Hot flashes, phantom periods, and raisins

Those are the three things on my mind today. And actually, they are all related.

When I started peri-menopause about two years ago, I began having hot flashes during my periods. They weren’t very bad, and I remember thinking wow, if this is it I can handle this. But, as you might imagine…that wasn’t it.

When my period first stopped, histamine intolerance started. With it came several hot flashes a night, insomnia, and the dreaded itching problem. When I got the intolerance under control, all the symptoms went away, hot flashes included. But the flashes weren’t gone forever. They came back about six months later with a vengeance. And they were actually quite different.

I noticed the flashes were much more intense. And they started, funnily enough, with my eardrum vibrating. It was very strange. I would hear a little drumbeat as my eardrum twitched and I knew a nauseatingly deep hot flash was about to begin. And they were bad! They started with this strange feeling that made me want to tear my skin right off as if it were a jacket. Then a wave of nausea took over and then the sweating, from head to toe. It was awful.

And I wondered why all of a sudden they were back. My intolerance was firmly in control. But I knew my hormones were still shifting. But I wasn’t having a period per se. So back to the researching I went. That’s when I learned about phantom periods. I had never heard of them before. But they turned up on that list of 34 menopausal symptoms. You might know of that list because you might, like me, have felt like you’ve had all 34 symptoms, sometimes on the same day!

Anyway, back to phantom periods. If you don’t know, a phantom period is when you get all of the symptoms of a period without actually bleeding. So this made sense to me. I was having all the symptoms of a period, now including hot flashes.

When the phantom period leaves, so seemingly does the hot flashes. But in the meantime, I’ve done quite a lot more reading on what might help control hot flashes. I know I’ve mentioned that I cannot eat white potatoes, and that eating a high carbohydrate diet exacerbates the flashes.

I’ve also read drinking coconut water helps, but right this second, I cannot remember what’s in it that helps. And also eating raisins. That I do remember. Many articles talked about taking boron to reduce hot flashes. Typically, the suggestion was made without being able to tell you how much to take or why it even helps. Boron is a trace mineral you need, but no one knows how much you really need. So I decided if I wanted to up my boron, I would do it with food. The food with the highest amount of boron is raisins. So I started eating about two tablespoonfuls a day. And I think it’s helped.

But this is the thing. When I am having a time where the hot flashes are numerous, I start to drink more coconut water and I start to watch my carb intake along with eating more raisins. So which is it? Or is it all of the above?

Who knows! But I think something is working and I really think the raisins help.

As for the hot flashes, I seem to be into a new manifestation. Now when I get one it’s only from my neck up. My face turns red and I sweat along my hair line but that’s it. Not a whole body thing and no nausea. I wonder if that’s progress…

They say, whoever they is, that you’re through menopause when you have not had a period for a year and I’m not quite there yet, so I’m thinking as I work my way through things are still changing. In the meantime, I will limit my carbs, except for last night when I ate pizza, I won’t eat junk, oh except for last night when I had a peanut butter cup, and I’ll keep eating raisins.

So let me know if you try raisins for hot flashes and have success. Or if you’ve had a little drum beat warning for hot flashes in your ears. Maybe you’d like to share how many of the 34 menopausal symptoms you’ve had…let me know down in the comments.

Ok, off I go to watch some more House of Cards (the crazy good show on Netflix that will make you feel better about your life because everyone is so damn bad in theirs.)

In health…Dale

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Posted in histamine intolerance, menopause, peri-menopause, Women's health
24 comments on “Hot flashes, phantom periods, and raisins
  1. Hello Dale, Thank you for your response to my comment on your “So you think…” post. I appreciate it. Your post here really interests me, as you know, I am working on hot flashes too.

    Your new nasty hot flashes sound awful, and I am so sorry you are having them again. Your signal symptom is fascinating. Could be a vascular sign that your blood vessels have dilated and your pulse is up? I don’t get a ear buzz like you, but I do suddenly feel very sick, or apprehensive…then the heartbeat deepens and pounds, the heat, the nausea, the sweating. I know what you mean about the “tear your skin off feeling”. I am sorry you have had to go through that too. It truly is awful. When someone tells me they have hot flashes and it’s no big deal, they hide theirs…then I know they don’t have what I have. It is impossible to hide.

    I definitely had some phantom periods during the time leading up to my one year no period date. I didn’t know what they were called, but I knew I was going through the same things without the bleeding.

    I was thinking that menopause hot flashes are not the same as what I am suffering from. But after reading your posts I am wondering if they are the same. Maybe all women having hot flashes are having a histamine response, and not a “hormonal response”, necessarily. I understand hormones would be involved either way. Were you suggesting that women going through the hormone fluctuations of menopause could be more apt to have a histamine issue than any other time of their life? That sounds so very possible! Maybe most women adjust eventually, but some of us don’t….some of us get worse. Those of us who have MCAD or other histamine related issue.

    I was drinking coconut water and thinking it was helping me too. I was buying the young tai coconuts and cutting them open. I wasn’t sure though. I didn’t know that about potatoes! I have taken them off my list but have them once in a while.

    I can’t eat raisins, they burn my mouth. Lots of foods “burn” my mouth or give me mouth sores. So I could try a low does of Boron. I will research it and see what I find as to dosage.

    Thank you for your post. I wish you the best with your hot flashes.

    • I believe menopause might trigger histamine intolerance in women who might have had issues that they did not know were related to histamine. The hormonal imbalance basically unmasks it.

      For example, I always noticed I’d get mild hives on my thighs after I had a beer with my friend after work on Friday nights but always kind of ignored it. And I’d scratch my legs off after a hot shower. And it was like that for years.

      But once I started menopause, the itching and hives were to big to ignore. Everything was so much worse! So I do believe I’ve always had a problem but so mild it just didn’t matter too much.

      Even now, I am so much better but when I over indulge I really feel it. I had chocolate again tonight and now my ears are on fire and my face is sweating among other things. Last week was very stressful and I fell off the healthy foods wagon. This week I have to be very strict. And I just took a bunch of supplements.

      It’s not a problem that’s going to go away completely I think. It needs to be managed.

    • Candy says:

      I’m taking Chaste tree for hot flashes. I’m on my second month and it seems to be working. To help relieve the rash I have been on Candida since March and the rash is under control. If I eat sulphur base foods I will see a small outbreak. I’m amazed because I was covered in the hives for 55 straight days, the itch was insane and I felt ugly. I avoid antihistamines. Spring allergies were a pain but I switched over to a nasal saline and so far so good.

      • I used to take Chaste berry. It’s also known as Vitex. It’s supposed to work on your pituitary to regulate hormones. I took it years ago for PMS. I found it worked for me.

        I am happy to hear you’ve found a successful healing regimen. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Candy knox says:

    My hot flashes have not been an issue since I developed my hives. I was always cold. I pray they do not returno. I have my hives almost under control because I hardly eat. I’m taking supplements to keep my body healthy. The lust for histamines in food is depressing, no chocolate, wine or cheese I’m a bit moody but I’ll survive. The itchy and welts and swollen joints was so bad I was in panic mood. After 56 days straight with hives I thought I would go crazy. My allergist is clueless so I need to thank you tons for writing this blog and helping me more then you will ever know.

    • It makes my heart sing when I read a comment like yours Candy.

      I lived off of broccoli, apples, and butternut squash for three months while I got my intolerance under control. It got boring but it was nutritious. And it started me on my road to recovery.

      Find those healthy foods that work for you and eat plenty of them. Once you start to heal you’ll be able to add more healthy foods back in.

      Good luck on your new healing path and please keep in touch. I love to hear success stories and am always willing to lend a shoulder to cry on when it seems to daunting a thing to overcome. I am living proof you can manage this, if not heal completely.


    • Meredith says:

      When this happened to me I discovered I was hypothyroid. Have you had it checked?

  3. Candy knox says:

    Pardon the horrible spelling

  4. Hello Dale, I wanted to let you know I had 13 hours without a hot flush or cold flush! Yay! I can’t believe it…it has been at least 5 years! I am living on chicken (iffy yet), lamb, rutabaga, asparagus, rice, carrots, ginger tea… My hot flashes came right before I went to bed last night, after the entire day without. Then between 4-8 in the morning I had 6-8 flushes. Now I need to figure out what in the world (bedroom) may be doing that. I feel like I have hope now : )
    Hugs and thank you for the help.
    (trying raisins soon)

    • Wow. I am so happy to read this! That’s really great news.

      I’ve noticed that when my bedroom is warm even if my hot flashes are pretty much under control I’ll start to get a couple at night. So I keep my thermostat low at night.

      Also remember, your body temperature drops during sleep and begins to rise when you’re getting close to waking so it’s probably normal to get a few in the wee hours of the morning. If I’m going to have them that’s when I have them too.

      I sometimes get up and have a glass of water in the middle of the night if I am restless and that really helps.

      And right before you went to bed, I don’t know, did you take a warm shower? Apply lotion? You have to analyze everything! Having histamine intolerance makes you into a detective.

      Thank you so much for coming back and sharing. Not only am I super happy for you but you’ve provided much needed reinforcement of the message for other women that we are on the right track.

      Keep me posted!


  5. Thank you Dale, I appreciate your encouragement. I must remember to turn my thermostat down. That is a great idea. I also didn’t know that about body temps.
    Today I am in tears, as I seem to be having all the hot flushes and cold flushes I didn’t have yesterday. I have only had water all morning, no food yet. I was wondering if this happens in the beginning when you first go off histamine foods? Maybe some kind of releasing of stored histamines after all these years. I am still totally sure it is histamine, but don’t have a clue what is going on today. I will just stick to my LHD and hang on!

    • Be patient. You’ve had this problem for quite a while and it’s not going to resolve itself over night. I had to heal using diet and supplements. Take a look at what I took. I had a very definite regimen.

      And not eating is not good. I found my histamine got higher as I got hungry because your stomach starts secreting gastric juices that release histamine, so avoiding eating is bad too.

      Eat an apple at least. And drink some ginger tea. If you haven’t read through the low histamine chefs site you must. She is really pushing an anti inflammatory diet big time and I completely agree with her. It’s not just that you don’t eat foods that make your problem worse, but that you also eat foods that heal. There are lots of anti-inflammatory foods.

      So hang in there. You must stay positive. If you had one good day you can have two. And the three. You just have to find what works for you.

      Now go eat that apple!

  6. Lol! I ate the apple : ) Thank you for telling me an empty stomach is not helping. Some days I just don’t eat because I have no idea what to eat! I have always said I do better starving than eating. I have been watching The Low Histamine Chef’s videos and reading some posts. It is helping too. New supplements are on their way.
    Today, and yesterday just hot flushing over and over. I am still doing the low histamine. I am puzzled but keeping a record and hope at some point it makes sense. I did bring home two large bouquets of tulips halfway through the no flashes day… once they are done and leave, maybe things will change, who knows.
    Last night I slept in a different bed to see if it was my temperpedic, or my hubby’s latex mattress. When testing things like this, I imagine one must test it over a few times, as other things may be influencing.
    Thank you again for your support and information.
    I hope you are doing well.

    • Yay you ate the apple!

      I am doing well thank you.

      Ya know I was looking at getting a mattress cover like those on the temperpedic but read over and over again how they retain heat and are terrible for people who get hot at night.

      I can tell you you’re doing all the right things. Everything is suspect right down to the tulips! You hang in there and you’ll see it. Something will change and if you’re keeping good notes you’ll see it.

      And one day you’ll look back on this period of your life and it will feel like you’re looking at someone’s else’s because we are such resilient things.

      Keep investigating!

  7. Thank you for your kindness and support. Yesterday hot flashes like crazy, rolling hot flashes in the night and this morning. I am not as upset about it. It was just that i was so excited the day I didn’t have any at all! It was like a miracle to me. Now I am settled in knowing this could take a while. lol!

  8. Marie Pasion says:

    I too started having hives thiis year the same time I started having heavier and heavier flows. I saw an allergy specialist and she put me in antihistamines and they stopped. Reading this blog and all the comments make me realize it wasn’t all in my head and that there are other women going thru the same thing.

    • Marie, thanks for writing. I’m beginning to think the most valuable part of this blog is just that. Knowing you’re not the only one who is going through something that doctors can’t help with, yet knowing what the problem is in your heart and being validated here is the best thing about it. I hope you’re on your healing path now.


  9. Kelly says:

    Thanks for this Dale- very insightful! I don’t suffer from the hot flashes or histamine intolerance but I do have phantom periods, nausea and anxiety attacks due to perimenopause. I try to regulate it through diet, exercise and the odd gravol. Funny enough my husband recently had a bad bout with hives off and on for about two months and found doing a water and veggie juice cleanse for three days plus adding apple cidee

    • Kelly says:

      Oops posted too soon! He added a table spoon of Apple cider vinegar to water twice a day and his hives were gone! I had been taking it for weight loss and I find that when I up my dosage, it helps with my menopause systems as well. Good luck to you on your menopause journey and thanks again for sharing.

      • Just as a note, apple cider vinegar works with some people but histamine intolerant women often can’t handle fermented foods like vinegars.

        If your body likes it, than by all means use it, but if you discover you are reacting to it then stop using it for awhile.

  10. Rachelle says:

    I’m 46 and I haven’t seen my period in two months.. I have about 21 out of 35 symptoms of menopause.. Including the same, phantom period.. I have crying fits, hot flushes, hoping it gets better… Oh yeah, I’ll b 47 in October.

  11. Hot Tamaly says:

    Loved loved the article!! I am having hot flashes too. I to never ever heard of a freaking phantom period! But, it does makes since. Thanks for the tips. I will try the raisins😊

    • It’s been a while since I wrote that and after a few years can tell you olive leaf works the best to combat hot flashes. I buy leaves from a grove and grind them in a coffee grinder. Then I either put a half a teaspoon in a smoothie or put it in capsules and take a couple a day. No hot flashes at all. Although foods can still be triggers. I can’t drink green tea.

      Hope that helps!

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