Dear Red Hot Mamas – September 2014

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: September 20, 2014

“A study says owning a dog makes you 10 years younger. My first thought was to rescue two more, but I don’t want to go through menopause again.”  -Joan Rivers

September is Menopause Awareness Month!

If you are like most women just entering the stage of menopause, which is called perimenopause, or if you are amongst others who have already experienced it already, (been without a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months), you know the value of understanding what’s going on with your body.

Personally, I became fully aware of menopause after having a hysterectomy and removal of my ovaries in 1991. I wandered blindly into menopause without knowing what to expect! Having experienced the medical effects of abrupt estrogen loss, I have learned firsthand that estrogen plays a role in an amazing number of functions in my body and it definitely has had an impact on my health in a number of significant ways.

Menopause occurs as the ovaries run out of eggs. Our estrogen production levels fall and menstrual periods become irregular. The average age of menopause is 51.4 years. Menopause also may occur earlier due to surgical removal of or radiation to the ovaries or chromosomal abnormalities.

It is important for you to notify your clinician and get a comprehensive physical exam if you begin feeling changes associated with menopause.

Here is a list of possible menopausal changes:

  • Changes in the menstrual cycles

  • Changes in Sex Drive

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Hot Flashes

  • Memory Loss

  • Mood Changes

  • PMS

  • Sleep Changes

  • Vaginal Dryness

Personally, I spend 80% of my free time checking out medical sites online whenever a symptom of menopause arises. The beauty of the internet is that there are so many choices. There’s Red Hot Mamas website, www.redhotmamas.org; the North American Menopause Society’s website, www.menopause.org, and the Endocrine Society’s Hormone Health Networks new site, www.menopausemap.com. Needless to say, it’s important for you check out HON accredited websites, and also to call your clinician if you are dealing with unusual bleeding, or undesirable symptoms of menopause. You and your clinician should discuss and choose a strategy that will help you ameliorate symptoms and prevent disease.

Let’s also not forget that there are a number of lifestyle changes that you can make that will positively affect your physical and emotional well-being at menopause. Shifting to a healthy lifestyle, including eliminating unhealthy habits, and incorporating exercise on a daily basis, will certainly help not only to reduce those unwanted menopausal symptoms, but will promote longevity and a healthy life as you age.

Regular exercise helps your bones, heart, weight, and even your sex life! Making nutritional changes in your diet is also very important. Even small dietary changes, like decreasing your caloric intake by 100 calories per day, may help with that unwanted weight gain many of us experience. Reducing salt and sugar, and all those empty calories that don’t supply good nutrition should be avoided.

If you are struggling with incorporating good nutrition in your diet, it may be helpful to consult with a registered dietician. Dr. Mache Seibel and I also wrote a book which has a lot of great information in, and the name of this book is “Eat to Defeat Menopause“. It’s packed with menopause information and great recipes from top chefs around the USA. You can log onto Amazon.com to find this book.

In closing, this September make a point to gain information about menopause by talking to your clinician, browsing the web, and finding books about menopause at your local library, bookstore or online. You can take charge of this major life change by educating yourself about your health!

Good Health To You All,

Karen

Karen Giblin

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