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Managing menopause

Question : I AM 46 years old and suffering from headaches, irritability and hot flashes. I often sweat at night even when I'm sleeping in an air-conditioned room. Please advise as this has disrupted my sleep and quality of life.

Answer :YOU may be going through a phase called menopause. A woman will normally go through menopause between 45 and 55 as a result of reduced oestrogen and progesterone production by the ovaries, signalling a gradual cessation of monthly periods.

Common symptoms of menopause include amenorrhoea (absence of period), irregularity, hot flushes and cold sweats, palpitation, forgetfulness, depression, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, headaches, muscle and bone aches.

There are five herbs that are beneficial for women at this stage of their lives. They are dong quai, black cohosh, sage, soy and red clover. Black cohosh and sage are effective herbs for treating menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Black cohosh also possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic (relieve menstrual cramps) properties.

Dong quai helps to restore balance in woman's reproductive system by toning the uterus, nourishing the blood and stimulating healthy circulation. Of all the legumes, soy is highest in isoflavones with beneficial health effects for menopause-related hot flashes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancers.

Apart from that, B vitamins are very useful for stress/ energy and may help to ease the symptoms of menopause.

Menopause is usually followed by a loss in bone mass due to hormonal changes. Therefore, women approaching menopausal age are advised to increase their calcium intake. Exercising 3.5 hours a week benefits you by relieving menopausal symptoms and strengthening the bones.

 
 

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