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- Nurse Barb
Menopause is that one magical day when a woman hasn’t had any menstrual bleeding for 12 months. The following day, she is considered post-menopausal. Women may experience menopause starting in their 40s or 50s. The average age is 51.
What most of us consider menopause is actually Peri-menopause, or as I call it, the Hormonal Roller Coaster. This is the time in life when periods are erratic, symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats begin and women start to feel more fatigued, notice some leaking urine, less sex drive and more wrinkles. (more…)
When you buy your ticket on the hormonal roller coaster, affectionately known as menopause, I have some bad news: Sorry, you probably won’t be making a stop at splash mountain. Nope, menopause brings lots of unexpected twists and turns and one big secret, your Va Jay Jay will be a lot dryer.
Ok, using correct terminology, the vagina gets a lot drier and less able to expand and stretch and, well, have fun.
Can You Say Sahara?
Yes, there will be more wrinkles, but you knew that. What many of my patients are surprised by is how dry their skin is, especially in their vaginas. The once healthy, pink, soft and flexible, stretchy accordion-like folds begin to thin out and are less flexible. And, what’s worse, now that you don’t have to worry about pregnancy, all of a sudden, your ability to lubricate recedes like a middle-aged man’s hairline. (more…)
Some women barely have any symptoms and sail right through. Others have more severe symptoms. How do you know if you’re heading toward menopause, in the midst or past it. Here are the 10 questions that will help you determine where you are.
If you answered YES to 2 or more of these questions, then honey, you’re in the midst of the hormonal roller coaster that is also known as Menopause. (more…)
Are you waking up in the middle of the night because you’re too warm, or notice sweat on the back of your neck? Maybe you’re drenched and have to change your PJs? If you’re thinking that there are too many blankets on the bed and turning down the thermostat to arctic levels just to sleep, then you may be having Night Sweats.
Sorry to say, but these pesky personal saunas and steamy nightmares that are making a full night’s sleep just a fleeting and unfulfilled dream are one of the first signs that you may have just jumped aboard the hormonal roller coaster known as Menopause.
Here’s a handy communication tool I received in a mass email. This is for men who love someone dealing with hormonal swings from PMS or Menopause.
If you’re a risk taker, then by all means stay in the Red zone of communication. If you want to live a longer healthier life, then steer toward the Right side of the guide. In any case, there are some fool proof phrases here to keep the peace. (more…)
Lori* called me the other day because she is having horrible night sweats and wanted to get advice about hormone free remedies that might help. She is desperate to have more sleep at night and feels as if she’s popping up out of bed every hour to stand in front of her fan or the open fridge. She’s given up on changing the sheets, but has been running cold water on her wrists to try and get some relief.
Lori’s in her early 50’s and is still having regular periods, so was surprised when I mentioned that her night sweats sound suspiciously like she’s in the midst of what I affectionately call the wild hormonal roller coaster ride of Peri – Menopause.
Here’s the scoop on Hormone Free Black Cohosh for hot flashes and night sweats
The studies done on Hormone Free Black Cohosh for the hot flashes and night sweats of menopause have not shown consistent results. In a few, it is better than placebo, and in others, it’s no better than placebo. However, one thing I explain to my patients, is that with ANY menopause treatment, the placebo response can range from 30-50%, so if if works for you, then it works.
Part of the problem when looking at Black Cohosh, is that there are so many different formulations and it’s available in different strengths. It also seems that some women do very well with it, while others are left scratching their heads wondering what the big deal is.
A recent guideline by the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women have Bone Mineral Density Testing (BMD) starting at age 65 or as early as 60 only if there are risk factors.
Most clinicians I know ask their patients to have a Bone Mineral Density (BMD) Test around the time that their periods stop during the menopausal transition because virtually every woman has at least 1 risk factor. This first BMD provides the woman and her health care provide a baseline understanding of where she is. (more…)
Ever since I wrote Your Personal Guide to Menopause thousands of women have written or approached me for advice about what to do for their hot flashes and menopausal symptoms.
Many are understandably reluctant to use hormones and are searching for effective ways to feel better and have less hot flashes and other symptoms. Though there are research studies that show that some women improve with soy or black cohosh, the results are often mixed. Some women do well and others don’t. What with all the different versions of soy food and supplements, it’s always been chalked up to the form of soy studied. (more…)
Acupuncture and Herbs are natural options to treat menopausal symptoms
Ted Ray, L.A.c., DNBAO helps explain.
While many women experience a common set of symptoms associated with menopause (night sweats, hot flashes, fatigue, and irritability), it’s important to take an individualized approach. One strength of Chinese Herbal Medicine is its ability to combine herbs into a formula that is both right for the patient and right for the symptoms. When done correctly, an herbal formula will quickly relieve symptoms without side effects commonly seen in medications.