Friday, February 29, 2008

Menopause Weight Gain ? You Can Lose It

It?s probably safe to assume that the reason you found this article is because you?ve gradually, but progressively gained some unwanted weight, especially around your mid-section. This is somewhat surprising since you?ve not necessarily changed your lifestyle or eating habits. As a matter of fact, there?s a good chance you?ve even cut your caloric intake, but still the weight remains. Could this weight gain be associated with menopause? If you?re a woman in your thirties of forties, the answer is ?yes ? most definitely.? Weight gain, as you approach menopause, is quite common and often one of the first symptoms of menopause that women notice. This is true even if you?re still experiencing regular periods.

You see, as you approach menopause your body?s hormone levels are declining, thus causing many changes to occur. As your estrogen levels decline, your body will naturally look for other places from where to get the needed estrogen. Unfortunately, fat cells are capable of producing estrogen, which results in your body working harder to convert calories to fat.

In addition to the declining levels of estrogen, your body?s testosterone levels are also declining. As you may know, testosterone is the hormone that converts your calories to lean muscle mass. Obviously, with lower testosterone levels you?re now losing muscle mass. Since muscle burns far more calories than does fat, your body is no longer capable of burning calories the way it used to.

As you can see, your declining hormone levels are the main culprit behind all of the weight gain you?re now noticing. Don?t think for one minute that you need to accept or welcome this unwanted enemy because you can easily lose this menopausal weight gain. I recently published some inspirational quotes on my website to assist women in their everyday lives. One of my favorites comes to mind when I think about what makes so many women complacent when they?re faced with symptoms of menopause and weight gain. Jim Rohn once said ?Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.? If your goal is to lose the weight you?ve gained, the only thing that can possibly stop you from accomplishing this goal is a lack of discipline.

If you?re willing to put your discipline into high gear you will undoubtedly lose the weight you?ve gained due to declining hormone levels associated with menopause. It?s important that you understand what?s taking place inside your body so that you?re well aware that simply cutting calories will not significantly reduce or eliminate the weight around your mid-section. You must build muscle to turn your body into a calorie-burning machine. You needn?t be extreme, but an exercise routine that includes weight training at least three days a week will give you results that will astonish you.

Remember, ?Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.? Don?t be complacent. You're headed in the right direction because you researched the Internet seeking information regarding weight gain during menopause. Consider this the first step in your walk across the bridge to accomplishment.


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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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Menopause Werewolf

Menopause Werewolf

Do you send family members running for the hills or are colleagues looking at you like you?ve sprouted two heads? No you?re not turning into a werewolf at the next full moon. If you are a perimenopausal woman, it?s more likely you?re experiencing one of the more common and often misunderstood symptoms of menopause, irritability. The definition of irritability is: a quick excitability to annoyance, impatience, or anger. Sounds about right, on the surface your simply going about your business doing what you?ve always done. You arrive home from work tired and wanting a few minutes to unwind and almost instantly your husband asks what?s for supper, your son wants help with a project, and your daughter wants a ride to a friend?s house. A variation of this scene has played out thousands of times before but tonight your head is teaming with thoughts like?.. ?What you can?t work the stove??, ?Why does it always have to be me helping??, ?Couldn?t she have gotten a ride from her dad??, ?What do I look like the master servant!!?. You may utter a sarcastic quip or snap a retort but you just do it all and wonder what?s wrong with you. Does this sound a little too familiar? What you and those around you don?t realize is there is a major renovation underway.

Urban legend would have it that menopausal women are like werewolves with dropping estrogen as their ?full moon? to trigger the scary transformation from docile caretaker to raging lunatic. In fact mood swings do occur with the menopausal changes in hormonal balance. But the greater change is occurring in your brain. Your brain is essentially rewiring. There is new brain growth, specifically the myelin sheath, the coating that insulates the nerve and speeds up the connection between nerve cells, in the part of the brain responsible for emotional learning. These changes allow for greater clarity. This combined with the decrease in our ?nurturing? hormone, estrogen, accounts for our shift in awareness from caring for others to more self nurturing pursuits.

The irritability usually starts subtly, like low voltage through a wire barely strong enough to keep a pilot light lit. Over time the current becomes stronger and stronger until you could light a stadium with it. The minor irritability, low voltage anger, will continue to build if you ignore it. This is an internal signal telling you to take a look at what?s going on in your life and asking yourself if the situation is really serving you anymore. By answering honestly and taking a clear look at your needs you can renegotiate your relationships to better support you. Changing the unwritten contract in relationships, you know the one that says you do all the cooking or that it?s alright to make last minute requests that rob you of your down time, can be challenging and it takes time.

Here are some other immediate support measures to help ease the irritability.

? Keep alcohol and caffeine to a minimum
? Avoid processed foods
? Be sure to get enough calcium and magnesium
? Engage in stress reducing activities like meditation, yoga, exercise, fresh air & sunshine
? Foster supportive friendships

If ignored this irritability often blossoms into other health issues. After all it?s your body?s way of trying to get your attention to make some changes.

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

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Menopause And Depression

Many women experience bouts of depression as they approach menopause. As a matter of fact, midlife can be considered a period of increased risk for depression in women, the majority taking place in the years during the transition through the menopausal years. This period of time is associated with gradual declines in estrogen levels, which may be linked with the onset of depression.

It can be confusing when trying to determine if you?re suffering from depression, simply going through menopause or experiencing both. This is because many symptoms of menopause and depression are very similar, such as interrupted sleep patterns, fatigue, hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety and difficulty concentrating. It?s important, however, to talk with your doctor if you think you may be suffering from depression; don?t play guessing games with your health because if left untreated, depression can lead to additional episodes, which have the potential to be more severe. Untreated depression can also result in physical complications, such as heart attack and the loss of bone density.

If your doctor thinks that your depression is as a result of declining hormone levels as you?re approaching or experiencing menopause, there?s a possibility he will suggest hormone replacement therapy, which includes estrogen. It?s important to discuss both the benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy, including potential benefits to your overall mood. Recent studies have shown that the risks of hormone therapy include heart attack, stroke and breast cancer, and some professionals believe that these risks may outweigh the benefits women can receive from this course of treatment. That being said, estrogen therapy remains the most effective treatment for many menopausal symptoms.

Short term therapy (12-20 weeks) has also proven to combat depression in women experiencing menopause. Especially effective are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on negative thoughts and behaviors that tend to worsen depressed mood and teaches better ways of thinking and behaving, and Interpersonal Therapy, which helps individuals to communicate more effectively with others to help eliminate stressors.

Fortunately, the benefits of exercise in depression are well documented. Exercise helps with the treatment of depression by releasing the body?s mood-elevating compounds, reducing the depression hormone cortisol, providing a feeling of accomplishment and enhancing self esteem. I personally exercise approximately an hour most days of the week, but even exercising as little as ten minutes per day has been found to have beneficial effects for many women experiencing menopausal depression.

You may also want to consider a prescription medication to help you cope with the symptoms you?re experiencing. Discuss this possibility with your doctor because there are several effective and well-tolerated antidepressant medications now available. These medications have been proven to be an essential part of treatment for women who are moderately to severely depressed.

It?s also important to simply take care of yourself by eating a well balanced diet, decreasing your intake of refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol and chocolate. Are you getting enough sleep? Sleep deficiencies can make depression worse, so if you must, develop relaxing bedtime rituals, such as taking a hot bath or reading a good book.

Finally, just give yourself a break. Not only are you experiencing symptoms of menopause, but midlife also brings about life events that can be stressful, adding to the risk of depression, irritability and moodiness. Perhaps your children are leaving home, you?re caring for an elderly parent or have recently experienced the loss of a loved one. All of these events will undoubtedly add stress to an already busy life. Take time for yourself, eat a healthy diet, exercise and know that you?re a strong and capable woman and you will get through this.

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

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How Menopause Can Impact Your Relationship

Women tend to experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. The female body, no longer needing to maintain the reproductive system shuts it down. For some fortunate women the process is gradual ? but for most it is akin to slamming a book shut. The body diminishes the production of progesterone and estrogen.

Some of you reading this may be wondering how this has anything to do with relationships. The reality of the situation is that women experiencing menopause can be subjected to a wide variety of troubling symptoms including: insomnia, loss of libido, changes in appetite, weight gain, depression, anger, mood swings, and hot flashes.

In terms of relationships it is not difficult to understand that some, if not all of these symptoms, can be detrimental to a healthy relationship. One minute you may be feeling fine and the next you might experience a bout of anger. While it is impossible to fashion a menopause-proof vest, your significant other will most likely have to deal with your fluctuating emotional state. True, he or she should be understanding, but dealing with mood swings can be difficult. Many women report not feeling like themselves. This can be difficult for your partner to deal with so it is important for there to be consideration on both sides.

In addition, many women go through a period of feeling undesirable, experiencing vaginal dryness, and a lack of sexual libido. This is normal but can also be difficult to deal with. The quality of a couple?s sexual relationship can be threatened.

There are a few ways to cope with the situation. An option is to see a mental health professional such as a counselor. You can either go alone or with your significant other. There are even some group therapy sessions that might be particularly helpful. The most important thing is that you get the help you need.

If you are having difficulty communicating out loud what you are going through with your partner you might want to try writing down what you are feeling. Since there are emotional side effects during menopause, simply writing down what you are feeling can be of tremendous benefit to both you and your partner.

Remember, getting through this tough time should not fall squarely on your shoulders. If you clearly explain what you are going through to your partner you should expect a demonstration of understanding.

If you are the significant other of a woman going through menopause and reading this know that you can help the situation by suggesting new ideas to take your relationship forward ? sexually and otherwise. Maintaining a relationship through menopause can be a challenge. It takes dedication, love, support, trust, and honesty to allow the relationship to survive.

Menopause is a condition that all women must experience. The real decision you have to make is whether you are going to let the symptoms of menopause significantly change your life or are you going to work around them. Trust your partner to support you, and together, there is nothing the both of you can not do.


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://www.natural-menopause-relief-secrets.com/blog/2006/09/27/how-menopause-can-impact-your-relationship/

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Monday, February 25, 2008

How To Manage Menopause Symptoms

Menopause is defined as the ending of the menstrual cycle due to the advancement in age of the species that experiences such cycles. Many people refer to the onset of menopause as "the change of life". Typically, the onset of menopause occurs when the ovaries cease to produce estrogen, which will eventually be the cause of the reproductive system shutting down. When this process begins to occur symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, depression and lack of mental focus are quite common. Additionally, women can experience a need to urinate frequently along with vaginal dryness and erratic menstrual cycles.

The duration of menopause typically lasts for about a year but can range anywhere from six months to as long as five years. Usually, menopause is simply something that occurs due to an advancement in age although it can also be brought about by procedures such as a hysterectomy or by the start of illnesses such as cancer.

The average age of women suffering from menopause is about fifty years old however, there are many cases of younger women experiencing menopause at younger ages. This is often defined as premature menopause and some instances premature menopause is brought about by disorders such as thyroid disease or diabetes. A very interesting fact concerning premature menopause is that many fraternal as well as identical twins suffer from menopause around the age of forty. Health care professionals have not yet totally discovered the reasons for this occurring. Women that are post-menopausal have an increased likelihood of developing osteoporosis and it is recommended by many doctors that they begin taking some type of calcium supplement.

The following are some extremely common symptoms of those that are suffering from the onset of menopause. Women can experience hot flashes, chills as well as night sweats and other disruptions in normal sleeping patterns. Vaginal itching, bleeding in addition to incontinence and the need to urinate frequently are also very common symptoms of menopause. Many women also experience mood swings, high irritability, decreased sexual desire and slight memory loss. Women over the age of fifty are warned against the dangers of osteoporosis once they have reached post menopause.

There are several ways in which women that are experiencing menopause can find relief from the symptoms that they are experiencing.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a very common treatment for those suffering from menopause. However, this type of treatment raises some arguments from some health care professionals. Some in the medical field believe that HRT is not very effective and can cause more harm than good to women undergoing treatment as many have experienced side effects such as heart problems related to the treatments.

A change in the dietary habits of some women have shown to have produced a reduction in the symptoms commonly associated with the onset of both premature menopause and menopause. Adding a comfortable exercise routine to compliment the positive dietary changes has been able to produce even more beneficial results in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.

Some women that have been diagnosed as going through menopause have chosen to treat their symptoms with herbal remedies such as black cohosh and red clover. Others have increased the amount of calcium that take to help ward off the effects that menopause can have on their bones.

The best possible way to be able to handle and treat either the onset of menopause or premature menopause is to become well educated on the subject. Ask your doctor all the questions that you can think of and never be afraid of asking a question you might think is silly. If you have friends or relatives that have gone through menopause talk to them about their experiences and the things that they did to treat their symptoms. The Internet is a plethora of information about both menopause and the treatments used for its symptoms. You may also be able to find online support groups if you find yourself needing some support in dealing with this change in life. Being well informed will help you be able to make the choices that are going to be the most beneficial to you whilst treating menopause.

Learn more about menopause symptoms and remedies at MenoRemedies.com

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Life, Post-Menopause

As a woman reaches mid-life, normally in her late forties, she may begin to notice how different she feels. Some women just feel generally worn out, as if they are deeply tired. Initially most women do not realize that what they are experiencing ispost-menopausal symptoms. A woman's body changes a great deal during menopause. Their ovaries are decrease production, which means causes blood hormone levels to drop. As women age and enter perimenopause, their cycles may become sporadic, they may miss the occasional cycle, but they will not reach post-menopause until they have had no menstrual period for 12 consecutive months.

Women can feel many different kinds of things during post-menopause; many of which can be debilitating. They may experience whole ranges of emotions from anger to depression, and frustration. These varying emotions can wreak havoc on a woman's life. They can negatively impact new, as well as on-going, relationships. They make it tempting for old friends to avoid contact or communication because their moods are so unpredictable. Work can also be impacted because it is hard to concentrate on work when a woman is coping with so many other issues. It is imperative to keep in mind that all of these emotions are normal. Every woman has them to some degree. Though some women may deal with them without problem, others can have a much more difficult time coping with post-menopausal issues. Medication is often necessary in these cases.

If you do experience serious post-menopause symptoms, it is essential to select the correct physician. If your doctor seems unsympathetic, it may be necessary to find a different gynecologist who meshes with your personality. You need someone who can not only present the right treatment options, you also need someone who can encourage you. It is important to remember even though you may feel like you will never surmount the problems associated with post-menopause, you will. Eventually, you will be be able to move on with your life. Hopefully, the people around you who have been enduring your emotional changes will be understanding that this is simply a part of the normal menopausal process. More than ever, you will need their love and support during this emotional time.

One thing that has helped many women is to learn to shift your focus to things other than your menopause symptoms. For example, many menopausal women, take up new activities activities they did know but were forgotten. Some discover a new hobby like pottery or gardening. You might try joining a water aerobics class, for example. Others make regular dates to meet old friends. Still others try regularly to do something special for themselves. You might contact your local college and investigate available continuing education opportunities. By keeping busy and working with things you enjoy you may be able to control your symptoms. One key to coping with menopause is taking the time to comprehend it.
Linda Williams contributes to several web magazines, on health and fitness issues.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Menopause Symptoms - How Do They Appear?

Basically, menopause symptoms start to appear when there is an intermittent and erratic changing of your hormone production. The transition of menopause starts at this stage where your ovary fails to secrete enough hormones causing your estrogen to likewise fail gradually. Menopause symptoms, their kinds and levels, may vary on each woman. Some may interact with the symptoms a little difficult than other women, while others may feel less intensity with the problem.

What are these menopause symptoms and how to cope with them?

Psychological menopause symptoms - when a woman undergoes menopause transition, different kinds and levels of depression is more likely to envelop her. However, some studies showed that these depressions are not only the cause of the menopausal transition itself but also other factors such as household circumstances and the lack of sleep. The following are the most typical psychological dilemmas that women go through:

? Difficulty in concentrating ? Irritability ? Forgetfulness ? Mood swings ? Overreaction to minor details ? Anxieties; and others

You can alleviate the severity of these emotional difficulties if you will exercise regularly. Through physical exercises, you can preserve your bone strength and maintain your hormonal balance. Also, talking with other women who are undergoing such process may be a big help to deal with the problem a lot easier.

Vasomotor menopause symptoms - the most common is hot flashes, wherein you may experience them even few years before you stop menstruating. They are the result of the changing temperature control of your body. They would continue for a little more years, after your menopause. Hot flashes usually occur at nighttimes, where you may feel sudden waves of heat all over your body, more particularly on your face and chest.

Other problems that accompany hot flashes:

? Palpitations ? Perspiration ? Chilling or sweating ? Headaches

There are alternative treatments that you can take to control hot flashes. Some of these are:

- Herbal treatment - Taking vitamins and natural supplements - And some medical treatments prescribed by the doctor

By following these simple tips, you can minimize the discomforting effects of hot flashes:

- Avoid too much stress - Minimize caffeine, spicy foods, and alcoholic beverage intake - Drink cold water when you start experiencing signs of hot flash - Wear comfortable clothes - And when the hot flash starts, splash cold water on your wrists and face.

Sexual problems - your intercourse activities will be affected as vaginal dryness is already appearing as another menopause symptom. This is the result of the decreased estrogen level. You can try to apply some stimulants so to reach orgasm. You can also have vaginal lubricants for a less painful intercourse.

Urinary problems - estrogen loss has been discovered to play a role in the urinary problems of women undergoing menopause process. Because of the loss, tissues found on the urinary tract also undergo changes, leaving these women to encounter difficulties with their urinary activities. The following are the typical problems that these women may find themselves with:

? Urine leaks (may occur even from your small movements such as laughing and coughing) ? Vaginal dryness, and vaginal discharge, itching and burning. ? Urine infection ? Frequent passing of urine (daytime and nighttime)

You can have a regular exercise to combat the severity of these urinary problems. Also, exercise bladder training can be a simple yet effective treatment to lessen the amount of discomfort that urinary problems are giving you.

Sleep/Insomnia problems - these are usually the result of the hot flashes occurrences. You may experience tossing and turning at nights leaving you awake all night and tiredness during the days. Seek medical help from the doctors so they can prescribe proper treatment from this problem.

Jeanette Pollock is a freelance author and website owner of menopausedomain.com. Visit Jeanette's site to learn more about menopause symptoms.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Early Menopause And Your Emotions

Learning that you?re going through premature menopause can be devastating and it?s not unusual to suddenly fall into a period of depression upon receiving this unwelcome news.

Even if you weren?t planning on having children, learning that you?re suddenly infertile is an experience that can wreak havoc on your emotions. Somehow you feel as though you?re less of a woman or perhaps no longer sexy; as if a very integral part of you has died.

You try to share your feelings with friends or family, but early or premature menopause is something that few others understand. Like suffering a miscarriage or the death of a parent, unless someone has gone through it, they just can?t comprehend how emotionally devastating and upsetting early menopause can be.

Because early menopause is often unexpected, women who experience it are more at risk for depression than are older women who are approaching or experiencing symptoms of menopause. Women who are faced with early menopause as a result of surgery are often even more devastated due to the fact that they?ve not only gone through a major surgery, but a big part of who they believe they were is suddenly gone.

No matter what the reason for early menopause, all women who experience it ? both mothers and career women ? feel a profound loss and a significant amount of grief, shock and disbelief. These feelings won?t disappear right away; as a matter of fact, there?s a healing process that most women must go through before they begin to accept the fact that they?re experiencing menopause prematurely and much sooner than they would have preferred.

One woman I interviewed for this project says ?Once I learned to accept what I had become, I realized there was nothing I could do about it. I finally decided that I would do the best I could to remain young and feel good. What choice did I have?? So, certainly, you will mourn and it will take time, but eventually you will get through this and you will feel better. As a matter of fact, each day will bring less feelings of despair and time will bring you back to your old self ? determined, strong and capable; perhaps even more so than before.

One of the first steps to returning to the old you is by looking in the mirror and seeing how you really are still yourself. Your youthful appearance is still intact; as a matter of fact, all of you is still intact. Yes, your reproductive system is not working the way it should, but you?re still a wonderful, young and vibrant woman with so much potential and so much to offer.


Susan Megge 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. http://www.40isbeautiful.com/Early_Menopause.html

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Menopause-Related Acne

Menopause has many interesting, seemingly unrelated symptoms. Women can experience any combination of mood swings, insomnia, hot flashes, extreme night sweats, achy joints, headaches, irritability, anxiety, trouble concentrating, and even acne. Some women avoid menopause-induced acne, but for at least one in ten menopause sufferers, pimples and blemishes are a genuine problem. Some women have avoided pimples since they were teenagers, yet suddenly the have a face full of them. The truth is, though, teens and menopausal women have a number of things in common. Acne is typically a result of hormone swings, which occurs extensively throughout puberty and menopause. It can be very frustrating for women to endure the added embarassment of blemishes when they're struggling to deal with all of the other symptoms of menopause.

Menopausal acne occurs for much the same reason that acne occurs during any other life stage. The skin contains millions of sebaceous glands. These glands produce oil, scientifically termed sebum. Skin cells are constantly regenerated. Old ones die, are sloughed off and quickly replaced. When body hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA run rampant, the sebaceous glands become sensitive and start producing more sebum than necessary. More skin cells begin to die. As a result, not only do you have a surplus of facial oil, you also have a surplus of dead skin cells. Your body cannot rid itself of the unwanted oil and dead cells fast enough. Facial skin follicles get clogged with oil and dead cells.

White heads occur as a result of bacteria. Excess sebum builds up under the skin, naturally-occuring bacteria and the oil combine, creating an inflamed area filled with white puss. Blackheads also occur as a result of the combining of bacteria and oil with the addition of air that has leaked in. As a result, the material caught in the pore turns black. Menopausal acne identical to other acne, however. Both the follicles and sebaceous glands on the face contain an enzyme. This particular enzyme can turn estrogen into the hormone androgen testosterone. This has the ability to increase oil production even further. This leads to even more breakouts than a woman probably had as a teenager.

Menopausal acne can be extremely frustrating. There are, however, ways to alleviate it. Begin by examining your diet. It is important to eat foods that are high in fiber and calcium. It is also recommended to cut back on your fat and carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates can turn insulin into androgen testosterone. This androgen too can increase the skin's sebum production. Additionally, you might want ensure that you are consuming eight to ten glasses of water each day.

In addition to dietary changes, you might want to consider the addition of dietary supplements. There are so many widely-available herbs vitamins, and minerals that can help alleviate the body's excess oil production. Studies suggest that it is beneficial to add Vitamin B and Vitamin C to your diet. In addition to diet and supplements, you should cleanse your skin a minimum of twice daily. Regular exfoliation rids the skin of those dead cells. Also, it is beneficial to use a toner to close open pores.


William Miller enjoys writing for several popular online magazines, on health and fitness and women's health topics.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Medical Facts About Menopause

Approximately two million American women enter menopause every year. Menopause indicates the end of woman?s reproductive life.

Menopause causes some huge hormonal changes that are blamed for everything from dry skin to mental illness.

The average age of menopause in U.S. is 51. The huge majority of women enter it between 44 and 56. However, approximately one percent of women experience it before age 40.

Perimenopause is the transition that starts when your menstrual periods begin to become irregular. It ends 365 days after they stop totally. Perimenopause typically lasts from 2 to 8 years.

Technically speaking, menopause is just one day. It is the last day of your final period. However, menopause is confirmed after you have missed 12 consecutive periods.

Going through menopause does not mean goodbye to sex. Sex can be painful because there is a loss of vaginal elasticity and a drop in lubrication.

Hot flashes are more common in early postmenopause than in perimenopause, but they go away sooner or later.

Hormone-replacement therapy is not bad. Doctors can?t agree how long it is safe to take hormones. Lots of experts say forever; others say a year or 2; and a handful say never.

There is no scientific evidence that bioidentical hormones are the safest kind of hormone-replacement therapy.

Menopause is not responsible for depression, anxiety, severe memory lapses or erratic behavior.

A great number of menopause symptoms can be caused by other medical problems. You need to have a systematic checkup.

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

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Coping With The Emotional Impact Of Menopause

Menopause. The mere mentioning of this completely natural and unavoidable condition strikes fear into the hearts of many women. Don?t be afraid ? menopause is part of nature?s grand scheme and should be approached from this perspective. The bulk of women experience the onset of menopause between the age of 45 and 55. It does not mean menopause cannot begin earlier or later, but the condition usually manifests within this range. When the female body enters menopause it heralds an end to the reproductive cycle.

Menopause occurs because the female body no longer produces progesterone and estrogen at the same rate. The production of these important reproductive hormones decreases dramatically leading to a variety of changes. Women know that it won?t be long before they never have to endure the symptoms of PMS or their menstruation cycle again. This may sound like a great event ? but there are other symptoms that occur including leading up to this point: fluctuations in appetite, insomnia, hot flashes, hazy or foggy thinking, depression, anger, emotional problems, and mood swings.

Perhaps the most difficult of the symptoms to deal with are emotional in nature. Many women report feeling not like themselves. Depression, anger, and mood swings are common and can present many problems.

Fortunately, there is a way to cope with these problems. You are not alone in your struggle. There are millions upon millions of other women experiencing menopause. In fact, statistics state out that each day more than 4,000 women in the United States alone experience the onset of menopause.

This being said, the options for you to seek help are extensive. If the emotional symptoms you are experiencing are severe or last for a long time it is probably a good idea to seek some help. Emotional disturbances due to menopause do not mean you are crazy: it is a natural process that hits some women harder than others. Counselling can help you get in touch with your feelings. Do not try to battle menopause without some sort of support network.

Relaxation may also be key in your battle against emotional difficulties. Try treating yourself to an afternoon at a local day spa or a relaxing massage. It sounds trite but can really make the difference to your overall mood. If you have access to a Jacuzzi the warm water and the jets can put you into a relaxed state. Sound therapy, light therapy, hydrotherapy, aroma therapy, acupuncture, and acupressure can also provide relief ? both emotional and physical. Hypnosis has a good track record in helping women manage emotional stress due to menopause.

It is very important that you enlist the support of your friends ? many of whom are most likely going through what you are, and also your partner and close family members. Explain to them how you are feeling. Once they understand why you?re being snappy, angry or rude they are more likely to be understanding and help you through what can be a challenging time. In addition, there are support groups available where you can get things off your chest and experience a feeling of solidarity.

Besides more traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) there is a wide selection of natural supplements on the market which can provide both physical and emotional relief from menopause.

Make sure you take care of yourself. If you do not take the first step in learning to cope with the emotional side-effects of menopause, nobody will take it for you.

Resources:

Menozac - for immediate Menopause Symptoms Relief from symptoms including:

? Mood Swings
? Anxiety.
? Palpitations.
? Depression.


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://www.natural-menopause-relief-secrets.com/blog/2006/09/13/coping-with-the-emotional-impact-of-menopause/.

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Herbal Remedies For Menopause

People becoming educated about the efficacy of herbal remedies for many medical conditions ranging from migraines to skin conditions. Many women have found more success using herbal remedies to combat their menopause symptoms than they did with prescription drugs suggested by their physicians. There are many different options available to women seeking herbal menopause remedies. It is important to learn which ones are most effective and provide the most relief for your particular symptoms.

Menopause symptoms are resultant from decreased estrogen and progesterone production in the ovaries. These hormone fluctuations can wreak physiological havoc on a woman. Among the symptoms a woman may experience are hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, unexplained weight gain, exhaustion , and insomnia. Contain these symptoms is often very difficult and stressful. Prescription drugs can alleviate some of these symptoms; however, the prescription medications have drawbacks. Some have side effects so serious that they can be worse than the symptoms themselves. For example, some of the prescriptions made to treat hot flashes cause itchy rashes that cover the body. Other prescription medications have long term side effects, including diseases such as cancer. Often treating your symptoms with a safe, natural, herbal remedy is the optimal method for coping with menopause.

When you begin searching for an appropriate menopause symptom remedy, it might surprise and overwhelm you to see the vast quantity of available products. It can be difficult to Choose the right product. There are several people you might want to consult as you begin searching. Begin with a visit to your gynecologist. They will be able to advise you as to which herbal remedies are safe and appropriate for you. Moreover, they can also share information with you as to which methods have been effective for their other patients and which have not. In addition to your doctor, you might speak to a consultant in your local herbal store. More than likely, they have talked to other women who coping with the same symptoms. Based on this knowledge, they may be able to point you down the right path.

Black Cohos is one of the most popular herbs used to alleviate symptoms of menopause. This herb is effective for a number of different menopause symptoms including anxiety, hot flashes, and night sweats. The extensive studies on this herb suggest that is very effective. Pasque Flower has also shown itself to be a beneficial herbal remedy for coping with menopause symptoms. It offers a mild sedative-like effect. An herbal combination called MellowPause might also be helpful for some symptoms. It has a soy base, and mixes the power of Black Cohosh and Pasque flower to help you fight hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and insomnia. Menocore is yet another herbal combination that deals with the same symptoms. It contains a mixture of different natural herbal products.

One final product that might be successful on your symptoms is Triatone. The ingredients include Isoflavones, Black Cohos, Dong Quai, Chasleberry, and Licorice Root. This product not only alleviates many symptoms, but it may also leave you with an overall sense of well-being. You might also desire to contact your local natural food or herb store and to find out what natural supplements they carry. In addition to their side-effect free effectiveness, they tend to cost far less than the available prescription options.
Mary Davis is an author for several popular Internet magazines, on women's health and health and wellness topics.

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Menopause Symptoms ? How Do They Appear?

Basically, menopause symptoms start to appear when there is an intermittent and erratic changing of your hormone production. The transition of menopause starts at this stage where your ovary fails to secrete enough hormones causing your estrogen to likewise fail gradually. Menopause symptoms, their kinds and levels, may vary on each woman. Some may interact with the symptoms a little difficult than other women, while others may feel less intensity with the problem.

What are these menopause symptoms and how to cope with them?

Psychological menopause symptoms ? when a woman undergoes menopause transition, different kinds and levels of depression is more likely to envelop her. However, some studies showed that these depressions are not only the cause of the menopausal transition itself but also other factors such as household circumstances and the lack of sleep. The following are the most typical psychological dilemmas that women go through:

? Difficulty in concentrating
? Irritability
? Forgetfulness
? Mood swings
? Overreaction to minor details
? Anxieties; and others

You can alleviate the severity of these emotional difficulties if you will exercise regularly. Through physical exercises, you can preserve your bone strength and maintain your hormonal balance. Also, talking with other women who are undergoing such process may be a big help to deal with the problem a lot easier.

Vasomotor menopause symptoms ? the most common is hot flashes, wherein you may experience them even few years before you stop menstruating. They are the result of the changing temperature control of your body. They would continue for a little more years, after your menopause. Hot flashes usually occur at nighttimes, where you may feel sudden waves of heat all over your body, more particularly on your face and chest.

Other problems that accompany hot flashes:

? Palpitations
? Perspiration
? Chilling or sweating
? Headaches

There are alternative treatments that you can take to control hot flashes. Some of these are:

- Herbal treatment
- Taking vitamins and natural supplements
- And some medical treatments prescribed by the doctor

By following these simple tips, you can minimize the discomforting effects of hot flashes:

- Avoid too much stress
- Minimize caffeine, spicy foods, and alcoholic beverage intake
- Drink cold water when you start experiencing signs of hot flash
- Wear comfortable clothes
- And when the hot flash starts, splash cold water on your wrists and face.

Sexual problems ? your intercourse activities will be affected as vaginal dryness is already appearing as another menopause symptom. This is the result of the decreased estrogen level. You can try to apply some stimulants so to reach orgasm. You can also have vaginal lubricants for a less painful intercourse.

Urinary problems ? estrogen loss has been discovered to play a role in the urinary problems of women undergoing menopause process. Because of the loss, tissues found on the urinary tract also undergo changes, leaving these women to encounter difficulties with their urinary activities. The following are the typical problems that these women may find themselves with:

? Urine leaks (may occur even from your small movements such as laughing and coughing)
? Vaginal dryness, and vaginal discharge, itching and burning.
? Urine infection
? Frequent passing of urine (daytime and nighttime)

You can have a regular exercise to combat the severity of these urinary problems. Also, exercise bladder training can be a simple yet effective treatment to lessen the amount of discomfort that urinary problems are giving you.

Sleep/Insomnia problems ? these are usually the result of the hot flashes occurrences. You may experience tossing and turning at nights leaving you awake all night and tiredness during the days. Seek medical help from the doctors so they can prescribe proper treatment from this problem.

Jeanette Pollock is a freelance author and website owner of menopausedomain.com. Visit Jeanette's site to learn more about menopause symptoms.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Skin Changes During Menopause

During the course of the natural menopause process, many women notice surprising changes in the texture and appearance of their skin. Most women begin noticing a generalalized all-over drying of the skin. They also start to notice wrinkles forming where the skin has begun drying.

It is common to turn to estrogen based hormone replacement therapy to treat these and other menopause-related skin problems. The side effects from this type of therapy, though, can lead to further problems. If a cream form of estrogen is used on the affected areas, it can act as a moisturizing agent. However, this cream is unavailable n the United States so most doctors are unable to prescribe it. Progesterone cream has also been successful as a moisturizer, but most doctors believe the side effects outweigh any benefits of prescribing it to their patients. However, there are a number of anti-aging, non-prescription creams that are gaining popularity, and most of them are very effective. It is helpful to keep in mind though, that aging skin is a part of growing older. To some degree, accepting it instead of fighting it may help you retain abetter overall self-image. If you do attempt to use something like estrogen cream, you may have to live with side effects such as general weight gain or darkening skin.

If your skin loses its tone or the wrinkles appear rapidly, it may be an indication of collagen loss. This can result in more serious problems, like collagen loss in the bones. This may indicative of osteoporosis. If you suspect that this is the case, you should consult your physician immediately.

As your skin ages during menopause, you are more prone to developing broken capillaries or spider veins that are visible to the naked eye. One of the best available means to prevent these is full body moisturization. You can begin by increasing your daily regular water consumption. It is also beneficial to supplement your diet with raw flaxseed oil. It can be added to vegetables or salad. Using herbal liposome-containing skin products can also help moisturize your skin. Liposomes transport moisture to the cells below the epidermal layer. This can protect and benefit your overall skin tone.

There are a number of other available products that may moisturize your skin during menopause. Apricot kernel oil, Cocoa butter, olive oil, and almond oil have all been proven to be quite helpful at hydrating the skin. Alpha hydroxy acids naturally rejuvenates the skin by exfoliating it. Check the product labels on these products, to ensure that concentrations contain at least eight percent alpha hydroxy acid. Fruit acids are also effective to promote skin rejuvenation. Two popular examples are papaya and strawberry pastes.

Learn to live with your post-menopausal skin. Take care of it and protect it by remaining out of the sun and applying daily sun screen. Use only products that you know to be effective on your skin. Always consult your doctor or healer when you have concerns or are trying something new.

Mary Brown contributes articles to several well-known web sites, on health and wellness and women's health themes.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Diabetes And Menopause

Menopause is a time of hormonal change for women, when estrogen and progesterone production decreases. Menopause is considered complete a year following a woman?s last period. This normally occurs when a woman is around 50.

Menopause can cause hormone levels to change, and can also cause blood glucose levels to change. Hypoglycemia can be one of the first signs of menopause for a diabetic woman. During menopause, women often have to change their medication or insulin dosages. Monitoring the blood glucose levels is the key to managing diabetes during diabetes.

Women with type 1 diabetes may experience menopause earlier than other women. Women with type 2 diabetes may go through menopause later than other women, particularly if they are above the suggested weight. Estrogen levels do not decrease as rapidly in heavier women.

Sometimes during menopause, women find they have negative sexual side effects. These can include vaginal dryness, increase in yeast infections, and urinary tract infections. See your doctor to discuss how you can manage these side effects, with possible hormone replacement therapy, or changes to your insulin and medication.

During menopause, it is important to maintain an active lifestyle. Some women stop exercising during menopause, and then they begin to gain weight, which in turn affects their ability to absorb insulin. It is also important to keep track of your diet during menopause, because having a well-balanced diet not only helps with diabetes management, but also with coping with menopause.

Consider cutting alcohol and caffeine out of your diet to limit hot flashes. Both alcohol and caffeine alter your body?s natural homeostasis and, as such, can worsen many problems associated with menopause. Eating legumes and soy products can help you during menopause as well. These contain phytoestrogen (plant estrogen), and as such, can help you stabilize your hormones.

One of the major difficulties for diabetics in dealing with menopause is the fact that some of the symptoms of diabetes and menopause can be very similar. Both menopause and low blood sugar can cause dizziness, elevated body temperatures, moodiness, and short-term memory loss. High blood sugar, like menopause, can cause fatigue. The way to tell if your symptoms are diabetes related or menopause related is to test your blood sugar. This means that you will have to do more blood testing than you are used to, but it also means that you won?t accidentally give yourself a surge in blood sugar because you mistook your menopause symptoms for signs of low blood sugar.

While many doctors treat menopause as a medical ?condition? or ?problem? that needs to be treated, remember that menopause is actually a natural transition for a woman. Try to change your lifestyle before changing your medication.
Vivian Brennan is an expert on diabetes, and is currently an editor at The Guide to Diabetes (http://www.theguideto-diabetes.com/living_with_diabetes/). She is living with and managing her diabetes. She believes in educating people about diabetes to help manage diabetes, prevent complications, and improve lifestyles.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

8 Ways To Prevent Osteoporosis And Heart Disease During Menopause

Osteoporosis causes bones to lose mass and density. As the bones become porous and brittle, the chance of fracture is greatly increased. Often there are no symptoms and a person only discovers that they have osteoporosis when they suffer a fracture.

Heart disease includes a number of conditions affecting the structures or function of the heart. They includes coronary artery disease (including heart attack), abnormal heart rhythms or arrythmias, heart failure, heart valve disease, congenital heart disease, heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy), pericardial disease, aorta disease and Marfan syndrome, vascular disease (blood vessel disease).

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. thus, it is essential to learn how prevent heart disease.

During menopause, many women are easily getting osteoporosis. Indeed, it would also be easy for them to get heart disease.

How is that?

Women, during menopause, might be lack of estrogen. This causes bones to lose calcium and become weaker, putting them at risk for severe bone loss or osteoporosis. A lack of estrogen also increases risk of heart disease.

However, there are steps you can do to prevent osteoporosis and heart disease, such as:

1. Get enough calcium to keep your bones strong. Before menopause, you need about 1,000 mg of calcium per day. After menopause, you need 1,500 mg per day. You also can talk with your physician about taking medicine to help preserve bone and slow down bone loss. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Try weight-bearing exercises, like walking, running, or dancing.

2. Eat healthy by including plenty of whole grain products, vegetables, and fruits in your diet. Choose a diet low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

3. Maintain a healthy weight. Ask your health care provider what a healthy weight is for you.

4. Control your blood pressure. Ask your health care provider what a healthy number is for you and how often you need it checked.

5. If you have diabetes, control and monitor your blood sugar levels.

6. Lower your cholesterol to the right level. Ask your health care provider what a healthy level is for you.

7. If you smoke, try to quit. Ask your health care provider for help or visit this special section of the NWHIC web site: www.4woman.gov/QuitSmoking

8. If you drink alcohol, limit it to no more than one drink per day.

So, if you think that your menopause has begun, it is important for you to pay attention to the eight essential ways to prevent osteoporosis and heart disease.

Riana Lance has a deep concern on health. Get her inspirational guides on How to Cure Insomnia at http://healthifica.com/guides/menopause-stress/ Also, grasp her other motivational health tips at http://www.healthifica.com, a worth-to-visit daily updated blog.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Two Types Of Herbs For Menopause Symptoms

Overview of Menopause symptoms

Menopause should not be regarded as an illness or a disease. It is simply an occurrence wherein the woman is entering her second phase of feminine life. Of course, these women are experiencing a gradual discomfort because of the transition?this is only natural. If there are telltale signs of menopause symptoms, you can opt to procure some treatment in order to minimize the feeling of discomfort.

But it is important to remember that any kind of treatment will not prevent you from undergoing menopause process, especially when your age is already falling from and between 48 ? 55 years old. It will only help you to deal a lot easier with menopause symptoms or relieve majority of their major discomfort effects. Your lifestyle might also need some changing especially your smoking, eating, drinking, and sleeping habits in order to minimize the severity of menopause symptoms.

What can herbs do to treat menopause symptoms?

There are many types of reliable herbs available that can treat menopause symptoms. They can maintain women?s healthy life even when menstruation process causes a lot of discomfort and decline in their health aspect. With herbs carefully and religiously applied you may not only alleviate those various forms of discomfort but you will also maintain your healthy life.

Two basic types of herbs for menopause

Phytoestrogenic herbs

These are the herbs or plants that contain natural phytoestrogen, a type of chemical compound, which is similar to the women body estrogen. These herbs work by replacing the lost natural body estrogen with the plant hormones, phytoestrogen. Aside from this, there are other elements of phytoestrogenic herbs that are considered beneficial to menopausal women such as amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Generally, these herbs are an alternative to disorders relating to low hormonal/estrogen levels.

Most popular phytoestrogenic herbs:

? Ginseng. Used to improve your overall vitality and energy, this is a dried root from one of the Araliaceae herb species.

? Ginkgo. Used to enhance memory, prevent memory-related diseases such as Dementia, Alzheimer?s and others. This herb is one of the oldest herbal medicines used in China.

? Dong Quai. Most effective in treating gynecological complaints caused by the change in hormonal production.

? Red Clover. Diseases treated are skin disorders and bronchitis, asthma and spasmodic coughing.

? Black Cohosh. Symptoms treated include depression, night sweats and hot flashes.

Non-estrogenic herbs

In contrast with the phytoestrogenic plants, non-estrogenic herbs, as the name suggests, are those plants that do not produce estrogen chemical structures. These plants are widely recognized by the doctors and medical experts because of their effectiveness to relieve women?s menopause symptoms. Furthermore, they are considered completely safe and do not provide side effects.

The right non-estrogenic herbs contain nutrients that can nourish endocrine system, eventually balancing your hormonal levels. With the proper application, occurrences of the loss of hormones will be reduced as they can promote your body to naturally produce the needed healthy level of estrogen hormones, without the distracting side effects.

Specifically, non-estrogenic herbs will provide relief to the following disorders relating to menopause symptoms:

- majority of the menopause symptoms
- hormonal imbalance
- osteoporosis or bone mass loss
- infertility
- sexual intercourse problems
- cardiovascular disease

It is important to note, however, that even these herbs are a natural treatment you need to research on the kind of plant that you are going to take as not all of these will relieve and alleviate you from those menopause symptoms. There are herbal plants that can cause many other side effects, may it be minor or major.
Jeanette Pollock is a freelance author and website owner of menopausedomain.com. Visit Jeanette's site to learn more about menopause symptoms

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Menopause And Your Diet

It seems like just yesterday that you were planning a tropical vacation or preparing for a high school reunion. Preparations for such events included watching your caloric intake two or three weeks to ensure that you would be svelte and sexy for the occasion. And now? Well, you?re noticing symptoms of menopause. As a result your mid-section is expanding, and stubbornly refusing to respond to your efforts to shed its spare tire.

Your added weight is a perfectly normal symptom of menopause and you need not be concerned ? that is, as long as you?re willing to take the necessary steps to drop the extra fat surrounding your waistline. You see if you keep the weight on and let it continue to accumulate, you?ll put yourself at risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and many other chronic illnesses associated with obesity.

So, what?s the solution? Believe it or not, it?s actually just common sense and really very simple. You can eliminate menopausal weight gain, as well as other symptoms associated with menopause by eating healthy, controlling your caloric consumption and consuming the proper nutrients.

As your estrogen level declines, your body will naturally look for other places from where to get needed estrogen. Since your fat cells are capable of producing estrogen, your body works harder to convert your consumed calories into fat. Some foods are metabolized too quickly, thus causing unhealthy spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which results in additional fat accumulation. Because of this, you?ll want to avoid these foods, which include white rice, potatoes and white bread. Instead, add wholegrain bread, oats, rye and wheat germ to your diet.

You?ll also want to eliminate fried foods; instead bake or broil when you cook. Baked and broiled foods aren?t just healthier, but they can actually be more appealing to the taste buds. When cooking with oils, avoid using processed cooking oils. Alternatively, use unprocessed oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, canola, wheat germ and flaxseed oil.

When you feel like having a snack, reach for nuts, seeds (pumpkin and sunflower), dried fruits and fresh fruit. Try to stick with melons, bananas, oranges and lemons, as these fruits are high in potassium, which is an excellent source to help balance sodium and water retention. You?ll also want to increase your daily intake of vegetables, including salad (preferably made with romaine or bib lettuce, which contain more nutritional value than does iceberg lettuce), yam and dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli and cabbage. Peppers and tomatoes aren?t just beneficial to your health and diet, but they?re quite tasty and can add a lot to your recipes.

Soy foods are fast becoming a popular choice to reduce symptoms of menopause. Soy foods include soybeans, calcium-fortified soy milk, soy yogurt, tofu and others. I?ll admit that I haven?t yet indulged in soy-fortified foods, but it?s said that the benefits of their consumption are quite significant.

I highly recommend that you drink more mineral and bottled water, and reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol. This will significantly reduce the incidence of hot flashes.

Of course, you?ll be tempted to stray from healthy eating once in awhile, which is okay ? as long as you make it an occasional treat and not a regular practice. If you stick to the guidelines I mentioned, you will notice a reduction in many menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, bloating, water retention, fatigue and mood swings.

Obviously, by consuming foods low in calories and fat you?ll also notice that you?re better able to control the weight gain associated with menopause. By adding a regular exercise program to your lifestyle, not only will you control your weight, but you?ll lose a significant amount of weight, as well. Fortunately, the foods that I?ve outlined will no doubt give you the energy needed to actively exercise each day. If you include weight training you?ll build muscle, become lean and toned (for real ? even at our age!) and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

When we were young girls we didn?t aspire to experience menopause. As a matter of fact, I can say with confidence that not one ten-year-old girl has ever muttered the words ?When I grow up I want to be menopausal.? The fact is, if we?re lucky enough to experience life, menopause is just a natural part of being a woman. It?s not the end, but rather a very beautiful beginning of self confidence, maturity, beauty and an active lifestyle ? that is, if you choose to make it so.
Susan Megge is the founder of http://www.40isbeautiful.com, a website designed to assist mature women as they approach and experience menopause. Susan started experiencing symptoms of menopause several years ago and researched various avenues to deal with these symptoms naturally.

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Menopause and Your Diet

It seems like just yesterday that you were planning a tropical vacation or preparing for a high school reunion. Preparations for such events included watching your caloric intake two or three weeks to ensure that you would be svelte and sexy for the occasion. And now? Well, you?re noticing symptoms of menopause. As a result your mid-section is expanding, and stubbornly refusing to respond to your efforts to shed its spare tire.

Your added weight is a perfectly normal symptom of menopause and you need not be concerned ? that is, as long as you?re willing to take the necessary steps to drop the extra fat surrounding your waistline. You see if you keep the weight on and let it continue to accumulate, you?ll put yourself at risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and many other chronic illnesses associated with obesity.

So, what?s the solution? Believe it or not, it?s actually just common sense and really very simple. You can eliminate menopausal weight gain, as well as other symptoms associated with menopause by eating healthy, controlling your caloric consumption and consuming the proper nutrients.

As your estrogen level declines, your body will naturally look for other places from where to get needed estrogen. Since your fat cells are capable of producing estrogen, your body works harder to convert your consumed calories into fat. Some foods are metabolized too quickly, thus causing unhealthy spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which results in additional fat accumulation. Because of this, you?ll want to avoid these foods, which include white rice, potatoes and white bread. Instead, add wholegrain bread, oats, rye and wheat germ to your diet.

You?ll also want to eliminate fried foods; instead bake or broil when you cook. Baked and broiled foods aren?t just healthier, but they can actually be more appealing to the taste buds. When cooking with oils, avoid using processed cooking oils. Alternatively, use unprocessed oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, canola, wheat germ and flaxseed oil.

When you feel like having a snack, reach for nuts, seeds (pumpkin and sunflower), dried fruits and fresh fruit. Try to stick with melons, bananas, oranges and lemons, as these fruits are high in potassium, which is an excellent source to help balance sodium and water retention. You?ll also want to increase your daily intake of vegetables, including salad (preferably made with romaine or bib lettuce, which contain more nutritional value than does iceberg lettuce), yam and dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli and cabbage. Peppers and tomatoes aren?t just beneficial to your health and diet, but they?re quite tasty and can add a lot to your recipes.

Soy foods are fast becoming a popular choice to reduce symptoms of menopause. Soy foods include soybeans, calcium-fortified soy milk, soy yogurt, tofu and others. I?ll admit that I haven?t yet indulged in soy-fortified foods, but it?s said that the benefits of their consumption are quite significant.

I highly recommend that you drink more mineral and bottled water, and reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol. This will significantly reduce the incidence of hot flashes.

Of course, you?ll be tempted to stray from healthy eating once in awhile, which is okay ? as long as you make it an occasional treat and not a regular practice. If you stick to the guidelines I mentioned, you will notice a reduction in many menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, bloating, water retention, fatigue and mood swings.

Obviously, by consuming foods low in calories and fat you?ll also notice that you?re better able to control the weight gain associated with menopause. By adding a regular exercise program to your lifestyle, not only will you control your weight, but you?ll lose a significant amount of weight, as well. Fortunately, the foods that I?ve outlined will no doubt give you the energy needed to actively exercise each day. If you include weight training you?ll build muscle, become lean and toned (for real ? even at our age!) and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

When we were young girls we didn?t aspire to experience menopause. As a matter of fact, I can say with confidence that not one ten-year-old girl has ever muttered the words ?When I grow up I want to be menopausal.? The fact is, if we?re lucky enough to experience life, menopause is just a natural part of being a woman. It?s not the end, but rather a very beautiful beginning of self confidence, maturity, beauty and an active lifestyle ? that is, if you choose to make it so.

Susan Megge is the founder of http://www.40isbeautiful.com, a website designed to assist mature women as they approach and experience menopause. Susan started experiencing symptoms of menopause several years ago and researched various avenues to deal with these symptoms naturally. This led to her discovery that menopause can be a very manageable, and even wonderful time in a woman's life. Susan Megge is the author of "Being Beautiful Beyond 40", a book dedicated to helping women to be inspired, confident and beautiful as they approach menopause.

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Coping With Early Menopause Symptoms

There are several factors that may contribute to a woman experiencing early menopause (menopause before the age of 45), which include premature ovarian failure, surgery, cancer treatment, viral infections, thyroid disease and many others. No matter what the case may be, hearing that you?re going through menopause years before you were expecting to enter this transition can be very scary and intimidating, leaving you with many unanswered questions.

It?s so very important to realize that you can and will continue to be the same person ? you?re not going to suddenly transform into an old lady, so don?t allow your mind to believe you will. You may be feeling like you?re less attractive or less desirable, but when these feelings of inadequacy pop into your head, remind yourself that you?re still a young woman and all that comes with it. You?re beautiful, sexy, capable and strong. Yes, your reproductive system isn?t what it was, but keep in mind that you?re much more than eggs and fallopian tubes ? you?re a woman with so very much to offer.

Symptoms of early menopause can be uncomfortable, but fortunately there are many remedies that reduce and eliminate the discomforts of early menopause. Just as with menopause in an older woman, younger women experiencing early menopause will notice physical symptoms, such as:

? Irregular periods
? Infertility
? Hot flashes
? Night sweats
? Vaginal dryness
? Insomnia or disrupted sleep
? Weight gain (especially around your mid-section)

In addition to the physical symptoms of early menopause, women may also notice some changes in their emotional state, as well. It?s not unusual to experience the following:

? Irritability
? Mood swings
? Lowered libido
? Difficulty concentrating
? Confusion
? Fatigue

Coping with symptoms of early menopause can be emotionally difficult. Fortunately, lifestyle changes and other remedies can significantly reduce the physical symptoms of early menopause. Once you?ve conquered the physical signs it?s quite likely that you?ll begin to feel like your old self again and, as a result, you?ll become more optimistic and emotionally healthy. This is probably why many women choose to make lifestyle changes that have proven to effectively reduce the severity of symptoms associated with early menopause, perimenopause and menopause. For instance, it?s extremely beneficial to avoid triggers that have been known to cause hot flashes, such as hot beverages, spicy foods, alcohol, hot weather and warm rooms.

If your sleep patterns have become disrupted, try to avoid foods and beverages that contain caffeine. Also, it?s a good idea to read or take a hot bath right before bed so that you?re relaxed and more likely to fall into a nice sound sleep.

If you transform your diet into one that is healthy and includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you?ll notice a tremendous improvement in your overall health and just how much energy you have. You?ll want to avoid saturated fats, oils and sugars, and consume approximately 1,500 milligrams of calcium, plus 400 to 800 international units of vitamin D each day. Supplements may be required to reach these amounts. If this is the case, talk with your doctor to be certain you?re getting exactly the right dosages and ensure you?re on your way to as easy a transition as possible.

You?ll be absolutely amazed by what a regular exercise program can do to reduce and even eliminate many symptoms of early menopause. If performed correctly, exercise will protect you from conditions that are common among post-menopausal women, such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. In addition to preventing these conditions, exercise will eliminate the weight gain associated with menopause and will also provide you with energy that you thought may not ever come back. Exercise has also been proven to reduce the occurrence of hot flashes.

Hormone therapy (HT) also is quite beneficial in reducing many symptoms of early menopause. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that the risks of HT, which include heart attack, stroke and breast cancer, may outweigh the benefits. While these studies may have changed the course of HT, estrogen therapy remains the most effective treatment for many early menopause symptoms. If you have not done so already, talk with your doctor to find out if a very low dose of estrogen will provide you symptom relief.

Finally, I know that this is very difficult for you and you?re likely very confused. Perhaps you were planning on having children, which may no longer be possible. Even if you weren?t considering a pregnancy, early menopause can be emotionally devastating. Please remember that you are young, you will remain young. You will no doubt get through this, because you?ve shown your strength simply by logging onto the Internet and searching for options and treatments. You?re beautiful and you have a strong resolve; I believe this and I want you to believe it too.

Susan Megge 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. Susan Megge is the author of "Being Beautiful Beyond 40," a book dedicated to helping women to be inspired, confident and beautiful as they approach menopause. Learn to cope with symptoms of early menopause by visiting http://www.40isbeautiful.com/Early_Menopause.html

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