Category Archives: menopause

Quick Face Fix

According to some estheticians and dermatologists, the easiest way to achieve glowing skin that has lasting effects is with food. Eating foods that are low insulin and inflammatory triggers will help de- puff your eyes, help ease dark circles and red eyes, perk up tired, dull looking skin and overall give your skin a refreshed and naturally moister completion.

Dr. Perricone, Yale University School of Medicine, recommends a three-day diet of fish, preferably salmon, for its high omega content that will fuel your skin and plump it up ─ the quick fix to get ready for a special event.

What to try a three-day experiment? Eat only the foods below and let us know if you see the difference.

• Mixed fruits such as cantaloupe, honeydew, apples, oranges, pears and berries

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• Eggs ─ poached or omelet’s

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• Lots of leafy salad greens, red peppers, broccoli, broccolini, broccoli rabe, kale, spinach, etc. A healthy portion of vegetable should accompany most meals.

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• Avoid starchy foods like potatoes and cauliflower.

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• Fish anytime is a good food choice. I frequently will eat fresh fish for breakfast ─ no sides, just a piece of fish. Pure Protein is a satisfying way to start the day. It keeps my energy up and hunger at bay for hours.

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• White meat chicken

• No alcohol, pasta, rice, red meat, bread, sugary sweet foods and desserts, no salt or very little salt, no canned or prepared foods, no junk food, no soda or fruit juices, no cheeses and keep all dairy to a minimum.

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Keep in mind incorporating this way of eating with modification into your daily lifestyle will not only improve your skin, but it will also put your body on a path for healing and good health.

Maybe even put you on track to lose those pounds you’ve wanted to get rid of!

Let us know how you do in the comments below.

Till next time- Sabina.

Natural skin care products are better for your overall health

In my quest to help my skin age well (because it will age!) I’ve tried everything including insanely expensive skin care products, making my natural products using herbs and essential oils, and every product in-between.

The one thing I learned and declared without hesitation ─ natural skin care products work the best, and it makes sense. The best we can hope for from a cleanser, toner or moisturizer is that they will help support the skin as it does its job, it is designed to do. Just like our hormones, the best thing we can do is support them with natural products and let them do their job.

tumblr_mxss8wTGhd1rk7qxgo1_500I did some research to get a better understanding of the skin and how it works. The skin has a built in system that is always attempting to regulate its moisture. When we interfere with the skins function, we are making things worse ─ which I have done to my skin thinking it needed more moisture, when in fact, I was inhibiting its natural function and weighing my skin down.

When I stopped using heavier moisturizers that contained oils, my skin looked and felt firmer and fuller. When I see products labeled “For mature skin”, or “dry skin” or a ridiculous marketing tactic of late, for menopause skin, I now realize how misunderstood moisturizing is. We don’t want to replace the skins function; rather, we want to support it and strengthen its natural process ─ just like our hormones!

Regardless of its’ beautiful skin or balanced hormones, it all starts at the same place ─ our general health and what’s going on inside our body.

Eating a clean and healthy diet, getting daily exercise, being mindful, not smoking and not drinking in excess will all show in your skin and predict how well your skin ages and how well your hormones function.

Stay tuned. I’ll be sharing more on skin care!

Female Viagra & Sexuality

Last August the FDA approved a new drug “Addyi” to treat low libido. The drug was specifically approved to treat perimenopausal women not yet in menopause.

The drug is meant to be used by women with no existing medical or psychiatric conditions, never had a previous problem with sexual desire or low libido and her low libido is not due to relationship problems or the effect of other medications. Addyi users must reframe from drinking any alcohol because of the severe interaction.

The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm.
The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm.

From the very beginning, Addyi showed little improvement in sexual desire or satisfying events and also showed worrisome side effects such as dangerous and abnormally low blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, depression and a constant feeling of drowsiness. I was surprised to learn that one out of three women taking Addyi experience these side effects.

Addyi is a serotonin 1A receptor agonist and a serotonin 2A receptor antagonist that affect brain receptors. In other words, the drug is an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication, and when the FDA approved the drug, they stated that the mechanism by which the drug improves sexual desire and related distress is not known.

 

Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life.
Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life.

Addyi is also something that needs to be taken every day and comes with a black-box warning stating that consuming the drug with alcohol may lead to severely low blood pressure and fainting and taking the drug along with certain medications may also be dangerous.

 

Sexuality is different for everyone and with age what’s important in a relationship and intimacy also changes. Low libido is not a disease that needs to be treated with anti-depressants or any drug for that matter.

Sometimes we find ourselves at a choice point and need to step out in a direction that feels more comfortable and we believe right for us as individuals rather then follow the crowd with the notion all women should be having orgasm’s that blow the roof off the house!

I love people who take bold action toward the change they want to see in themselves and if it’s increasing your libido and restoring harmony to your love life naturally and safely, here are a few strategies to keep in mind:

1. High levels of sugar in your bloodstream can turn off the gene that controls your sex hormones. Significantly reduce or eliminate sugar, especially high fructose sugars. Grains also convert to sugar, so it is best to keep them to a minimum.

flower hand2. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of greens and other colorful vegetables and high-quality proteins. This simple measure can have a profound influence on every area of your health, including your sex life.

3. Get adequate amounts of vitamin D; it increases testosterone levels, which may boost libido.

4. Exercising regularly can enhance your human growth hormone (HGH) production and libido.

5. Don’t smokelay down

6. Avoid drinking alcohol excessively.

7. Get restorative sleep. A well-rested body is more willing to engage in intimacy.

8. De-stress at the end of your day. Stress can dampen your libido and make sex the last thing on your mind.

9. Try Femmerol. 42% of the women in our clinical trial reported relief from low libido, and 47% reported relief from vaginal dryness.

4 ways to get your groove back during Menopause

Most of us live by rhythms that are not our own. Our days are shaped by the demands of our environment whether they come from the people we love, or our work or everyday life, and it creates a physical and mental tug of war between our rhythm and the needs of others. What I have learned over the years is that no matter how chaotic the day I can still come home to my internal rhythm.

Here are four great ways to get your groove back during menopause.

Take care of the basics first ─ your outlook.

A phlegmatic temperament will give you the ability to think things through and envision your future, and to create a plan for the fulfillment of your goals. There is a part of us that loves routine and finds safety in it; it creates rhythm, consistency, and stability.

Exercise your Zen

In additional to physical exercise several times a week, schedule at least 25 minutes once a week in which your only activity is to sit comfortably in a quiet place and listen to your thoughts and feel your feelings. If you can do this more than once a week, that’s even better.59-years-old-grandma-fashion-model-yasmina-rossi-2__880

This practice will help you get in touch with what’s true for you, if you feel emotional simply let it emerge, crying is a healthy way to release stress and feel compassion for yourself. If the editors of Vogue Magazine are afraid of aging, that’s their problem!

Daily meditation 

waves of wellnessMeditation comes in many forms, and it’s different for everyone. It doesn’t mean you have to sit like a monk –or live like one. Meditation is a spiritual practice and one of the most powerful antidotes to chaos and fear. Meditation can be as simple as giving 15 seconds before a meal to thank you for anything that you are grateful for. Meditation can be a warm bath at the end of the day, and that is 20 minutes of pure bliss to be naturally warm and quiet and undisturbed, allowing the stress to melt away!

Meditation is the time you give yourself to be fully back in your body without outside or environmental stimulus. It has been said 20 minutes of meditation a day is ideal. My time is watching the sun come up with my cup of tea, it’s so quiet, I love it and my early morning jog sets me up mentally and emotionally for the day ahead.

The healing power of plants

Vegetables, fruits, culinary and medicinal herbs are the foundation of health.  Food and plant based medicine fall into a class known as adaptogens. They refer to nonspecific endocrine-regulating, immune modulating effects that help increase the body’s ability to adapt, adjust and maintain balance when faced with physical or emotional stress, such as the changes that happen with natural menopause and aging.healthy-people-woman-girl

In addition to eating a healthy well-balanced diet, medicinal herbal formulations such as Femmerol can be considered tonics for the whole body because they strengthen resistance to negative influences and limit the consequences on our physical and emotional wellbeing. Your goal should be to strengthen your hormonal system and keep it strong your whole life, at every age. Your balance is unique to you, and frankly, there is no drug on the market that will ever know your body as well as you do ─ and know what it is you needs to heal.

What do you think? Sound off with your opinions in the comments below.

 

 

The History of HRT Part 1 : 1899-1974

A short time ago, I received a call from a woman I’ve known for 25 years. As soon as I heard her voice I knew something was very, very wrong. With a shaky voice, and fighting back tears, she told me she has breast cancer and it was thought to have spread to her lungs.

Anne had been on and off HRT for years looking to help with her menopause symptoms.  She was hoping for a miracle in a pill, regardless of how I tried to help her, she just wasn’t into making lifestyle changes.

She passed away 4 months later at age 66. We will never know if Anne’s cancer was triggered by HRT, but all I know is it didn’t prevent it.

Over the last seventy years, millions of women in the United States were prescribed estrogen, but do any of us know all there is to know about this powerful hormone?

Endometrial cancer is a disease primarily driven by cumulative exposure to estrogen unopposed by progesterone.
Endometrial cancer is a disease primarily driven by cumulative exposure to estrogen unopposed by progesterone.

Barbara Seaman (1935-2008) an author, activist, journalist, the principal founder of the women’s health movement, advocating for women’s health called “the marketing, prescribing and sale of estrogen the greatest experiment ever performed on women. For all these years, they have been used for what doctors and scientist hoped they could do not for what they know the products can do. Medical policy on estrogen has been to “shoot first and apologize later” to prescribe the drug for certain health problems and then see if there is a positive result.”

Many of you may not know the history of HRT, but I think it’s worth knowing how it began and where we are today.

Biochemist Edward Doisy
Biochemist Edward Doisy

 

HRT History: 1899 -1975

In 1899 the Merck Manual featured the first product to treat “climacterica” also known as menopause. The name of the product was Ovarian and it was made from the dried and pulverized ovaries of cows.

In 1929 biochemist Edward Doisy at St Louis University, Missouri, treated menopausal symptoms with hormones that were isolated oestrogens from the urine of pregnant women.

 (Oestrogens are steroid hormones produced artificially for use in oral contraceptives or to treat menopausal and menstrual disorders.)

Canadian firm Ayerst launched a rival oestrogen product called Emmenin in 1934 but later replaced this with conjugated oestrogens obtained from the urine of pregnant horses, marketed as Premarin in 1942.

In 1939, a British biochemist published a formula for a cheap and powerful oral estrogen and within months scores of drug companies were working with the formula.

By the 1960’s doctors were observing that women on hormones developed breast and ovarian cancer by   alarming numbers.

In 1975, two case-control studies published in the same issue of the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that women taking oestrogen therapy were, at least, four times more likely to get endometrial cancer than those who had not used oestrogen, and that there was a 14-fold increased risk in women who continued treatment for seven or more years.

1976, a year after the endometrial cancer papers came research showing a link between unopposed estrogens and breast cancer.

 

After 1976 is where things take a turn for the crazy! Part 2 coming Thursday.

 

 

 

Sex: Mind and Body

The other day I received a call from a young woman I met not too long ago, and we became friendly. We were chatting, and catching up on the small stuff when she asked apprehensively: “Sometimes my orgasms are very powerful and sometimes they’re just okay. Why does that happen?”

Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life.
Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life.

I wanted to hug her! I applaud women brave enough to ask embarrassing questions. It obviously was something that troubled her and her boyfriend. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 90; we all have something about sex or our bodies that we don’t quite get. What she’s experiencing is an absolute realistic experience for any women at any age ─ and a reasonable question to ask.

Orgasms are not like Kentucky Fried Chicken where you are guaranteed the same product every time.

Some orgasms may feel nothing more than a pleasant flutter while others are of the peel off the ceiling variety.

Medical explanations of sexuality suffer from a severe case of terminology overload. The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm or mute it out completely.

The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm.
The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm.

Mental attitude, mood, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, the ebb and flow of hormones, where you are in your monthly cycle (if you still have one) foreplay, how many organisms have you already had, the depth of penetration, position, what you ate beforehand, alcohol, medications, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse or simply being too tired ─ these and more all play a role in outcome.

Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life. If everything was always perfect we would literally astound ourselves!

Sometimes, we all need a little help.

Asking for help when you need it seems like a no brainer, a pretty straightforward obvious strategy for self-care.

In the scheme of life, as it is for many busy professional women we tend to be resourceful and show up prepared to take care of what we need to get done. Letting go and happily accepting or asking for help when we need it doesn’t come as naturally as it should. When someone offers to help me, I often find myself saying “no, I’m good, I got it”.

It's ok to need help, it makes us human.
It’s ok to need help, it makes us human.

I think most of us have a little bit of control freak ingrained into our psyche and we think the only way anything will get done right is if we do it ourselves. I’ve gotten better with experience, at accepting offers of help and asking for help when I need it but I have been guilty of a damn the torpedoes mentality, I got it under control and it’s full speed ahead.

I touched this with my face....
I touched this with my face….

As an example of how insane one can be, one day I was working in a colleague’s office and I volunteered to go get food and coffee. On my way back, my hands were full and I was now on the elevator packed with people. They were pushing buttons to their floor when I realized no one pushed the button to my floor. Instead of asking for help, I tried to push the button with my nose, when that didn’t work I used my chin. The guy standing next to me just laughed and looked at me like I was crazy and said “if you asked I would have done that for you.”

Asking for help and freely accepting it is important. It’s a good trait to have; when you ask for help and graciously accept it sends a message to your brain that you are worthy. It also gives people the opportunity to be kind.

Take care, stay well.

Sabina

Myth vs Fact : Hormone Therapy for Women

Hormones, hormones, and more hormones. Let’s get real about the subject. There is many myths out there when it comes to treatment, so on today’s post I will do my best to dispel some of the most common misconceptions.

Myth: Bioidentical hormone therapy is natural and therefore superior to CHT. (Conventional Hormone Therapy)

Bioidentical hormone therapy are derived from plant products but are far from natural.
Bioidentical hormone therapy are derived from plant products but are far from natural.

Fact: Hormones used in bioidentical hormone therapy may be derived from plant products such as yams, but they need to be commercially processed to become bioidentical and hence not “natural.” Many FDA-approved estrogen products including pills, patches, gels, sprays, and creams are, in fact, bioidentical products that may be derived from equine or other sources. The term “bioidentical” is not synonymous with “natural.” “Bioidentical” refers to the structure of the product, whereas “natural” refers to its source and processing. Bioidentical is a marketing term and not a medical term.

Myth: Compounded bioidentical hormones are better than CHT.

Fact: Compounding is simply a process of mixing different hormonal preparations. Compounded therapies may consist of FDA-approved as well as non-FDA-approved products. Compounded products cannot be individually FDA regulated because of the variation in types and proportion of hormones in each product.

"Hormone therapy should be individualized by symptom relief and side-effect profile and not laboratory test results."
“Hormone therapy should be individualized by symptom relief and side-effect profile and not laboratory test results.”

Myth: Custom compounding individualized to the patient using salivary hormone assessment is superior to CHT because it mimics the patient’s own natural hormone levels.

Fact: Individualizing hormonal therapy by monitoring hormone levels has not been shown to be efficacious. Salivary levels do not necessarily reflect tissue levels and can depend on time of day, meal times, and dietary intake. Women with similar salivary or serum levels of hormones may metabolize the hormones differently. Hormone therapy should be individualized by symptom relief and side-effect profile and not laboratory test results.

Estrogen products will not go away and they perhaps shouldn’t. But one can only wish as I do that they will be used sparingly and with a great deal of caution based on straightforward evidence and not one-sided journalism.

Let us hope.

Information obtained from Conventional Hormone Therapy or Bioidentical Medscape: Clarifying Myths about Bioidentical Hormones. Désirée A. Lie, MD, December 15, 2015

Menopause Musings: The Need for a Wellness Routine

The first sign of menopause is hot flashes, right? Menopause is the culprit behind heart disease and osteoporosis, or no? Menopause means weight gain, or does it? Will menopause affect my health? Once I’m in menopause I will no longer produce any estrogen correct? I will no longer feel like a woman.

healthy-people-woman-girlMenopause is defined as twelve full months without a monthly period, at which time you are considered to be in menopause. Perimenopause and menopause doesn’t need to be filled with anxiety and confusion. Menopause is not something bad that happens to you! Nor is it something that you have no control over. Menopause can be an opening to your true self; a normal and natural part of your life where you experience fantastic health with a great deal of happiness.

Hormonal changes can create challenges but there’s nothing that can’t be overcome. The best plan is one that begins in your forties, you should start thinking about the rest of your life and making the lifestyle changes that support your goals. By the time you are in your fifties, you should have a good wellness routine set up as your foundation. Don’t have one yet? No matter what you age, it’s never too late to get started.

But where should you get started?

waves of wellnessConsider starting with a natural approach. My experience shows the most effective and lasting way to manage the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause is to listen to your body and begin by making dietary and lifestyle changes that build a strong foundation you will have for the rest of your life. For most women, optimal nutrition and herbal remedies are all they need to feel fabulous again. Look into Femmerol an all-natural, clinically tested herbal supplement specifically designed to support hormones during the transition into menopause and beyond, without the risk or side effects associated with HRT’s.
Want more information about menopause? Visit www.Femmerol.com

Seven Menopause Myths Debunked

Seven Menopause Myths Debunked
When it comes to menopause there is no shortage of health advice out there, and no shortage of bad advice to go along with it. Some misguided notions are harmless, but others add to the bulk of confusion. The good news is that slowly, some truth finally appears to be reaching women. To help eliminate some on the misnomers, I’ve compiled a few straightforward answers to separate fiction from fact.
Myth #1: the first sign that I’m in perimenopause or menopause is hot flashes.

This is how a hot flash can feel.
This is how a hot flash can feel.

Not necessarily. We have been told for years when you feel that first rush of heat, that’s how you’ll know. But in fact not all women get hot flashes. Some women will experience fatigue and general achiness or moodiness before ever noticing a hot flash.

Perimenopause can be a crossroad with many unexplainable happenings. To help you better understand what you are feeling and their connection to perimenopause and menopause, first signs also include: irritability, mood swings, food cravings, hair loss, feeling sad or anxious, heavier or lighter periods, mental fog and forgetfulness, changes in sexual desire, headaches and heart palpitations.
With such a wide variety of symptoms, it’s no wonder making the connection is often missed. It’s been my experience women in their 40’s who start planning ahead and developing better health strategies, manage perimenopause and menopause better and avoid more severe symptoms down the road.. What symptoms they do have are easily managed by taking a natural menopause support supplement.
Myth #2: Menopause causes weight gain and health issues

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You don’t have to settle for menopause weight gain.

Body shape will change with age depending on the food you eat and the amount of exercise you get, but Menopause alone doesn’t create weight gain or illness, but an unhealthy lifestyle WILL.
Metabolism of fats and carbohydrates changes with age, but with a wellness strategy you will be able to keep your health and weight in check. If you need help getting started, speak with a nutritionist who can help you build an overall plan you can stick with. Each day will become better than the last and eventually it just becomes a natural part of your daily lifestyle.

I can’t emphasize it enough, keeping your body in motion and choosing food wisely will help you create and maintain good health as you age, not just as you transition into menopause.
Exercise is a scientifically and medically proven way to burn calories, keep fit, develop physical balance and strength, help control osteoporosis, heart disease, blood pressure and blood sugar, release physical and mental stress, clear your mind and help you sleep better. Exercise has also been proven to help lower risk of breast and other cancers.

Myth #3: Soy is health food and good for hot flashes.

Unfermented soy products are NOT healthy.
Unfermented soy products are NOT healthy.

The absurdly huge rise of soy as a health food is a perfect example of how the infinite wisdom of marketing can fool millions. But make no mistake—unfermented soy products are NOT healthy to eat, regardless of your age or gender. Properly fermented and preferably organic soy, such as tempeh, miso, and natto offer health benefits because of the beneficial probiotic the fermentation process produces.
Thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy such as soy milk, tofu, soy protein, soy flour, soy oil etc. to a number of health problems, and more than 90 percent of American soy crops are genetically engineered, which only compounds its health risks.
Science has linked unfermented soy to breast cancer, cognitive impairment, heart disease, thyroid disorders, potentially fatal food allergies and digestive problems and more.

 

Myth #4: Menopause begins at 50
Natural menopause can begin in your 30’s or as late as 60 and anywhere in-between. Technically menopause is defined as 12 months without a period, but symptoms of menopause can begin while you are still having monthly periods. Some of the most common are fatigue, metal fogginess and irritability, hot flashes, night sweats and changes in sexual desire. These changes signal hormones are starting to shift, leading into menopause. Every woman’s body is different and will experience menopause in her own way and in her own time. If you are an otherwise healthy female your age at menopause really has little meaning. My mother went through menopause at 42 and I stopped having periods at 50, and I know someone who was still having normal periods at 59, as long as you are healthy, estrogen and progesterone will naturally fluctuate and change in function according to each individuals system.

Many women actually experience an increase in sexual desire with hormonal changes.
Many women actually experience an increase in sexual desire

Myth #5: Sex drive will decrease or disappear with menopause
I have a wonderful friend who is 75 and she spoke with me openly about her continuing sexual desire. She has never taken HRT or used vaginal estrogen, she is sexually active, slim and fit, and walks her dog several miles a day. This is the power of self-care, exercise, eating healthy, having a positive outlook on life and keeping an open mind.
Sex can be enjoyable at any age. Media and doctors repeat that lost desire is a normal part of aging like it was a mantra. I’m in a position where I get to listen to other women and ask questions about all kinds of juicy girl stuff. With the number of conversations I’ve had on the topic, low or no libido is much less of a problem then finding creative ways to deal with vaginal dryness.
Intimacy and sexuality can be a complicated issue with many contributing factors, but for the average healthy female, in or out of a relationship, sex is a normal and lasting part of life.
Decreased interest is often a sign of hormonal imbalance, which can cause both a physical and emotional upset to your sex life, but it should only be temporary. Many women actually experience an increase in sexual desire with hormonal changes. If you take care to nurture your transition into menopause, you may find your sexuality renewed and a more gratifying experience.

 

Myth #6: After menopause hormones are no longer produced
No matter how far into menopause you are, you still have hormones! Most of the production is from the adrenal glands and in fact once we reach menopause about 50% of our estrogen and progesterone is produced by the adrenals. The reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone do decrease once your child-bearing years end, simply because they are needed less, but rest assured your body still produces hormones. By taking care of yourself, you can enjoy a long and healthy life, keeping weight gain, heart disease and osteoporosis at bay. It has been medically and scientifically proven age related disease can be delayed or avoided with diet that supplies key nutrients and plant-based hormones, exercise, mental and emotional awareness and having a spiritual connection.

 

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Myth #7: The only way to get through menopause is to take hormones
It’s important to know that you always have choices when it comes to your body and to your health. Being aware of your options is especially crucial when considering hormone replacement therapy because of the proven harmful side effects and potential risks to your health.
You now know more of the truth about menopause, as well as natural ways to feel restored. Keep it safe and healthy. Want more information about menopause? Visit www.Femmerol.com