Forty-two years ago, when "All in the Family's" Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton) headed for menopause, she declared, "I feel like I'm jumping in and out of a hot maze and somebody's twisting a rubber band around my head."
Back then, we were trying to figure out how best to manage menopause symptoms and determine IF there were risks associated with hormone therapy. Now we know the first line of defense against hot flashes, brain fog and heart palpitations is losing weight if you need to, avoiding inflammatory saturated and trans fats and added sugars and syrups, and getting moderate exercise to reset your thermostat to "cooler."
We also know (after years of debate) that women who aren't at increased risk for breast cancer or heart disease can benefit from HT. Therapy should start before age 60, last for up to five years and deliver bioequivalent estrogen and micronized progesterone (if you have a uterus) in the lowest effective dose.
Unfortunately, a woman's stroke risk doubles during the 10 years after her periods stop. And taking HT seems to increase that risk. That's why we suggest that you ask your doc about taking two low-dose aspirins a day while on HT. And new research reveals another way to make HT safe for you: Getting 210-300 minutes of moderate exercise (walking) per week reduces your stroke risk by 20 percent right away. So if menopause symptoms are interfering with sleep, work, your love life and your happiness, talk to your doc.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. King Features Syndicate.