Simple steps to managing your menopause - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Simple steps to managing your menopause

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ATLANTA -

Women facing menopause often have a lot of questions. They're experiencing new and, sometimes, uncomfortable symptoms. It's often difficult to know what to do.

Should you think about therapy?
Try making lifestyle changes?
Or, all of the above?

Menopause usually hits women in their late-40's and early 50's. But, it can happen even earlier or later than that. Some of the common symptoms are hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness and loss of sex drive.

To get the essentials on managing menopause without worry, FOX 5 Medical Team Reporter Beth Galvin went to an authority on the matter.

Emory gynecologist Dr. Camille Davis-Williams said, "I think for each woman that decision needs to be made between she and her physician. But, she needs to be completely informed, and have some idea of the risks and the benefits that she will be receiving."

Also, what are the risks of HRT?

The doctor said, "There are some conditions that would make the traditional hormone replacement unsafe."

If you have, or have had, breast cancer -- especially, if it's estrogen-receptor positive -- you're not a candidate for HRT. And if you smoke or have a history of blood clots, it may be too risky.

"But it leaves a lot of folk who could consider replacing," the doctor said.

Be sure to ask your doctor about what you can do to relieve your symptoms. Sometimes this involves avoiding certain foods - like spicy dishes - and wine and alcohol.

Exercise can also help lesson some of your symptoms.

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