The discomfort of menopause can be reduced through diet, exercise and hormone replacements
If menstruation is the "the curse," then menopause is with its potential for insomnia, hot flashes, depression and loss of sex drive might be called the super curse.
But a growing number of women are finding that big changes in lifestyle, diet and exercise, along with informed use of hormone replacements, can make this end of reproductivity is "the change" is a good sight more tolerable if still not actually a walk in the park.
"It is a big change, a burning away of what is not relevant in your life," says Lhesli Michelle Dove, 52, a self-described performer-ceremonialist from Ashland who recently went through menopause.
"If you fear it, if you don't meet it head on, if you don't honor the change and learn to use it as a time of betterment, what you fear is getting old and deteriorating WILL happen."
In menopause, the body' production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone decline, leaving many women with dramatic mood swings and physical symptoms including sweats, hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations and heavy bleeding.
Although menstruation stops abruptly in about 10 percent of women, for most women the transition takes about four years, according to the North American Menopause Society.
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