Navigating the Menopausal Years

Menopause the Musical Most of us sail along in life unaware of the key role our hormones play in our everyday lives until we bump up against Perimenopause and later Menopause. Then all of a sudden things change.

We can’t get a good night’s sleep, our libido disappears, things that never bothered us before, begin to irritate and annoy us, moodiness and impatience seem to take over our lives. We start to gain weight, experience brain fog, short-term memory lapses, tiredness.

Hot flashes, night sweats, and heavy periods signal unmistakably, that something is happening to our hormones. Our family and friends are the first to notice the changes, and no matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to find the way back to normalcy.

The Baby Boom Generation – Enters Menopause and Post Menopause
Menopause is now the subject of sitcoms on television. Stand-up comics are making fun of it. And women are seeking relief in large numbers from medical doctors, naturopaths and other alternative care specialists.

It’s important to know that menopause is not a disease and should not be treated as if it is. It is a normal process in a woman’s life – a time when we need to take better care of ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. The symptoms of menopausal are said to come from decreased production of hormones and a decrease in our metabolism. Consequently women are seeking relief in Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT in an effort to shore up the levels of these hormones to what they were before.

However the good news is that you may not have to go on HRT.

Getting a Handle on Your Hormones
I just came across some excellent information that provides a way to get a handle on this part of your life when your hormones begin to wane, and your adrenals begin to demand attention. The “adrenals” are implicated in thyroid problems, and blood sugar disorders like diabetes, and obesity seems to go hand in hand with this.

Who is Lorna Vanderhaeghe?
Lorna Vanderhaeghe has a line of products that provide herbal relief for symptoms of menopause and perimenopause.

She is working on the premise that women can age gracefully by treating the decline that happens with the imbalances that occur in the adrenals, the liver, thyroid and digestive functions in the body. Her products allow the body to ease into menopause symptom-free.

Lorna has written ten books in the field of Nutritional Medicine. She has a Masters in Health Studies and a degree in Biochemistry. Her passion is researching and writing on women’s wellness through the use of nutrition as medicine. Lorna realized the power of Nutritional Medicine after helping her daughter recover from an illness that her doctors could not treat by conventional means.

Her books and webinars describe how to understand our hormonal and adrenal systems in clear and easy to understand language. Lorna spends her time travelling and talking to groups about her research. You can catch her here talking on a one hour webinar to a group of women about symptom free menopause.
Hear Lorna’s webinar interview talking about Symptom Free Menopause 🙂

Startling Facts About Your Hormones
Here are some facts I learned from her book “Sexy Hormones” that were news to me. This is information that we need to know.

About Cholesterol Lowering Drugs
If you are on cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins such as Lipitor, Mevacor, Zocor your levels of estradiol can increase to dangerous levels. That means you are at risk for Cancer because statins increase estradiol to dangerous levels in women. You may need to ask your doctor to measure your estradiol levels with a blood test. (From her webinar Jan 2010)

Soy & Transdermal Progesterone May Be Incompatible
If you eat soy products and are on transdermal progesterone you are going to lose bone density big time. (p 68 in Sexy Hormones) That’s a fact, that few women know. How much soy do we eat each day hidden in processed foods? You have to read the ingredients on everything you buy to avoid soy. This information comes from a study on bone density in women on HRT, published in the European Journal of Nutrition 2004, quoted in Lorna’s book.

The problem with regular soy is that it is a phytoestrogen, ie. a plant estrogen that fits into the body’s estrogen receptors and takes the place of the real estrogen it needs. The body thinks it’s getting the right estrogen for bone building, and it gets fooled. Don’t fool your body with soy. (p 176)

Note: The page references here are from Lorna Vanderhaeghe’s book: Sexy Hormones: Unlocking the Secrets to Vibrant Sexual Health

By the way, fermented soy in the form of tempeh or miso and fermented soy powder the fermentation process enhances protein and isoflavones absorption. Traditional Asian diets contain mainly fermented soy foods not soy protein isolates or whole soybeans.

Why are Women Uninterested in Sex?
48% of women in our society have no interest in sex. Lorna asks: “What good is the “little blue pill” for our men when the women have lost their sex drive due to hormonal problems, too much stress, inadequate nutrition and more?” Lorna asks: How come no research has been done on this? Is this the elephant in the room that no one wishes to talk about?

Bioidentical Hormones are Better Than Synthetic
If you are on Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT, bioidentical hormones are better than synthetic hormones. Lorna found that many doctors were confused about this and called the synthetic progestins they were prescribing “progesterone”. Progestin is synthetic. Progesterone is natural. (p 67)

Which Estrogen is the Best to Take?
Estriol is the best estrogen. (p 71) Topical estriol treats vaginal dryness and atrophy. Estradiol is a more potent form of estrogen, which reduces bone-loss. But be careful, avoid soy in your foods. And estrogen should always be given in combination with progesterone. (p 69)

TIP: Try a little Estriol Cream to freshen your face and reduce wrinkles.

Relief for UTI and Leakage
If you are prone to urinary tract infections (UTI) and urinary incontinence and leakage, research is now showing over 80% of women can find relief within 6 weeks of treatment with estriol. (p 72) Studies showed that vaginal dryness was relieved in 77% of women on estriol.

What is the Best Personal Lubricant?
Lorna recommends a vaginal lubricant called LOVE Personal Lubricant It is different from most lubricants in that it is water-based, and does not contain Parabens or toxic preservatives. Two other good choices are: ‘Oh My!’ and ‘Emerita’. Never use a lubricant that contains mineral oil, animal products or petroleum ingredients – including Vaseline and baby oil. She also recommends using this lubricant throughout the day to prevent infection, itching, burning, heat and pain from dryness.

Only 20% of Women Actually Need HRT
80% of women in peri-menopause and menopause can obtain relief from hot flashes, irritability and moodiness, and other symptoms, watching what they eat and and supplementing with herbal remedies. (p 69)

Are You Experiencing Brain Fog?
Brain fog is in the news because of the number of people who are beginning to suffer from poor short term memory, difficulty thinking and learning new things, thinking one thing and saying another. People who are taking Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRIs) are especially prone to develop brain fog. They usually don’t notice it, it’s their families who notice it. If you are experiencing this, you can take fish oils, coconut oil which is a short chain fat. But be sure the oil has not been processed, that it is cold-pressed, organic virgin coconut oil. B-complex, antioxidants and mineral supplements have also been found to be helpful.

Lorna Vanderhaeghe has joined the call to clear the reputation of Coconut oil (p 152) which was given a bad rep in the 1960’s when the research was misinterpreted as the cause of high blood cholesterol in the participants of a study. Later it was found that it was the omission of essential fatty acids in the diet that caused the cholesterol problems, not the inclusion of coconut oil in the study.

Make Your Life Easier with Adrenal Support
For stress, one of the most effective adrenal support systems I’ve ever taken is AdrenaSmart. I know friends who swear by this. Two capsules taken at mid-day with food and you quickly see a clear, calm view of the world. Nothing ruffles you. You feel comfortable in your skin. This is ideal for women experiencing mood swings, irritability, and that feeling of exhaustion that never seems to end. This natural herbal formula will bring things back into focus again.

Sources:
Sexy Hormones: Unlocking the Secrets to Vibrant Sexual Health
A Webinar interview on Menopause

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