Our experts Karen Giblin and Dr. Mache Seibel field questions from our members. Submit your question.
Dear Karen & Dr. Seibel,
I'm 54 years old and have never experienced the common symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, night sweats, problems sleeping, etc. The only thing I really find bothersome is a general feeling of unhappiness. I'm not complaining about not having the typical symptoms but I'm just wondering, why?
We're in the dawn of a new year, yet the end of the present year is frantic for most of us. In my case, it's all about wrapping up all those loose ends which gets pretty frustrating for me at times. I prefer tranquility, eating a bowl of warm soup, watching the snow fall, and just enjoying experience the quiet beauty of the seasons. However, at the end of the year I am not only busy wrapping presents, but also equally busy in wrapping up all those odds and end tasks that seem to be left undone. Whether it's a work project, or a medical appointment, it's just about the task of wrapping it all up.
Christmas is only a few days away and while I’m certain you have already chosen the perfect gift for everyone on your list, you will inevitably receive one of those gifts that make you say, “huh?” While I always have an appreciation for any present, there are always some that are a little off; the ones that make you think, “Someone actually thought of me when they saw this in a store.” I’m talking about those gifts like the ugly Christmas sweater, the joke lump of coal and hand me down socks (yes, my cousin actually gifted them to me out of her own sock drawer, claiming they were the warmest socks she could ever find). Words escape me. This year, good intentions aside, I’m hoping she won’t dig into her warm underwear drawer to find me a gift.
The dilemma to take or not to take hormones is a real one that many women face. It is one that requires a discussion with your clinician as part of the decision making process. The arguments of pros and cons can be daunting to the average woman experiencing menopause symptoms. But, there certainly has been some light at the end of the tunnel for women taking estrogen alone.
The information we are writing about is not intended to be an answer. And, we are not taking sides. But, if you are on the fence, the new data released has shown some benefits in women who had hysterectomies and took only estrogen. The study data showed a statistically significant lower risk of breast cancer among estrogen users who did not have a family history of breast cancer. Whether you are a Yea Sayer, Nay Sayer, or a Fence Straddler, you should take the following information to your clinician. And, don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how embarrassing or trivial you may think they are and make sure you get satisfying answers. Here are several important articles that have recently been published following an annual symposium on breast cancer that may be of interest to you and your clinician:
We always believed vitamin D was THE vitamin that could be used for a cure for everything from cardiovascular disease to diabetes. Now, a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) says, “Not so fast” - we may not need to ingest all this vitamin D! One in five Americans currently take vitamin D and calcium supplements, but for many, they may now be an unnecessary part of their daily regimen. In certain situations, too much vitamin D may actually do more harm than good.
High levels of vitamin D supplementation have been linked to undesirable side effects, an increase of calcium absorption in the intestine (which leads to other problems including kidney stones) an increased risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease, etc. So, making sure you have the right dose is important. Lately, some controversy has been brewing regarding what exactly the right dose is.
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