Can hot flushes cause nausea? - Hot Flush Month

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Menopause Advisor
@EileenDurward
Ask Eileen


25 June 2018

Read the full video transcript below

Today's topic

Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog. And today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, we're on Week 4 of the hot flush month. And as I've mentioned last week, the question I was asking today is, "Can hot flushes make you nauseous?" And the answer is yes. And one of the very interesting things we've discovered over the last few years that this is a lot more common than what we thought to start with. 

What causes you to feel sick during or after a hot flush?

So an awful lot of women are getting this, and they're really not quite understanding what's going on or what they can do to take this horrible symptom away.

So there's a number of reasons. One is that it can be just a fluctuation of your hormones itself, triggering flushes, which is going to trigger the nauseous. It can be an increase in core temperature, and I'm sure we've all been in the situation where we've been somewhere where it's been so hot, maybe so clammy, and you have just felt so utterly sick. So it's the same situation here. And the other thing that can trigger the nausea is stress.

So we'll have a little look at these three particular reasons. Now, if your oestrogen is going up and down a lot, that can interfere with your circulation.

Blood pressure

If there's a sudden dip in your blood pressure, that can trigger a hot flush, and at the same time, that will actually cause the nausea as well. 

So there's quite a strong link between blood pressure and nausea, and we're now finding that there's quite a big link between blood pressure and hot flushes as well.

Stressed liver

It can be pressure on the liver, and this is something I've talked about before. There will be a link. The liver plays a very important part in the menopause, and it has a lot of extra work to do during the menopause, processing all the hormonal imbalances that are going on. 

If your liver is stressed, then its ability to deal with bile for digestion can be impaired, and if your liver is weak, then that can be a very big contributory factor with the nausea.

Blood sugar levels

We've also got our blood sugar levels, and these can go like a yo-yo very, very quickly because of the fluctuating hormones, and we know that that can cause nausea as well.

And I know this was one of my symptoms. My blood sugar levels are very, very delicate, and they only need to dip a little bit, and I could start to feel really sick and headachy as well, which can sometimes happen, too. So this is quite an interesting one for me as well.

Your core temperature

It can be, as I've said before, just the actual fact that falling hormones, especially oestrogen, can affect your body's ability to control your heat levels, so your core temperature can fluctuate a lot more than normal.  

And your body regulates its heat balance lower when your oestrogen falls, which means that even in a normal temperature, your body can think that it's too hot, and that will trigger a hot flush. And in that same instance, that internal heat can give you a feeling of nausea as well, so the two end up being combined. 

Stress

As far as stress goes, again, we've all been in that situation, I'm sure, where we've been stressed, we've been anxious, we've been panicky, and we will just turn round and say, "Oh, I feel sick to my stomach." So there's a very big link, too, between stress and anxiety and nausea. 

So if you put all these three together, then it's not surprising that in any kind of combination, getting a hot flush, especially if your blood sugars are low, if you're having problems with temperature regulation, and your liver's a little bit stressed, that you end up getting nausea that's attached to your hot flushes, too.

Other symptoms commonly experienced with or after a hot flush

Interestingly enough, there are other few symptoms that tend to be very common that are attached to hot flushes.

Dizziness and hot flushes

We've got dizziness, that's quite a major one as well. We have palpitations, and again, this tends to be associated with hot flushes that are triggered by stress and anxiety. 

Poor digestion and hot flushes

We can have just an upset digestion. If our digestion is not working very well, then that can be a big factor in the hot flushes, too.

Anxiety and hot flushes

And also just general anxiety, we're worried all the time. Anxiety's number two symptom apart from hot flushes and night sweats. So anxiety can give us that stomachy nausea feeling all the time, as well as just with hot flushes and night sweats.

What to do to ease hot flushes and nausea

So what can you do about this? If you are getting a lot of nausea, and some women are actually sick, so it ends up a little bit like morning sickness that sometimes, for some women, it's just in the morning, but for others, it can last a good part of the day.  

Balance your hormones

So if you're getting this regularly, then there are a couple of things that you need to look at. Balancing your hormones, just evening things out can make quite a difference. So if it's appropriate, you could look at our Menopause Support.

Sage for hot flushes

If it just tends to be with the hot flushes, if you're getting nausea with the hot flushes, and you're getting a lot of hot flushes or night sweats, you can look at sage, because sage is known to help to balance your core temperature as well.  

So it's a nice one in that it can help with that internal heat mismanagement, but it can also help to decrease hot flushes and night sweats, too.

Ginger tea

You can look at ginger tea. Ginger is wonderful, if you like it, to help with nausea in general. So a couple of cups of ginger tea a day, especially just before the times that you would maybe get this, if you tend to get the nausea at the same time every day.

Eat Regularly

Eat little and often. Again, you may find that you tend to get the hot flush and nausea when maybe you haven't eaten for three or four hours, or maybe when you've missed out a meal. So again, eating regularly at this particular time may be of real benefit to help to decrease the flushes and the nausea, too. 

Breathe Deeply

Deep breathing. If you feel the nausea coming on after a hot flush, very often, that can stabilise things a little bit.

Keep hydrated

Water as well. We know that dehydration can cause nausea, and we know that dehydration can trigger flushes and nausea, too.

Dress in layers

You can look at, if you find that the heat incidents tend to cause nausea a lot of the time, then dress in layers, so that the minute you find yourself getting really hot, then you can start to take a few layers off. Once you cool down, you can start to put things back on again.

Help your liver

And the last one, but maybe not the least one, if your liver is struggling, if you're having digestive problems, if you're getting a lot of maybe indigestion, as well as the nausea and the hot flushes, then doing a little bit of liver support can be really beneficial, and you could add in our Milk Thistle Complex.  

So as you can see, there are quite a number of quite different situations that can cause nausea that's been triggered by hot flushes. So if this is you, if you've been getting this or experiencing this, do let me know how you get on with trying all these tips and share it with everyone else.  

That would be absolutely great. Have a good week. And I will see you next week for another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.

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