|Educate Your Body
The Educate Your Body area covers physical and psychological issues often associated with the menopausal years. New articles are always being added. For specific guest chats with experts in these areas, visit The Power Surge Transcript Library. For specific questions, Power Surge has provided an extensive Ask The Experts area. There are also books covering these subjects in the Power Surge Bookstore.
After you're previewed the articles below, scroll through the menu of articles on the left:
"Your Health During Menopause" and
"Your Lifestyle At Midlife" (as all articles aren't featured on this page).
For support and sharing with others going through the same experiences as yourself, visit Power Surge's Message Boards, selected by Health and Forbes Magazines as 'Best of the Web' Menopause Site and Health boards. You'll also find numerous Recommendations for treating many of your menopause-related issues.
Knowledge is power. Educate your body by educating yourself.
to Menopause And Its Many Symptoms
is defined as the cessation of menstruation as a result of the normal
decline in ovarian function. Technically, you enter menopause following
12 consecutive months without a period. Menopause has become increasingly
medicalized, which means it is viewed as something that requires intervention
and treatment rather than as a natural life transition that may benefit
Women "pausing" in Power Surge often ask one another what remedies they've
used to address their menopausal issues. I had the good fortune to be
made aware of nutrition early on in life by a savvy mother (who just
turned 90 -- and, FYI, had menopause-related high cholesterol of 400,
which she lowered with soy lecithin -- 40 years ago).
What's A Hot Flash?
Considered by many to be the hallmark of menopause, hot flashes are
the most common menopausal symptom in Western societies. The intensity
and frequency of hot flashes varies greatly from woman to woman. Hot
flashes are considerably less common in non-Western countries such as
Japan, Hong Kong, Pakistan, and Mexico, where studies show that 10%
or less of menopausal women experience hot flashes.
Soy Isoflavones: Revival Soy Protein - How It Changed My Life!
I had tried more soy products than I can recall during my early perimenopausal years. The newsletters on this site contain many articles about the effectiveness of soy protein and isoflavones, written years before I discovered Revival. I've personally sampled dozens of soy shakes, most of them tasteless, some having grainy textures similar to ground glass, the majority of them made from genetically modified soybeans (GMO). Although soy milk may provide some benefits, I don't know of one soy milk product that contains a fraction of the amount of soy isoflavones Revival does to effect the same overall relief of menopausal symptoms and general health benefits. As for tofu, I've tried cooking it every imaginable way to make it more palatable, but I never find it tasty, nor am I prepared to eat a pound of it every day in order to get the right amount of soy isoflavones.
Natural Bioidentical Hormones
Natural, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): If you are currently on or
considering the use of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and you think
individualized HRT makes more sense than a one-size-fits-all approach,
then you may want to look into naturally compounded, bioidentical,
plant-derived Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Midlife Sexuality / Vaginal Dryness / Relationships
During menopause, the thinning of the mucos membrances, along with a loss of elasticity in the walls of the vagina, causes an uncomfortable sensation of dryness in many women. The thinning of the vaginal lining results from the ovaries' decreased production of estrogen. This thinning does not always cause problems, but it can be painful if the lining of the vagina becomes inflamed, dry, and rough. Estrogen creams and pills are the common allopathic solution for this problem, but these products have serious risks and should be used with caution and awareness.
Menopause: Selecting A Health Care Practitioner
The selection of your health care practitioner is one of the most important decisions you make when you are dealing with menopause. Remember, you are a trained consumer; you comparison shop every time you go to the supermarket. When you are about to buy a car or an appliance, you've already done your homework, that is, you have asked many questions before you made your decision. The process of selecting a health care practitioner is no different. Health care practitioners provide a service to you -- you are the consumer. Do not be intimidated by their credentials. Health care practitioners are only human, like you and me.
The HRT Controversy
The HRT Controversy of 2002 and the abrupt halting of the WHI (Women's Health Initiative) Study on women and the effects of hormone replacement therapy left women more confused than ever. Prior to the study, the information women were given by their health care practitioners prescribing commercial synethetic hormone replacement therapy, such as Premarin, Prempro (a combination of Premarin and Provera - the drugs used in the study) was that by using conventional HRT, "the benefits outweighed the risks."
When the study was suddenly and abruptly halted in July of 2002, the statement suddenly reversed to "the risks outweigh the benefits."
Phytoestrogens / Soy Isoflavones
Phytoestrogen seems to be the new buzzword these days when discussion turns to menopause and alternatives to hormone replacement therapy, but what are phytoestrogens and how do they affect us? The word, phytoestrogen, comes from "phyto", meaning plant, and "estrogen" due to their ability to affect estrogenic activity in the body. It is important to know that although phytoestrogens may have some similar actions to estrogens, they are not true estrogens as our bodies produce.
Menopause: What Tests To Ask For
Menopause is a transition -- the signs are temporary -- but what you do during this transition can affect your health for the rest of your life. It may affect the hidden risks of diseases, such as breast cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis (the thinning of the bones) and cardiovascular disease (heart and blood pressure). Whether or not you have a family history of these diseases, please have your health care practitioner test you for them. Certain tests are important in understanding and working with the signs of menopause.
Losing Weight and Keeping It Off
At the beginning. The motivation to start dieting often begins with a desire to look better, to fit into your clothes, to feel better about yourself, and to improve your health -- and it often means experiencing strong, very negative feelings. You may feel disgusted with yourself for your lack of control, or hate to look at yourself in the mirror, or dread opening your closet in the morning because you have nothing to wear that will make you feel good about yourself.
Mood Swings -- Natural Support
and other mood disorders are common ailments in the United States. Nearly
one in four Americans suffers from clinical depression or a mood disorder
at some point in his or her life. Over 28 million Americans take antidepressant
or antianxiety medication. Significantly more women than men seek treatment
for depression, and it is estimated that about three times more women
than men are treated for this disorder.
Depression - The Many Faces
As many of us know, depression is a common complaint during menopause. I have spoken to hundreds of women's health experts, physicians, medical journalists, authors, researchers who claim that depression is "not a symptom" of peri or postmenopause. That the depression women suffer during their menopausal years is more likely related to the aging process, or to the kids growing up and, therefore, empty nest syndrome, or to changes in their marital relationship. I am not a doctor. However, after having communicating with tens of thousands of women in various stages of menopause, it would seem apparent that depression can be and is a very definite symptom of raging hormone levels just as mood swings, anxiety and other psycholgical disorders are caused by an imbalance of hormones.
Abnormal Pap Smears - Don't Panic, But Don't Ignore!
A pap smear is a routine screening test done by your provider during a pelvic exam. The surface of the cervix (mouth or neck of the womb or uterus) is scraped with a spatula and the scraped-off cells from the cervix are fixed on a glass slide. This slide is called a pap smear and is sent to a special lab where it is processed and evaluated by highly trained technicians and doctors. By improvement in technique, the pap smear has become very sensitive in picking up early changes in the cervix. Consequently, we have many more patients with inconclusive or abnormal pap smears to evaluate than we had just a few years ago.
Osteoarthritis: What Is It? How To Care For It?
Osteoarthritis (OS-tee-oh-are-THRY-tis) (OA), or degenerative joint disease, is one of the oldest and most common types of arthritis. It is characterized by the breakdown of the joint's cartilage. Cartilage is the part of the joint that cushions the ends of bones. Cartilage breakdown causes bones to rub against each other, causing pain and loss of movement.
Most commonly affecting middle-aged and older people, OA can range from very mild to very severe. It affects hands and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet and the back.
Menopause And Hair Loss / Thinning
The most common cause of hair loss is low thyroid function, which is common among menopausal women. Other causes include, but are not limited to: changes in hormone levels (decrease or increase), increased testosterone, increased stress (physical or emotional), and heredity. Any time sudden hair loss is experienced, one must consider events which took place up to three months prior to the hair loss, as factors affecting hair loss can often take up to three months to have an effect. Subsequently, any treatments for hair loss should be given at least three months to have noticeable effects.
High Cholesterol: Prevention and Treatment
Cholesterol is a fatty substance made by the liver and found in all parts of your body. Your body uses cholesterol to produce hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that help to digest fat. It takes only a small amount of cholesterol in the blood to meet these needs, and your liver makes all the cholesterol your body needs.
Osteoporosis: What Is It? Prevention / Treatment
Approximately eight million American women and 2 million men have osteoporosis. Women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis because of the loss of estrogen at menopause. (Estrogen blocks or slows down bone loss.) Over half of all women over the age of 65 have osteoporosis. Even though osteoporosis is often thought of as a disease that only affects older people, it can strike at any age.
Endometriosis: Causes and Treatments
Endometriosis is a common disease that can affect any menstruating woman from the time of her first period to menopause. Sometimes, the disease can last after menopause. There is no cure for endometriosis and it can be hard for a health care provider to figure out if a woman has it. It can also be hard to figure out the best way to treat it if a woman has the disease. Endometriosis can affect a woman in many ways, such as her ability to work and have children, and her relationships with her partner, children, friends, and co-workers. Researchers are working to find out both causes and ways to manage this disease, so that women who have it can lead full lives.
High Blood Pressure: Causes, Prevention, Treatment
High blood pressure is called the "silent killer" because it usually has no signs or symptoms. It is dangerous because it makes the heart work too hard. If not controlled over time, high blood pressure can affect not only your heart and blood vessels but also other organs, making them function not as well as they should.
Good 'Joint' Decisions
There are approximately 55 million Americans with arthritis. The commonest type of arthritis is referred to as osteoarthritis, and it is often associated with osteoporosis. The cause of many types of arthritis remains unknown but common features of arthritic disorder include pain, joint stiffness and restrictive mobility of joints which are associated with damage to cartilage and joints and ongoing inflammation. Cartilage can be protected by certain natural substances and glucosamine appears to be the most important chondro-protective (chondro = cartilage) agent known in natural medicine. Many people are seeking alternatives to standard drug treatments for arthritis. The most commonly used drugs to treat arthritis belong to a class of pharmaceuticals called non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs which are termed NSAID, as an abbreviation
What Is Urinary Incontinence?
Approximately 80% of those affected by urinary incontinence can be cured or improved. Diagnosis includes a medical history and a thorough physical examination. Tests such as X-rays, cystoscopic examinations, blood chemistries, urine analysis, and special tests to determine bladder capacity, sphincter condition, urethral pressure, and the amount of urine left in the bladder after voiding may be required.
Perfectly Normal: Living and Loving With Low Libido
Feel like you wouldn't care if you never had sex again? You're not alone. By far the largest group of people seeking sex therapy is women who feel there must be something wrong with them because they don't have the urgent sex drive that they believe everybody is supposed to have. (Dearest note: During perimenopause and postmenopause, this is one of the most common complaints among women). Dr. Sandra Pertot dismisses that theory.
Midlife And Syndrome X
Metabolic syndrome, or “Syndrome X,” as it is often called, is the combination of obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension linked by an underlying resistance to insulin. This condition is often associated with excess insulin secretion. The syndrome was first described by Reaven in 1998, but its principal component of obesity was not initially emphasized. Retrospective data from the National Health Nutritional Survey for the period 1988 to 1994 implied that 47-million Americans had metabolic syndrome (2). The current prevalence of the syndrome may now be one in every four adults in the United States population, or about 70-million persons. So common and so pernicious are the negative health outcomes of metabolic syndrome that it qualifies as the number -- one public health problem facing several Western societies.
A Natural Approach to Bone Health
Bone health is a
primary concern for women as they advance in age. Bone is a
dynamic, living tissue subject to breakdown, repair, and rebuilding,
like any other tissue in the body. Bone loss occurs when the
rate of bone dissolution exceeds that of bone formation. Women
actually achieve maximal bone density by their mid-thirties.
Weight Gain at
It is still debatable
by some health care professionals as to whether or not weight
gain is a side effect of menopause. But for those women who
have experienced an increase in weight perimenopausally, it's
not a debate. Your body has changed and you want to know why.
On average, women may experience a gain of approximately 10-15
pounds in the years surrounding menopause.
Menopause And Insomnia
Insomnia is a common complaint during peri and postmenopause. This insomnia often takes the form of an inability to sleep through the night. Women often wake up in the wee hours of the morning and have great difficulty getting back to sleep. Sometimes these awakenings immediately precede a night sweat or at least a warm period where one wants to throw off the covers.
Low libido is a topic that women are increasingly open to discussing.
The progressive midlife women approaching menopause today are
not only grappling with this issue in their own lives, they
are also more open to discussing sensitive health concerns with
their peers as well as with their health care providers.
Maintaining Vaginal Health
Many menopausal women experience some form of vaginal dryness or irritation due to the thinning of the vaginal mucosa that typically occurs as hormone levels decline. Severity of symptoms may vary from woman to woman, even if their vaginal mucosa appear similarly affected. Some women experience only occasional discomfort while for others, symptoms are near constant.
Good Fats / Bad Fats
medical research, obesity has been associated with such diseases
as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. But the data doesn't
implicate being overweight as much as it does a poor diet and
lack of exercise. Given that there are so many benefits that
come from a good diet and exercise, it is no wonder that it
is the primary recommendation of many holistically oriented
Stress and Adrenal Health
As a society, we are acutely exposed to daily stresses, be they emotional, physical, or mental. Work situations, family changes and obligations, changes in our bodies and in our health--all of these can contribute to the stress demands on our bodies. Our bodies respond to these stresses in a similar fashion despite the source. Physiologically, each time we are exposed to stresses, our adrenal glands respond by producing certain hormones.
Dearest's Dry Skin Tips
Many women at menopause suffer from dry skin problems. I've tried everything including the most expensive and promising creams by Lancome, Elizabeth Arden, Estee Lauder -- even a cream called --- "Very Emollient Cream" by Clinique. The bottom line with moisturizers is that they CAN'T ADD MOISTURE to your skin. What they do is KEEP IN the moisture that's already there and my question becomes, if it's not already there, what's to keep in?
Progesterone and Women's
is not an estrogen-deficiency disease as the media and pharmaceutical
companies seem to portray it. In fact, if we were to base our understanding
of hormones on the media as opposed to the physiology books, we might
think the only hormone a man made was testosterone, and the only hormone
a woman made was estrogen. Well, it's time see ourselves as we truly
Exercise And Bone Health
studies attest to the effectiveness of exercise for promoting and maintaining
bone density. Improving bone mass, strength, and balance can help decrease
fracture risk. Women with osteoporosis or who have a family history
of osteoporosis need specific information, however, before they start
an exercise program, to ensure they get the most benefit from their
regimen while avoiding possible harm.
Over the years we have gathered information about how to keep ourselves
healthy through diet, exercise, and stress reduction. As we learn more,
we can fine-tune our approach to target specific organs or tissues. For
example, a diet designed to reduce the risk of heart disease is different
from a diet that benefits those suffering from the effects of arthritis
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