TODAY

TODAY   |  September 25, 2013

Hot flash! A menopause-themed ‘Who Knew’

Can you stave off menopause, or just curb the side effects? And what exactly is a menopot? NBC health experts Madelyn Fernstrom and Tanya Benenson lend their talents for a special version of “Who Knew” in honor of National Menopause Awareness Month.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> and we're back with more of wines day wednesday. our game called "who knew?" and in case you didn't know, september is menopause month. kathie lee is having a hot flash . she's next door to the nbc experience store ready to hand out $100 cash to those who get the answers right and those who don't get a kathie lee cd.

>>> madelyn fernstrom and nbc chief medical officer . hello, ladies. are you ready?

>> sure.

>> all right. let's go.

>> adorable lady from florida. in " sex and the city 2 ," what vegetable did samantha overeat in an attempt to stave off menopause? sweet potatoes, yams, eggplant or carrots?

>> carrots. [ buzzer ]

>> nope, nope, nope. 14 original songs. it's fantastic.

>> correct answer is yams. i remember that from the movie. what do they do?

>> it's an old wives tale. it can serve as weak estrogen except it doesn't get converted in our bodies.

>> can you stave off menopause with foods or anything like that? is there anything you can do?

>> you can help the symptoms with some stuff, with food, but --

>> okay. let's go back across the street with kath.

>> this lady is from new orleans, she wants me to say. one of these foods may help reduce hot flashes . which one? not that you would know. spicy chicken wings, iced coffee , champagne or soy nuts .

>> it has to be champagne.

>> you're wrong, but i agree with you.

>> i like her.

>> it's not champagne.

>> no, it is not.

>> you'll have fun with my cd. do you have a grandchild?

>> yes.

>> perfect.

>> the correct answer here, soy nuts .

>> it's a weak estrogen. you have to have three or four servings a day, glass of soy mick or ha milk or handful of soy nuts isn't going to help. caffeine may trigger a hot flash .

>> they do?

>> you might think caffeine is good, but --

>> i doubt had guy knows anything at all, but he's from massachusetts, so we'll give him a try. which " golden girl " mistakenly thought she was pregnant only to find out she was actually going through menopause? dorothy, rose, blanche or sophia or do you even know who they are?

>> i do. let's say rose.

>> no, but that would have been funny, too. it's a big day for kathie lee .

>> the correct answer is the sexy one, blanche.

>> right.

>> so the symptoms are similar, is that right?

>> in that you lose your periods and people think they're too young, they may be pregnant. but they're really not. it doesn't just stop one day. it's a process that can take up to ten years.

>> okay. back across to kath.

>> lovely lady from portland, maine. what is the average age for menopause for women in the united states , 49, 51, 53 or 55 years old?

>> 51.

>> you got it.

>> wow! 51 is the magic number .

>> you know what's interesting about that? specific to the u.s. it's 51, but places like india, it's 54. it's a cultural or geographical difference.

>> i wonder what explains that.

>> i don't have the answer.

>> actually, in our country, periods stop at 50, but the official end is one year after the periods so no accidental pregnancies there.

>> darn, i was hoping we would get to lian niesen who is sitting here. that's his wife, okay. do you want to stand and do this together? what is a menopot, type of herbal tea , excess belly fat , elastic undergarment or a crunchy snack?

>> you want to take this one, babe?

>> sure. i'm going to go with b.

>> yeah.

>> belly fat . menopot. is that a real term?

>> it is actually. estrogen kind of dictates where the fat goes. so you have the apple and the pear. the pear is more the estrogen. when it goes away, it starts to accumulate more in the central region , in the belly and you become apple shape.

>> how do you fight that?

>> so many things happening. that's a lifestyle thing. eat smarter, less fat, lot of fiber, fruits and vegetables, cut your calories and your metabolic rate, metabolism slows, so get more exercise. the extra fat has to come from where it's coming. just settles.

>> smart ladies. thanks for coming