“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the thingsÂ that make you want to live to be a hundred.”
Common Symptoms That Enhance Our Swearing Vocabulary
Headaches (Not tonight, Dear)
According to a symposium held to discuss the correlation between migraine headaches and menopause, women have up to five times as many migraine headaches compared to men of the same age. (Lichten, 1990) Why? The fluctuations of hormones, and in particular â€“ estrogen, seem to trigger migraines as levels drop. Other factors that may set off a screaming headache in the perimenopausal and menopause years are food allergies, increased stress, and not getting enough sleep. Speaking of siestasâ€¦
Zzzzzzzâ€¦Lack Of Sleep
I suspect we have all been there. Oh, the agony of looking at the glowing digital numbers on the alarm clock! It is 1 A.M., and we need to be up at 6. Our heads are whirling with thoughts of things we need to do, but without adequate sleep, we will be struggling to accomplish much of anything. We readjust the pillow; “accidently” elbow our husband in the head because he is sleeping like a log, and jam our face into the fluff. Surely an hour has passed. Our eyes open a tiny slit and seeâ€¦ the glow of 1:01 mocking us. Arg! Why? Once again, the hormone card is played. Around midnight, cortisol levels become high enough to shut down melatonin. (Somers, 2004) Melatonin is necessary for a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Adding to the insomnia mix are hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and depression. Insomnia increases the risk of heart disease, obesity, traffic accidents, blurry family life, and sets up a cycle of poor functioning in daily tasks. (Tieraona Low Dog and Marc S. Micozzi, 2005) Wake up! We need to talk about hot flashes/night sweats!
Night Sweats Are Not Workout Clothes For The Evening
While the nuances of hot flashes and night sweats vary by individual, the typical symptoms include an intense sensation of heat in face and upper body, rapid heart rate, dizziness, sweating, nausea, and headache. I recall what I believe was my first introduction to Satan’s hot flash. It was December 30 and freezing. My husband and I had just arrived at a bed and breakfast to celebrate our anniversary. Sitting in the car, I began to feel dizzy and odd. Sweat trickled down my back and sides. I didn’t have a clue what was going on but tried to pretend I was fine. Stepping into the cold winter air allowed me to breathe and get through it, but it caught my attention!
What causes the hot/cold flashes and flushes? Hormones. Fluctuating hormones. One theory is that the brain and body have a miscommunication. Estrogen affects brain signals differently when progesterone levels are low. The hypothalamus misreads the message when there is a surge of estrogen and tells the body to increase body heat. To carry out the command, the body begins to increase the heart rate and shrinks the diameter of the blood vessels. The sweat glands open in response to the quick blast of body heat. (Holmes) It is unknown why some women have constant hot flashes and others nary a one. Nonetheless, today’s woman has many more, and for a longer duration, than our mothers or grandmothers. Some researchers feel it is a combination of stressful lifestyles, nutritionally altered food products, and fragile support systems. Alleged triggers for hot flashes and night sweats include sugar, simple carbohydrates, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, spicy foods, saunas, hot tubs, and stressful events. Basically, all the good stuff. If you like sitting in a hot tub, nibbling on spicy chicken wings while sipping a glass of wine, wellâ€¦
Linda Blair’s Etiquette For Mood Swings (Just Kidding!)
Remember the movie, The Exorcist? Linda’ Blair’s character, Regan, was a little moody. Today, Linda is 57 years old, so she may be facing the same (non-demon) possessed mood swings like the rest of us. It sounds like a stuck record, but again, mood swings are closely tied to hormone fluctuations. According to Dr. Low Dog, many practitioners feel that the use of estrogen replacement therapy helps improve mood in perimenopausal and menopausal women. However, research has been unable to give a conclusive answer. (Tieraona Low Dog and Marc S. Micozzi, 2005) Many women, who felt happy and balanced before perimenopause and menopause, suddenly experience depression, irritability, and anxiety as hormones ebb and flow. Stir in a healthy dollop of stress, and the autonomic nervous system gears up for the “fight or flight” syndrome. Because the call for “fight or flight” happens more and more often, the adrenals begin to wear out – leaving the door open for many symptoms including hot flashes, sleep problems, headaches, and weight gain. Now we’re all in a bad mood, aren’t we?
Get your happiness and balance back with A Natural Relief of Menopausal Symptoms?
To summarize, the average onset of perimenopause now starts in the 30’s and lasts into the 50’s as menopause occurs. (Menopause is officially pronounced once a woman has not had her period for one year.) Taken as a whole, this is not our mother’s menopause! Genetics, as well as the lifestyle choices women make, affect the duration and severity of symptoms.
It seems that every day a new study proves, or disproves, what approach to take in navigating the unique time of life affectionately known as “the change.” Pharmaceutical television ads promise stronger bones, younger appearance, and menopausal symptom reduction if you care to ignore the side effects. Healthcare professionals disagree on what to do, and when.
In the end, it becomes a very individualized journey. What works for one woman may not work for another. Different cultures and races respond differently based on unique characteristics, genetics, and conditioning. The intent of this class is to offer a selection of options based on Complementary and Alternative practices that have remained effective over centuries of use. Celebrate every chance to discover what makes you unique, and apply what makes sense to you.
Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit by Gabriel Mojay
Restoring emotional and mental balance with essential oils.
Combines two healing modalities that inspire and appeal to Western minds and Eastern souls.
Embracing Menopause Naturally by Gabriele Kushi
Coming from a background of macrobiotics, Gabriele offers stories, portraits, and recipes that balance the midlife transition.
New Menopausal Years by Susun S. Weed
Alternative approaches for women 30-90 using the “wise woman way”. Excellent information on herbs and self-loving wisdom. Susun offers many options ranging from doing nothing to using traditional western medicine. Highly recommended!
Outsmarting the Midlife Fat Cell by Debra Waterhouse
This is the first book that explained why women gain weight as they approach menopause that made any sense to me.
The Sexy Years by Suzanne Somers
Love her or hate her, Suzanne brings distinct perspective on bioidentical hormones and the challenges women face during the perimenopause and menopausal years.
The Wisdom of Menopause by Christiane Northrup, M.D.
Christiane is not only entertaining but brings reliable information to both physical and emotional changes occurring during “the change”.
More clinical in nature for the die-hards that want research-based information. In my humble view, Dr. Low Dog is an absolute treasure and knows her stuff. I have heard her lecture many times, spent time learning about herbs at her ranch, and can attest to the fact that she is remarkable.