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: :   HotFlash Central Yes, You Can Embrace Hot Flashes

Yes, You Can Embrace Hot Flashes

Embrace your hot flash. What a concept! When you feel your body's powerful physiological response to hormonal fluctuation, are you mindful of the equally powerful social cue that you, the once immortal, vibrant, young woman, the lithe, young goddess who once had the power to bring forth life from her body, is now in physical decline? You're aging, and the symptoms of menopause seem to be in charge. Now what?HFN 029 Embrace 2 1295965

Should you simply surrender to an inevitable fate? Do you fight that wicked force of aging or do you embrace it and use it to your advantage? How should you actually cope with the physical, emotional, and spiritual implications of menopause?

Hot flashes are, of course, a perfectly normal phenomenon experienced by millions of women every day as a result of declining estrogen levels in their bodies. For some, this change begins during the time of perimenopause. ("Peri" comes from the Latin word meaning "around"—hence, the time around menopause.)

According to some experts, perimenopause can begin as early as 10 years before actual menopause occurs. Menopause is medically defined as beginning one full year after the cessation of menstruation. Symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes, can persist, even if only intermittently, for up to five years or even longer after the official declaration of menopause. Is it necessary to accept such prolonged suffering? Are there means by which to ease this life cycle transition?

Fortunately, for some women (who are likely the minority) hot flashes never seem to be a problem. It's generally believed by the medical community that genetics contribute to the age of onset of menopause, as well as the degree to which different women experience menopause and whether or not they even have hot flashes. However, the rest of us (the majority) are likely to encounter at least some uncomfortable moments, from a flushed face resembling a blush to a full-fledged drench. Rest assured, there are different means available to lessen the impact of the malevolent hot flash.

There are lifestyle options, such as diet and exercise, as well as prescription medications and natural supplements that you can embrace to mitigate the symptoms of menopause. Some of them—a healthy diet and daily exercise—have benefits far beyond this period of your life.

To learn about your options, go to our Treatments & Therapies section, talk with your doctor, and decide how you want to embrace this new phase and emerge the victor! ♀

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