How Stress And Liver Issues Cause Hot Flashes

by Kalidasa on August 8, 2009

A comment from Steve in 30 Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue — paraphrased:

I read your article and thought I have alot of those symptoms. I am vegetarian (sometimes I eat cheese but rarely eat eggs, meat, or diary) because of IBS. Which really is annoying. Anyway 1/3 of my diet used to be potato chips and candies. I craved them all the time. I gained alot of weight over the last 2 years and decided that it was time to lose it. I was too heavy and didn’t like the way I felt so I went on this crash diet during the winter for 3 1/2 months. I cut back from eating 3 or more meals a day to 1 to 2 meals a day. I stayed up all night playing video games and would sleep most of the day. I rarely got out of the house and my nutrition was poor. I cut back on the chips and candy.

Come April I decided it was time to start exercising and completely alter my diet. (I was 30 pounds lighter now). I switched to a vegan diet eating whole vegetables, grains, lots of gardenburgers with some nuts.

He goes on to describe symptoms of hot flashes, irritable bowl syndrome (IBS), panic attack type symptoms and insomnia. The doctors put him on antidepressants because everything else was “normal.”

You can read the entire comment on 30 symptoms of adrenal fatigue.

My response:


One possible explanation for what you have going on does have to do with adrenal fatigue and a failure of the liver to completely breakdown hormones.

When the body is functioning normally, hormones are created, used and discarded after they have done their job. This includes stress hormones and estrogens. Yes, male bodies have estrogens too.

Stress is caused by many different factors. Diet is the main one for most occupants of modern cultures where sugar and processed foods are easily attainable. Note: going hungry causes generally the same physiological effects that eating junk food does. Emotions are probably the second most common cause of stress. Exercise is another stressor that can contribute to the issue. Environmental toxins are probably the final contributor. Each of these issues are a conversation in themselves. I plan on covering factors other than diet, which I have covered fairly well, in the future.

Adrenal fatigue is a vicious cycle having to do with how stress causes the release of stress hormones which makes the body feel that it is under stress, so more stress hormones are released, etc. It is often more important to stop this cycle at the stress input level than to strengthen the adrenal glands themselves.

This adrenal cycle causes adrenal fatigue and the associated symptoms like your panic attacks and IBS.

Ideally, when under stress, the stress hormones are broken down by the liver. This is also where estrogens are broken down.

Estrogen dominance causes hot flashes.

So, when the liver has extra stress hormones to break down the estrogens don’t get broken down as they should leaving you with excess estrogens and the associated hot flashes.

As to your IBS, that is often caused by adrenal fatigue, but there are often complications. The fight or flight response is the main one.

Flight or flight causes all digestion to shut down, the immune system to quit, cellular repair to stop and the sexual functions to turn off. Nothing is more important than getting away from something that is immediately life threatening.

The problem is that we get stuck in this state. Our evolutionary ancestors hid in a cave or the top of a tree whimpering and crying until the issue was released and forgotten. In modern society we have to stand and face the threat while forcing down our instinctual reaction to run or lash out. Consequently, the emotions get stuck in the body causing us to be stuck in an internal fight flight reaction that has nowhere to go.

Outside intervention is needed to deal with this. There are emotional clearing techniques like emotional freedom technique, but you need to know which emotions to clear. I do this through muscle testing. I’ve been trying to think of how to help people find the emotions to clear for themselves, but there isn’t an easy way to do this short of teaching how to do muscle testing which requires some skill.

Another possiblility that I have been working on is using relaxing herbs to calm the part of the brain that continues to feel in stress so that fight flight can be released.

There are many issues that are caused by adrenal fatigue and by the factors that cause adrenal fatigue. Probably the best thing to do in this case is to take calming and relaxing herbs. Complexes made from the whole herb in powder form are generally the best.

And, animal protein is essential for most people’s health. I hope you can get to the point where there isn’t a problem eating it. Why eating animal protein is so important and why vegetarianism doesn’t work for most people is a whole other subject.

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