what causes hot flushes

What Causes Hot Flushes At The Menopause

For some women the menopause is sheer hell, and at first the sweats can catch you unaware – you might wonder what’s happening until you put two and two together. What causes hot flushes and all the other awful symptoms at this transition time?

You might think it’s because your ovaries are shutting up shop, but that’s only part of the story, and not even the most important part.

Some women barely notice the menopause, apart from their periods stopping, and some women suffer hugely – why?

Normal Menopause

The ovaries begin a slow shut-down from the mid-40s, and as a result the amount of oestrogen and progesterone they produce falls.

The adrenal glands (which sit on top of your kidneys) also produce sex hormones, including oestrogen and progesterone. Healthy adrenals can produce enough of these hormones to ease the transition and avoid most (or all) of the unpleasantness.

Women with healthy adrenals experience few symptoms other that their periods stopping – this is how it is supposed to be!

Hot flushes and other symptoms aren’t normal just because they are common.


If your adrenals are shot – the transition is hell!

Menopausal Hell!

Modern life can be stressful and a lot of women at menopausal age are literally running on empty. They are just about managing to keep the wheels on their cart, but there is no slack in their system at all.

To cope well with menopause you need slack in the system. If you don’t have it the wheels come off your cart and it all goes completely tits up:

  • Hot sweats
  • Mood all over the place
  • Irritable, crappy, your memory has deserted you
  • You feel like you’re going crazy
  • Sex drive evaporates
  • Can’t sleep – making it all worse

But is doesn’t have to be this.

If it’s like this for you it means your adrenal glands are exhausted and need some loving attention.

Knackered adrenal glands can’t pick up the slack from your ovaries. Your adrenals produce many other hormones too, some of which are life-sustaining – they continue with this to keep you alive, but they cannot pick up the slack by producing oestrogen and progesterone too.

What causes hot flushes – it’s actually worn out adrenal glands.

See Your Doctor?

I didn’t learn anything much about adrenal health as a medical student. It has never made an appearance in my medical post graduate education either. It was only when I delved into natural health that I came across this, and then so many things made sense, especially the menopause!

Medicine’s approach is HRT – with oestrogen alone or in combination with progesterone. These can certainly treat some menopausal symptoms especially the sweats. But they don’t address the real problem – your adrenal health. And when you come off them – the symptoms come crashing back.

I feel so lucky that I started looking after my adrenal health before I reached this time in my life. I anticipated an easy ride and so far so good, and I am still learning, still making changes, still on my own health journey.

Do you want more information about adrenal health and menopause?

Let me know in the comment box and ask your questions. As ‘women of a certain age’ – let’s start talking more about this, because we can make it so much easier for ourselves, there is no need for this to be hard and for you to suffer.

There’s a little bit more here – Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

Click here for the next Menopause Workshop

Have a great week!

Dr Julie

What causes hot flushes

3 thoughts on “What Causes Hot Flushes At The Menopause”

  1. I would like to know more about adrenal health. I have only had a couple of hot sweats, so it seems my adrenal health must be relatively good and I would like to know how to keep it that way

  2. Like Sarah, I have only experienced a couple of hot sweats. Any information surrounding adrenal health and other unwanted symptoms of menopause and how to manage them would be gratefully received.

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