Yes, this is an example of interconnectedness in the body that might surprise you!
Hot flashes can be a seriously debilitating client symptom – and an excellent item to focus on in bringing them rapid relief early on in your program. I’ve written before about potential remedies for hot flashes. But be sure you think about how other hormones might be affecting estrogen, including Vitamin D! Here are the studies I referenced:
Given my research into this topic, I believe Vitamin D supplementation may have a stronger effect as the body gets hit with high one-time doses in a supplement (which is more likely to cause significant fluctuations in hormones – the real culprit in hot flashes) vs. smoother, continuous synthesis of Vitamin D from sun exposure. Please note this post is not at all discouraging appropriate Vitamin D supplementation! It’s just a reminder that each patient has unique needs. Obviously the effect of reducing estradiol and increasing sex hormone binding globulin can be quite positive for some of our clients (and is likely at least one reason why higher levels of Vitamin D have been shown in large studies to be associated with a lower incidence of hormone-mediated cancers) .
If hot flashes only happen at night and especially in the 2-4am window and impairing sleep, it’s much more likely that they are being driven by a cortisol surge. You might consider checking their diurnal rhythm of cortisol (e.g. DUTCH testing) as well as their various estrogens (*not* just estradiol).
I could go on and on… It’s also true that magnesium helps the body to regulate and produce hormones. Taking too much Vitamin D at once can drive magnesium too low (it’s needed to convert Vitamin D into its final form in the body). Studies show that magnesium can help reduce hot flashes too. Because insufficient magnesium is so common, I believe that RBC Magnesium should be run on nearly everyone as part of a thorough annual physical check-up.
I hope these tips helps you to use functional medicine know-how competently *and* confidently.
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