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Blonde woman standingAccording to KTLA question and answer segment:

Q: I’m just entering menopause and I’m starting to have more hot flashes. I’d rather not take hormones. What do you suggest?

A: A hot flash is a sensation of being hot and flushed. It may last a few seconds to a few minutes. The drop in female hormone levels and body changes seen at menopause last for the rest of a woman’s life. However, hot flashes disappear over time.

We don’t know how to delay menopause; it’s a natural change. And we don’t know how to prevent hot flashes from starting. We can treat hot flashes quite effectively with estrogen, often combined with progesterone. Because of the risks, many women, like you, are reluctant to use hormones unless absolutely necessary. “Alternative” treatments have been suggested to treat hot flashes, including black cohosh, vitamin D and primrose oil. But there’s been very little good scientific evidence to support the use of most of these. A study reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2006 found that the black cohosh was no better than a placebo.

Soy products also have been suggested as a treatment for hot flashes. But this is controversial because the plant estrogens in soy may also increase the risk of breast cancer.

Little evidence has been found to support the use of acupuncture or homeopathy, but few studies have been done.

Many women also complain about hormonal weight gain before during and after menopause. Pockets of fat can appear in unsightly areas where they may not have been present before. In these cases, Dr. O’Toole recommends liposuction. Liposuction allows the opportunity to select specific areas including upper back, upper abdomen, and outer thighs, and remove excess fat. Different methods of liposuction are available including the new Smart Lipo in Dr. O’Toole’s office.


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