After so many posts chasing down the reasons for (peri)menopausal hot flashes I thought I should take a moment to summarize all I’ve learned.
First and foremost, I’ve learned that food has a definite effect on hot flashes. The reasons, I think, can vary from woman to woman, but there is no question in my mind that whatever your issue is, food can effect it.
For me, the first thing that affects the number and intensity of hot flashes is my histamine intolerance. When I stray from a clean diet I pay a price. And last week I really strayed yet again. It was my birthday and it was Art Basel (the huge art fair) and the chances to eat poorly were all around me.
It started with a piece of chocolate birthday cake on Wednesday night and proceeded into the next three days of a cookie eating, fried food and blue cheese dressing indulgence, culminating with a piece of birthday cake on Sunday night. I had at least three huge hot flashes during the night, and as I write this post at 10:28 the next morning my body is on fire! Hell, my legs were actually breaking out into hives at the table last night before I ate the last piece of cake!
If this blog proves one thing, it’s that I am always falling off the safe food wagon in a big, tremendous way!
Whether eating acid-forming foods or refined carbohydrates exacerbated my issue is still up in the air. I’ve been testing my pH for a few weeks and find after most of the nights I’ve had a number of hot flashes, my body is acidic, but not every time. Knowing that an acid body could lead to histamine being released does still make me think if you are having a histamine intolerance issue, than acid-forming foods are definitely not helping.
And of course, cookies and cakes are refined carbohydrates, which supposedly promote hot flashes too…so my diet was pretty bad on all three fronts.
So how do you know what’s what? Well, I really feel that once you realize you have histamine intolerance you have to eat to control that first. In reality, once you do that, your diet probably is low acid-forming and low in refined carbohydrates, so those issues correct themselves.
If you’ve arrived at this blog and you don’t think you are histamine intolerant but you still think food is an issue, which I’d bet you’re right about, than you might want to investigate how acid-forming foods are affecting you and what refined carbs are doing to you.
So there you have it. After chasing my tail around for the last three or four weeks I really think that my issue with hot flashes is still mainly the histamine intolerance. I used to think that hives were the first symptom of my histamine bucket filling but now I do believe that hot flashes are an early indicator that I’ve abused my right to eat whatever I want.
This week I’m going to behave, because you can just imagine how far I can fall off that healthy food wagon over the holidays. I’ve got to empty that histamine bucket!
The apples and butternut squash are on me!