Hormonal hot flashes and night sweats
Many women experience this symptom during pre-menopause and menopause. Of the three most troublesome symptoms (according to my survey), weight gain, hot flashes and lack of sleep, heat comes second.
This menopausal symptom has a direct impact on women’s quality of life and has tangible repercussions on other symptoms such as lack of sleep, loss of self-esteem, lack of concentration, and many others.
Can we get rid of them?
It is widely believed that hot flashes are due to a lack of estrogen or at least a decrease in the secretion of these hormones.
In an ideal world, women would experience no symptoms associated with this transition. So what causes 90% of women to have them?
We go back to square one to understand the basic workings of our hormones.
Here is some general information on estrogen. I use the word “estrogen” in the plural, because there really is no single compound called estrogen. The human body makes three different estrogenic hormones: estradiol, estrone and estriol.
Plants also produce estrogen-like compounds called phytoestrogens. These compounds are not chemically identical to the estrogens produced by the body, but they still bind to estrogen-receptor sites and influence reproductive health.
The endocrine system is a set of glands and cells that make hormones and release them into the bloodstream.
Hormones are natural substances that act as chemical messengers between different parts of the body. They control many functions including growth, reproduction, sexual function, sleep, hunger, mood and metabolism.
Estrogen has several functions: hydration of the skin, necessary for the development of the skeleton, (the skeleton protects the endocrine glands located in the pelvis, among others). Influences the development and functioning of the nervous system.
Some cells in the body are made up of proteins called receptors that react to a hormone. How a cell reacts depends on the hormone it is reacting to.
At the time of menopause we stop producing estrogen to create eggs in our ovaries and this is completely normal because our reproductive cycle ends. On the other hand, there is still estrogen that is dedicated to other functions and we need it for the second part of our life; brain, endometrium, vaginal dryness, etc.
Estrogen also has an impact on other hormones and a surplus also has an impact on these hormones and this phenomenon translates into symptoms, such as :
As mentioned above, hormones have specific functions in our bodies.
Every 4 hours, our body produces hormones; they enter the cells dedicated to do their work. At the same time, the hormones used (which entered 4 hours before) come out of the tissue in a toxic form called Xenoestrogen.
For example, in the heart, testosterone comes out as a xenoestrogen. Progesterone is used in the uterus and the xenoestrogen comes out.
So what happens to this xenoestrogen?
This is where the so-called 2:16 ratio comes into play.
The liver is one of the most important organs in the body and performs many metabolic and regulatory functions. It helps maintain energy sources in the blood, metabolizes hormones, and detoxifies drugs and other substances.
Xenoestrogen is metabolized by the liver in two stages (2) – it is these metabolic pathways that flush toxic hormones from our bodies through urine and stool.
Several factors influence the effectiveness of these metabolic pathways, also known as methylation, such as taking birth control pills and long-term medication.
If the pathway is broken and the xenoestrogen takes the other pathway i.e. (16), the xenoestrogen will return to block the Alpha and Beta receptors (for methylation), the xenoestrogen returns to the tissue from which it came and this creates symptoms.
What is Methylation?
To understand the term methylation, we must think that the human body is like a car. Methylation is the spark plug. Without it, everything stops because methylation is involved in more than a hundred biochemical reactions in our body.
Methylation is involved in DNA repair. It plays a role in the body’s ability to repair damaged cells before they become cancerous.
In addition to the brain, the liver also uses methylation to perform its role in detoxifying the body.
Among the liver’s detoxification functions, methylation will help remove toxins from the body. Specifically, methylation will convert all kinds of molecules that are insoluble, less soluble or soluble in fat into water-soluble compounds. This then allows the body to eliminate them more easily.
Simply put, methylation is somewhat comparable to “tagging” a substance and then altering it to allow the body to move and excrete it. The molecules will exit either through the bile and thus the seals, or through the kidneys and thus the urine.
If the methylation pathways or any other metabolic detoxification pathway are overloaded with molecules to be converted and eliminated, but the body does not hold the nutrients in sufficient quantities to pursue these goals, it will be in a situation of blockage, of “toxic” charge.
We do not know how to measure an individual’s methylation capacity. But the effects of sub-methylation can be observed in premature aging, cancer, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, depression.
What is Excess Xenoestrogen?
Excess xenoestrogen means excess methylation work for our liver.
Another way to accumulate xenoestrogen (toxic estrogen) is to have it enter our body artificially, through makeup, hormone replacement therapy, bottled water, etc.
Xenoestrogens, which we could call artificial, are environmental pollutants that have an activity similar to that of estrogens.
These compounds are one of the main causes of reproductive health problems in women and men because they attach to and over-stimulate estrogen receptor sites. This leads to changes in estrogen-sensitive tissues, such as the breasts, uterus and prostate.
Xenoestrogens stimulate abnormal changes in these tissues, causing problems such as cysts in the breasts, uterine fibroids, an enlarged prostate and cancer.
Do Xenoestrogens Also Affect Men?
A small amount of estrogen is needed in men to prevent bone loss and for libido. The fact that men have only a small amount of estrogen is also the reason why hormone replacement is much safer for them.
As a man ages, his testosterone decreases, allowing his body to build up fat, especially around his belly. Belly fat contains an enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen.
The increase in estrogen and decrease in testosterone makes men feel bad.
Excess estrogen combined with DHT, the strongest form of testosterone, promotes BPH, or a swollen prostate.
Xenoestrogens contribute to testicular tissue death in men and boys, depression caused by testosterone suppression, premature aging, infertility and obesity.
The link between xenoestrogens and obesity can be easily seen by the high rates of obesity in areas where there is high exposure to xenoestrogens (farms in the Midwest and Deep Industrial South in the United States). Men should therefore also avoid xenoestrogens and consider balancing their hormones.
Hormonal Regulation – Rebalance
Methylation supports the liver by restoring adequate levels of estrogen.
This role alone helps to maintain proper regulation of other hormones and to decrease or even eliminate symptoms.
It is therefore recommended that hormones be harmonized to restore balance and avoid long-term problems.
In addition, methylation helps reduce inflammation by removing toxic compounds from the body, balancing hormones and contributing to the synthesis of neurotransmitters.
Signs And Symptoms Of Poor Methylation
- Fatigue, the general constant lack of energy. Mitochondria often chronically lack the nutrients to function.
- Recurrent miscarriages.
- Anxiety, panic attacks
- Insomnia and sleep disorders
Estrogen is produced, so xenoestrogen is also produced. Normally this toxic estrogen takes metabolic pathway 2 to the liver, is methylated and excreted in the urine and feces.
Option Two: Estrogen is produced, therefore xenoestrogen is also produced, normally this toxic estrogen takes metabolic pathway 2 to the liver, but for reasons we have already explained, it happens that the metabolic pathway does not work well and it takes another pathway (16), blocks the Alpha and Beta receptors, returns to the tissue of origin and creates hot flashes or hormonal fever, which tells us that we are not methylating and eliminating the toxic hormones.
Fortunately, there are natural ways to restart the methylation of these hormones and manage the symptoms associated with this defect in our system.
It is obvious that we cannot completely avoid chemicals such as xenoestrogens in our lives, so it is also important to ensure the proper functioning of the methylation phase by supporting the liver.
Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that help enzyme pathways in the liver to break down excess estrogen. Eating broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and other vegetables from the mustard family is a great way to support your liver’s ability to detoxify.
Foods rich in phytoestrogens (soybeans, tofu, hop cones, clover, alfalfa, carrots, garlic, lentils, chickpeas, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, etc.) can also help protect the body from estrogen pollution. Phytoestrogens tend to be very weak in their effects, but they block the estrogen-receptor sites, so the more powerful xenoestrogens cannot bind to them.
Phytoestrogens are well known for their beneficial effects on bone health (prevention of osteoporosis) and heart health (prevention of arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease).
Soy products are widely promoted for their phytoestrogenic effects, but too much soy is not good for you, so don’t overdo it with soy products.
Instead, eat a wide variety of foods rich in phytoestrogens, such as those listed above.
The secret is always to eat a balanced diet of course.
If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, and you wish to rebalance your hormones to regain your quality of life, I invite you to contact me.
Je vous invite à participer à mon sondage: Est-ce que mon alimentation a un impact sur les symptômes de la ménopause?