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Relieving symptoms of menopause. (Neighborhood Heart Watch).

Nearly everyone has heard the surprising news that the health risks of combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may outweigh its benefits. For over 30 years, millions of women and their doctors assumed that HRT promoted cardiovascular health in addition to relieving menopausal symptoms. In early July, however, investigators halted a major HRT trial scheduled to run until 2005 due to the finding (evidence) of an increased risk of breast cancer, stroke, and heart attack.

Here is a list of remedies and lifestyle changes for women who wish to explore alternatives to HRT for hot flashes and night sweats:

* Black cohosh, an herbal remedy used by Native Americans for women's health. Small studies in Germany--where it has been used for 30 years as a treatment for hot flashes--indicate safety and effectiveness. Two studies on black cohosh are currently underway in the United States.

* Licorice, red clover, and chasteberry supplements are other traditional remedies for menopausal symptoms.

* Ask your doctor about estradiol and micronized progesterone, prescription medicines identical to the hormones produced in the human body.

* Add estrogen to your diet by eating foods rich in soy. Try putting two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in a smoothie or over cereal.

* Avoid alcohol and spicy foods. These can trigger hot flashes.

* Dress in layers that can be removed during a hot flash.
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Publication:Medical Update
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2002
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