Tag Archives: Menopause

Find hot flash relief the natural way


| ara@queenscourier.com


(ARA) – As women enter their 40s and 50s, it’s inevitable. Menopause will begin. And so will the hot flashes.

At the onset of “the change,” many women turn to their moms, sisters and friends for advice on how to beat the heat during unpleasant and uninvited hot flashes. While each woman can offer her advice on relief, you might find that different treatments work for different women.

According to Rebecca Hulem, certified menopause clinician and affectionately known as “The Menopause Expert,” that is OK.

“There’s no one method of treatment that is appropriate for all menopausal women,” said Hulem. “The choices you make might be quite different from the ones your best friend makes. And the way a specific treatment method affects your body might also be quite different.”

But one common ground many women find in their treatment plans is that they are looking for natural solutions. Natural remedies typically involve plants or habitual lifestyle changes that help alleviate hot flashes.

For women seeking natural hot flash relief, below are a few of the most effective options:

Focus on nutrition

With many changes taking place inside your body, it’s essential to maintain the right kind of diet. What’s the right kind, you ask? One that’s full of fruits, vegetables and plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, legumes and soy. Certain soy supplements, specifically, have been scientifically proven to decrease the frequency and severity of hot flashes.

For some women, certain foods trigger hot flashes. Common triggers include coffee, spicy foods or alcohol. Many experts recommend avoiding caffeine or alcohol within three hours of bedtime to decrease the likelihood of night sweats interrupting your sleep.

Exercise regularly

Exercise has been shown to improve hot flashes as well as a host of other menopause-related issues women face, including sleep disturbances. However, to reap the full benefits, it’s important to incorporate a variety of training techniques including aerobic, weight-bearing, strength training and relaxation exercises like yoga.

Take a natural supplement

Supplements containing soy isoflavones rich in genistein, or naturally-occurring compounds with a chemical structure similar to estrogen, have been scientifically proven to reduce the frequency and severity of menopausal hot flashes.

The results of the most comprehensive study to-date, which were published in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society this year, found clear and consistent evidence that soy isoflavones decrease hot flash frequency and severity by approximately 50 to 60 percent.

However, it’s important to carefully examine supplement dosage to make sure you are getting an effective amount. Supplements that contain a dose of at least 19 milligrams of the soy isoflavone genistein are most effective.

Deflate stress with therapy

It’s been proven that lowering stress levels helps decrease menopausal hot flashes. There are many ways to alleviate stress, such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga exercises. But some women are turning to more creative therapies such as hypnotherapy, herbal therapy and aromatherapy. Regardless of the approach you choose, bringing your body to a state of calmness and relaxation should help minimize hot flashes.

It’s important to remember though, that you should still consult your health care provider even if you are using natural options for hot flash relief. Discuss your symptoms, treatment plan and how it may impact your overall health.

It’s also critical for women to remember that treatment doesn’t work overnight, emphasizes Hulem.

“You may need to try several different approaches before you find the one that works best for you,” she said.

 

Let’s talk: women opening up about menopause find community and empowerment


| ara@queenscourier.com


(ARA) – Most women remember having “the talk” with their mother. In that crucial time just before puberty, moms provide guidance and wisdom about the changes our bodies go through. But later in life, women experience another important time of change – menopause – and many approach it without the comfort and connection that comes from talking to other women about what they are experiencing.

However, women are ready to change that – and as many as 80 percent of women believe it’s time for the conversation about menopause to change, according to a recent study.

Despite the fact that most women go through menopause, many feel anxiety about it. The study also found that more than 50 percent of women say that anxiety about menopause is caused by not knowing enough about this life stage. And when only 5 percent of women can name the top five symptoms of menopause, as the study found, it’s no wonder that women are concerned about not knowing what’s coming next.

“The symptoms of menopause can vary widely,” said Dr. Cindy Long, an OB-GYN and former OB-GYN department chair at North Suburban Medical Center. “Some women will describe very minimal symptoms and many others may have severe, sometimes distressing symptoms. Many women are looking for non-medical options to help provide comfort from the variety of symptoms they may experience.”

Talking to other women who are going through menopause is an important way to gain knowledge while also finding support and fellowship. Having a dedicated venue to get the conversation started can give women more confidence to bring the subject up in other situations.

“No doubt, it can be more fun to chat about vacations, movies or grandkids, but didn’t we share our concerns about pregnancies and childbirth when those topics were on our minds?” asks Dr. Vivian Diller, a clinical psychologist. “By starting the conversation about menopause with openness and confidence – and even a sense of humor – we make it more comfortable for women to express what they’re feeling.”

Having access to a community of supportive women can help make the stresses of menopause seem less daunting, and even offer opportunities to find humor and connection in the experience.

“Every woman can benefit from educating herself about physical and emotional symptoms,” said Diller. “We need to overcome our need for this long-standing cover-up and let the big secret out.”