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Menopause: Some Natural Relief

Menopause: Some Natural Relief
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BY MARY JANE HORTON

Hot flashes, forgetfulness, sadness, lack of libido … menopause symptoms can be nasty for some women. Others breeze right through it. If you are one of the women who is suffering, there are lots of simple ways to make yourself feel better, whether are not you are on hormone replacement therapy (That is a discussion to have with your doctor.) We are talking small picture, here, not big. Here are some ways to cool you down, and perhaps make you feel a bit more like your old self.

Turn Down the Heat

For most women, hot flashes are the most pesky aspect of menopause. Often they only happen at night, but sometimes they come – unrelentingly – all day long, on and on. Sometimes it just takes some behavior modification to help you cool down and go on. Here are some ways to cope.

–Layer and wear special fabrics. During the day, no matter what the temperature – layer. Always wear a tank top under anything so you can strip and be presentable. And either wear cotton or a high-tech moisture wicking fabric as much as possible (think Lulu Lemon). Even though these fabrics are used on workout clothes, a simple tee-shirt can double as street clothing and keep you cool. Especially avoid silk, which leaves perspiration stains easily. And at night, again cotton, or special items from such companies as TravelSmith that are especially made to wick away moisture in hot climates.

–At the first sign of a flash, try drinking lots of cold water. It seems simplistic, but it really can cool your body from the inside out. Splashing water on your face also helps.

–It’s easy to say, harder to do, but try to keep stress at bay – it definitely exacerbates hot flashes. Try meditation, yoga, long peaceful walks.

–And speaking of exercise – regular physical exertion also helps with flashes.

–Finally, turn the thermostat in your home down – a good rule of thumb is 70 degrees during the day and 65 degrees at night.

Other natural remedies 

While use of herbs, and other interventions have not been well studied for their role in forestalling menopause symptoms, here are some things that often help, anecdotally:

–Black cohosh. Some studies indicate that this herb may be useful in the treatment of hot flashes and night sweats. Only use it for short-term treatment, however, as it has been shown to lower blood pressure in some people.

–Soy. Also shown to help with heat adjustment, isoflavones – which are plant estrogens – can also lower cholesterol in some cases. Only food forms of soy, such as tofu and soymilk, are advised, not pills.

–Topical vitamin E. This has been shown to help with vaginal dryness and lubrication. And it also may help with hot flashes – with no real down side.

–Ginseng. Research has shown that ginseng may help with some menopausal symptoms, such as mood swings, sleep disturbances, and with one’s overall sense of well-being.

In general, following a healthy diet filled with lots of fruits and vegetables, getting adequate aerobic exercise, and practicing relaxation can help address the many practical problems that menopause can bring. It isn’t a disease, just another season of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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