As of this writing, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for calcium is 800 milligrams. If you are premenopausal, you should take in at least 1,000 milligrams per day. Four 8-ounce glasses of milk would provide 1,200. (Skim milk is as calcium-rich as whole milk and is virtually fat-free.) After menopause, because your body has become less efficient in its ability to metabolize calcium, your requirement increases to 1,500 milligrams a day (unless you are on ERT, in which case 1,000 remains satisfactory). Calcium supplements are recommended for women who do not or cannot (because of lactose intolerance) consume enough calcium in their diet. The best food sources of calcium are milk (skim or whole), yogurt, cheese, raisins, oysters, salmon (with the bones), sardines, mackerel, tofu, calcium-enriched orange juice, and many of the leafy green vegetables. Remember, while estrogen is the only proven preventive for postmenopausal osteoporosis for women at risk, many physicians will recommend a diet that is rich in calcium in conjunction with ERT.

Vitamin E seems to help control my hot FLASHES. Is THERE ANY SCIENTIFIC PROOF THAT IT WORKS? A number of studies seem to indicate that Vitamin E can help alleviate hot flashes and some of the psychological symptoms of menopause, as well as relieve some of the vaginal dryness and soreness that women may experience. However, none of these studies has proved conclusively that Vitamin E works or exactly how it works.

Is DRY AND ITCHING SKIN A PART OF MENOPAUSE? It is a part of menopause and a part of aging, since as we age our skin becomes thinner and dryer. There are a number of ways to relieve these symptoms and to improve the look and feel of your skin. Apply a skin moisturizer immediately after your bath or shower to trap moisture in your skin. Take tepid baths or showers instead of hot ones, which are more drying. Add bath oil to your bath water and luxuriate in a long soak.

What can I do to repair my blotched skin, OR AT LEAST TO MAKE IT LOOK BETTER?

Our skin changes somewhat as we age and these changes are more acute if over the years we have exposed ourselves to damage from the sun. So, in addition to getting dryer or itchy, our skin may wrinkle as we age and may also change in texture and tone. In addition to those brown age spots, the skin on our faces may become blotchy and uneven as a result of broken capillaries and hormonal changes. These changes may occur on our hands, arms, and elsewhere on our bodies as well. There are a number of procedures that a dermatologist can perform to rid you of some of the spots. There is success with freezing off the brown spots, a process that uses electrical current to seal off the broken capillaries, and with applying Retin A cream or gel to rid us of fine-line wrinkling. Today, new treatments have been developed using lasers to repair some of these skin problems. If these medical procedures are not an option for you, you can also conceal changes in your skin with appropriately chosen makeup products.


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