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Menopause

Can Diet Reduce Menopausal Symptoms?

07/19/2011

Question:

What kind of diet reduces the symptoms of menopause like night sweats, hot flashes, or sleeplessness?

Answer:

There is a lot of discussion, and not much research, about diet and menopausal symptoms, most typically hot flashes. Soy and flaxseed are two "phytoestrogens" that have been studied, but results of the studies are inconsistent, with some showing a reduction of symptoms and some showing no effect.

Another thing to do is keep a diary about what you eat and how, or if, it is related to your symptoms. That is, some women think that coffee or spicy foods increases their symptoms. If you find that every time you eat something spicy, you have a hot flash, you might choose to avoid that food. Good luck!

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Response by:

Linda A Bernhard, PhD, RN Linda A Bernhard, PhD, RN
Professor Emeritus
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University