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Menopause: Change Of Life Requires Lifestyle Changes

Nov 1, 2007
The effects of menopause are many as well as varied among women, but some of the common effects of this life-altering period in a woman's life can be difficult to work through. As a woman's ovaries begin to cease functioning causing the production and release of hormones to stop, every system in the body feels the effects of the changes.

The most common stresses of menopause include:

Muscle pain
Joint aches
Negative changes in sleep patterns
Hot flashes

In many cases hormone therapy may be selected to help the woman through the changes as her reproductive system shuts down, ending the flow of hormones they have been dependent on for so many years. Since not all women suffer the same problems during menopause and the degree of severity is different in different women, there is no one-pill cure-all for those going through menopause.

Attitude plays a key role in dealing with the effects of menopause. While many enter this stage of their life with dreaded anticipation other gain a different perspective and a renewed chance of a different way of life. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the effects of menopause, some look at it as a stage after which opportunities and new freedoms will be available. With the children growing, soon to be done, they see the empty nest as having more room in which they can grow.

Changes may be needed in lifestyle to help cope with the physical changes including dietary changes. Unprocessed foods are recommended for women in menopause and others such as sugar, caffeine and animal fat need to be avoided. Phytoestrogens, often found in soy products, are thought to help with the loss of hormones and soy may help relieve hot flashes and vaginal dryness as well as help with the reduction of bad cholesterol. Although research is ongoing on this aspect of nutrition, early indications are promising.

Estrogen levels are also believed helpful in the reduction of bad cholesterol and when a woman is in menopause and estrogen production stops, cholesterol levels can increase. A health diet designed to lower cholesterol levels is often recommended. This can also aid in the development of good cholesterol. An added bonus is the proper cholesterol balance between good and bad provides a healthier atmosphere for the heart and related diseases.

Research is still in its infancy on the use of herbal medicines for relief of symptoms related to menopause. The herb black cohosh is reported to be helpful in reducing hot flashes and red clover promises to help diminish depression. However, research on these herbs in menopausal women is ongoing and have not been researched enough to draw specific conclusions. It is recommended before using any herbal treatments for menopause symptoms that a qualified health professional is consulted.

Regular exercise has shown to reduce hot flashes, depression and weight gain, all signs of menopause and can also increase levels of good cholesterol. Alternative medicine includes the use of homeopathic therapies as well a natural hormone replacements, but again only after consulting with a qualified medical professional. Acupuncture is also being used as an alternative therapy to treating the effects of menopause.
About the Author
Richard Smart writes for Natural Health Products, Inc and online natural health company which provides a very effective menopause product.
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