Sunday, December 30, 2007

Menopause And Weight Gain

If you're like many women who are thirty-and-forty-something, you've probably noticed that you're gaining weight that stubbornly refuses to take its departure. You're also probably thinking that this extra weight couldn't possibly be due to menopause - after all, you're still experiencing regular periods.

Weight gain in pre-menopausal women is quite normal because menopause actually occurs in three major stages and can take 15 years or longer, depending on your age and family history. The first stage of menopause is known as perimenopause, and symptoms include spotting, hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, irregular periods and weight gain.

Most women will notice weight gain as one of the first symptoms of menopause, especially around the abdomen. This is due to the fact that their hormone levels are declining drastically.

One of the hormones that will have an effect on women as they approach and experience menopause is estrogen, which is the female sex hormone that is responsible for causing monthly ovulation. During your menopausal years, your estrogen levels decline rapidly, causing your body to eventually stop ovulating. This is the hormone that seems to play a big role in menopausal weight gain. When your ovaries produce less estrogen, your body will look for other places from where to get needed estrogen. Fat cells in your body can produce estrogen, so your body works harder to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels.

Another hormone responsible for your new body is androgen, which can be blamed for sending your new weight to your middle section. In fact, weight gain during these menopausal years is often referred to as ?middle age spread? due to the rapid growth of the mid-section. Often, this is one of the very first signs of menopause.

Women also experience a drop in their testosterone levels during these years. While it?s true that testosterone is known as the ?male hormone,? women have testosterone too, and this hormone helps your body to create lean muscle mass out of the calories that you consume. Since muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells do, with higher testosterone levels you?ll have increased metabolism. Because your body is producing less testosterone during menopause you?ll notice a loss of muscle, an increase in body fat and a much lower metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat does, so the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be. As you know, the lower your metabolism, the slower your body burns calories.

Women can benefit a great deal by committing to a regular exercise routine. It's important to know that weight training plays a very important role in losing the extra weight you've gained. You can keep the weight off by building muscle to help burn calories.

In summary, every woman's hormone levels decline at some point in their lives. Yes, this is going to result in some uncomfortable symptoms, but it's certainly not the end of the world. You can naturally reduce a lot of menopausal symptoms by simply making some lifestyle changes that will help to make you look and feel beautiful and energized.

Susan Megge is the founder of http://www.40isbeautiful.com, a website designed to assist mature women as they approach and experience menopause. She is a grandmother, who started experiencing symptoms of menopause several years ago and researched various avenues to deal with these symptoms naturally. This led to her discovery of the significant role that exercise plays in making menopause a very manageable, and even wonderful time in a woman's life.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

An Effective Natural Menopause Treatment

Natural menopause treatment is truly appreciated by many women having the symptoms of menopause. They seem to prefer alternative medicines because the use of hormone replacement therapies might be harmful. Natural menopause treatment is known to be effective with its teas, elixirs and topical applications.

Natural menopause treatment is truly appreciated by many women having the symptoms of menopause. They seem to prefer alternative medicines because the use of hormone replacement therapies might be harmful. Natural menopause treatment is known to be effective with its teas, elixirs and topical applications. Natural menopause treatments decrease the symptoms and this is why so many women try them before starting traditional hormone replacement.

The old saying that the cure can be worse than the disease can be applied here. The side effects of traditional menopause treatment are not really pleasant and you should pay attention to the correct dosage. Apart from that, symptoms are not fully controlled even when having traditional treatment. After all natural menopause treatment is much safer than the traditional hormone replacement therapy. Herbal remedies are commonly used in natural menopause treatment. They might be black cohosh, dong quai, maca root and red clover.

All of them contain phytoestrogens which are like the natural estrogen and their main function is to increase the level of the hormone in the body. Black cohosh is the thing that decreases menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness. It also helps to reduce the irritability and it stabilizes mood swings. If you are taking black cohosh, it is also good to know that it reveals depression and anxiety. It also fights against night sweats and heart palpitations. Dong quai is herb that also treats menopause symptoms naturally. What this herb does best is to dilate blood vessels. When dong quai is combined with black cohosh is it most effective.

Another herbal medicine is maca root. It works as a hormone regulator and helps the stimulation of hormone production. It's most vital function is that it restores libido and increases sex drive. Red clover is the last herb mentioned-above which is used in a natural menopause treatment. It contains high levels of phytoestrogens which work against mood swings and hot flashes. Red clover also protects the organism against osteoporosis. Another thing this very effective herb does is to increase good cholesterol in the blood stream which automatically means lower risk of heart disease for those women taking it.

Even when using natural menopause treatments you should not exceed the recommended dosage and should also be directed. Whatever type of alternative medicine you want to try, it's best if you consult your primary care provider. He might give you sound advice which remedies and therapies are the most suitable for you. Another thing you should do is keep a proper diet and exercise. These two things definitely have positive impact on our health in general, so they also help the reduction of menopausal symptoms.

There are some women who shouldn't use natural menopause treatments because they are not right for them and might have negative effects on them. Before starting any kind of natural menopause treatment you should very carefully read the labels. To conclude with, natural treatments have helped many women live easily in their menopause. If they can work for the others, they might be effective for youHealth Fitness Articles, as well.


Morgan Hamilton offers expert advice and great tips regarding all aspects concerning women's health. Get the information you are seeking now by visiting Natural Menopause Treatment

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Know Menopause.....Is this it?

As women move toward their forties and begin to experience many changes in their bodies they begin to question why. Menopause or perimenopause is often one of the last thoughts. The myriad of symptoms associated with perimenopause can be confusing and overwhelming. To add to the confusion and overwhelm each woman's transition through perimenopause and menopause is different. The symptoms experienced and their severity vary drastically. The information available often varies widely from viewing menopause as a disease to the view of 'it's all in your head'. It's no small wonder women are confused. Clinically speaking menopause is defined as the cessation of menstruation for 1 year or more. Perimenopause, also referred to as climacteric, is the period of time prior to cessation of menstruation when the bulk of symptoms occur. This transition commonly begins between the ages of forty and fifty five and last for two to seven years. It is not unheard of too begin later or earlier. Menopause is not a disease. It is a natural transition process for women similar to adolescence, only this time moving out of the child bearing years. There is a wide variety of symptoms associated with menopause. Here are the most common twenty. 1. Change in Menstrual Cycle - frequency, duration, flow 2. Hot Flashes/Night Sweats 3. Insomnia 4. Weight Gain 5. Headaches 6. Mood Swings 7. Irritability 8. Depression 9. Infertility 10. Change in Body Odor 11. Decreased Sex Drive 12. Fatigue 13. Forgetfulness/Brain Fog 14. Hair Loss/Thinning Hair 15. Frequent Urination/Stress Incontinence(leaks) 16. Dizziness/Light Headed 17. Increased Anxiety 18. Increased Facial Hair 19. Vaginal Dryness 20. Increased Bloating and/or Gas

It is important to note that these symptoms may be from other causes so it's always advisable to check with your health care provider.

What exactly is responsible for all these symptoms? A woman's body is undergoing hormonal changes. Usually the first change is a gradual decline in progesterone. During this time estrogen levels generally remain stable. Estrogen and progesterone play a check and balance act in a women's body, so when they are out of balance symptoms occur. As perimenopause progresses progesterone continues to decline and estrogen levels begin to fluctuate greatly, again triggering symptoms. At the same time the hormones associated with ovulation and follicle growth, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), are increasing resulting in changes in ovulation. The medical tests for menopause traditionally measure FSH and LH levels and increased level is considered a positive result. The problem with this method is that it doesn't measure estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone levels which can not only confirm menopause but assist in a treatment plan. There are two other testing methods that are thought to be reliable. Salivary hormone testing measure free hormones in the saliva and can easily be done at the same time for several days to determine a women's personal baseline. The other is a blood test for free (unbound) hormones in the blood. These are options to discuss with your healthcare provider especially if you are considering hormone replacement therapy. Ultimately developing an individual holistic approach is the best way to manage the menopause transition.

Cathy Brennan, owner of Pathways Coaching, is a Professional Coach specializing in Menopausal Women. She thrives on helping her clients maneuver through the menopause transition and design a life that they can't wait to greet each morning. She has been a Professional Coach for 5 years and has 25 years experience as a Registered Nurse and Holistic Health Practitioner. To contact call 860-774-0006, email coach@pathwayscoach, or visit http://www.pathwayscoach.com. For a free Menopause Assessment go to http://www.assessmentgenerator.com/H/cRcoachcmb1156881430.html


Cathy Brennan, owner of Pathways Coaching, is a Professional Coach specializing in Menopausal Women. She thrives on helping her clients maneuver through the menopause transition and design a life that they can't wait to greet each morning. She has been a Professional Coach for 5 years and has 25 years experience as a Registered Nurse and Holistic Health Practitioner. To contact call 860-774-0006, email coach@pathwayscoach, or visit http://ww

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Helpful Things To Know About Menopause

Menopause is a traumatic time that has to be faced by every female. It causes a host of changes in your body, and the more you know about it, the better fit you will be to get through it smoothly. In this article, we'll discuss some facts about menopause so that you can be better informed about this turbulent period in a woman's life.

- Approximately four thousand women begin menopause per day.

- Roughly one third of a woman's life occurs after menopause.

- Exercise is a key factor in getting through menopause with a minimum of complications. A regular exercise pattern helps to limit the effects of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause: hot flashes, depression, sleep disorders and irritability can all be lowered through a proper exercise plan. In addition, exercise has merit in preventing the physical aspects of menopause. Osteoporosis and heart disease are more prevalent in those post-menopause, and regular exercise can help to curb these risks.

- While hormone replacement therapy is commonly used to help women get through menopause, it is by no means a complete solution and it has problems associated with it. Estrogen that is used in hormone replacement therapy has been shown to increase the risk of uterine cancer. For this reason, it is important for women who have had past cases of cancer to have a thorough conversation with their doctor discussing the merits and risks of getting hormone replacement therapy.

- Low dosage anti-depressants have long been used to help women get through some of the more mental issues associated with menopause. In addition to helping with post-menopausal depression, anti-depressants can help to reduce the amount of hot flashes that are experienced. Another drug that is commonly prescribed to help menopausal patients with hot flashes is clonidine. This agent is used to help patients with high blood pressure and it has been shown to be effective in reducing hot flashes.

- Eating healthy is a key factor in just how many of the menopausal symptoms are experienced by you. Ensure that you are getting enough calcium and Vitamin D, as these two compounds help your body to deal with bone mineralization, thereby decreasing your risk for osteoporosis.

- Smoking can really affect a woman in menopause. Your risk of heart disease is increased when smoking, and certain studies have shown that smoking may increase hot flashes and actually cause menopause to occur earlier than it should.

Kadence Buchanan writes articles on many topics including Women, Beauty, and Women's Health

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Suffering From Menopause? Your Treatment Options

Menopause is defined as a natural life occurrence. This is because it is something that most women will undergo. Although most women experience menopause once they reach fifty years of age, there are women who can start to develop symptoms before or even after that time. Unfortunately, many of those symptoms can be difficult to manage. If you feel that you are suffering from menopause, you are advised to seek treatment. This treatment, whether it is provided by a healthcare professional or not, should relieve or completely eliminate the many symptoms of menopause.

Before familiarizing yourself with menopause treatment options, it is advised that you first be diagnosed with it. This may require a visit to your local physician. Although most women will automatically know that they are experiencing menopause, due to their age, not all will. Common menopause symptoms that you should be on the lookout for include, but should not be limited to, changes in menstrual cycles, hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, vaginal dryness, headaches, sexual disinterest, weight gain, and concentration problems. If you notice a number of these symptoms, you are advised to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.

Once you have been diagnosed with menopause, you and your healthcare provider can work to develop a treatment plan. That treatment plan may include hormone replacement therapy. Since menopause is often caused by a decrease in estrogen, you may find that your physician wishes to replace those hormones. Popular hormone replacement therapy procedures include estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Depending on your menopause symptoms, your physician will choose the hormone replacement therapy that best fits your needs.

Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most popular menopause treatment options. This is mostly due to the fact that hormone replacement is implemented by a professional. However, there are a large number of menopause treatment options that can be considered alternatives. These alternatives are ideal because they often require little or no supervision from a physician. These alternatives include herbs, exercise, and other forms of alternative medicine.

If you are interested in seeking menopause treatment, but without having to pay a large amount of money, you are advised to examine the benefits of exercise. It has been noted that exercise helps to eliminate hot flashes. This is done by raising the endorphin levels in the body. These levels are important because when hot flashes occur, the levels typically drop. Exercise is an ideal way to reduce a number of menopause symptoms because, in many cases, it is free. Whether you make the decision to use your exercise equipment at home or just go for a walk, you should be able to increase your endorphin levels; thus resulting in the reduction or temporarily elimination of hot flashes.

Alternative medicine, including practices such as massages and acupuncture, are rapidly increasing in popularity. The goal of most alternative forms of medicine is to relax the body. This body relaxation is not only likely to improve your blood circulation, but it also likely to reduce many of your menopause symptoms. These symptoms most commonly include fatigue, weakness, and hot flashes. While alternative medicine is used by many, its cost may pose a problem. Many alternative medicine procedures are not covered under most health insurance plans. This means that if you decide to seek the assistance of alternative medicine, for menopause treatment, you may need to pay for that assistance out-of-pocket.

The above mentioned menopause treatment options are just a few of the many that you may find beneficial to you and your health. In the event that you are unable to seek relief from exercise, hormone replacement therapy, or alternative medicine, your physician may be able to provide you with information on additional treatment options

Receiving Menopause Treatment does not have to be a frightening experience. Visit our site to find out what your treatment options are. Visit www.healthline.com.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Understanding Your Symptoms Of Menopause

As a woman, you have probably been through many drastic changes in your life. Around early or late teen years came the concept of puberty and periods. Then for some came the miraculous, yet painful process of pregnancy. Once again, your body is ready to go through another hormonal change. It is important to learn and understand what your body will be going through. You will be thankful when you are prepared. Your loved ones will also be thankful when you have somewhat of a handle on this new experience.

Menopause can be identified with a few signs. The most popular sign is the start of irregular periods. Expect to go through abnormal vaginal bleeding. Your period may come once in every three months or so or two to three times a month. Some women come across heavy, painful bleeding, while others have barley any bleeding. It will feel like you are going through a uterine problems, but do not fear, this is the initial stage of menopause. The cause of these irregular periods is due to the fact that the ovaries are shutting down.

Along with wacky periods, you will experience symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and times of depression. Unfortunately, these symptoms can last as long as five years. More symptoms include hair loss, loss of libido, memory lapse, ringing ears, dry vagina, burning tongue/mouth, increased sensitivity to allergies, weight gain, decreased bone density, and muscle and joint soreness.

Among the physical hindrances that menopause brings, the worst symptoms would probably be the mental ones. While the physical symptoms can be annoying, the depression and mood swings can really take toll on a woman.

Now that you are aware of the symptoms, rest assured that there are many remedies. Visit a doctor who can help you through this time and prescribe you medication to ease some of the symptoms. The support of women friends who have gone through or are going through the same thing right now can offer you much encouragement and help you get through this new time in your life. Remember that you do not have to suffer alone.

Thanks for reading. If you found this article helpful you can check out more menopause tips, information, and more articles on my website: http://www.themenopausesymptom.com

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Menopause Information: How to Live Longer, Healthier and Happierx

Menopause is a natural biological and physiological change that we cannot escape. There is nothing to worry about, you are not going to crawl in a hole and stop living.

In fact, you could benefit from menopause. When a woman goes through menopause the biological clock stops ticking, as well, the menstrual cycle ceases. What a grand benefit. It gets better; you will not suffer PMS symptoms.

Menopause in fact is the beginning of new life. Now do not get me wrong, you will experience hot flashes, heart palpitations, night sweats, mood swings, and drying in the vaginal area.

The positive aspect is that symptoms of menopause do not pose any risk to your health. You can reduce symptoms by practicing deep breathing. Deep breathing has proven to relieve women in menopause from symptoms up to 50%. You can also try to stay in a cool environment to minimize menopause symptoms.

One of the major problems that lead to stress is that down through the years people were taught that menopause was the mark of the ending. You heard negative remarks such as, "Oh, she's going through the change." This remark alone put fear in many for years to come.

The fact is you are now beginning to live. You do not have to worry about your children, because they are grown and out of the house. You have the option of starting a new career, or advancing in your current career.

Menopause causes a woman's body to slow estrogen. What you can do to boost estrogen is incorporate soy into your diet, and has sex more than twice a week.

Some women endure depression, and mood swings that cause them to lash out. While no proof is available that links these behaviors to menopause, some studies believe that night sweats and hot flashes has something to do with it.

To live longer, healthier, and happier you want to include exercise into your daily plans. Studies show that exercise, such as walking, can increase chemicals and endorphins which will make you feel better both inside and out. Exercise will improve mood swings, as well as strengthen in your muscles to prevent osteoporosis. In addition, stretch exercises will promote flexibility, mobility, and spare your joints from harm.

Women going through menopause are candidates for osteoporosis, simply because estrogen decreases. Again sex promotes estrogen; accordingly you want to learn to train the mind to enjoy your partner.

Now that you know that menopause is not a bad thing, you can move ahead by accepting changes. Those who accept change, has proven to live longer, healthier, and happier. Change is good. Change is your friend. Change is what helps us to live and grow.

Alex Fir shares a wealth of information on his website Help for Menopause. If you want to learn more about menopause relief visit his site now.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Menopause Weight Gain ? Why You Have It And How To Lose It

You?re mature. You?re confident. You?re fat. Okay, maybe you?re not fat, but weight is starting to accumulate around your mid-section and no matter what you do, it?s not going away. You?ve cut your caloric intake, you?ve started doing stomach crunches, you?re parking further away from the entrance at work and you?ve even started taking walks through your neighborhood to burn some calories and lose this additional weight. Still, the pile of mush that overlaps your waistband remains. It?s ugly and it jiggles, but it loves you and it?s going nowhere. Why? These remedies worked just fine when you were younger, but they?re not quite as effective now that you?re approaching menopause.

There?s a very good reason for the stubborn weight surrounding your abdomen. As a matter of fact, this explanation is quite simple ? it?s your hormones. I know they?ve caused numerous problems for you from the day you started menstruating, but your hormones are not quite finished wreaking havoc just yet. You see, as you approach menopause your hormone levels have begun to decline drastically, thus causing the weight gain you?re now experiencing. Many women become complacent and accept this gain in weight as just a normal part of the aging process. While this is certainly an option, it?s not the only avenue that can ? or should ? be taken.

It?s inevitable ? every woman approaching menopause is going to experience symptoms associated with declining hormone levels. As a matter of fact, the decrease in your estrogen level plays a significant role in the weight gain you?re now noticing. You see, estrogen is the hormone which is responsible for causing monthly ovulation. Obviously, as you enter the menopausal years your estrogen level decreases, thus causing your body to eventually cease ovulating. Since your body is producing less estrogen it?s only natural that it will look for other places from where to get needed estrogen. It just so happens that fat cells in your body are capable of producing estrogen, therefore, your body works harder to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels.

Unfortunately, you?ll also experience a decrease in your level of testosterone. Why is this unfortunate? Well, testosterone is the hormone that helps your body to create lean muscle mass out of the calories you consume. As you may know, muscle burns more calories than fat cells do, which will contribute to increased metabolism. Obviously, your body burns more calories with a higher metabolic rate.

With the combination of a decrease in estrogen and testosterone levels working against you, you?re now faced with a body determined to be a walking pile of fat. Is it the end of the world? Must you accept this terrible fate bestowed upon you? Absolutely not. Now that you know what?s taking place inside your body, you?re armed and ready with the tools you need to combat these changes, right? You?re well aware of the significant role muscle plays to burn calories, so if you want to be lean and toned you?ll need to build muscle to help your body burn calories.

You?ll benefit tremendously by committing to a regular exercise regimen, which includes weight training to lose the extra weight you?ve gained. It?s not rocket science; it?s simple common sense ? build muscle, burn calories and keep the weight off. By making a few simple lifestyle changes you will reduce many of the menopausal symptoms you?re experiencing and you?ll begin to feel beautiful, youthful and energized once again.
Susan Megge is the founder of http://www.40isbeautiful.com, a website designed to assist mature women as they approach and experience menopause. She is a grandmother, who started experiencing symptoms of menopause several years ago and researched various avenues to deal with these symptoms naturally. This led to her discovery of the significant role that exercise plays in making menopause a very manageable, and even wonderful time in a woman's life.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Menopause - the Wise Woman Way

Discover Wise Woman Ways of approaching menopause and work with green allies to help you through this period of change. Susun Weed shows you how!

WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?

To the MD, menopause is the last drop of blood a woman sheds. A woman can be peri-menopausal (around menopause) or post-menopausal (after menopause) but she can never be menopausal, according to this definition.

To most women, however, the years between the first suspicion of change and the final menses constitute the menopausal years, and we are menopausal throughout that time. This decade of transition is compared by some to non-stop PMS, by others to an extended pregnancy. I see it as a second puberty.

Menopause is puberty prime, and the change from a familiar, known self to new and unknown self is the same: amazing, difficult, rewarding, exasperating, and momentous.

"Do not become alarmed when you experience yourself in totally new ways," sighs Grandmother Growth tenderly. "You are changing, getting ready to be initiated into the third stage of your life. Are you ready for the ride of your life?" Susun Weed, Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way, Woodstock: Ash Tree, 2002

THE STORY OF MENOPAUSE

The onerous physical/emotional changes that accompany puberty and menopause are strongly influenced - both positively and negatively - by cultural, familial, and personal beliefs.

If we expect our new self to be more powerful, more exciting, more interesting than our old self, we willingly undergo discomfort, pain, sleeplessness, emotional variability, and a host of annoyances and distresses. In America today, this is may be the case when we experience puberty, pregnancy, birth, and lactation.

If we expect our new self to be a weaker, less interesting, grayed-out version of our older self, we will naturally resist changing and find the normal abnormalities of change intolerable. This is often the case when American women encounter menopause.

The purpose of this article is not to examine why this is so, or how it came to be so, but to offer a different view of menopause. I want to share with you the teachings I have received from the Ancient Ones, the ancient grandmothers who tell the women's mystery stories. That your journey may be made richer.

"The joy of menopause is the world's best-kept secret. Like venturing through the gateway to enter an ancient temple, in order to claim that joy a woman must be willing to pass beyond the monsters who guard its gate. As you stand at the brink of it, it can appear that only darkness, danger and decay lie beyond. [But] ... as thousands of women from all cultures throughout history have whispered to each other, it is the most exciting passage a woman ever makes."Leslie Kenton, Passage to Power. London: Ebury Press; 1995

GREEN BLESSINGS

And let's take some simple herbal helpers with us on our menopausal journey. Their abilities are subtle and far-reaching. They can help us ease symptoms, provide us with optimum nourishment, help us create healthy hearts and healthy bones, and open us to the uplifting power of Nature.

Nourishing herbal infusions provide an abundance of minerals, vitamins, proteins, and phytoestrogens (plant hormones that are similar to estrogen) at low cost and with little effort.

To make a nourishing herbal infusion:

  • Place one ounce by weight (about a cup by volume) of dried herb (do not use fresh) in a quart jar and fill to the top with boiling water.
  • Cover tightly and allow to steep for at least four hours. Overnight is fine.
  • Strain and refrigerate.
  • Drink 2-4 cups a day, hot or cold, mixed with other liquids (water, juice, rum, coffee for example) or taken neat.

I rotate through four nourishing herbs: oatstraw, stinging nettle, red clover, and comfrey leaf. Each herb has special benefits for menopausal women. These four herbs, taken one at a time, and infused in water, are completely safe to use. (They may not be safe if taken in tinctures or encapsulated). I have drunk nourishing herbal infusions on a daily basis for more than twenty years.

But before we go further, let's talk about the purpose of menopause.

"She [the postmenopausal woman] is not a sentiment, she is a requirement."Kristen Hawkes, 1997

THE PURPOSE OF MENOPAUSE

Menopause may be a prime factor in women's greater longevity.(1)

Dr. Kristen Hawkes of the University of Utah reports that Hadza women in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond gather more food than men or women of other ages and they are as important to the survival of their grandchildren as the children?s mothers are.(2)

The postmenopausal woman is the one who has the stored wisdom to help her community survive. She is the Wise Woman, the one who gives us all a survival edge. Dr. Jared Diamond of the University of California at Los Angeles Medical School maintains that menopause is "among the biological traits essential for making us human." (3)

Dr. Hawkes believes that not only did prehistoric women survive past the age of menopause, but that they were instrumental in freeing our ancestors to exploit new habitats, explore new places, and ultimately to spread across the entire planet. (4)

?Kundalini [is] the root [of] all spiritual experiences ....?RE Svoboda, Kundalini Aghora II. Albuquerque, NM. 1993

MENOPAUSE AS ENLIGHTENMENT

As a long-time student of yoga, I am struck by the many similarities between menopausal symptoms and the well-known esoteric goal of ?awakening of the Kundalini.?

Kundalini is a special kind of energy known in many cultures, including Tibetan, Indian, Sumerian, Chinese, Irish, Aztec, and Greek. Kundalini is said to be hot, fast, powerful, and large. It exists within the earth, within all life, and within each person.

Kundalini is usually represented as a serpent coiled at the base of the spine, but women?s mystery stories locate it in the uterus - or the area where the uterus was, if a hysterectomy has occurred.

Yogis spend lifetimes learning how to wake up their Kundalini so they may experience enlightenment. Success causes a surge of super-heated energy to travel through the body, firing the nerves, dilating blood vessels, and altering the nature of reality. Sounds like a hot flash to me.

If Kundalini is released over and over, as it is during menopause, it causes changes in the functioning of the endocrine, cardiovascular, and nervous systems.

Wise women use nourishing herbal infusions, especially nervous-system strengthening oatstraw, fermented foods, such as yogurt, and seaweed (as a food, not a supplement), to help ensure that these changes add to their vitality and longevity, creating what Margaret Mead called "postmenopausal zest".

MAIDEN, MOTHER, CRONE

When we are children, we exist within Kundalini; it is primarily outside the body. At puberty, a two-valved energy ?gate? opens, and Kundalini circulates up from the earth and into the root chakra. The maiden becomes the mother. Kundalini builds up in the uterus and pelvic tissues, ready to create a new life. This stored Kundalini can intensify emotions and sensations, expose powerful feelings, trigger creative outpourings, and generate house-cleaning frenzies. If pregnancy occurs, the Kundalini continues to build for the duration of the pregnancy and is used in the act of birth. If no egg is fertilized, the Kundalini flows out with the menstrual blood, returning to the earth.

At menopause, one ?valve? of the root chakra closes. The mother becomes the crone. The open valve allows Kundalini to enter; the closed one prevents it from leaving. When Kundalini collects in the uterus without an outlet, it causes problems including incontinence, broken hips, loss of libido, and excessively dry vaginal tissues.

STINGING NETTLE

But if the Kundalini is guided (by thought or by hot flashes, for instance) up the spine, then it confers enlightenment not incontinence, flexibility not fractures, vitality not debility, and abundance not withering. Stinging nettle infusion replaces the nutrients and proteins that Kundalini uses up. By strengthening the adrenals and kidneys, and increasing stamina, nettle helps us surf the waves and ski the slopes of our hot flashes.

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a wonderful ally for the woman who is awakened by night sweats, whose hair is falling out or becoming brittle, whose energy is flagging (or gone!), whose vagina is dry, who wants to avoid adult-onset diabetes, for the woman who wants to increase her metabolic rate, improve the flexibility of her blood vessels, strengthen her immune system, and find ease for sore joints.

Loaded with folic acid, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, carotenes, zinc, boron, and iron, nettle is a nutritional powerhouse. One cup of infusion supplies 500mg of calcium plus vitamin D, vitamin K, protein, and special lipids, which contribute to magnificent bone health.

SEVEN ENERGY CENTERS

The root energy center is one of seven main energy centers, each of which corresponds to endocrine glands. In even the healthiest of women, disruption of some sort, in one or more of the energy centers (chakras), will occur for at least a short while during the menopausal years.

It is important to remember that the vast majority of uncomfortable symptoms caused by menopause and the movement of Kundalini will be short-lived (less than a year).

Healthy women who have had one or no children generally seem to have the strongest symptoms as Kundalini arises. Women with low vitality, including women who have given birth to six or more children, may have few or no symptoms at all.

  • Menopausal symptoms at the root center include menstrual pain, growth of fibroid tumors, flooding, urinary problems, cervical/uterine/endometrial growths/cancers, brittle hips, constipation, diarrhea, vaginal infections and irritations, and hemorrhoids.

    Get help from:

    Motherwort tincture (Leonurus cardiaca). A dose of 10-15 drops counters cramps as it eases hot flashes.

    Red clover (Trifolium pratense), the world's best-known, best-regarded anti-cancer herb, also improves fertility and helps normalize the bowels. If that weren't enough, red clover infusion (not tincture, not capsules) contains ten times more phytoestrogens than soy.

    Whole grains and lentils, beets and burdock are also allies of the root chakra.

  • Menopausal symptoms at the navel (or belly) center include bloat, gas, urinary infections, exhaustion, panic attacks, paranoia, and episodes of inexplicable sorrow.

    Get help from:

    Stinging nettle. It is the specific helper for this chakra.

    Additionally, orange foods (especially baked winter squash and sweet potatoes) bring ease and health, improving energy and mood.

  • Menopausal symptoms at the solar plexus include indigestion, disturbed liver function, gall stones, a sense of dissatisfaction with one's self, blood sugar and mood swings, adult onset diabetes, anxiety, phobias, and pathological shyness.

    Get help from:

    Herbs such as dandelion, burdock, or yellow dock roots, or milk thistle seeds, used as tinctures. They strengthen the solar plexus, improve digestion, moderate blood sugar and mood swings, help the liver clear excess hormones, and put you on the sunny side of life.

  • Menopausal symptoms at the heart chakra include palpitations, breast changes, excess fat deposits on the back and upper arms, lessening of compassion, increase in blood pressure, unwarranted feelings of guilt, and lung problems.

    Get help from:

    Motherwort tincture (not capsules). A dropperful stops palpitations in minutes. Regular use helps stabilize the heart, decreases blood pressure, improves blood flow, and eases emotional distress.

    Comfrey leaf (not root) infusion (not capsules) is a renowned lung strengthener. Popularly known as knitbone, comfrey leaf supplies lots of bone-healthy nutrients.

  • Menopausal symptoms at the throat chakra include thyroid problems, excessive weight gain, incoherent rages, nausea, cough, and sore throat. Menopausal women who have swallowed too much "no" during their lives may find themselves making dramatic and amazing statements.

    Get help from:

    Seaweeds, the specific ally of the throat chakra. Soak kombu or wakame with beans and cook, add hijiki or alaria to soups, snack on dulse and kelp. I don't use tablets or powdered products, finding them inferior.

  • Menopausal symptoms at the third eye center include headaches, eye problems, near-sightedness, sinus infections, depression, thoughts of suicide, obsessions, insomnia, and mental instability (visions and hallucinations).

    Get help from:

    The mint family. Skullcap tincture strengthens the nerves, eases headaches, and brings deep sleep. Sage infusion makes the mind coherent and clear. Rosemary oil aids the memory and improves concentration. Lavender blossom tea lifts the mood and unkinks wound-up nerves.

  • Menopausal symptoms at the crown chakra include hair loss, dizziness, hearing problems, memory problems, dementia, nervous tics, shingles, and unexplained pain anywhere in the body.

    Get help from:

    Comfrey leaf (not root) infusion (not capsules); it's brain food.

    Nettle infusion (not capsules) restores hair and counters compulsions.

    Hypericum perforatum (St. Joan's/John's Wort) tincture (not capsules), used freely (a dropperful every 2-4 hours) can relieve the pain of shingles within a day and often cure it within three. Eases sore muscles anywhere; helps prevent muscle aches too.

SHE-WHO-HOLDS-HER-WISE-BLOOD-WITHIN

As we leave our fertile years behind, so we leave behind our identity as "mother" (irrespective of whether we have physically had children or not). Ready or not, we are introduced to ourselves as old women. Yes, we are yet baby crones, not yet prepared to wield the Kundalini that now flows through us toe to tip. Yet we are crones, women of wisdom, women of power.

When menopausal symptoms are understood as energy movement (or lack of it), we can feel more at ease, not so afraid of being out of control. Instead of feeling victimized by our bodies, we can nourish our wholeness. We can view our symptoms as suggestions for improvement, instead of damning evidence of our mortality. We can focus in on areas that need special attention, extra nourishment.

Quiet time alone in nature, or sitting in a comfortable chair listening to soothing music allows thoughts and feelings to arise and opens the way for the flow of Kundalini. Specific exercises, such as those in Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and yoga can also be used to help ease into the increased energy flow. Green allies such as oatstraw, nettles, red clover, comfrey leaf, and motherwort strengthen us for the increased power. Because we know the outcome is worth it, the day-to-day annoyances are easier to take.

After years of practice, Kundalini moves freely up the spine and out the crown. Our symptoms subside, our overall energy is stronger, better. We hold our wise blood inside. We are the wise women. We are the crones.

Footnotes:

  1. Perls T MD, Fretts R MD. ?Why Women Live Longer Than Men?. Scientific American, 1998 August: 102.
  2. Angier N. ?Is Menopause a Key to Survival? The Grandmother Hypothesis?. New York TimesBusiness Management Articles, 1997: August 18.
  3. Ibid
  4. Ibid


Susun Weed
PO Box 64
Woodstock, NY 12498
Fax: 1-845-246-8081

Visit Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com;and www.ashtreepublishing.com

For permission to reprint this article, contact us at: susunweed@herbshealing.com

Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

What Is Menopause?

Like all major turning points in women?s lives, reaching menopause can be challenging and even a little frightening. Like puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth, menopause carries with it a whole host of natural, but nonetheless challenging and sometimes uncomfortable, physical changes. Moreover, it also carries with it a plethora of normal emotional and spiritual reactions, ranging from denial, confusion and even grief. After all, menopause marks a completely new phase in a woman?s life. It heralds the end of our childbearing bearing years and ushers in a different phase of deep female maturity. And, since unfortunately we still live in a culture that equates femininity with sexual fertility, it?s no wonder that many women regard menopause as a negative thing. Sadly some regard it as a nullification of their worth as women, something that couldn?t be further from the truth. Menopause also reminds us we are getting older and our are bodies are naturally aging. That fact in itself can be a difficult to accept.

But what is menopause exactly? Menopause is an intermediary stage that takes place when a woman?s reproductive organs fail to produce eggs, causing her menstrual cycle to stop. Typically menopause begins after or around the age of 50, however there are exceptions with some women commencing menopause earlier or later in life. And, more often than not the symptoms of menopause begin some time before onset.

There are a whole host of symptoms that can accompany menopause. Some of the more common signs are hot or cold flushes; weight gain; mood swings and irritability; emotionality; decrease in libido; muscle and joint soreness; depression; rapid or irregular heart rate; disordered sleeping patterns and irregular periods as well as lighter or heavier menstrual bleeding. In fact, the symptoms of menopause are so many and so individual that it is almost a case of ?expect the unexpected?. Some women even say they feel as if their skin is crawling!

The truth is that menopause should not be feared. Instead we should embrace and celebrate it as a normal stage in our cycle of health and wellness. That said, the symptoms and signs of menopause can be difficult to live with, and women should not face it alone. Think about it this way. If men had to go through menopause, just imagine the level of support, public awareness and caring workplace practices that would be established to help them through it! As it is, women have to muddle through menopause as best they can, dealing with it day-by-day, with their friends and sense of humor as their best allies.

Like all health matters, being well-informed about the sorts of symptoms you might experience allows you to physically and mentally prepare. Indeed, some women do not even realize they are going through menopause because they simply lack the information to explain what they are feeling! It?s not until they research and explore the signs that they make the connection. And it?s no wonder, given that the list of potential symptoms is so long and diverse.


Kathryn Whittaker has an interest in Menopause. For further information on Menopause please visit http://www.natural-menopause-relief-secrets.com/menopause.html or http://natural-menopause-relief-secrets.com/blog/2006/08/26/what-is-menopause/ .

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Should You Take Menopause Diet Pills?

As menopause begins women often find many less than ideal images entering their minds. One typical concern is that menopause will make you pile on the pounds like never before.

Indeed, as people age and start to enter their forties and fifties their metabolism does begin to slow down. What is very important to remember is that there is no concrete evidence as yet that menopause its self causes weight gain.

Any weight issues experienced during menopause, e.g. bloatedness, are often be blamed on the menopause it's self, typically wrongly. Menopause diet pills are not the solution to people's particular weight gains.

Pills specifically aimed at reducing weight during menopause are misleading. The phrase 'whilst experiencing hot flashes and mood swings you exercise, you barely eat, and you still pile on the pounds in areas you never had before' can often be seen on menopause diet pill containers. These are pure marketing trash designed to prey on women's insecurities in order to make sales. Often someone with the title of doctor will have supposedly helped to create these wonder pills that have been tried and tested for up to more than two decades. Pills such as these are typically the standard dieting pills from one of the many manufacturers, simply with a different name on the front of the packet. In no way are they specific to menopause.

Other pills on the market may have more of an effect with burning fat but should not be taken by menopausal women due to various substances contained therein actually potentially increasing the wide ranging uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.

Any product which contains caffeine or a similar caffeine shaped chemical compound should ideally be avoided. Many additives on pill box labels contain this type of ingredient e.g. kola nut, guarana, green tea extract, yerba mate and bitter orange (citrus aurantium).

Caffeine acts to heighten menopausal difficulties, but also can create another set of irritating side effects. Not uncommon are nervousness, elevated blood pressure, cases of the jitters and palpitations of the heart.

If pills must be taken for anything, unless approved by your doctor, they should be vitamin-specific pills used to increase certain vitamins and minerals in your diet.

If you want to loose weight whilst undergoing menopause then standard fitness advice is what is required. Consume a moderate quantity of healthy and varied food whilst also frequently exercising at the appropriate pace for your level of fitness. A healthy diet lowers your blood cholesterol levels, provides just the right energy required for the day and has been known to improve your positive outlook on life. Regular exercise has been seen to raise your metabolic rate, aiding weight loss, and lower stress and the risk of a multitude of serious diseases, such as osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer.

Are you interested in pregnancy during menopause, then why not visit http://www.menopausereliefs.com/Celebrate-Menopause-But-Be-Prepared-For-Pregnancy.php for more information.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Find Your Menopause Supplement Today!

Due to the number of changes a woman's body goes through when faced with menopause, a number of manufacturers have developed supplements to help ease some of that discomfort. These menopause supplements are specifically designed to offer relief with several key ingredients. One of these ingredients is a group called isoflavones which come from either soy or red clover.

Organic Woman's Bread offers a generous amount of soy isoflavones, which equals nearly 80 mg, and also contains fiber and flax seeds. Flax & Soy Granola, offered by Zoe Foods, contains ingredients that are believed to help minimize the hot flashes that occur during menopause. Flax and Soy Bars, which are common snack items, are available for those with the munchies.

Many people take a menopause supplement without giving any thought to safety or how their system will react to it's consumption. The unfortunate truth is that certain types of medication and/or a menopause supplement, both over the counter and prescription, may present serious risks to some individuals if used in excessive amounts or if not taken in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

Prior to purchasing or using any type of menopause supplement, make sure to read the outside packaging for any warning or cautionary notices. In addition, pay close attention to the instructions and guidelines for usage, which must be followed responsibly. When selecting a menopause supplement, it is important to note most will not cause side effects if used properly. Supplements are designed to help individuals meet their nutritional and/or replacement needs.

Never purchase a medication product that has been opened or appears to have been tampered with. Always check that your product is factory sealed before you buy it, and if you discover it after the fact, return it to the store right away. If this seal is not an option, consider ordering your medication online where it is kept out of high traffic areas before it is shipped. This reduces the opportunity for anyone to tamper with your product before you buy it.

Aside from an actual menopause supplement, some women find relief in aromatherapy, herbs, dietary supplements, etc.

The information in this article is to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice. Anyone with questions regarding the use of a menopause supplement should consult their physician for further information.

Melissa Ream is the content editor at Symptoms of Menopause Now. She has collected the best and most current information on menopause symptoms available on the internet.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How To Lose Weight After Menopause..

I was recently asked this question by a female customer:

- Since I've been going through menopause, I can't seem to lose one pound. Do you have any special advice for me? It's very hard to just keep dieting and dieting and see no results.

My answer:

Seeing results in your weight loss program is the best motivator there is. As we age, it gets harder to build muscle and lose fat. We will all go through this phase. Now, should we surrender? Of course not. A woman in her 50+ can still totally transform her body...

First of all, make sure you follow the fundamentals:

- Drink a lot of water

- Eat six smaller meals a day instead of three big ones

- Exercise

Weight training in particular becomes EVEN MORE important as we age. This will allow us to age with grace and not be "crippled".

Women especially tend to suffer from osteoporosis after menopause. Weight lifting helps keep your bones stronger and "denser". By following the proper steps, you can lose fat - no doubt about it. However, the older we get, the less forgiving our body becomes so we don't have that wide of a margin for errors or for "messing around".

If you follow a proper fat loss plan, you will lose fat and increase muscle - it's just that this will happen at a slower pace than if you were in your early 20's or 30's.

I'm not a doctor and I try to avoid answering "medical" questions - but I'll give you a hint: Talk to your doctor about hormone-replacement therapy. There may be a way for you to "turn back the clock" so to speak. Don't talk to just any doctor who is clueless. Find a smart endocrinologist who is "human" and understands what you are trying to do (lose fat and build muscle so you are stronger and look sexier) and see if he can recommend something that will help you. Ask questions and see if he has experience with this type of treatment. You don't want to be nobody's guinea pig...

Something else that is important is your mental perspective. Did you know that many people die a few years after they retire from their job? This can happen in their 70s or even their 60s or 50s. Age isn't really important. What's interesting is that these people say: "Ok, since I'm retired, that's it, I'm finished." Then, they get depressed and give up on life completely.

Going through menopause can have a similar effect on a woman's body. The trick is to know how to fight back. In any case, DON'T QUIT. Some people live up to 120. Being 52 years young is far to early to say that you are "finished". See? It's all a matter of perspective...

Why Almost Everyone Is Dead Wrong About Weight Loss - Including How To Lose Up To 28 Pounds in 4 Weeks And Keep it off - Without Diet Pills or Aerobics and Without Feeling Hungry. Lose weight with this simple weight loss program.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Menopause And Weight Gain

If you're like many women who are thirty-and-forty-something, you've probably noticed that you're gaining weight that stubbornly refuses to take its departure. You're also probably thinking that this extra weight couldn't possibly be due to menopause - after all, you're still experiencing regular periods.

Weight gain in pre-menopausal women is quite normal because menopause actually occurs in three major stages and can take 15 years or longer, depending on your age and family history. The first stage of menopause is known as perimenopause, and symptoms include spotting, hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, irregular periods and weight gain.

Most women will notice weight gain as one of the first symptoms of menopause, especially around the abdomen. This is due to the fact that their hormone levels are declining drastically.

One of the hormones that will have an effect on women as they approach and experience menopause is estrogen, which is the female sex hormone that is responsible for causing monthly ovulation. During your menopausal years, your estrogen levels decline rapidly, causing your body to eventually stop ovulating. This is the hormone that seems to play a big role in menopausal weight gain. When your ovaries produce less estrogen, your body will look for other places from where to get needed estrogen. Fat cells in your body can produce estrogen, so your body works harder to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels.

Another hormone responsible for your new body is androgen, which can be blamed for sending your new weight to your middle section. In fact, weight gain during these menopausal years is often referred to as ?middle age spread? due to the rapid growth of the mid-section. Often, this is one of the very first signs of menopause.

Women also experience a drop in their testosterone levels during these years. While it?s true that testosterone is known as the ?male hormone,? women have testosterone too, and this hormone helps your body to create lean muscle mass out of the calories that you consume. Since muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells do, with higher testosterone levels you?ll have increased metabolism. Because your body is producing less testosterone during menopause you?ll notice a loss of muscle, an increase in body fat and a much lower metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat does, so the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be. As you know, the lower your metabolism, the slower your body burns calories.

Women can benefit a great deal by committing to a regular exercise routine. It's important to know that weight training plays a very important role in losing the extra weight you've gained. You can keep the weight off by building muscle to help burn calories.

In summary, every woman's hormone levels decline at some point in their lives. Yes, this is going to result in some uncomfortable symptoms, but it's certainly not the end of the world. You can naturally reduce a lot of menopausal symptoms by simply making some lifestyle changes that will help to make you look and feel beautiful and energized.
Susan Megge is the founder of http://www.40isbeautiful.com, a website designed to assist mature women as they approach and experience menopause. She is a grandmother, who started experiencing symptoms of menopause several years ago and researched various avenues to deal with these symptoms naturally. This led to her discovery of the significant role that exercise plays in making menopause a very manageable, and even wonderful time in a woman's life.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

The Importance Of Fitness During Menopause

Learn About the Crucial Links Between Fitness and Menopause

Did you know that a regular fitness or exercise routine plays a major role in reducing the symptoms of menopause? One particular symptom of menopause is weight gain, which, unfortunately seems to develop just as a woman finally reaches a point in her life when she's mature and self-confident, and then the fat starts piling on. This weight gain is quite common and the result of declining hormone levels which causes the metabolism to slow down significantly, even in pre-menopausal women.

The majority of women will especially notice an increased amount of fat deposition around their mid-section, which plays a significant role in contributing to heart disease, the number one killer of middle-aged and older women. Not to worry; this weight can be managed quite easily by simply getting into a regular fitness and exercise routine. Fitness and consistent activity really are the keys to decreasing weight and avoiding the pitfalls of aging. By committing to a regular exercise routine, one which includes weight bearing exercises, women will change the muscle-to-fat ratio, enabling them to increase their metabolic rate and burn calories, even at rest.

In addition to weight gain, women in their thirties begin to lose bone mass at a rate of approximately 1% per year and that rate increases to 2%-3% per year after menopause. Studies have shown that exercise can actually increase a woman's bone density, thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis and the incidence of falls and bone fractures associated with osteoporosis. Unfortunately, osteoporosis often goes undetected until bone fractures occur, but by taking preventative measures, such as getting into a regular fitness routine, women can indeed reduce this risk.

Exercise and fitness can also be beneficial in reducing the incidence of hot flashes, a common symptom of menopause. Hot flashes can contribute to impaired sleep patterns and a decreased energy level. Additionally, hot flashes can also affect one's overall mood, which has the potential to negatively affect both personal and professional relationships. While estrogen replacement therapy has been shown to decrease these symptoms, for many women a regular exercise routine appears to be a very viable alternative.

Simply stated, making fitness and exercise a priority will benefit most women who are approaching or experiencing menopause, and the positive results, both physically and emotionally, are well worth the extra time required to begin and continue a regular exercise routine. It's easy to make excuses to not make time to ensure that fitness is a priority, but it's crucial to understand that being regularly active will lead to overall good health now and in the future. The only results you'll see from your added physical activity will be those that are very beneficial to you and those you love.

Susan Megge founded http://www.40isbeautiful.com to assist women with issues related to menopause, such as weight gain, hot flashes, mood swings, etc. Susan Megge is the author of "Being Beautiful Beyond 40," a book dedicated to give women the confidence and inspiration to experience menopause with minimal symptoms and learn to embrace these years.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Understanding Peri-Menopause

There is little doubt that menopause is a momentous and life-changing episode in a woman?s life. After all, menopause marks the end of menstruation, and in turn, the conclusion of our child-bearing years. In fact the word ?menopause? says it all, breaking up into two Greek terms, namely ?mens? (meaning monthly) and ?pausis? (meaning cessation). Although menopause has been demonized over the years, in fact it is really just another natural stage in a woman?s life cycle. And although it can present challenges such as new and sometimes unpleasant physical symptoms, as well as emotional upheavals, it is something that should be embraced with positivity, understanding and humor.

There is some confusion though between what constitutes menopause proper and what is ?peri-menopause?. Menopause is the single day when a pre-menopausal woman has failed to have a period for more than twelve months. Confused? Don?t be! It?s actually really simple. You see, leading up to menopause a woman?s ovaries stop producing the regular amounts of the hormones progesterone and estrogen. When levels of both these hormones drop, menstruation ceases and hence a woman?s fertility ends. Officially a woman is said to have gone through menopause if she has failed to menstruate for an entire year. So from a medical point of view menopause takes place on the day when a pre-menopausal woman has missed 12 periods running..

What many women do not realize is that there is a stage leading up to those twelve months in which her period becomes absent. This phase is known as ?peri-menopause? (also known as ?pre-menopause?) and it can begin many years before menopause take s place. It is the period in which women undergo most of the symptoms of menopause. So in fact, when a woman says ?I am going through menopause?, generally what she really means is that she is going through peri-menopause.

Technically speaking, peri-menopause starts when a woman?s body begins to produce less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Once this process starts, a woman?s general fertility begins to diminish, and her ability to fall pregnant is affected. Ultimately this culminates in her final period, which is the complete end of her reproductive years. Peri-menopause can start as early as age 35 sometimes even younger, but typically it begins several years or some months before menopause. Given that most women go through menopause between the ages of 50 and 52, typically peri-menopause will start during a woman?s 40?s.

During peri-menopause, the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone will become inconsistent and gradually diminish, causing disruption to the usual menstrual cycle. Many women report having irregular periods during peri-menopause, something that is a direct reflection of their changing hormone levels. In addition, some women find their periods will be shorter or longer, and that bleeding may be either heavier or lighter. Likewise it is during the peri-menopausal stage that women will tend to experience the other symptoms which include amongst other things, hot flushes, mood swings, weight gain, depression, migraines, unclear thinking patterns, lethargy and decreased libido.

Like the symptoms of menopause, women have very different and individualized experiences of peri-menopause. What is crucial to remember is that irrespective of the symptom, peri-menopause is a perfectly normal process that simply reflects our natural aging as women.

Kathryn Whittaker has an interest in Menopause. For further information on Menopause please visit http://www.natural-menopause-relief-secrets.com/menopause.html or http://natural-menopause-relief-secrets.com/blog/2006/08/19/understanding-peri-menopause/ .

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Heart Menopause Related Symptoms


Heart menopause: Heart symptoms associated with menopause. One of the most prevalent premenopausal symptoms is heart palpitations. Menopause relief, for perimenopause symptoms like heart palpitations, is difficult to find. Although actual relief is hard to come by, there are many natural and medical medicines that can be tried.

Heart palpitations are not usually a sign of pain, but they are a sign of a hot flash, which is one of the early menopausal symptoms. Heart palpitations are an irregular heartbeat that can occur anytime but often occur in women going through menopause or about to go through menopause. They are not painful but can be felt.

Sometimes heart palpitations are also felt as the sensation that the heart is skipping a beat or it is beating too many times. They may increase the heart rate up to 200 beats per minute when accompanying a hot flash.

The causes of heart palpitations during menopause are the fluctuation hormones in the woman's body. These constantly changing levels of estrogen and other hormones can cause the heart to try to adjust and are also associated with the cause of hot flashes.

When to Call A Doctor

Heart palpitations will usually go away in a couple of months, but should be discussed with your doctor immediately. There are many other causes of heart palpitations that have nothing to do with menopause and can be extremely dangerous. Some of the many causes of heart palpitations include:

* Stimulants - Too much alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, decongestants, or diet pills will stimulate the heart to race and will feel like heart palpitations.

* Anemia - The body is not producing enough red blood cells.

* Hypoglycemia - Blood glucose levels drop too low to provide energy for your body to operate correctly.

* Thyroid Conditions - Overactive thyroid can produce an increased heart rate.

* Heart Disease - Several different heart problems including heart disease can be associated with an increased heart rate or palpitations.

If you are experiencing heart palpitations for the first time, it is important to share that information with your medical provider. They can do the proper test to ensure that your heart sensations are only related to perimenopause and not to something more serious.

Preventing Heart Palpitations

It may not be possible to totally prevent your palpitations, but these ideas may lessen them:

* Limit alcohol and caffeinated beverages

* Do not smoke

* Exercise regularly after discussing with your doctor

* Avoid stimulant medications - cold medicines, herb supplements

* Decrease stress

* Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control

* Avoid activities that tend to activate or increase your palpitations

Keeping track of when your palpitations occur can help you reduce their frequency and will help identify possibly triggers. Make sure and share your heart palpitation journal with your doctor at your visit to inquire about their recommendations to decrease the frequency of your palpitations. Even if you have previously talked with your doctor regarding your heart palpitations, it is still important to inform him at each visit that they are continuing.

Helping people who are experiencing the effects of menopause and perimenopause is our commitment! For beneficial tips, articles and other information sources please visit us at: http://www.yourmenopauserelief.com

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Symptoms Of Menopause

Overall, medical professionals agree that there are at least 37 indicators of menopause, ranging from the mild and easy-to-overlook, to the more dramatic and potentially disruptive to your lifestyle. While the average age of onset for menopause is between 50 and 52, bear in mind that most women start experiencing the symptoms several years beforehand. Here is brief information about the more common symptoms, followed by a list of the remaining ones. When you read this, don?t be worried. Every one is merely a sign that your body is functioning like a normal woman?s body should!

1. Hot or cold flushes:

Many women report having hot of cold flushes, as well as feelings of associated clamminess or sweatiness. Indeed the hot flush has become one of the more ?stereotypical? signs of menopause. Both hot and cold flushes reflect a change in your body?s internal thermostat, a factor that is regulated by the hypothalamus. During menopause, less estrogen is produced by the ovaries. The hypothalamus detects this drop in estrogen levels, and responds by altering your body?s temperature hence causing these otherwise unexplained feelings of hotness or coldness.

2. Periods of rapid or irregular heart rate:

This is one of the lesser-known and more frightening symptoms of menopause. In fact, some women say they feel as if they are having heart failure, palpitations, or a panic attack. Despite research into this matter, the medical community has no clear answer as to why heart arrhythmia occurs in some menopausal women. It often begins during the lead-up to menopause proper (during the ?peri-menopause? phase) and naturally it causes concern. It is important to report this symptom to your physician to eliminate other, potentially more serious causes.

3. Moodiness, ill temper and feelings of irritability:

See-sawing emotions can make menopausal women feel as if they are on a rollercoaster they can?t control. Like pre-menstrual-syndrome, feelings of irritability or moodiness during menopause are very common and easily explained. They are caused by natural hormonal fluctuations. Most women learn to cope with mood swings by doing regular exercise, or performing relaxation techniques such as meditation, and yoga.

4. Becoming easily upset and teary:

Because their hormones are changing so dramatically, menopausal women can also find they become teary and emotional at the drop of a hat, and sometimes for no reason at all. Again, dealing with unpredictable mood swings isn?t easy but by learning coping mechanisms, such as breathing exercises and relaxation techniques, you can start to lessen the impact.

5. Disrupted or disordered sleeping patterns:

For various reasons, menopausal women can often develop calcium deficiencies. Because calcium acts as a sedative on the human body, this deficiency can lead to restlessness, an inability to fall to sleep, as well as poor sleeping patterns throughout the night. Naturally, this can be extremely frustrating and tiring for women. Not surprising, a lack of quality sleep can also compound other problems such as feeling emotional or experiencing moodiness. The answer for many women is a calcium supplement, as well as engaging in gentle relaxation exercises to help them better sleep.

6. Unusual or irregular menstrual cycles, including lighter or heavier bleeding:

Since menopause is the cessation of menstruation, it seems self-evident that women would experience changes to their menstrual cycle, finally culminating in a failure to menstruate at all. What women might not know is that disturbances to their periods can occur well before menopause begins. Indeed some women report unusually long or short periods, different bleeding patterns, as well as skipped periods well before menopause takes place.

7. Decrease or loss of libido:

With menopause comes a decrease in hormonal levels, including a drop in estrogen levels. This can cause a reduction in libido or lowered interest in sex. That said, some research points out that although many menopausal women report having a lower libido, their level of sexual activity nevertheless remains steady, suggesting the relationship between normal menopausal hormonal changes and libido is a complex one.

8. Vaginal dryness:

As mentioned earlier, menopause involves a reduction in estrogen. Estrogen is the so-called ?female? hormone, which amongst other things, is responsible for maintaining healthy, supple vaginal tissue and lubrication. When estrogen drops, as it does during menopause, this leads to vaginal dryness. An unfortunate consequence can be painful sexual intercourse.

9. Gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, indigestion, gas and bloating:

Many women aren?t aware that balanced hormones help keep their gastrointestinal tract functioning normally. Indeed, it?s not until there is an imbalance (such as there is during menopause) that they come to realize how important hormones are to digestion. For instance, estrogen is a stimulant for the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore the drop in estrogen levels can cause any number of symptoms, such as gas, constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. Likewise changes to progesterone levels during menopause can cause disruptions to your usual bowel patterns. Menopause also places pressure on your liver, leaving it less energy to do its usual cleansing duties.

Other symptoms of menopause include:

10. Anxiety
11. Morbid thoughts and feelings of dread and apprehension
12. Mental vagueness and inability to concentrate
13. Memory loss
14. Incontinence and ?frequency? of urination
15. Unusual sensation on one?s skin, such as phantom itches, and crawling skin
16. Sore joints
17. Muscle tension and soreness
18. Tender breasts and hypersensitive nipples
19. Headaches and migraines
21. Feeling bloated
22. Depression
23. Changes to, or worsening of, existing health problems
24. Exacerbation of allergies
25. Weight gain and metabolic imbalances
26. Thinning or loss of hair on the head
27. Increase in facial hair
28. Giddiness, loss of balance and light-headedness
29. Strange or unpleasant body odors
30. Increased perspiration
31. Poor circulation, tingling sensation in limbs and extremities
32. Sensitive and/or bleeding gums
33. Gingivitis
34. ?Burning Mouth Syndrome? or the sensation of one?s tongue, or mouth burning as well as strange taste in the mouth
35. Osteoporosis
36. Tinnitus (ie. Ringing or strange noises in the ears)
37. Lethargy

Not all women will experience everything on this list or may go through a combination of several. The secret to getting through menopause is to remember that each symptom is normal and will eventually pass.

Kathryn Whittaker has an interest in Menopause topics. For further information on Menopause please visit http://www.natural-menopause-relief-secrets.com/menopause.html or http://natural-menopause-relief-secrets.com/blog/2006/08/11/the-symptoms-of-menopause/

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Menopause - You Deserve To Get Relief from Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

Get Relief for Hot Flashes and Night Sweats related to Menopause

It seems like the late 30's or early 40's should be when women can have the time of her lives. The kids are probably gone, or at least a little grown up, and the career choices have been made.

Unfortunately, your hormones will soon begin changing and you may soon start gong into menopause. While menopause should be a reason to celebrate (no more monthly cycles), many women experience irritating side effects when there is less of the hormone estrogen in the system. The most common side effect is hot flashes (or hot flushes, as some call them when they cause flushing or redness of the skin).

Only 15% of women do not suffer from hot flashes, for the rest of us, the flashes can last from five to fifteen minutes at a time. Medical professionals have not determined how to tell how long (in months) they will continue. Because the body is trying to compensate to the lower estrogen levels, as soon as it figures out the proper adjustment, the hot flashes will stop.

One way medical science has decided to compensate is with Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which calls for a prescription of Estrogen pills, or a skin patch, to help estrogen levels go back to where they once were. Unfortunately, once you stop taking the pills, your body has to try to compensate again, and the hot flashes will reoccur. However, it is sometimes possible to decrease the dose of estrogen gradually, allowing the body to adjust more slowly.

But there are there natural alternatives for chemical HRT. And it's sad that less than two percent of doctors even mention alternative therapies (maybe because the pharmaceuticals make more money on the Estrogen Replacement Therapy). Thousands of women have tested natural therapies and agree that they work! There are a few natural things you should consider if you're not ready to put another chemical into your body.

Natural Care for Hot Flashes or Night Sweats

When hot flashes occur at night, you will experience night sweats (or worse yet, cold sweats). In the worst cases, sweating can get excessive and soak bedding and nightgowns. Here are a few things that you can do stay as comfortable as possible.

During the day, dress in layers so you can remove items, and put them back on when the hot flash is finished.

At night, wear cotton underwear and gowns that will absorb perspiration. These keep you cooler than synthetic garments.

Most importantly, start keeping a record of your daily routine and try to determine when you are most likely to get a hot flash. Certain foods or drinks can cause an increase in the amount and severity of the hot flash. Watch out for alcohol (especially red wine), caffeine, sugar, fatty dairy products, salt, spicy foods, saturated oils and monosodium glutamate (added to prepared foods to enhance flavor).

Last but not least, there are some herbs that contain healthy compounds that have proven to be affective. One of the main herbs is Black Cohosh, which is a thoroughly researched herb containing phytoestrogens and is approved by the German 'Kommission E" - a body similar to the FDA. You can find Black Cohosh in the appropriate portions in MellowPause.

In the case of severe menopausal symptoms, it is recommend that MellowPause be taken together with Dong Quai, which has been used for many centuries in traditional Chinese medicine.

In time this too shall pass. Menopause usually ends by the age of 51; but hot flashes may, if you're lucky, end much sooner than that.

Evelyn Grazini is a Health and Wellness Researcher, and the Editor at ?911 Menopause,? the site for Free reports on Natural relief methods for menopause symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats. http://www.911menopause.com.

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Natural Treatment For Peri Menopause

 Perimenopause, can last up to ten years, so it's important to find a treatment for peri menopause that alleviates some of the unpleasant symptoms.

Perimenopause, also called the climacteric, is where hormonal fluctuations begin within a woman's body. A woman's monthly cycle can become irregular, with months between them. Most women don't stop menstruating immediately. Rather, the onset of menopause is gradual and prolonged. Women begin to miss ovulating some months. And the number of ovarian follicles that are shed by the body increases, depleting the finite supply each woman has.

These hormonal changes within the body can give rise to the symptoms we associate with menopause. Symptoms include hot flashes, sweating, problems with sleeping, mood swings, depression, tiredness, headaches, vaginal pain during sex, and forgetfulness.

Not all women will experience symptoms. They depend both on what is going on individually within each woman's hormones, and what else is going on in her life. Even though the production of estrogen starts to decline in the ovaries, a woman's levels of estrogen don't usually decline during peri menopause. This is because estrogen is also produced in other areas of the body, including body fat. For many women during perimenopause, estrogen levels will actually increase.

But a woman's emotional and spiritual health impacts on her hormonal health. Stress, from work, relationships, home - or a woman's relationship with herself - can impair the natural balance within her body's processes. Unresolved life issues can also affect how the body handles menopausal changes, changes which are part of a natural process.

However, if a woman is facing these issues, finding a treatment for peri menopause symptoms is important. Keeping the body in balance makes it a lot easier to handle other changes and issues that may be surfacing. Here are some natural options:

Homeopathy Treatment For Peri Menopause

* Ferrum phosphoricum - for hot flashes with redness in the face
* Belladonna - for hot flashes that start and stop suddenly
* Sepia - for anxiety and irritability
* Sanguinarina - for hot flashes to the face, neck and ears
* Kali Phosphoricum - for anxiety, nervousness, depression, and hot flashes

Vitamins Treatment For Peri Menopause

* Evening primrose Oil - As well as helping the skin and mood, evening primrose oil is important for the production of estrogen
* Vitamin C with bioflavanoids - This is excellent for hot flashes
* Brewers Yeast - This is a great source of calcium, which is important for maintaining bone health
* Vitamin E - helps treat hot flashes and other symptoms. It's also an excellent antioxidant
* Vitamin B complex - Vitamin B is excellent for stress, and it helps with cellular function and circulation

Perimenopause is a time for growth as well as change. Even though we may find it challenging, a time where we are guided by our bodies to look at things we thought were sacrosanct, it is ultimately a time of great renewal. The natural treatment for peri menopause options here can help support that journey, but they will in no way mitigate the need for that journey. But through the end, we will emerge happier and more whole than the place we started in.

References:
1. Dr Christiane Northrup, The Wisdom Of Menopause
2. Paul Bedson, The Complete Family Guide To Natural Healing
See this article for more natural remedies for menopause. Or read about free natural remedies for hot flashes

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Avoid Perimenopause Woes

Alternative health care therapies are available to perimenopausal women.

Perimenopause normally happens about six years before full menopause begins.

And No! You don't have to ingest (HRT)a pregnant mare's urine! Besides,it's been proven to be much too dangerous. This has prompted many womento search for other options.

Alternative health care therapies are available to perimenopausal women. Nutrition and nutritional supplementation are biggies to avoid perimenopause woes. Start as early in your younger years as you can. Or if you're already into it, it's not too late. Get serious and you will begin to feel and see some changes.

Besides choosing plant-based alternatives to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also recommended: 1. Reduce stress in your life 2. Diet 3. Exercise is one method of stress reduction that reduces hot flashes 4. Nutritional supplements support and work with a woman's body, not against it5. Prayer 6. Meditation 7.

Yoga and8. Tai chi can all be used to control your body's stress response and reduce menopausal symptoms.

Herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, and other self-help measures supportand work with a woman's body, not against it, thereby reducing the dread of perimenopause and helping to avoid perimenopause woes!To fight hot flashes related to perimenopause woes, keep a portable fan nearby, avoid spicy meals and alcoholArticle Search, and eat foods high in hormone-balancing phytoestrogens like soy nuts or tofu. Get serious and you canavoid perimenopause woes.


Ruby Boyd's website offers information on achieving Natural Health, Natural Beauty using natural, drug-free methods. Visit Women's Health for additional information on how to avoid perimenopause woes using alternative health care

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