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4 Supplements That Can Help Ease Your Menopause Symptoms
Menopause is not an illness, but a number of physical and emotional symptoms do typically emerge during this period, the severity and duration of which varies greatly from woman to woman. A number of treatments are available for symptom management, ranging from lifestyle modification to herbal remedies to hormone therapy, but it is important to keep in mind that many women manage menopause without the need for any medical intervention. (Want to balance out your hormones and lose weight? Then check out to start feeling and looking better today!)
Following an anti-inflammatory diet, getting adequate aerobic exercise, and regular stress management using meditation or breathing exercises, for example, can help address many of the practical problems associated with menopause. Some women experience symptom improvement from adding whole soy foods and ground flaxseed to their diets. I do not, however, recommend taking concentrated soy supplements due to uncertainty about their long-term safety.
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Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosaorActea racemosa) is one of the best-studied traditional herbs used for menopause symptom management and may help with symptoms such as hot flashes, but it is not effective for all women who take it. (Here's what's happening to your body during a hot flash.)
I believe evening primrose oil and black currant oil may also ease moderate hot flashes because they contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an unusual inflammation-fighting omega-6 fatty acid, but neither has been thoroughly investigated.
A B-complex supplement may help women better cope with the stress associated with severe menopause symptoms.
In addition, both clinical hypnosis and acupuncture are often quite effective at relieving hot flashes and sleep problems typical of menopause.
Whatever self-care and complementary strategies you employ, it is important to share all of them with your doctor, if for no other reason than to avoid potential interactions with prescription drug therapy you may be taking.
ANDREW WEIL, MD,is founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona.
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