If your night sweats and hot flashes seem out of control, it may not be your imagination: Black women are 63% more likely to experience signs of perimenopause than white women, according to a recent study. The reason for this difference is unclear, but lead author Ellen B. Gold, PhD, says black women may experience the same sensations yet perceive them as being more severe. Lifestyle changes can alleviate discomfort. Gold recommends maintaining a healthy body weight and says “the loss of even a few pounds” can help. Limit alcohol, smoking and refined carbohydrates (like white bread and white sugar), and try consuming more green tea, flaxseed and calcium (at least 1,200 mg daily). Though a recent study questioned the effectiveness of black cohosh, an herbal supplement, many experts herald its ability to reduce hot flashes. Pick up The Wisdom of Menopause (www.drnorthrup.com) by Christiane Northrup, MD, for more tips.
Managing frequent premenopausal symptoms