Sunday, March 30, 2008

Menopause And Your Attitude ? Does It Make A Difference?

If you?re experiencing symptoms of perimenopause or menopause, such as hot flashes, weight gain or difficulty sleeping, there?s a good chance that you?re also noticing you?re frequently moody or feeling somewhat depressed. Your moods during this transitional period may be affected by a decline in your hormone levels, as well as life events that can be common ? yet unsettling ? during midlife. It?s been well documented that taking care of yourself, as well as maintaining a positive attitude will help you ease into menopause with few bumps in the road.

I have found this to be especially true for myself and others I?ve interviewed for this piece. Allow me to take a few moments to briefly summarize my experiences since I?ve entered midlife and began noticing symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. A few years ago I started waking up during the night, drenched in sweat. I knew without a doubt that I must have had cancer or some other medical condition; I was too young to be experiencing ?night sweats? associated with menopause and middle age. So, off I went to the doctor, describing my symptoms and explaining that I would face whatever illness I had with confidence and bravery. If I must endure radiation, chemotherapy or some other type of treatment I would willingly do so in order to stay on this earth and witness the upcoming events of my children and future grandchildren. Well, no need to worry; I was simply experiencing what so many other women go through as they enter midlife and the transition into menopause.

No big deal, right? I could handle sleep interruptions, waking up soaking wet. Then, the next symptom popped up, although it was probably gaining momentum without my notice. I was fat; my midsection looked like it came straight out of a cartoon. Once again, I quickly got into ?solution? mode and decided to tackle the stubborn and unwelcome fat that had become my midsection. Fortunately, I eliminated the extra weight gain and was able to lose several inches, regaining what resembles somewhat of a youthful and toned physique.

I decided this ?midlife thing? wasn?t so bad, but then life events have come into my world, thus testing my resolve to get through menopause with a positive and uplifting attitude. You see, I was so very proud to witness my oldest daughter graduate from college; she would be experiencing life and all of its glory, getting a good job and becoming an independent, successful and confident young woman. It was soon discovered that she and her fianc? (also a college graduate) were expecting a child. Prior to my grandson?s birth I was living with a constant worry for the happiness of these two young people ? hoping they would be mature enough to handle the responsibility of a child, marriage and all that goes with these life-changing events. Fortunately, my daughter, son-in-law and grandson are a beautiful family and excitedly expecting a new addition. So, yes, I was able to get through this particular time in my life. I didn?t sink into a deep depression, even though my hormone levels and life situation could have easily triggered such a downward spiral. I continued taking care of myself, eating well, exercising and always trying to see the positive side of situations; after all, constant worry doesn?t fix anything, right? As long as I have my health and my family, nothing can be that terrible.

Again, my ability to remain positive would be tested over and over again. As I write this particular piece, I?m at the gym on this beautiful morning working out, riding a stationary bike. Normally, I would be on the elliptical, but my leg is in a cast. Still, I keep going. Also, under normal circumstances I would be at the gym in the evening, but ? oh yeah ? I was forced to leave my job (I?ll save that story for another article). Still, I keep going. My husband is working out with me this morning and it?s nice to spend some time together. You see, he can be here right now because he?s currently without a job too (laid off due to a sluggish economy here in the Midwest). Still, I keep going.

As you can see, I?ve recently faced many life events that should keep me a little bit down, at the very least. But why? I have good health, despite my menopausal symptoms (as well as my cast), I have a wonderful family and I look forward to my future and all of the challenges and joys that will come my way. My husband is somewhat miffed about the fact that my glass always seems half full, and I guess I question why his is just plain empty. Much research has proven that there really is power in positive thinking. I'm living proof that having a positive attitude can assist women in having the ability to experience this next phase of their lives with confidence and good health, likely reducing many symptoms that can result from entering the menopausal years. I challenge you to look at life a little differently ? with much hope and anticipation. I do believe you?ll begin to feel a greater sense of well being, which may make a tremendous difference in how severe your symptoms of menopause will be.

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 of the significant role 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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Do I Need Medical Treatment for Menopause?

At least 50 percent of women do nothing about menopause because they consider it a normal transition in life.

Women most likely to seek medical assistance during menopause are those experiencing severe menopausal discomfort or those at risk for developing serious health conditions that can occur during the middle and later years of life when hormone production changes. After a woman's body has made the hormonal adjustments, she faces post-menopausal changes in her body that may require serious attention in order for her to maintain optimal health into her later years of life.

Many women consult a physician when their menstrual periods become irregular in order to find out what's happening in their bodies; or, after their periods initially stop they wonder if they might be pregnant. (It is possible to become pregnant after your periods have stopped, so doctors advise that you should wait one year before discontinuing birth control.) Although a simple blood test can determine whether your body has menopausal hormone levels, blood hormone levels in many women become so erratic during the menopausal transition that menopause could be indicated by the test one week and the next week the results could be different.

Be sure to report to your doctor all discomforts or symptoms of abnormal health conditions you are experiencing, especially heart palpitations or bone discomfort. Now is the time to be very candid with your doctor about your personal health history and any medications you take--prescription and over-the-counter--and to discuss your genetic family health history in detail. This information provides a road map you and your doctor can follow to determine what your future health care needs may be, what preventive health care you may need, and what lifestyle changes may be beneficial. Various medical evaluations may be required to ensure that you are not at risk for serious immediate or long-term health conditions.

As your menopause proceeds, your doctor may want to schedule regular checkup appointments. The frequency of those visits usually depends on your current health status, your health risks, and any medications you are taking, including HRT if you decide it is the right choice for you. The average period of time during which a woman is aware of her menopausal transition is usually five to seven years, although some women may not know for sure when it starts or when it's over. After your body has made the hormonal adjustment, completing menopause, postmenopausal changes that occur in your body may require serious attention or lifestyle changes in order for you to maintain optimal health into the later years of life. The likelihood that you'll have postmenopausal health problems that could lead to serious disorders or disease is based on your personal health status, genetic family health history, lifestyle, and dietary habits before menopause, during menopause, after menopause, and into later life.

Note: When a woman's ovaries are surgically removed before she reaches natural menopause, she will go through menopause immediately.

http://www.bestpuerariamirifica.com

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Menopause Natural Solutions

As women age, they go have to go through menopause. The most common discomfort during this stage is the sensation of heat that attacks a person without warning. This is known as hot flashes. There are many who try to find natural remedies to address this issue.

A woman I know who supervised a group in the psychology field was undergoing menopause. She would have to stop what she was doing for a moment and she said that she felt her skin was on fire.

This sensation didn?t go as fast as it came but gradually lessened. She felt it affected her work so she decided to find a natural way to relieve the discomfort so she could concentrate on her work. Here are some of the solutions she came up with.

She wanted some preventative steps to keep the hot flashes to a minimum. Since she was a behavioral specialist she decided to figure out what happens before the experience as part of her research.

She found out that stress was an important factor. As a person who had to deal with a lot of stress, the behavioral specialist had to come up with ways to deal with it. One of her methods was to plan daily activities.

She organized her schedule so that all the stress filled tasks were in the morning while it was cool and she gave herself a lot of time to get ready for appointments. The specialist would keep ice nearby at all times and sometimes she could be found with her head in the freezer which she found to be one of her best methods to fight hot flashes.

Another of her favorite remedies was to pay attention to how she dressed. She would layer her clothing, wear items with an open neck, and stick to cotton as things like synthetics and wool don?t breathe.

Changing your habits a little may help you as well. Things like avoiding spicy food, cutting down on coffee and giving up cigarettes may relieve menopause symptoms. These remedies will work and they don?t cost any money to start.

Sarah Thomas provides articles on health matters. You can find more of her work at the site sosmenopause.com

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Menopause Symtoms. It's Not that Bad. You Still Can Enjoy

Menopause is the condition when a woman has stopped having menstrual periods for over a year; this means that she is not considered fertile anymore. This phase regularly occurs around the age of 50. It may occur earlier when, due to a disease, a woman lost her ovaries. There are cases when women get to the menopause when younger (about 40 or so). When women suffer menopause when they are less than 40 years old, it is considered a premature menopause. This only occurs in about 1% of all women. Another concept you'll hear is "Perimenopause". This is a term that it's used when women start having menopause symtoms before the actual menopause phase. This period of perimenopause normally appears months or even years before women suffer the actual menopause phase.

Menopause Symtoms

Menopause symtoms vary. Some women don't even experience symptoms; they just get irregular menstrual periods for months before their actual menopause. What most women DO experience are hot flashes and/or night sweats. Some experience vaginal dryness, problems to sleep or mood changes. Some women might experience bladder control problems, headaches, fatigue, depression, heart palpitations, muscle pains. Other menopause symtoms may include discomfort during sex; this is due to the vaginal dryness mentioned before. However some women enjoy sex even more since pregnancy risk is not an issue any more. All women are unique so are their particular menopause symtoms. Menopause symtoms start to appear when levels of estrogens and other hormones decrease in women bodies. Every woman is born with a determined number of eggs in their ovaries. When the number of these eggs decreases to almost nothing, estrogen and other hormones levels decrease too. Hormone replacement therapy has been the most popular treatment to reduce menopause symtoms. However, recent studies have shown long term risk when follow this treatment which have lead patients and doctors to look for new alternatives. Herbal remedies have become very popular an effective. For example, the herb black cohosh is been very effective to treat hot flashes and night sweats. Don't forget to try good vitamin supplements which have reported good results in reducing the suffering of menopause symtoms.

Victor C.'s mother was suffering Menopause and she looked so bad that he started to look for a way to make her feel better during this phase. See what he found in order to help his mom by visiting: http://www.the-best-on-line.com/menopause/menopausesymptoms.html

Menopause Symtoms

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Perimenopause - A New Beginning

Perimenopause, the transitional period before menopause, can bring with it many symptoms, challenges and changes for women. You may notice that you've gained some weight, particularly around your mid section, or perhaps your periods aren't as regular as they once were. You may also be experiencing hot flashes or night sweats and you're wondering if this time in your life marks the end of your youth.

According to several studies, the answer is "absolutely not." As a matter of fact, perimenopause can very well signal the beginning of a more mature, happy, beautiful and energetic you - if you have the determination and self-control that are necessary ingredients in the fountain of youth.

You may believe that the days of feeling youthful and full of energy are history, but this couldn't be farther from the truth. Maybe you witnessed your mother - or perhaps aunts - get older and the results weren't pretty. Believe it or not, that has very little to do with you. As a matter of fact, a study conducted by Swedish scientists found that our genes only contribute 20% - 30% in determining how healthy we'll be and how long we'll live. That's very good news, because this means that it is we who determine our fate.

Three key factors to staying youthful and reducing symptoms of perimenopause are: Diet, exercise and a healthy, positive attitude. Unfortunately, most women don't believe in healthy eating and exercise. As a matter of fact, far too many people become complacent and are more than happy to sit around watching television or writing e-mails, yet the excuse is always the same - "I don't have time to exercise and eat healthy." If you were to face unfavorable health conditions and severe symptoms of periomenopause (likely as result of an inactive lifestyle) there's no doubt you would find the time to seek and receive treatment. Why not use that time for preventative maintenance on your body so that you may reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke and many other conditions that so many women face as they enter middle age?

Let's take a moment to examine the lifestyle of many Americans who are now living past the age of 100. Those individuals currently living past the age of 100 never inactively sat behind a desk, ate fatty processed foods, experienced road rage, or believed that exercising no more than their fingers at the computer was a sufficient amount of activity for the day. Let's face it, in the early 1900s people walked miles to work not by choice but out of necessity, because cars were still a luxury back then. Boys and girls were expected to till the fields because their farmer parents needed cheap help. People ate what they grew because it was available. Most labor was manual then, and most nutrients were natural. Preserved food was what they sealed in a jar. Tobacco and alcohol were available in the early 1900s, but the majority of today's centenarians didn't indulge to excess.

The lifestyle changes necessary to look and feel youthful and energetic, and reduce symptoms or perimenopause, are so very easy and you'll be thrilled that you took the time to make these changes, because the results will astound you. Your diet doesn't need to be so strict that you can't enjoy those foods that you love. As a matter of fact, recent studies have shown that the consumption of cocoa or dark chocolate may offer protective effects for healthy people and those who are at risk for cardiovascular disease. So, go ahead and enjoy your chocolate - if consumed in moderation, and as part of a well balanced diet, it may be very good for your overall health.

Additionally, red wine has been proven to increase longevity, serve as an antioxidant and may reduce the risk or spread of breast cancer. Also, as you may know, a strong association between moderate consumption of red wine and reduced cardiovascular disease and lower cancer risk has been documented.

So, as you can see, many foods and beverages that you thought you'd have to give up can easily remain a part of your everyday diet. Foods you will want to avoid, however, include those that will contribute to fat accumulation, such as white rice, potatoes and white bread. Instead, add wholegrain bread, oats, rye and wheat germ to your diet.

I know you're probably not fond of the word "exercise," as many women don't understand the benefits of a regular exercise routine - both physical and emotional - but you will be shocked and amazed by the positive results you'll see by devoting a small amount of time to regular physical activity. You'll lose the weight you've gained around your mid section, and you'll become toned, fit and thin. You'll also have much more energy, which is likely a result of being in better shape, as well as knowing that you've accomplished a great deal, which leads to so much more self confidence than most of us are accustomed to having.

In summary, perimenopause really can be the start of a beautiful new beginning if you should choose to make it so. Remember, it's up to you; do you want to become frumpy, overweight and lacking energy, or will you devote a small amount time and effort to looking and feeling youthful, energized and beautiful? I know I'm experiencing some of the best years of my life and if I can do it, so can you - enjoy!

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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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Birth Control and Perimenopause: When do I stop taking the Pill?

Perimenopause is the time just before menopause. Officially, menopause starts the year after you have finished menstruating, and perimenopause starts three to five years earlier. As your body changes, should you be reconsidering your birth control options?

So you're in your late forties, or your fifties. Your body is acting differently. You aren't sure if the changes are your birth control or your body, how do you react? If you are still getting your period, you can still get pregnant. You should still use birth control until a year after your last period, because often periods become irregular and have a longer time between them during perimenopause. If you have been relying on fertility awareness based methods of birth control, they will no longer work, because you will no longer be able to track your cycle accurately. If you are using barrier based methods of birth control, then you can continue using your regular method (diaphragm, sponge, condoms, etc). The difficulty at perimenopause comes if you are using hormonal birth control, such as the pill, the patch, or the vaginal ring among others.

Some doctors recommend switching birth control pills to a low-dose birth control pill at perimenopause. This would mean switching to a pill that has 20 micrograms of estrogen (such as Alesse or Loestrin), instead of the normal 30 to 50 micrograms of estrogen in a combination pill. The benefits of changing to a lower dose hormonal birth control are that you will still be protected against pregnancy, and your final periods will probably be more regular. Many women find that their side effects are fewer with lower doses of estrogen. NuvaRing is a vaginal ring that is inserted once a month and removed 21 days later; it also has a lower dose of estrogen than most birth control pills.

You are going to have to stop taking birth control at some point in your life. In the past, doctors would randomly choose when to stop you on birth control and when to begin you on hormone replacement therapy for menopause. This often happens around the age of 50. Now, doctors can measure your FSH, or follicle-stimulating-hormone to tell if you are in menopause. This way you can switch hormone therapies directly when it suits your body.

However, being medicated on hormones your entire life is not appealing to many women. You might choose to change to alternative forms of birth control. These include getting an IUD, or switching to a barrier method of birth control (like a cervical cap, condoms, etc.).

Going off birth control can cause difficulties for some women. A woman's body can become accustomed to being on contraceptive pills for years. It will take months for the pill to leave your body. Your body will learn to create different hormone levels for you.

There are many natural ways to deal with the side effects of perimenopause. The most important thing to remember is to maintain a balanced diet and exercise. It sounds overly simple, but for most of us, it can be one of the biggest challenges we face in our busy lives. Proper diet and exercise can help minimize side effects of perimenopause, and it will help you to feel better about yourself.

If you want to try going off birth control pills, you can stop at any time (though many women choose to finish one monthly cycle before ending. Try lowering your caffeine and alcohol intake. Other women use progesterone-cream to help lessen their side effects.

Perimenopause and menopause is a time of great change in a woman's life. This is a time to step back and begin listening to your body. Many women rush around their lives putting everyone else first: take this time to improve your own life by talking to your doctor and making informed decisions about your hormone use during perimenopause.

For more information on birth control, including hormonal, barrier-based, and biological methods, and more information on your fertitility, visit The Guide to Birth Control

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Perimenopause ? A New Beginning

Perimenopause, the transitional period before menopause, can bring with it many symptoms, challenges and changes for women. You may notice that you?ve gained some weight, particularly around your mid section, or perhaps your periods aren?t as regular as they once were. You may also be experiencing hot flashes or night sweats and you?re wondering if this time in your life marks the end of your youth.

According to several studies, the answer is ?absolutely not.? As a matter of fact, perimenopause can very well signal the beginning of a more mature, happy, beautiful and energetic you ? if you have the determination and self-control that are necessary ingredients in the fountain of youth.

You may believe that the days of feeling youthful and full of energy are history, but this couldn?t be farther from the truth. Maybe you witnessed your mother ? or perhaps aunts ? get older and the results weren?t pretty. Believe it or not, that has very little to do with you. As a matter of fact, a study conducted by Swedish scientists found that our genes only contribute 20% - 30% in determining how healthy we?ll be and how long we?ll live. That?s very good news, because this means that it is we who determine our fate.

Three key factors to staying youthful and reducing symptoms of perimenopause are: Diet, exercise and a healthy, positive attitude. Unfortunately, most women don?t believe in healthy eating and exercise. As a matter of fact, far too many people become complacent and are more than happy to sit around watching television or writing e-mails, yet the excuse is always the same ? ?I don?t have time to exercise and eat healthy.? If you were to face unfavorable health conditions and severe symptoms of periomenopause (likely as result of an inactive lifestyle) there?s no doubt you would find the time to seek and receive treatment. Why not use that time for preventative maintenance on your body so that you may reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke and many other conditions that so many women face as they enter middle age?

Let?s take a moment to examine the lifestyle of many Americans who are now living past the age of 100. Those individuals currently living past the age of 100 never inactively sat behind a desk, ate fatty processed foods, experienced road rage, or believed that exercising no more than their fingers at the computer was a sufficient amount of activity for the day. Let?s face it, in the early 1900s people walked miles to work not by choice but out of necessity, because cars were still a luxury back then. Boys and girls were expected to till the fields because their farmer parents needed cheap help. People ate what they grew because it was available. Most labor was manual then, and most nutrients were natural. Preserved food was what they sealed in a jar. Tobacco and alcohol were available in the early 1900s, but the majority of today's centenarians didn't indulge to excess.

The lifestyle changes necessary to look and feel youthful and energetic, and reduce symptoms or perimenopause, are so very easy and you?ll be thrilled that you took the time to make these changes, because the results will astound you. Your diet doesn?t need to be so strict that you can?t enjoy those foods that you love. As a matter of fact, recent studies have shown that the consumption of cocoa or dark chocolate may offer protective effects for healthy people and those who are at risk for cardiovascular disease. So, go ahead and enjoy your chocolate ? if consumed in moderation, and as part of a well balanced diet, it may be very good for your overall health.

Additionally, red wine has been proven to increase longevity, serve as an antioxidant and may reduce the risk or spread of breast cancer. Also, as you may know, a strong association between moderate consumption of red wine and reduced cardiovascular disease and lower cancer risk has been documented.

So, as you can see, many foods and beverages that you thought you?d have to give up can easily remain a part of your everyday diet. Foods you will want to avoid, however, include those that will contribute to fat accumulation, such as white rice, potatoes and white bread. Instead, add wholegrain bread, oats, rye and wheat germ to your diet.

I know you?re probably not fond of the word ?exercise,? as many women don?t understand the benefits of a regular exercise routine ? both physical and emotional ? but you will be shocked and amazed by the positive results you?ll see by devoting a small amount of time to regular physical activity. You?ll lose the weight you?ve gained around your mid section, and you?ll become toned, fit and thin. You?ll also have much more energy, which is likely a result of being in better shape, as well as knowing that you?ve accomplished a great deal, which leads to so much more self confidence than most of us are accustomed to having.

In summary, perimenopause really can be the start of a beautiful new beginning if you should choose to make it so. Remember, it?s up to you; do you want to become frumpy, overweight and lacking energy, or will you devote a small amount time and effort to looking and feeling youthful, energized and beautiful? I know I?m experiencing some of the best years of my life and if I can do it, so can you ? enjoy!

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-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 web sites, especially http://nugad.com and http://jasof.com

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Sunday, March 23, 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 contributes to several web sites, including http://dukof.com and http://femik.com

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Changes in Your Appearance During Menopause

Changes in Your Appearance During Menopause

Changes in your appearance will gradually become obvious to you, including body shape changes, skin that is drier and begins to wrinkle, and fingernails that break more easily.

Body shape changes and redistribution of fat during menopause are not uncommon, with many women experiencing some fat accumulation in the stomach area and thighs. Although this may seem upsetting as it occurs, it may also be beneficial by plumping up skin that is naturally losing its firmness, especially after menopause. A little extra fat may also help alleviate the discomforts of menopause because the body converts the androgens in fat to estrogen.

Appearance Changes: Your Weight

It is generally agreed that menopause does not cause weight gain, although some weight gain is a natural part of the aging process. Excessive weight gain and fluid retention associated with the menopausal years is usually related to lack of exercise and poor eating habits. Women taking HRT have reported weight gain associated with it.

Weight gain or weight loss can also be associated with thyroid gland malfunction. The thyroid gland, located in the lower throat area, regulates a woman's metabolism. When thyroid function is too low (hypothyroidism), a woman may experience weight gain, lack of energy, dry skin, brittle nails, dull hair (sometimes accompanied by hair thinning), a slow pulse, and intolerance to cold. When thyroid function is too high (hyperthyroidism), a woman may experience weight loss, feelings of anxiety and nervousness, inability to relax even when tired, a fast pulse, intolerance to heat, and sometimes heart palpitations.

Thyroid gland malfunction is also believed to cause estrogen imbalances in the body.

What causes the thyroid gland to malfunction? The reasons any gland malfunctions in the endocrine system are not easily determined because the function of one gland affects the others. The ovaries are one of the seven primary endocrine glands; the others are the pancreas, adrenals, thymus, thyroid, pituitary, and hypothalamus. Thyroid imbalances seem to occur during pre-menopause because the thyroid gland interacts with the pituitary gland as it attempts to stimulate ovulation. Stress has a dramatic effect on thyroid function one-way or the other. Diet and nutritional intake may also affect your thyroid gland function.

Your physician can conduct various blood tests to evaluate your thyroid function. Keep in mind that various medications can affect thyroid tests, so be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking HRT or birth control pills, aspirin, cough medicine containing iodine, Corticosteroids, or Dilantin.

Appearance Changes: Your Skin

Skin, the largest organ of the body, seems to be especially sensitive to the hormonal changes taking place in a woman's body during menopause. The skin has a thin outer layer called the epidermis, and a thick, deeper layer called the dermis. The dermis, composed mostly of protein collagen and elastin fibers, also contains blood vessels, sensory nerves, and lymph, oil, and sweat glands that nourish hair follicles and the thin epidermal layer. Collagen makes your skin thick, toned, and elastic.

The cells of the skin are constantly renewing themselves in the same way all the other cells in your body are, with the assistance of hormones that break down the old cells and stimulate the growth of healthy new ones.

As a woman's hormone production decreases, so does the ability of her skin cells to reproduce, resulting in less collagen. In turn the skin becomes thinner, with less fat and muscle to support it, as well as having diminished moisture content. At the same time the deep tissues are contracting, the thin upper layer of skin becomes less elastic and resilient. Eventually, as the natural aging process occurs, skin starts to sag and wrinkle.

Appearance Changes: Your Hair

Estrogen stimulates the growth of sexual hair on a woman's body and inhibits the growth of unwanted hair on the face, legs, and arms. During menopause, as estrogen production diminishes, it is not uncommon for a woman to see a decrease in her pubic hair and underarm hair. Sometimes the hair on a woman's head becomes drier and coarser during menopause.

While estrogen production becomes erratic or diminishes, the body continues to produce androgens, causing an imbalance that may result in growth of unwanted hair on the legs, and arms, and sometimes a few coarse hairs on a woman's chin or the side of her face.

Depending on your genetic makeup, the hair on your head1 may gradually thin. The follicles that contain the roots of hairs are located in the deep tissue layer of the skin. During menopause, when estrogen levels drop or become erratic, the tissue surrounding the hair follicles loses collagen and provides less support. Blood flow and energy flow through the nerves, also located in the deep skin layer, may decrease as well, providing less nourishment to the hair follicles.

Stress can cause hair thinning and hair loss by depleting the body of essential B vitamins and causing blood flow to the skin and hair follicles to be diminished.

Author Info...

Annabel Cruz is a researcher that studies Natural healing by combining both Western and Eastern ways. Feel free to use this article on your website or ezine as long as the following information about author/website is included. http://www.bestpuerariamirifica.com

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Menopause and Weight Gain...What's the Connection?

Numerous studies have shown that menopause and weight gain go hand in hand. There are probably many different factors that cause weight gain during menopause, but some studies suggest that the weight gain is related to decreased estrogen levels.

Gaining weight is frustrating and health threatening. It can also affect a woman's sense of well being. A two year study about menopause and weight gain was recently concluded in Australia. 7,270 healthy women between the ages of 45 and 50 were surveyed concerning their weight and their sense of physical and mental well-being. Only half were able to maintain the same weight with which they began the study. More than one third gained 5 pounds or more. Even this small weight change negatively affected the group's sense of mental well-being. Some sources say that the average weight gain during menopause is 12-15 pounds, if this is true, then it could account for the fact that a woman's risk of developing heart disease after menopause increases dramatically, approaching that of a man.

Controlling and preventing weight gain during menopause is important for many reasons. During mid-life, a woman's body tends to change from a pear shape (hips wider than waist) to a shape more like an apple, with the waist approaching the same size as the hips. Abdominal weight gain increases the risk of heart disease. And the American Cancer Society reports that maintaining an ideal weight throughout adult life reduces the risks for many types of cancer. Of major concern for cancer risks is, once again, abdominal weight gain. In menopausal women, this is where the extra pounds usually end up.

In order to try and determine the relationship between menopause and weight gain, scientists have removed the ovaries in lab animals and even one group of monkeys. During peri-menopause, a woman's ovaries begin to produce less and less estrogen, until they finally stop at menopause. Removing the ovaries from animals simulates menopause in a laboratory setting. In all of these studies, the female animals increased their food intake (in some cases by as much as 67%) and, of course, gained weight. These studies indicate that estrogen (or the lack of it) plays a direct role in appetite. Thus, weight gain during menopause could be caused by decreased estrogen levels.

Drugs for menopause and weight gain control have known risks. Experimental drugs that have an estrogen like effect have been shown to reduce the amount of weight that lab animals gain after having their ovaries removed. However, these drugs also caused cancerous growths in the uterus. Estrogen replacement in menopausal women has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, blood clots, heart disease and stroke, when used for long periods of time. An alternative to synthetic hormones exists in the plant world.

Phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that have an "estrogen-like" effect on the body, are being recommended for women to help relieve the symptoms of menopause. Found in soy and red clover, if these plant components can reduce other symptoms of menopause, they may help reduce weight gain during menopause, as well. Undoubtedly, other factors play a role.

It is a known fact that a person's metabolism changes with age. A woman who is 55 cannot eat the same amount of food that she did when she was 25 (even when levels of physical activity stay the same), without gaining weight. Thus, weight gain during menopause cannot be controlled or prevented without reducing calories and/or increasing physical activity. But, if a woman is making efforts to control her weight and nothing seems to be working, phytoestrogens might help. Adding soy to the diet or replacing higher fat, higher calorie meats with soy products is one way to accomplish this.

Some dietary supplements contain soy isoflavones. Isoflavones are the phytoestrogens found in soy. Use of these supplements may relieve symptoms of menopause and weight gain may be avoided, as well. To learn more about them visit the Menopause and PMS guide website.

Patsy Hamilton was a health care professional for more than twenty years before becoming a freelance writer. Currently she writes informational health articles, focused on women's issues. You can read more at http://www.menopause-and-pms-guide.com

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Wednesday, March 19, 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. 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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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

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 writes for several popular web sites, including http://nedod.com and http://bosiv.com.

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Supplementation Suggestions To Ease Menopause Symptoms

All women go through it. Before we continue - let that notion sink in. Menopause is not a death sentence or something unnatural, it just feels like it sometimes. It is a part of nature?s great blueprint ? for better or worse. The majority of women experience the onset of menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. It can begin before and after ? but this range is fairly typical.

Menopause occurs because the female body experiences rapid changes to the chemical composition of the reproductive system. The body no longer produces eggs in the ovaries and the production of progesterone and estrogen naturally diminish. Hormonal changes lead to a variety of symptoms including: increased or decreased appetite, foggy and hazy thinking, hot flashes, anger, sadness, depression, and other emotional changes.

Fortunately, there are a variety of supplements that can help you to control these symptoms. More and more evidence has been uncovered as to the benefits of supplementation for everyone ? but during menopause women can reap even greater benefits.

Traditionally, menopause has been treated by modern medicine. The treatment of choice has been hormone replacement therapy (HRT). On the surface this makes a lot of sense. The female body is no longer producing estrogen and progesterone at a normal rate so why not make up for the deficit with pills? Well, recent studies have shown that this form of treatment may be potentially dangerous. In fact, there may be more risk involved for various diseases including cancer.

Supplementation is a low-risk treatment that has provided millions of women with much-needed relief. Women who do not want to take the risks associated with HRT should definitely check out some of these essential supplements.

Promensil has been studied for years and has proven effective in providing relief for sufferers of menopause. This supplement is highly effective in limiting the frequency and magnitude of hot flashes that consistently trouble women suffering from menopause.

Black Cohosh is a plant utilized by Native Americans. The plant itself functions without estrogen. This supplement is a wide-spectrum treatment for those experiencing the anguish of menopause. It has been studied in a variety of clinical trials and has been shown to relieve a number of menopause related symptoms.

Calcium is another important supplement for those undergoing menopause. One of the effects of menopause and aging in general is a loss of bone density. Without enough calcium bones become weak and brittle. Taking calcium supplements also contribute a shotgun of minerals and vitamins that can help maintain and improve health.

Red Clover is another supplement that has been researched extensively. The active ingredient is taken from psytoestrogens-rich plants like red clover or soy. When taken it has been shown to provide some much-needed relief of menopause symptoms as well as contribute to healthy bones.

Estroven is another phytoestrogen-rich multivitamin that has proven effective in combating the severity of menopause symptoms. Studies have shown that the symptoms either alleviated or improved include: hot flashes, insomnia, and libido.

The use of supplements is important in the battle against menopause. Educate yourself on the variety of natural supplements available and get yourself some much needed ? and most importantly ? natural relief!

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/2006/10/03/supplementation-suggestions-to-ease-menopause-symptoms/

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Am I Doing Anything That could Cause an Early Menopause?

Am I Doing Anything That could Cause an Early Menopause?

Your lifestyle can definitely influence when your body will begin manifesting symptoms of menopause, how easy or difficult your menopausal transition might be, and your postmenopausal health. Beginning with your overall health, factors such as diet, stress, physical activity, smoking, drinking, and environmental toxin exposure can also affect when your menopause begins and how smoothly you make the transition. Here's a brief rundown:

* Your overall health, which is definitely influenced by your lifestyle, can determine how well your body adjusts to the changes it's undergoing during menopause and afterward. The ovaries are glands that interact with various other glands located throughout your body, creating the endocrine system. Secretions from the glands stimulate and support every part

of your body. When one of these glands stops producing hormones, it affects all the rest. The body then attempts to rebalance itself naturally. If your body does not need to expend energy overcoming existing health problems, then it can adjust more easily to the changes of menopause.

* Negative stress can be detrimental to the body at any time, but unmanaged stress can increase hormone imbalances leading up to and during menopause, magnifying emotional and physical discomforts you may already be feeling. Ongoing unmanaged stress sends your body into an extended fight-or-flight mode, causing the adrenal glands to continually kick in, providing extra survival energy. Adrenal exhaustion can result, leaving your body unequipped to handle emotional and physical exertion of any kind. Moreover, the adrenal glands are then unavailable to convert androgens into estrogen when the ovaries are unable to do so. Since the adrenal glands play specific roles within the complicated endocrine system, loss of adrenal function at a time when you most need it affects your entire body. This can have a destructive effect on your menopausal transition, as well as your future health, especially your skeletal and cardiovascular systems. Chapter 7 offers many suggestions for how you can reduce the impact of negative stress on your health.

* Women who regularly consume substantial amounts of alcoholic beverages go through menopause earlier than those who do not. Excessive alcohol consumption is detrimental to any woman's overall health.

* Studies suggest that smoking cigarettes affects a woman's estrogen levels, in addition to the other damage it inflicts on the body. Reports also indicate that smokers go through menopause one to two years earlier than nonsmokers or ex-smokers. The longer a woman has smoked and the number of cigarettes she smoked daily seems to move her closer to an early menopause. Women who live with smokers and are exposed to passive cigarette smoke also seem to enter menopause earlier, as do women whose mothers smoked. Smokers are also at higher risk for developing health problems during their postmenopausal years, including osteo-porosis and cardiovascular diseases and disorders. We are only beginning to understand how exposure to toxic substances affects a woman's health, but the news is not good. Contact with chemicals in soil and water is being linked to higher risks of developing breast cancer, endometriosis, and osteoporosis, as well as being generally detrimental to a woman's overall health. Avoiding pesticides and chemicals, including those contained in household cleaning products, is better for your body and for the environment.

* Although the reasons are not clear, studies have shown that women who live at higher altitudes enter menopause years* earlier than women who live at lower altitudes.

Author Info... Annabel Cruz is a researcher that studies Natural healing by combining both Western and Eastern ways. Feel free to use this article on your website or ezine as long as the following information about author/website is included. http://www.bestpuerariamirifica.com

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Menopause, Moodiness And Men

If you?re a woman experiencing symptoms of perimenopause or menopause, this means you?re dealing with hot flashes, weight gain, irregular periods, mood swings and/or other symptoms typical in middle aged women.

Quite often these symptoms are unsettling because you?re entering a new phase in your life and you?re not quite sure what to expect. Your mood swings may be as a result of declines in your hormone levels, but it?s also important to understand that it?s not unusual to experience everyday life events that can also bring on stress, depression or moodiness.

Perhaps your grown children are giving you reason to be concerned, or maybe you?re spending a lot of time helping an aging parent. In addition to trying to keep a home running smoothly, going to work, taking care of parents and dealing with your children, there?s a good chance you?re also dealing with a man (a.k.a. husband or mate).

It?s funny, but some of the personality traits that first attracted me to my husband now are a complete pain in my ?you-know-what.? For instance, I loved watching him get excited over a sporting event or video game. Now, these things irritate me. Not all the time, but when there are more pressing issues to deal with, such as a broken toilet, clothes dryer or numerous other items throughout the house that are in disrepair. I honestly believe that men will always be boys and this is just one more issue we women are faced with, along with so many changes taking place in our own bodies during this period in our lives.

Not only are men boys because they would rather ?play? than take care of responsibility, but so many men can become crabby and demanding at times, very much like small children. My sisters and I took a road trip one year, which should have taken about eight hours. Due to a poor sense of direction and numerous wrong turns, I believe we were probably in the car for a good eleven hours. We all had a good laugh discussing the fact that if our husbands would have been there, the extra time in the car would have been a tragedy equal to that of a nuclear war.

So, what should you do when you?re getting ready for work and your husband is complaining because he?s faced with quite a dilemma ? his coffee is cold. Or maybe he can?t find his blue shirt. Oh no! His wallet?s not where he put it. Unfortunately, it?s in our nature to nurture and take care of our husbands, so we stop what we?re doing and warm his coffee, find his shirt or his lost wallet. But, it?s so very important for you to also take care of yourself during this time. If that means neglecting your husband?s needs once in awhile, so be it. If your mate is in a lousy mood, don?t allow him to bring you down with him. Remember, you needn?t count on his happiness in order for you to be happy. Walk away. If you allow yourself to get into a confrontation or argument you?ll only be hurting yourself, sending your blood pressure sky-high and feeling emotionally and physically drained. If you?re not there to absorb negative feelings, he?ll just need to get over it, right?

Your body is going through some tremendous changes and needs to be well taken care of. If you continue nurturing everybody else and leave no time for yourself, there?s a very good chance that your hormones, combined with the many stressors you?re faced with on a daily basis will result in depression. Not only can depression leave you feeling lethargic, sad and hopeless, but it may also lead to physical conditions as well, such as heart disease and a loss of bone density.

Since the majority of us loves our mates and is still attracted to the boy in them, it?s not likely that we?ll be eliminating this particular ?pain-in-our-you-know-what? anytime soon. But, because you?re a strong, mature, capable and beautiful woman, it?s crucial to remain that way by nurturing your body; eat healthy, exercise regularly and take time for yourself. In a few years you?ll be past this transitional period and if you do as is recommended you?ll feel energized and able to enjoy life to its fullest.

Susan Megge is the founder of http://www.40isbeautiful.com, a website designed to assist women as they approach and experience menopause. Susan, a health and fitness expert started experiencing symptoms of menopause several years ago and researched various avenues to deal with these symptoms naturally

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Natural Remedies For Menopause - Black Cohosh

For many women, the side effects of HRT have made it a less desirable option to manage the symptoms of menopause. However, the discomfort of these symptoms mean some treatment is necessary.

Hot flashes, night sweats, panic attacks, headaches, and mood swings can make life difficult for a menopausal woman, as well as affecting her relationships with her family. When we feel ill, our whole outlook on life can be affected, making it more challenging to engage the levels of spiritual transformation that are associated with menopause.

Fortunately, there are a number of options available to women who'd prefer to experience menopause naturally. It's important to note though, that medication may still be needed for some. Dr Christiane Northrup has written of some menopausal patients of hers that were adamant they were not taking HRT. But after exhausting the herbal and nutritional options, the symptoms were still so bad that in the end they opted to take hormone replacement therapy.

One well known herbal treatment for menopause is black cohosh. Also known by the botanical name of Cimicifuga racemosa, this powerful herb is a phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens were originally thought to work by binding to the estrogen receptors in the body. Phytoestrogens are similar to natural estrogen in chemical structure, though they have a milder effect on the body. Thus, when they locked into the estrogen receptors, they were thought to have an effect that mildly mimicked estrogen, thus counterbalancing the reduced levels of estrogen in a woman's body.

However, this is now not believed to be the main way phytoestrogens like black cohosh work. Whilst they do in fact bind to at least one subtype of estrogen receptor, they may actually work to block that receptor, rather than activate it. It is now believed that black cohosh regulates the hormonal system in the body.

Despite a lack of clear understanding in how black cohosh works, scientists have found that it works very well. One study comparing black cohosh with HRT and valium found that it was just as effective in helping both the physical and psychological symptoms of menopause. A Japanese study also found that black cohosh increased bone mineral density, which makes it very useful in preventing age related osteoporosis.

Black cohosh has been found to help 76 to 93% of women find an improvement with the symptoms of irritability, hot flushes, heart palpitations, depression, headaches, and sleep problems. These women took a standardized extract, twice a day.

For more natural remedies for menopause, click here. For HRT and menopause information, click here

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Menopause Relief is Possible with Herbal and Other Natural Remedies

Many women search for menopause relief. Though menopause does not technically occur until a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 months, the symptoms associated with decreased estrogen production can be experienced for as many as ten years before. Menopause natural remedies are designed to address the symptoms that many women experience during this time, including breast tenderness, decreased sexual desire, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, irregular periods, heavy bleeding, depression and moodiness. Thankfully, not all women have all of these symptoms, but even one or two can be frustrating and difficult to deal with. And, from personal experience, I can tell you that we don't have to put up with them and we don't have to take drugs.

Menopause natural remedies may contain only one herb or a combination of herbs, vitamins, minerals and other plant derivatives. The ones mentioned here are only a few of the products that you may see in a health food or drug store. It is important to read the list of ingredients on any product that you are considering. Buy from a reputable manufacturer of dietary supplements and avoid the discount versions. Independent laboratory studies have shown that some of these contain only inactive ingredients or inadequate amounts of active ingredients. If you buy something cheap that is ineffective, this is probably the reason.

Black cohosh is one of the most widely recommended herbs for menopause relief. It was used historically by Native Americans for many purposes, but those which apply to menopause relief are related to its use for the symptoms of hormonal imbalance and as a mild sedative. Sleep disturbances being one of the symptoms for which many women seek menopause natural remedies, it has also proven to be effective in reducing hot flashes and night sweats. Several surveys have shown that black cohosh is one of the most frequently used herbs for menopause relief and that the majority of women feel that it has reduced their symptoms.

Red clover was used historically by Native Americans to correct hormonal imbalances and as a mild sedative. The active component in red clover is believed to be isoflavones called phytoestrogens, which simply means plant components that have an estrogen like effect on the body. In a randomized placebo controlled trial related to menopause natural remedies performed at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre in Amsterdam, the study group experienced 44% less hot flashes than the group receiving placebo, a significant difference. Some researchers feel that because of its estrogen like effects, red clover should be used with caution by those women who have a history of breast cancer. A safer choice would be those menopause natural remedies that contain both red clover and sarsaparilla.

Sarsaparilla was used historically by Native Americans to treat a variety of conditions including hormonal imbalance. A recent study in Canada showed that it was effective in eliminating four different human cancer cell lines and has no known side effects. Studies in the US have shown that it is an effective immune system stimulant. Hundreds of studies have been published concerning the health benefits of sarsaparilla.

These three herbs are rarely found in one product. These are the menopause natural remedies with which I am most familiar, because of their use in traditional Native American medicine, a subject I have spent much time studying. Until recently, I had to buy all of these herbs separately, which was quite expensive. But, then I found a product that combines all three for a reasonable price and provides adequate amounts of calcium and magnesium plus a natural antidepressant. I believe it is the best all natural product available for menopause relief. To learn more, please visit our website at http://www.menopause-and-pms-guide.com

Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a healthcare professional and currently writes informational articles for the Menopause and PMS Guide. Read more at http://www.menopause-and-pms-guide.com

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

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. 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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Menopause Symptoms and the Search for Relief

A woman may experience menopause symptom for years before she is actually "in menopause", which is when a woman has not had a menstrual period for a full year. The signs of menopause vary from woman to woman. Some women only experience mild symptoms of menopause and are not particularly bothered by them. Other women seem to have all of the different menopause symptoms and search for relief.

Hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia are some of the first signs of menopause that women usually notice. Hot flashes may happen at any time of the day. They are described by most women as a warm sensation that begins in the chest or around the breasts and then spreads up the back of the neck. Beads of sweat sometimes pop out on the forehead and some women experience red blotches on their skin. Hot flashes are caused by changing estrogen and other hormonal levels.

Night sweats are hot flashes that occur at night and may interrupt sleeping, leading to insomnia. Women sometimes wake up covered in sweat, with pillows and other bedding wet. Getting up, cooling off and coming back to bed, only to find that now the bed is too cold, chilled from the dampness. Anything that will relieve these early symptoms of menopause is welcome and most women try a number of different herbal and natural products before they find something that works. Some women resort to hormone replacement therapy, which was once thought to be safe, but is now believed to be associated with serious health problems in post-menopausal women, including heart disease, breast cancer, blood clots and stroke.

Other menopause symptoms include mood swings, fatigue, depression, irritability, racing heart, headaches, joint and muscle aches and pains, vaginal dryness, decreased or increased sex drive and bladder control problems. Women who experience migraines during their teenage years and early twenties, may seem them return before or during menopause. It has been difficult for researchers to determine if all of these signs of menopause are related to changing hormonal levels. Some may be related to other factors.

Of all the different symptoms of menopause that a woman may experience, the only one that doctors fully understand is cessation of menstrual periods. When the ovaries stop producing eggs and a woman is no longer fertile, then menstrual periods stop and this, by definition is menopause. During perimenopause or pre-menopause, women may notice changes in their menstrual periods. They may become irregular, heavier or lighter. Doctors sometimes prescribe birth control pills to regulate menstrual periods when women experience these menopause symptoms, but, as most women know, birth control pills have sometimes unpleasant and unwanted side effects and if they are not needed to prevent pregnancy, most women would prefer not to take them.

When signs of menopause include mood swings, depression, anxiety or fatigue, doctors sometime prescribe anti-depressants. Anti-depressants have side effects of their own, including a decrease in sex drive, difficulty obtaining orgasm and a general feeling of numbness. Natural products, including many common vitamins may help relieve these symptoms of menopause, without the side effects. Good nutrition is important at all times during a woman's life, but is particularly important at this time of her life. Not only to decrease menopause symptoms, but to decrease the risk of post-menopausal health problems, such as osteoporosis, arthritis and heart disease.

Before a woman finds the routine that works best for her, experimentation is often necessary. Since the signs of menopause vary so greatly, it is often difficult for a doctor to know what to prescribe. We often hear, "Let's try this," which is understandable, since so little is known about the hormonal changes that cause the symptoms of menopause, but still frustrating. This writer knows exactly how frustrating all of this can be. Visiting the whole round of doctors becomes a seemingly endless circle of frustration, which increases the depression, the mood swings and the anxiety, not to mention the fatigue. Then, when she finally finds something that works, it comes not from the world of modern medicine, but from the natural world, the "earth mother" herself.

If you are over 40 and you are beginning to see some or all of the menopause symptoms described above, take a deep breath and relax. There is help. You do not have to suffer from the symptoms of menopause for ten years like your mother did. Osteoporosis is not a part of life. Breast cancer and heart disease can be prevented. It will take some effort on your part. But, probably the first step is to recognize the signs of menopause when you first see them. Begin a regular vitamin regimen, quit smoking, continue to exercise regularly and eat a health diet that is rich in vegetables and other plant foods. Use meat as a side dish and restrict your intake of dietary fats, sugars, caffeine and alcohol.

By increasing your vitamin intake, particularly the B-complex vitamins, you will increase your energy. You will feel more like exercising and regular exercise, rather than wearing you out, will increase your energy levels, reduce fatigue, improve your sleep and increase your sex drive, in other words, combat the symptoms of menopause. Calcium, vitamin D and according to recent studies, vitamin K reduce your risk for developing osteoporosis. Black cohosh and other herbs can reduce or even eliminate night sweats and hot flashes. To learn more about natural products that can help relieve menopause symptoms, please visit http://www.menopause-and-pms-guide.com.

Patsy Hamilton has been a health care professional for over twenty years and currently writes informational articles for the Menopause and PMS Guide

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Surgical Menopause

If you?re facing menopause as a result of a surgical procedure, you?re not alone. As a matter of fact, approximately 36,000 women under the age of 45 undergo total hysterectomies each year, causing them to enter into ?surgical menopause.?

Unlike natural menopause ? even early menopause ? which is gradual, surgical menopause results in a sudden (and permanent) drop in estrogen and androgens, which can often contribute to extremely severe menopausal symptoms. Those symptoms include hot flashes, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, depression, migraine headaches, vaginal dryness and cardiovascular symptoms. Many women have reported hot flashes so severe, their ability to function as they should was significantly affected.

While lifestyle changes can assist many women experiencing these symptoms, most will require hormone therapy, which can also protect you from an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. In addition to estrogen/progesterone therapy, testosterone therapy may also be needed if you have very little energy, are extremely tired and experiencing a loss of sexual desire. Surgical menopause significantly reduces your body?s production of androgens, which can severely affect your sexual drive and function. Also, the drop in estrogen may result in vaginal changes, such as dryness, which can make intercourse quite painful and uncomfortable.

If you feel that you would benefit from testosterone therapy, discuss this option with your health care provider. Typically, testosterone is dispensed in the form of pills, patches, creams and gels. There is also an estrogen/testosterone product available for women, which researchers believe is extremely beneficial for treating sexual dysfunction.

To reduce the risks of heart disease and osteoporosis, be sure to live a lifestyle that is ?heart healthy.? In other words, try your best to maintain a healthy weight by eating a healthy diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Also, get in the habit of exercising regularly, including both cardiovascular and weight training as part of your workout. It?s a good idea to exercise for approximately 60 minutes, at least three days per week. A healthy lifestyle will ensure that you?ll remain young, healthy, energetic and happy.

Susan Megge is the founder of http://www.40isbeautiful.com, a website designed to assist women as they approach and experience menopause. Susan, a health and fitness expert started experiencing symptoms of menopause several years ago and researched various avenues to deal with these symptoms naturally.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Herbal Combination For The Treatment Of Menopause

When a number of herbs are combined in a singe supplement, it is called a herbal combination. It is often used to treat the uncomfortable symptoms and side effects of menopause.

While herbal combinations used to treat menopause contain many different herbs, some of them are common and are referred to as ?female herbs?. They are given below:

Black Cohosh

Known for its curative properties black cohosh or Cimicifuga racemosa were used by native Americans to cure many female problems. Experiments done recently shows that it contains many ingredients which classify black cohosh as a phytoestrogen,. The components are acetin, cimicifugioside, acetylacteal, 27-deoxyactin, cimigenol, and deoxyacetylateal. Though its exact mechanism of action is not known, various clinical studies have revealed its hormonal properties. This makes black cohosh a popular ingredient in herbal combinations meant for menopause treatment.

Dong Quai

Another oft-used ingredient to treat menopause is a herb called dong quai. Also known as Angelica sinensis, this herb is originally from China, where it has been used as a food additive for more than a thousand years. The herb is used in China to treat various ailments, of which treating menstrual problems and menopause are two of them. It is known as the ?menopause herb? in western countries where it is used to correct hormonal imbalance.

Chaste Berry

This comes in the shape of a large shrub, common to the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. The name is derived from its property to suppress sexual desire. Used by Greeks and Romans to promote chastity, the Chaste berry was used by medieval monks to lessen sexual desire. These days this herb is used extensively to treat various disorders of the female reproductive system. Physicians who believe in naturopathy recommend this herb for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome as well as peri and post menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, etc. No wonder then that chaste berry is used as a herbal combination for the treatment of menopause.

Over and above the herbs mentioned above herbal combinations also contain other herbs which are useful to treat some specific symptoms. Herbs like mix soy, kava, and dandelion root, added with a dose of vitamins E, C, and B, magnesium, and calcium are frequently added to menopausal herbal combinations.

The quantity of herbs which are used for herbal combinations are usually very small, but the overall effect it has on symptoms like hot flashes and other distressing symptoms of menopause is commendable.

Simply because the menopausal herbal combinations draw its benefits from herbs, trying out these on your own should be done with caution. Proper research should be done with each item before ingesting any of the herbs. Because some herbs do not go well with other herbs and could prove to be a health hazard also.

Read the labeling instructions carefully before trying out any of the menopausal herbal combinations, to check whether all the critical ingredients are there or not. Special look out should be made for black cohosh. Also check the number of milligrams of the ingredients in the herbal combination.

To know more about the many herbal combinations available in the market, talk to your health food store attendants. Or better still, talk to your physician if he is a herb believer. Much information is available online also and you can order and get the products delivered to your doorstep.

Miranda Thompsen is a staff writer at Aging Guide and is an occasional contributor to several other websites, including Wellness Digest.

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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 http://www.menopausedomain.com. Visit Jeanette's site to learn more about menopause symptoms.

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Sunday, March 9, 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 writes for several online magazines, such as http://fotid.com and http://parip.com.

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Hormone imbalance causes Menopause Symptoms

Menopause

The transition period in a woman's life when the ovaries stop producing eggs, menstrual activity decreases and eventually ceases, and the body decreases the production of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, is known as menopause. Known as the "change of life," menopause is the last stage of a gradual biological process. It begins about 3 to 5 years before the final menstrual period, and is also known as climacteric, or perimenopause. It is considered complete when a woman has been without periods for 1 year. On average, this occurs at about age 50, but like the beginning of menstruation in adolescence, timing varies from person to person. Surgical menopause occurs if the ovaries are removed or damaged - as in a radical hysterectomy or chemotherapy. In this case, menopause begins immediately, with no perimenopause. Temporary "stress menopause" occurs when women in their late 30s or older have no periods for long stretches of time. It can be caused by stress, chemotherapy, grief, illness, bulimia, anemia, or excessive exercise. With an average life span of 80 years, most women must live with the effects of menopause for a third of their lives.

Symptoms

Low estrogen levels are linked to some uncomfortable symptoms in many women with about 75% of women complaining of these symptoms during menopause. However, the severity and frequency of symptoms varies from woman to woman. Following is a list of symptoms experienced during menopause:

  • Achy joints?
  • Difficulty in concentrating?
  • Headaches?
  • Hot flashes?
  • Insomnia?
  • Early wakening?
  • Mood changes
  • Night sweats
  • Conditions commonly associated with PMS?
  • Changes in sexual desire?
  • Extreme sweating?
  • Frequent urination?
  • Vaginal dryness
(Hot flashes, mood swing, and vaginal dryness are the most noticeable symptoms).

Hot flashes

Hot flashes are sudden explosions or mild waves of upper body heat that last from 30 seconds to five minutes. Hot flashes appear to be a direct result of decreasing estrogen levels. In response to falling estrogen levels, your glands release higher amounts of other hormones that affect the brain's thermostat, causing body temperatures to fluctuate. They often start with a tingling sensation in the fingers. The tingling is followed by fast rises in skin temperature from the chest to the face and rapid heart palpitations. Profuse sweating and then cold shivering often follow this, as body temperature readjusts.

Women who have hot flashes generally weigh less than women who do not have hot flashes. Women who have had a hysterectomy are more likely to have hot flashes.?

Seventy-five percent of women have hot flashes during perimenopause. Fifty percent of women have one each day. Twenty percent have more than one a day. Ten percent have them up to five years after menopause. They are very uncommon after that.
Following events can sometimes trigger a hot flash:
  • Confining spaces
  • Hot, humid weather
  • Caffeine?
  • Alcohol?
  • Hot drinks?
  • Spicy foods?
  • Stressful or frightening events?

Author By Rosa parks

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