Hot Flashes: How to Eliminate Them Naturally
FeaturingAnna Cabeca, DO, OBGYN, FACOG
Rebekah Kelley: Welcome to the Humanized podcast, all about personalizing your health. I am your host, Rebekah Kelley, and today we’ll be discussing Hot Flashes with Dr. Anna Cabeca. Before I introduce Dr. Cabeca, I want to remind everyone to subscribe and get all of our variety of casts in audio, video and transcription at HumanizedHealth.com. I’d also like to thank our lead sponsor, Village Green Apothecary, at MyVillageGreen.com.
A little bit about Dr. Anna Cabeca. She is a triple board certified and fellow of gynecology and obstetrics, integrative medicine, and anti-aging and regenerative medicine. Nationally known as “the girlfriend doctor,” Dr. Anna is a passionate health advocate for women, helping them truly thrive in body, mind and spirit. She is the author of two highly acclaimed books, created several popular virtual transformation programs, created several top-selling health products, and is a sought-after lecturer throughout the world. And luckily we have her here with us today. Thanks for being with us, Dr. Anna.
Anna Cabeca: It’s a pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Rebekah Kelley: So we’re talking about hot flashes, right? So women are certainly… We fear this stage of life, right? Where we have hot flashes, erratic emotions, weight gain, the list of things goes on. Brain fog. How do you help women move through these stages and feel empowered rather than doomed?
Anna Cabeca: Well, I think this is a really important thing to discuss because for so many people, they’ve been told, oh, it’ll go away on its own. And I have known people now that have come to me and have had suffering with hot flashes for over 20 years. So, it is not something you have to experience. There are ways that we can fix it, for sure.
Rebekah Kelley: Setting the tone about, how can you help us feel empowered rather than doomed? Cause I know in your book, when I read it, I felt so empowered. You just set the tone for what that is.
Anna Cabeca: I think it’s so important that we are empowered ourselves, naturally, and realize how much power we have. And that’s one thing I want people to take back. Stop giving your power away to marketing, to pharma, to procedures. Take it back. Take it back on your own so that we can breeze through menopause into the second spring of our life, where we can fully experience and express our feminine empowerment.
Rebekah Kelley: So, menopause affects everyone differently. And we’re basically here to talk about hot flashes, right? So what do you think triggers hot flashes?
Anna Cabeca: So, one of the primary triggers that we don’t talk about – and actually until I went through my own experience with my second menopause, I didn’t realize – it’s insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a key reason women will have hot flashes for like 20 years. And certainly estrogen plays a role. The fact that we live in climate-controlled life, that plays a role. But insulin resistance is key because in 2 weeks of doing my Keto-Green™ [diet] , 80-90% of women say their hot flashes have completely resolved.
And I think that’s what’s really, again, empowering when we make these changes, and WE did it, right? We didn’t put on an estrogen patch. Although I’m fine with that, right? But WE did that. And the changes in our lifestyle and our behavior makes a huge difference on our physiology. That’s powerful.
Rebekah Kelley: So how can we eliminate or minimize or even prevent them, naturally and organically, then?
Anna Cabeca: First it’s really identify when you’re getting them. How are they affecting you? Is it just at night or is it all throughout the day? I mean, for some women it’s every 20 minutes. For others, they just wake up in the middle of the night, soaking wet with hot flashes or night sweat. And there’s a couple of reasons there. It can be a cortisol surge in the middle of the night that’s waking you up and creating that hot flash because of… also, it relates to blood sugar stability. So the first thing that we can all do to eliminate or reduce our risk of hot flashes, as well as Alzheimer’s, as well as cardiovascular disease, as well as metabolic syndrome, and to help us lose weight, it’s to manage glucose stability. So that means eliminate the majority of the carbohydrates that we’re eating from our diet and get into what I call the Keto-Green state, getting into ketosis in a healthy, clean way, because we know there can be keto dirty, but we want Keto-Green, which is keto clean. And that’s a good, healthy way. But with that is intermittent fasting and no more snacking. And at this time in our lives, two or three meals a day is fine. It’s fine. And snacking is going to increase hot flashes, it’s going to increase a metabolic stall, and it’s going to put on weight – and we don’t want any of that. There’s no reason for it.
Rebekah Kelley: So…
Anna Cabeca: And then hormones.
Rebekah Kelley: Okay, go ahead and talk about that.
Anna Cabeca: And then hormones. So we know certainly estrogen can be a huge benefit for hot flashes, but we never want to forget progesterone because progesterone has so many benefits for our brain and body overall. So we look at that. And bio-identical – when we choose hormones, we want to choose bio-identical hormones.
The second thing is, because the adrenal glands have such a huge influence on our body, on our metabolism, on our hormone health in general, and certainly affect our hot flashes, we want to use, often, adaptogens that can help us. So supplementing with adaptogens.
But a lifestyle factor that makes a key difference is empowering the alkalinizing behaviors. Like anything that increases oxytocin, like laughing, having fun, hiking, getting into nature, getting a good night’s sleep, exercising, moving your body in a way you love to move it, and of course intimacy – all of those things are going to increase oxytocin, lower cortisol, and help support you.
So between managing insulin and cortisol and optimizing oxytocin, you’re going to eliminate hot flashes, with rare exceptions.
Rebekah Kelley: So I kind of accidentally fell in. I didn’t have the benefit of your book. And I fell into actually discovering insulin resistance, and whenever I was able to calm down my body and my sugar spikes, I actually found myself no longer having hot flashes. Right? So it took me a little while. I had to give up alcohol, because that was definitely a factor. I don’t know. You didn’t have to do… you don’t think you have to do that? No?
Anna Cabeca: [Shaking head no.] No. Maybe for other reasons, but not for hot flashes, yet.
Rebekah Kelley: Really? Okay.
Anna Cabeca: But definitely alcohol is a trigger. Alcohol, spicy food, intense heat. All of those things can be, for sure.
Rebekah Kelley: And you also talked about moving from temperature to temperature, 70 [degrees at home] to 70 [degrees in the car] to 70 [degrees in the office]. Can you talk about temperature?
Anna Cabeca: Yeah. Metabolic, we talk about metabolic flexibility. Just like we shouldn’t do the same exercise every day, we shouldn’t eat the same chicken salad every day. Let me tell you, I’ve heard so many people eat chicken salad every day and they think they’re healthy. Believe me, stop it. Stop. Okay, chicken salad’s healthy once every 4 or 5 days, but not every day. Okay.
Anyway, so metabolic flexibility is really important. We’re designed to adapt to nature, to be in cold, to be in heat, to be in a variety of temperatures, depending on where our genetics are from, right? And so exposing yourself to differing degrees of temperatures and heat is really important. That’s where cold plunges have come into benefit. Infrared sauna. Another reason that these are part of our longevity. Biohacks that we incorporate into our lifestyle, when we want to biohack, because there are benefits. I prefer infrared sauna over an ice cold plunge any day, but, yeah, so I’ll do that once in a while.
Rebekah Kelley: Thanks Dr. Anna Cabeca. These are really valuable insights. Dr. Anna Cabeca can be found at www.DrAnna.com. That’s D-R-A-N-N-A.com. Let me remind you to subscribe and get access to all Humanized videos, podcasts and transcriptions from all of our thought leaders on personalized health at HumanizedHealth.com.