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Menopause: Hot tips and a new technology can help keep hot flashes at bay

Dr. Brown is a noted family physician and international and national speaker on health prevention, wellness, continuing medical education and women’s health. She is a member of numerous advisory bodies for both the provincial and federal government, helping make decisions regarding healthcare of Canadians. She was awarded, Family Physician of the Year, 2012 by the Ontario College of Family Physicians.


Any menopausal woman will tell you that hot flashes seem to come out of nowhere, usually when they are least expected, accompanied by an embarrassing outbreak of ‘the sweats’ which can leave you drenched in sweat, flushed, and feeling uncomfortable.

Hot flashes develop when your brain reacts to changing hormone levels in your body, which happens during menopause. The change in hormone levels causes your temperature regulation mechanism to be slightly impaired. Body temperature rises too easily. Your body then wants to disperse blood flow to cool you down and sends blood to the surface, to your neck, chest and face, causing you to sweat.

While you can’t stop the changes going on in your life, there are a few things you can do to help weather those hot flashes and keep them in check. Let’s look at lifestyle options for treatment of hot flashes.

The most common one is dressing in layers. Dressing in layers, with a tank top with and a shirt on top of the tank allows you to open the shirt or take it off when you start getting hot. There are also many new fabrics that will wick away the perspiration from your skin to help you cool down faster. Check travel stores and outdoors stores for products that can take the heat.

Turn your thermostat down, open the windows or use an air conditioner to help maintain a lower body temperature, especially at night.

Drinks lots of water and stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water helps keep your body’s cooling system from over heating. If you do have a hot flash, drink cool water right away to replace what you’ve lost. Stay away from hot foods and spicy foods.

One of the most interesting ways of cooling quickly I’ve come across recently is a new technology called a Menopod. It’s a simple electronic cooling device that looks similar to a computer mouse. With one press of the power button, the device drops to 5 degrees Celsius or 41 Degrees Fahrenheit and provides instant relief for hot flashes. It can be used discretely anywhere and anytime.

The Menopod, contains a cooling technology inside the device. There are no fans or moving parts. When you turn the power on, it instantly drops to a cool temperature) so that you can discreetly place it on the back of your neck to stop the hot flash.

By applying the Menopod to the base of your neck, you are telling your brain you are not hot and the flash decreases or goes away. This is a Canadian invention, and was recently introduced at the International Menopause Society World Congress, and doctors loved it. It’s worth checking out here.

In an upcoming blog, I will discuss other prescription options for those women that are having ongoing symptoms, not responding to lifestyle options.