Making your way through Menopause

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FREMONT, Neb. It's often called "The Change" and for some women - it really does change your life. Menopause usually takes place in your 40's or 50's and it affects every woman differently. In today's Health Check, Serese Cole breaks down the signs and the treatment available to get you through it.

For Nancy Low, there's nothing better than a hot summer day.

"I like to be outside and garden," Low explained.

But when she reached her late forties, the heat - became a problem.

"I'm just hot - inside - and you get a little sweaty and you need some fresh air," she said.

She was also tired and irritable.

"I had mood changes...the emotional cry at the drop of a hat over nothing...I was getting to where I didn't want to go anywhere, do anything because I just didn't feel good," Low added.

Nancy had to see a doctor

After hearing her symptoms, Fremont Health's Dr. Karen Lauer-Silva confirmed what Nancy already knew.

"Menopause is very different for every person," Dr. Lauer-Silva said.

Some of those differences happen without you even knowing.

"Silently bones loss happens during menopause," Dr. Lauer-Silva explained.

Not so silent - the hot flashes, night sweats and mood instability.

Dr. Lauer-Silva, "It can affect your relationships for sure, relationships at work, significant people in your lives,"

The good news is there are a number of ways symptoms can be managed. Over-the counter-medication, natural remedies like herbal supplements and low dose anti-depressants can bring women relief.

And..

"There are wonderful hormones which really honestly have the biggest change - the fastest and do the best," the doctor said.

Hormone replacement therapy gives your body the estrogen you lose during menopause. But there are some risks - like blood clots and an increased risk for some cancers like - uterine and breast cancer.

"The American College of OB-GYN concluded that the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time was the way to go for hormone replacement and that five years appears to be safe," said Dr. Lauer-Silva said.

Nancy decided the risk was worth the benefit.

After just four days of taking her hormones, she feels like herself again.

"I have more energy. I'm sleeping at night, my hot flashes are still there, but they're not intense like they were. I'm easier to get along with," Low said with a smile.

And her time out in the summer sun - is back on.

Dr. Lauer-Silva says you don't know have to suffer through this phase of your life. There are a lot of options out there - from patches and creams - to injections. You just need to talk with your doctor about the best plan for you.