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The natural changes in a woman's body and life can bring about some uncomfortable symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, monthly irregularities and more. Most often when these symptoms start women are not sure what is wrong. The first thing you should do if you experience these changes is check with your doctor to see if they are related to menopause or to something else.

Most women's ovaries will stop releasing eggs in their early fifties. When this happens the menstrual cycle will stop. When the cycle does not reappear for six months she is said to have gone through menopause. There are many important symptoms that can tell a woman she is moving toward the menopause phase of her life. Quite often in the five to ten years before a woman has her last period she will begin to experience menstrual irregularities, sudden bouts of irritability that comes and goes, as well as, bouts of hot flashes. When the ovaries began to slow in their manufacturing of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, the menopausal symptoms begin. This is also a time when a decline in bone mass occurs and the risk of heart disease can increase. Many women will decide at this time to try hormone replacement therapy. But the concerns about the correlation between this treament and cancer will keep many women at bay. Others simply believe that this is nature taking its own course and they should try using natural remedies to relieve their symptoms. Natural remedies can be very beneficial, not just for the symptoms, but also to aid in keeping heart disease and bone loss from occurring.

When taking vitamins and herbs during menopause you will need to find the best combination that will work for you, so don't be afraid to experiment. Black cohosh and chasteberry are widely used in Europe to stabilize hormone levels. Taking 40 milligrams twice a day of black cohosh and 225 milligrams of chasteberry extract twice a day has worked for many women. Siberian ginseng taken in doses of 100 to 300 milligrams per day is a good general tonic during menopause. Calcium should be taken daily in 600 milligram doses and vitamin D in 200 IU doses will help prevent osteoporosis, as well as ensure the calcium is properly absorbed by the body. Dong Quai taken in 200 milligram doses three times a day is said to bolster the effects of the other herbs. Licorice taken in 200 milligram doses three times a day performs functions similar to those of estrogen. Vitamin E taken in 400 IU doses twice a day aids in preventing heart disease and soy isoflavones taken in 50 milligram doses daily will not only help prevent heart disease, it will also aid with diminishing menopausal symptoms. Studies done on the effects of vitamin C in relation to menopausal symptoms have shown that 1000 milligrams taken twice daily can reduce the heavy bleeding that accompanies menopause. Another study shows that 500 milligrams of flavonoids taken twice a day helps control hot flashes and mood swings.

Other things that have proven to be helpful during menopause include getting plenty of regular exercise to help reduce the number of hot flashes and heart disease. Avoid alcohol, coffee, spicy foods and chocolate which tend to make hot flashes worse. It has also been discovered that soaking in a tepid bath for 20 minutes each morning has been effective for some women in preventing hot flashes all day long.