Dear Red Hot Mamas- October 2017

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: October 18, 2017

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”

–         Albert Camus

Dear Red Hot Mamas,

Let’s Celebrate World Menopause Day on October 18, 2017

Menopause truly is a women’s only club.  And, Red Hot Mamas unites with women across the world to celebrate World Menopause Day on October 18th.  

I started Red Hot Mamas 26 years ago (in 1991) due to my own quest for information about menopause.  My menopause occurred due to having an oophorectomy (a hysterectomy with the removal of my ovaries).  Immediately after the surgery, my symptoms were severe and, frankly, I thought I was lost in the Bermuda Triangle looking for answers to my questions as to how to quell my disconcerting symptoms and understand the treatments that would help me.  That’s why I started Red Hot Mamas to not only help myself, but to help other women to become more knowledgeable about what to expect at menopause and learn how to manage its course.

Since that time, I’ve been fortunate enough to have spoken to thousands of women that attend Red Hot Mamas monthly educational programs in hospitals and those others who communicate with me on our community forum on www.redhotmamas.org/www.inspire.com.

I can attest, we’ve had some pretty heated discussions about the effects of menopause.  By the way, these are not only women who live in the US because many of the women who receive our free E newsletter “The Menopause Minute” even live overseas!  So menopause happens worldwide.  In fact by the year 2025, there will be 1.1 billion women who has reached menopause!!  Can you just imagine if we all flashed at the same time?

Here’s the scoop, the majority of women experience hot flashes. Let me describe what may happen. The woman may become intensely hot while having a hot flash, feel a burn in her face and her face may become beet red, warmth envelopes in her upper chest and neck; she may sweat profusely, develop heart palpitations which makes her feel anxious and she may even feel as if she’s having a panic attack.  Once the hot flash is over, she may get the chills.  This is no fun because they can happen at all times.

If hot flashes happen at night they are called night sweats.  Many women wake up, can’t get back to sleep, so the next day they feel fatigued, irritable, short tempered, and this not only affects her relationships at home, it also has an effect on her productivity at work.  Some women even worry about getting fired from their jobs due to tampering with the thermostat and freezing their co-workers.

There are a host of other menopause related symptoms.  Here’s a few which may occur: menstrual changes; hot flashes, night sweats, heart palpitations (vasomotor symptoms); headaches; trouble sleeping; mood changes; vaginal dryness issues; changes in sexual functioning; forgetfulness; weight gain; hair changes; dry eyes; and others. These symptoms definitely affect the woman’s quality of life.

Women today from all over the world are hormonally challenged at menopause and are symptomatic.  They also aren’t nearly as timid to discuss topics like hot flashes and night sweats. In fact, midlife women are making themselves heard and a new demand for up-to-date, reliable information has emerged. Utilizing the media, conferences, public awareness messages, menopause is no longer taboo topic.

But despite all the talk about menopause these days, women are still not well-informed about menopause and they fear treatments.  They need their health care practitioners to spend enough time with them to explain treatment options with their benefits and risks.  They also need to be presented with a personalized treatment option, not a one size fits all treatment, and, lastly, they need to have a voice in the decision making process.

In conclusion, Red Hot Mamas main goal in promoting World Menopause day is to help further the conversation about menopause.  I encourage you to speak to your healthcare practitioner and educate yourself about menopause. It is your responsibility. The more you know about your body, and how to care for it, the better your quality of life.

Good health to you all,

Karen Giblin

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