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Hot Flashes: Triggers to Avoid

woman with menopause holding a cup of coffee

You may not think about hot flashes until you’re in the middle of one that hit without any warning signs, and then you’re desperately trying to figure out how to remedy it. Being proactive and knowing what triggers to avoid is just as, if not more, important than treating a hot flash once it has struck. Menopause may be inevitable, but there are plenty of things you can do to at least reduce the number of hot flashes you have to endure. Here are some of the most common triggers that may bring on this symptom of menopause, and how you can work to avoid them.

 

Your Environment

If you live in an area that is typically hot, or if you’re in a building that has the heat on high, you are more likely to experience hot flashes. Dress for the weather, have drinking water available, and when possible, use air conditioning.

 

Hot Food and Beverages

Both hot in temperature as well as spicy food can be potential triggers for hot flashes. Whether it’s a bowl of soup, coffee, hot tea, or hot sauce, your body temperature will climb due to the temperature of what you’re consuming, and due to the heat that is produced when your body is digesting. In addition to the heat of coffee, caffeine has also been known to make individuals more prone to hot flashes.

 

Smoking

You already know about many of the negative effects smoking can have on your body, and triggering hot flashes is another one you can add to the list. For avoiding hot flashes, cigarettes and secondhand smoke should always be avoided.

 

Dehydration

Staying hydrated is important at all times, no matter what’s going on in your life, but it is especially important while your body’s hormones are constantly fluctuating. Drinking plenty of water is good for your overall health, and consuming cool or cold water will aid in keeping your body at a good temperature for avoiding hot flashes.

 

Hot Tub or Bath

Although this can be extremely relaxing, the hot and steamy environment will quickly escalate your body’s core temperature. As was mentioned previously, this can potentially lead to, yes, a hot flash.
Every woman’s body will respond differently to different possible triggers. Ideally, it is a good idea to steer clear of every item listed, but we know that’s not always possible.  Be mindful of these and when you discover which ones you are affected by, you will know what to avoid. Be sure to read our blog on hot flash remedies. If you’d like to know more about clinical research being conducted for hot flashes, click here.

Eat Good Food. Lower Bad Cholesterol.

older couple eating healthy breakfast

If you or a loved one suffer from having high cholesterol, you know there’s a whole list of foods that your doctor has probably told you not to eat. There are plenty of foods that can lead to high cholesterol, but what about the foods you should eat? Rather than focusing on what not to do, let’s take a look at some of the things you can eat that will help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) – all of which are still pretty tasty. So, here are seven foods you can feel good about eating.

 

Nuts

Here’s a food that’s perfect for snacking, and will help reduce your cholesterol levels. A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a significant reduction in LDL when participants consumed walnuts or almonds. Although these nuts are good for your heart, they are high in calories, so portion control is key here.

 

Oats

Changing up your breakfast a bit could be a big factor in lowering cholesterol. Adding two servings of oats to your morning meal could reduce LDL by about 5% in just six weeks. The key player in oats is a substance called beta-glucan that absorbs LDL, which is later excreted by the body.

 

Salmon and Fatty Fish

If you’re not getting sufficient amounts of Omega-3 in your diet, here is the perfect opportunity to increase your fish oil intake while decreasing your bad cholesterol. Omega-3 has been shown to fight heart disease, dementia, and a number of other health risks. When you replace saturated fats with the ones found in salmon, sardines, and herring, you may be able to raise HDL (that’s the good kind) by as much as 4%.

 

Beans

Surely you heard the little rhyme when you were a kid. Well, beans truly are good for your heart. Research was conducted at Arizona State University Polytechnic and they discovered that adding half a cup of beans to soup has the potential to reduce total cholesterol by as much as 8%.

 

Garlic

Not only is garlic capable of making just about any dish delicious, but it’s also great for lowering LDL. It can help prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure, and fight infections. New studies have found that it can help stop artery-clogging plaque early on by preventing cholesterol particles from clinging to artery walls. Two to four fresh cloves a day are recommended for maximum potency.

 

Spinach

Commonly referred to as a superfood, spinach is packed full of lutein which is found in dark leafy green vegetables and egg yolks. Lutein was already known for its many benefits to our eye health, but now research says that consuming just half a cup a day of foods rich in lutein can help your body guard against heart attacks by fighting off cholesterol invaders that may cause clogging.

 

Avocado

While not quite as diverse as garlic, avocado is delicious, versatile, and a good source of monounsaturated fat, which is a type of fat with the potential to raise HDL while lowering LDL. Additionally, avocado is rich in beta-sitosterol, a plant-based fat that lowers the amount of cholesterol the body absorbs from food. Like nuts, these tasty fruits are a little high in calories, so moderation is key here once again.
Eating healthy often gets a bad rap for being bland or boring, but all of these foods – especially paired with the right recipe – can be made into an amazing meal. There are many great websites that have several terrific recipes, so take a look around and find the heart-healthy recipe that’s perfect for you. And, if you’d like to learn about the latest clinical research for high cholesterol, click here.

Treating Hot Flashes with Natural Remedies

woman with menopause

If you are one of the three-quarters of women who experience hot flashes as a symptom of menopause, you know how uncomfortable they can be, and what kind of impact they can have on your daily activities. The sudden rise in temperature, night sweats, nausea, headache, or any of the other burdens of hot flashes can strike day or night, and can make you miserable for as little as a few seconds, or up to several minutes. Menopause is a naturally occurring part of life for any woman, so rather than simply dealing with hot flashes, find out what you can do to minimize their effect and frequency. Many women have found hormone replacement therapy to be an effective menopause treatment, but you may be able to find relief with these five natural remedies.

 

Stay Cool

Seems pretty obvious, right? While your body is going through the many changes of menopause, it can be sensitive to slight increases in core temperature. It is a good idea to dress in layers, so that you can remove a layer if you start to feel warm. Summer is quickly approaching, so using fans and air conditioning will be an essential part of keeping cool. If you have control of the temperature settings, try lowering it a bit, and if you think a hot flash may be coming on, try sipping on a cold drink.

 

Eat Healthy

There are a number of foods out there that have been found to contribute to hot flashes. Certain things like dairy products, meats, caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods can all possibly increase your chances of experiencing a hot flash. Once you’ve identified your triggers, it will be easier to avoid them. Instead, go for non-GMO soy foods to satisfy your body’s need for protein. Foods like soybeans and other products that contain estrogenic compounds (genistein and daidzein) may be able to help control hot flashes.

 

Reduce Stress

Even in non-menopausal women, stress may lead to hot flashes due to an increase in body temperature caused by adrenaline being released into the blood. The hormonal levels in menopausal women are constantly changing, and this can lead to chronic stress. Reducing stress could help relieve hot flashes. Try meditation, slow deep breathing, listening to calming music, or other stress-reducing activities.

 

Vitamin E Intake

Vitamin E has been shown to reduce the intensity of hot flashes experienced by menopausal women. A study performed by Tarbiat Modarres University tested the effects of vitamin E on 54 patients. Upon completion of the study, it was found that patients who took the vitamin E soft gel cap experienced a reduction in the severity of hot flashes.

 

Dress Comfortably

Tight fitting or warm clothes can make hot flash symptoms worse. Women should opt to wear loose clothing that is light and airy, especially around the vaginal and abdominal areas. Stay cool and comfortable to reduce the number of hot flashes you may experience during the day.
Following these recommendations can be a great way to find relief from hot flashes. If you experience severe episodes, you should consult your doctor to find out what other options are available. Additionally, you can learn more about clinical research for hot flashes here.

Can Pets Help With Migraines?

person with a migraine cuddling a dog

There’s no doubt, our pets are some pretty amazing creatures. After a long day, you can always count on them to greet you with a warm heart and a cold nose. Having a pet has been shown to help with many things, from lowering blood pressure to detecting changes in blood sugar levels. So, it only makes sense that pets may be able to help those who suffer from migraines as well. If you are one of the more than 37 million Americans that suffer from migraines, here are some of the possible benefits of having a furry friend.

Chemical Change

The same way pets can help with depression and anxiety, whenever you interact with a furry or feathered companion it causes oxytocin to be released. This same chemical that is generated at childbirth can have a variety of positive effects. Due to the many benefits of an animal’s presence, researchers have looked into other areas like behavioral, mental, and heart-related issues.

Great Company

Dogs and cats can form strong bonds with their owners. When someone is suffering from a migraine, rather than spending long hours in a dark room alone, their pet can offer relief through keeping them company. This companionship has the potential to improve a migraine sufferer’s outlook and daily life.

Welcome Distraction

Oftentimes when we are suffering from pain, sadness, or any kind of discomfort, a distraction can help put our focus on something other than what’s bothering us. When pet owners focus their attention on their pet, it may help alleviate some of the pain of a migraine. Whether it’s simply petting them to calm yourself, or watching them play, their ability to distract and bring joy are great. The socialization and affection we get from these animals are great as well; pets can help prevent a migraine sufferer from feeling alone, offering comfort as they battle chronic migraine pain.

Positive Outlook

Caring for a pet can offer a sense of purpose as they are a responsibility. When someone suffers from chronic pain, it can become difficult to get motivated to get up and moving. Having to get up to feed, walk, or interact with a pet helps give migraine sufferers the mobility they need to keep muscles and tissues conditioned, and can improve circulation, joint health, and more.

Each individual who struggles with migraines is different. Pets may not be a good fit for everyone, but if you’re an animal lover, the list of benefits is quite substantial. Be sure to read our 3 Pill-less Remedies for Migraine Headaches blog post for other ways you can manage migraines.

To learn more about clinical research for migraines and other topics, click HERE or call us directly at 817-281-4156.

Magnesium: Good for Your Heart. Good for Diabetes.

magnesium based diet benefits diabetes and heart

As one of the seven macrominerals, magnesium plays a big part in our everyday lives and the effort to stay healthy, so it’s important to get enough and avoid a magnesium deficiency. There are many magnesium rich foods, but if you’re going to take a magnesium supplement, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor first. There are many possible benefits of magnesium and for almost every part of the human body. For now, we’re going to focus on heart health and magnesium’s role in those affected by diabetes.

For Your Heart

Magnesium is key for muscle health and your heart is no exception. In addition to aiding in muscle strength, magnesium also helps with the transmission of electrical signals from the heart to the body. With proper magnesium intake, the risk of atherosclerosis and hypertension may be reduced.

Many studies have recently shown that if large amounts of calcium are consumed without proper magnesium levels, the risk of arterial calcification, cardiovascular disease, and kidney stones increases. Individuals with the greatest magnesium intake were shown to have a 58% lower chance of developing coronary artery calcification and a 34% lower risk of abdominal artery calcification.

If magnesium is quickly administered after a heart attack, the risk of mortality is lessened. Additionally, magnesium has been used as part of congestive heart failure treatment  in order to reduce the possibility of arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm).

For Diabetes

Magnesium is a key component in metabolizing glucose and carbohydrates, so understandably magnesium levels can have an effect on diabetes. Many studies have shown the inverse relationship between appropriate magnesium levels and the risk of diabetes. Keeping within a healthy range, For every additional 100 mg/day – keeping within a healthy range – the risk of developing type 2 diabetes goes down by 15%. Most of the magnesium in the studies was taken in by food, not supplements. When 300 to 365 mg of magnesium were consumed each day, an increase in insulin sensitivity could be found.

Additionally, researchers found that low magnesium levels led to impaired insulin secretion and sensitivity to insulin decreased.

Magnesium has been shown to have many other benefits as well. From migraines to bone health, magnesium places a significant role in your body’s well being. Most health professionals recommend getting your magnesium from your diet if possible. You can see some foods that are high in magnesium HERE.

To learn more about clinical research for diabetes and other topics, click HERE or call us directly at 817-281-4156.