By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: September 11, 2012
Although we are coming up on the official Menopause Awareness Month, fortunately we have come a long way in the last few years on making everyone more aware of this transition, which happens to all of us who have the good fortune to live this long. I always remind anyone old enough to remember the great sitcom All in the Family of Edith Bunker’s perimenopausal complaints, to which Archie just replied, “Edith, get over it.”
We do have more understanding of what symptoms women may experience, and we have many more medications available for women suffering from these symptoms. And we have certainly gained the knowledge that the menopause transition lasts for several years; when Phil Donohue owned the airwaves many years ago, the prevailing belief was that you went to bed one night premenopausal, and woke up the next morning postmenopausal.
However, we must never lose sight of the fact that we can really help ourselves through the transition, from both a relief of symptoms and maximizing good health perspective. Women who are significantly overweight have a much harder time with hot flashes; and women who are significantly overweight have much higher risks of breast cancer and heart disease. Women who smoke have a much harder time with hot flashes, and women who smoke also have much higher risks of many types of cancers, and heart disease. Most women find alcohol tends to precipitate hot flashes, and drinking two glasses or more a day of wine significantly increases our risk of breast cancer. So adopting a healthy lifestyle will make you feel much better, and significantly minimize your health risks. Doing the right things to make you feel better will have a significant impact on improving your health.
So do celebrate Menopause Awareness Month in a happy way, and enjoy!
About the Author: Mary Jane Minkin, MD is clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine and has a private practice in New Haven, Connecticut. She is widely known in the field of gynecology and is interviewed often in print and broadcast media; she has even appeared on a billboard in Times Square, along with other women of note representing the “new face of menopause.”