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How to Stop the Discomfort of Menopause

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Hot flashes and night sweats, who needs them? A good diet and exercise plan can help you beat the heat.

 
Self-help Advice on Menopause

*Exercise is a powerful ally. It calms the body and produces endorphins that help counteract sleep disruption from night sweats and hot flashes. 

*Remember that herbs are medicine and need to be considered when calculating doses of other medications. Let your doctor know what herbs you are using.

*The earlier you begin taking good care of your body, the better off you will be during menopause.

*Every body is different. What works for your friend might not work for you and vice versa. You may have to experiment, with your health practitioner's involvement, to discover what works best for you.

*Hope for luck: According to Dr. Parker, 20 percent of women experience no unpleasant effects from menopause.

 
 

Many women approach menopause as though there were little to be done but await the unavoidable.  But, even in your 30's, experts say, lifestyle choices can make a difference in how you experience menopause.  And, the sooner you get started, the better.

A healthful diet and exercise are essential to meeting menopause head-on, says nutritionist and educator, Andrea Crivelli-Kovach. While women who have lived a healthier lifestyle all along will fare better than those who embrace nutrition and exercise later in life, Crivelli-Kovach says, no matter when you start, this two-pronged approach will help you better manage menopause.

Start by incorporating whole foods and mineral-rich Asian foods, particularly miso soup and seaweed, into your diet, says Crivelli-Kovach. The typical American diet is woefully deprived of minerals, and sea products can help make up the deficiency. Minerals help regulate nerve and muscle functions, and those are often the systems that are the most stressed during menopause.
 
You may also want to consider taking a good vitamin supplement, says Crivelli-Kovach. She recommends boosting intake of vitamin E and the Omega 3 essential acids. The Omega 3 fatty acids help the body to better metabolize and absorb important minerals and nutrients. These can be find in salmon and flax seeds.
Although much of the evidence about how lifestyle influences menopause is anecdotal, research has shown that soy protein can reduce the number and intensity of hot flashes, says Dr. William Parker, staff gynecologist at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center.

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