Hey Karen, hot flashes are a PAIN. Especially when they wake you up! Gah.
Very few of the "normal" solutions worked for me. ANYTHING that is slightly estrogenic increased my hot flashes. That includes hops, licorice, black cohosh, skullcap, and other herbs and foods I was surprised to learn can be estrogenic but can't recall right now. It's supposed to be the reverse. So with the seed cycling stuff, since it's more adaptogenic
(which I think is key for me), I largely stuck with the estrogen balancing seeds, the flax
and pumpkin, and that helped me the most. Since I was doing that, it didn't matter how irregular my cycles were. And by the way, others with irregular or ceased cycles some times follow the moon cycles for their seed cycling.
That said, I've since learned a number of things after working with a simply stellar Naturopath in Missoula (Christine White, N.D. at Black Bear
Naturopathic Clinic if anyone local wants a recommendation).
I think Sharol's comments about licorice and inflammation are spot on, though my system was so depressed in several key ways that my body was not able to respond to very simple stressors or inflammation. Little things were taking forever to heal or recover and I'm simply not *that* old yet!!
a) my thyroid was not in balance, not supported as it should be - which is connected to all the other hormone/endrocrine systems. We're rebalancing all that.
b) my body dumps iodine, which is a necessary precursor to all of these other hormone/endocrine things - I feel better on a kelp or iodine supplement.
c) my progesterone is weak but fairly decent, and my estrogen is dominant - this was learned from a fantastic hormone test Dr. White had me take - we are balancing this with supplements.
d) my cortisol levels are off / my adrenals are depleted, which also affects hormones and endocrines, so we're supporting that, too.
e) for years my liver has shown little hints of stress (non-alcoholic fatty liver, sort of, maybe..) so this article hit home for me: https://www.liverdoctor.com/case-study-hot-flashes-and-fatty-liver/
Currently, one of the helpful supplements I'm taking does have licorice, which has made me more prone to hot flashes in the past. And sure enough
, in the evenings, I'm getting little hot flashes again (without the full-on sweats) that I haven't had in months. I'm okay with it for now, since I think once my systems are back balanced, I won't take that supplement any more, or I could switch to something without the licorice.
Your things might be the reverse of this - maybe your progesterone is dominant, and your estrogen is weak...who knows? So, of course
, don't follow exactly what I'm doing. I'm just hoping some of it might lead to ideas for you.
In reviewing all my tests that showed the a) through d) above, Dr. White said she didn't know how I was getting out of bed in the morning! And now that I have more energy
and mental clarity, I see what she means. So. much. better.
Here's hoping you, too, find ways to reduce your hot flashes and night sweats!