Friday, September 24, 2010
Menopause Matters! Take a Deep Breath and Read On...
So, yesterday I was talking about night sweats, and I mentioned the night sweats associated with menopause. Other than estrogen, is there anything else you can do for those major power surges that leave you soaking the sheets? Absolutely!
We have several NON-hormonal medications that we can use to improve night sweats and hot flashes. Blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and newer nervous system drugs can all be used.
Additionally, realize that both caffeine and alcohol can trigger night sweats. Often, decreasing or avoiding these substances will significantly improve the problem. Regular exercise, stress reduction, and vegetable-based diets can help as well.
There is a new technique that I learned about from Dr. Julia Edelman's excellent book, "Menopause Matters: Your Guide to a Long and Healthy Life" as well: paced respiration. Amazingly, this technique can reduce hot flashes by 80%, and there are NO untoward side effects! It involves "breathing slowly and deeply. You breathe only 5 to 7 times per minute- much slower than the normal breathing rate".
If you or any woman you love has questions about menopause, this book is chock-full of sound medical advice and I highly recommend buying it. Dr. Edelman clearly addresses the pros and cons of hormone replacement, bioidentical hormones, herbs, and issues affecting women's health from age 35 and beyond.
BOTTOM LINE: For an excellent resource on all things related to menopause, check out Menopause Matters, by Dr. Julia Edeleman.