Hot Flash News Flash!

By Darlene Kvist, MS, CNS, LN
February 19, 2015


In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers discovered, much to their surprise, that many women experience hot flashes for up to 14 years! Now we are not talking one hot flash once a month; we’re talking many hot flashes daily. And the hot flashes aren’t happening just during the day, but also as ongoing night sweats that interfere with the quality of sleep and the quality of life.

So what has been the treatment in the past? Hormone Replacement Therapy, also known as HRT. Now, medical professionals are realizing that Hormone Replacement Therapy increases the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. What is a woman to do?

Nutrition to the rescue!

Most women realize that when they drink a glass of wine or have a sweet roll or a cookie that it brings on a hot flash. It’s commonly understood that eating sugar increases both the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. A simple formula that we teach in The Menopause Survival Seminar is what we call the Menopause Math Equation: 


This equation is a fun way to look at sugar and hot flashes. As Americans, eating sugar is so ingrained in our diets, that we do it unconsciously.

You may not realize the amount of sugar you are really eating. Let’s take a look at some of the foods that may be spiking your hot flashes.

  • Who would ever guess that six ounces of Yoplait yogurt has 26 grams of sugar? That’s equivalent to 6½ teaspoons!
  • Two cups of dry cereal has about 10 teaspoons of sugar.
  • “Healthy” orange juice in the morning has as much sugar as Coke.
  • Stop eating that bagel for breakfast; it breaks down into over 14 teaspoons of sugar!
  • The next time you reach for a Twizzler on a road trip or in your desk drawer, picture eating 90 teaspoons of sugar if you polish off the whole bag.

No one wants to experience hot flashes for 14 years, 7 years or even a few months. If you are currently having hot flashes, start by reducing the amount of sugar you are consuming. This is the first of many ways that nutrition can help with your menopause symptoms.

For more helpful information about hot flashes and menopause

Check out these resources:

About the author

Darlene founded Nutritional Weight & Wellness. In her 25 years as a counselor and nutritionist, Darlene has helped so many people change their lives using the power of real food. She is a licensed nutritionist who earned the title Certified Nutrition Specialist from the American College of Nutrition, a prestigious association of medical and research scientists to further nutrition research. She has served on the Board of Dietetics and Nutrition Practice for the State of Minnesota.

View all posts by Darlene Kvist, MS, CNS, LN

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