at all to do with my hot flashes. It seemed to, but then it didn’t. I think it makes sense to experiment though. I certainly don’t have it all figured out yet! I have had an IgG test – dairy was not identified as a food that I was intolerant to, but I have felt better without it. I’m not sure the testing that is currently available tells us what’s really going on. I wish you well in your health-seeking adventures. 🙂

  5. Thanks! Unfortunately with leaky gut you become sensitive to a lot of things, that’s why they tell you to vary your diet. Anything that leaks through the gut barrier can be seen as foreign & the bodies defenses attack it. Sucks, cuz it seems all the healthy stuff I was eating I can’t tolerate anymore 😬

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