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Provided by MGS

Symptoms commonly associated with menopause may actually indicate that a woman has entered a phase that precedes menopause. According to the National Institute on Aging, spotty menstrual cycles, hot flashes and other changes occur during perimenopause, a phase that’s sometimes referred to as the menopausal transition. The NIA notes that menopause does not actually happen until one year after a woman’s final menstrual period. After menopause, it’s vital that women take certain steps to maintain their long-term health. That’s because post-menopausal women are more vulnerable to heart disease and osteoporosis. A healthy diet that’s rich in calcium can help women reduce their risk for each of these conditions.