Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hot flashes and Soy: The truth?

The truth is, every time you read the news, the experts are changing their minds. First, soy was a sure thing to reduce hot flashes. Then I read in Susun Weed's The New Menopause the Wise Woman's Way that unfermented soy was not good for us. Now a clinical trial published in the Archives of Internal Medicine seems to show that soy's isoflavones do not protect against bone loss or hot flashes (a two year study of 248 postmenopausal women, G&M August 10) (*%3A*) So it's hard to know what works. In the same article, the author mentions maintaining a healthy weight and getting enough exercise is good for reducing hot flashes, as well as adding flax seed and black cohosh, The only supplement I ever needed was Promensil, a red clover extract high in isoflavones. As long as I took the little pill every day I was fine, no hot flashes. One month I stopped taking it, and they came back in full force. The article suggests red clover has no effect, but  my experience shows otherwise, and several of my friends have used it as well, to good effect. I think it's like the homeopaths say - each body, each person, each psyche and physical being reacts differently to the same remedy. What works for one may not work for another. You may have to try a few different things before you discover what works. Whatever you do, know that the rocky road of menopausal change is temporary. Keep yourself in good health, get lots of rest, and support from your women friends and family.  There is a bright side to menopause, an increased level of confidence, a desire to speak our own truths, a clarity about what is in our best interests, a kind of reckoning with the 'good girl' self who was trained to put others first at her own expense.  It becomes imperative that we listen to the signals of our body, especially the need for rest and balance. Your intuition is heightened, and you can work on building a trust in that inner connection. Take good care of yourself, and know that happier times are ahead. musemother/jenn

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