Hot flashes: ovary or adrenal problem?

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 26 April 2016

presentcircumstancesAre you suffering from hot flashes and have tried some "natural" remedies that haven't really helped? Are you wanting to avoid hormone replacement therapy (HRT) but don't know what to take? Are you on HRT and are still getting hot flashes?

Sometimes hot flashes are a sign of an adrenal problem and not an ovary problem.

As your ovaries shut down (if you are a woman), you start making less and less estrogen and progesterone throughout menopause. This doesn't mean that you stop making these hormones completely though. You will still make small amounts of both of these hormones in your adrenal glands once the ovary factory has closed up for good.

When women have more hot flashes during the day, there needs to be proper support for estrogen detoxification as well as phytoestrogen and phytoprogesterone support. In severe cases the use of bioidentical hormones may be very beneficial.

When women have more night sweats, I want to support the adrenal glands and balance blood sugar. It is more likely weak adrenal function and too many carbs in the diet that are the underlying cause of their symptoms, not a lack of estrogen.

The best test to identify your particular hormonal pattern is a saliva hormone panel. The one I currently use with patients is through the lab Rocky Mountain Analytical. More commonly however, after taking a patient's case and a non-invasive physical exam I often have a good clinical estimation on where we need to start. All of the options are presented to the patient for them to make the final decision.

Now I would love to hear from you! Have you ever thought about your adrenals as being part of the  problem with your hormones? What worked for you to help your hot flashes? Leave your comments below and I will be back next week with another Doctor as Teacher Tuesday.

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