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Hot flushes, flashes or power surges are very common symptoms during the menopause transition and can be proceeded by an aura, accompanied by sweats, heart palpitations and a feeling of dread and leave you in a wet mess. We now know they a triggered by the brain. The hypothalamus regulates our sex hormones and our body temperature, among other things. When our sex hormones go down it impacts our temperature regulation. We have a thermo-neutral zone (TNZ) in which the outside temperature does not impact our internal temperature and our brain does not have to do anything. When we get too hot or too cold the hypothalamus sends messages to the body to keep us at the right temperature – too cold our muscles are instructed to shiver; too hot and our blood vessels dilate near the skin surface and our sweat glands release sweat. Problem in menopause is that the TNZ gets smaller so our hypothalamus becomes a bit too trigger happy and reactive. Reduce those things that increase your body temperature like hot food and beverages, spicy food and stimulants, wear cool clothes with layers you can take off and avoid waist bands and belts that trap heat, and control your environmental temperature where possible. And try not to stress – it makes them worse. Instead relax into them and imagine yourself in your favourite winter woolie, or trying on an amazing winter coat in a sauna and laugh – they will pass. And in case you wondering I have about two an hour 24/7.