The majority of women experience hot flashes, night sweats, heart palpitations, interrupted sleep, and irritability in menopause. And for a large portion of women, these symptoms either pass on their own, or they opt for hormone replacement therapy, which can reduce or eliminate their complaints.
But then there are the patients who wind up in my office: the ones whose hormone levels are ideal, who faithfully take their meds, and who still have hot flashes, night sweats, or heart palpitations. These women inevitably come in and ask for higher doses or a change in meds. I'm happy to oblige, but after two or three tries, I want to address the elephant in the room: It's not the hormones they think that are causing the problems. Instead of an issue with their female hormones like estrogen and progesterone, it's a dysfunction in their stress hormones—caused by adrenal fatigue.
The good news is that adrenal fatigue is fixable. The bad news is that it requires you to do less, rest more, and stop pushing yourself so hard. Because the hormones that are likely out of balance are your adrenal hormones, which come from your adrenal glands, what you have is adrenal fatigue or adrenal stress. In my private practice I frequently see individuals who have asked too much of their bodies, slept too little, worked too much, stressed too much, had too much alcohol, or simply crossed the line of what their individual body can handle in a day. So what's a woman to do? Well, first, I recommend finding yourself a good functional medicine provider! The overall goal is supporting your adrenals so that they can properly function and not be stressed. While you are waiting for your appointment, I recommend the following: