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    Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle in Postmenopause

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    There are a number of steps women in postmenopause can take to stay healthy and feel better. It's as easy as remembering your ABCs, and D, E, and F.

    • Avoid smoking, caffeine, alcohol, excess salt, and sugar.
    • Balanced diet -- Nutritionists recommend whole grains, cold pressed oils, leafy vegetables, and nuts to help keep your body healthy and potentially help relieve hot flashes. Soy may also ease mild hot flashes.
    • Calcium to help keep bones strong.
    • Vitamin D also helps keep bones strong.
    • Exercise -- Weight bearing, daily, at least 30 minutes.
    • Fat -- Choose foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

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    Natural Treatments for Menopause Symptoms

    Symptom: Hot Flashes, Night Sweats Benefit: Black cohosh is derived from a species of buttercup. Studies have had mixed results on whether black cohosh is effective in reducing hot flashes. Some studies indicate it may help with mild hot flashes and night sweats for short-term treatment. May lower blood pressure, as well. In rare cases, hepatitis has been reported.

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    Tips for Easing Hot Flashes

    Hot flashes are probably the most common symptom of menopause. Here are tips for easing them:

    • Avoid getting too warm by dressing in layers and sleeping in a cool room.
    • Avoid eating hot and spicy foods.
    • Avoid alcohol, as it can trigger hot flashes.
    • Reduce stress.
    • Eat several servings of soy a day, after first checking with your doctor. There is some evidence that soy may relieve mild hot flashes, although the effects may take several weeks to realize.

    Tips for Reducing Vaginal Dryness

    • Vaginal lubricants and moisturizers available without a prescription can help lubricate the vagina and make sexual intercourse more comfortable during menopause and in postmenopause.
    • If over-the-counter treatments don't work, ask your doctor about topical estrogen, available in creams, tablets, or in a vaginal ring. This type of estrogen will not improve other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes.

    Tips to Reduce Risk for Osteoporosis

    To protect your bones and avoid osteoporosis:

    Tips to Reduce Risk for Heart Disease

    The risk for heart disease goes up as we age. Tips for protecting your heart include:

    • Get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly.
    • Take steps to reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure if they are too high. If lifestyle changes are not enough to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level and your blood pressure normal, talk to your doctor about prescription medication.
    • If you are diabetic, control your blood sugar.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on July 13, 2014
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