Giveaway: Cooling Sleepwear Can Be Yours

Daisy Chain © lynette sheppard

Daisy Chain © lynette sheppard

Earlier this month, we had a guest post about the innovative “cool” new sleepwear from Lusome. I got to try it – and it’s an absolute winner in my book. With a feeling of soft brushed cotton along with its wicking ability, we can be dry and cool all night long. Which is heaven, as those of us who have been hot, wet, then cold in rapid succession can attest.

Anne sleepwear © Lusome

Anne sleepwear © Lusome

The Lusome folks want to give away one of their lovely cool gowns or jammies to a lucky Menopause Goddess. And because we goddesses don’t have a lot of time or energy thanks to this transition, we will make it super easy.

Just “Like” Lusome’s Facebook page (click here) and then “Like” Menopause Goddess Blog Facebook page (click here.) Once you have “liked” both pages, send your mailing address and email to me at lynette@9points.com. We will draw a lucky winner from the contestants in one week – on Monday, August 4. (BTW, I only need your address, etc. to facilitate getting you your prize, should you win. I won’t use it for any other purpose.)

Check out the Lusome website for all the beautiful styles and start thinking about the one you want! I chose the Anne gown – and I love it.

Oh, and if you have already “liked” Menopause Goddess Blog FB page in the past? Then just “like” Lusome’s FB page and send me your info. You don’t get left out just because you are an early adopter or loyal follower.

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Older Ladies Rock!

Donnalou Stevens

Donnalou Stevens

Donnalou Stevens is a true Menopause Goddess. Her hilarious midlife song Older Ladies has gone viral. Watch it and you’ll see why. This may just be our new anthem as we journey our Second Adulthood. Enjoy. And you can find more on her website at donnaloustevens.com

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Menopause Supplements and Licorice

Candy Dish © lynette sheppard

Candy Dish © lynette sheppard

This informative guest post comes to us from our friends at menopausesupplement.com. Licorice may just relieve our hot flashes – just think, we might be cool without hormones or the latest trend of prescribing antidepressant drugs. (Talk about using an elephant gun to kill a fly – antidepressants purely for hot flashes? Really?) Read on for enlightening info including how licorice has effects similar to SSRI antidepressant drugs – without the big dog side effects.

Menopause Supplements and Licorice

When faced with menopause symptoms, many women turn to menopause supplements because of the health risks associated with hormone replacement therapy. The most common herbal remedy for menopause is black cohosh. While some women have experienced success with black cohosh, many have been left disappointed and forced to take more drastic action for their menopause symptoms. What many women do not know is that licorice is a viable alternative and research is continually showing what a great menopause supplement it can be.

A recent study conducted with 90 women showed that licorice root is effective in reducing the frequency and severity of hot flashes. In fact, licorice showed approximately a 90% reduction of severe hot flashes while the placebo only showed less than a 10% difference. After 8 weeks the test group stopped taking licorice which resulted in hot flashes going back to their original levels, confirming that licorice is effective.

No one knows for sure why licorice is effective for hot flashes but it may be a combination of two interesting properties of licorice. First of all, licorice has similar properties to a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).  A SSRI influences a neurotransmitter called serotonin which is thought to have a role in affecting body heat and thereby reducing hot flashes. Additionally SSRIs are generally used for their role in elevating mood and may be beneficial for women going through mild or moderate menopause mood symptoms*.

Another reason licorice may be so good at alleviating menopause symptoms is that it is a phytoestrogen which means that it mimics the effects of estrogen in the body.  Menopause symptoms are closely connected to diminishing estradiol (a type of estrogen). It was previously known that that glabridin, a molecule in licorice, functions like estradiol.  In one of the pioneering studies on glabridin, glabridin was proven to be a phytoestrogen that actually binds to estrogen receptors in the body. According to the study, “The stimulatory effects of 2.5–25 μg/animal glabridin were similar to those of 5 mg/animal estradiol.” So it makes sense that a natural substance that shares the same structure as estradiol, and is confirmed to operate similar to estradiol in the body, will have beneficial effects with respect to relieving menopause symptoms.

Overall, licorice-based supplements have been clinically studied and found to greatly reduce common menopause symptoms by naturally replace the bodily substances that are diminished during menopause.

While it may be tempting to attack the candy aisle at the grocery store, you should know that licorice candy is not really licorice and furthermore taking licorice for an extended period of time can be bad for your health. There is a menopause supplement based on a licorice extract called MenoSupp that is specially formulated for safe daily consumption. You can learn more about licorice and MenoSupp at: www.menopausesupplement.com.

1. Lida Menatia, Khosheh Khaleghinezhadb, Mitra Tadayonic & Amir Siahpooshd. (2013). “Evaluation of Contextual and Demographic Factors on Licorice Effecting on Reducing Hot Flashes in Postmenopause women.” Health Care for Women International, 00:1-13 (2013).

2.  Ofir R., Tamir S., Khatib S., Vaya J., Inhibition of Serotonin Re-uptake by Licorice Constituents. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience. 2003 Apr 20 .(2):135-140

3. Snait Tamir, Mark Eizenberg, Dalia Somjen, Sarit Izrael, Jacob Vaya. “Estrogen-like activity of glabrene and other constituents isolated from licorice root.” Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 78 (2001) 291-298.

 

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Staying Cool and Dry at Night: Help for Night Sweats

Anne sleepwear © Lusome

Anne sleepwear © Lusome

Lara Smith of Lusome contributed this guest post, introducing her line of sleepwear for Menopause Goddesses. They sent me a nightgown to try and it is glorious. And my husband Dewitt loves it. I’m not only cool – I look stylish not frumpy. As most of you know, I am a wicking sleepwear junkie and have tried a number of brands. I like and use many of them. Definitely, the Lusome fabric is different – it feels more like brushed cotton than athletic microfiber. Read on to learn more – and Lara also shares some other great tips for getting a good night’s sleep. Enjoy!

Staying Cool and Dry at Night
Night Sweats Suck! For about 75% of women, hot flashes and night sweats are a fact of life during perimenopause and menopause. For some women it is a minor annoyance but for others the extreme perspiration makes sleeping through the night impossible.

Finally, a proven solution that is comfortable and beautiful. I founded Lusomé with dryLon technology for the millions of women suffering through night sweats. After 20+ years in the fashion industry I put my production and sourcing experience to good work and partnered with a fabric mill, experts in textile innovation.  Over the period of 18 months we worked on fabrics that achieved superior moisture management performance with a soft luxurious handfeel.

Why don’t you treat yourself to a brand new pair of sleepwear from Lusomé (www.lusome.com)? Lusomé sleepwear combines best-in-class fabric and manufacturing with a beautiful yet simplistic aesthetic to offer women relief from those nasty night sweats.

Of course there are other factors keeping us awake, and we have the following tips:

  • Put your smart phone, Ipad or any other device away.
  • Ladies, turn down that thermostat! It will do wonders for the environment and your body temperature. And, recent studies suggest you will burn a few more calories by setting the thermostat to 65 when you sleep.
  • Swap caffeine for herbal teas. With the insurgence of tea bars almost on every other corner, it is easy to find a tea that will not only cure some ailment but will be quite enjoyable to drink.
  • Ladies- you will love this one- avoid night workouts! The post workout adrenaline will keep you as alert as a cup of java will.
  • Avoid that nap!  If you must rest during the day, do it for a max of 20 or so minutes, anything more will interrupt a good night’s sleep.
  • Routines are key to catching quality zzzz’s, so establish a regular bedtime. Go to bed at the same time every night. Pick a time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. Try to stick to this nightly schedule even on weekends when it may be tempting to stay up late.

 

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Top Home Remedies To Cure Bacterial Vaginosis

Abstraction V © lynette sheppard

Abstraction V © lynette sheppard

Vaginitis, vaginal atrophy, vaginosis. These can afflict us during and after Menopause. Guest blogger Joydeep Majumder shares some simple, effective home remedies for vaginosis. Remember these conditions can mimic one another and/or occur together. For this reason, it is helpful to consult a health care professional to determine the state of your vaginal health.

Top Home Remedies To Cure Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis causes strong itchiness, swelling, and bleeding in the vagina. It starts inflammation when bacteria count increases in the vagina. There are a number of home remedies for treating this condition.

Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis

  • Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is a very effective remedy for vaginosis. A cup of apple cider vinegar in the bathtub to soak the vagina will help to kill the bacteria and toxins.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil contains strong antifungal property, which helps in killing harmful fungi. Rinse your vagina in 2-3 tbsp tea tree oil in water. It also removes unpleasant vaginal odor.
  • Garlic: Garlic also possesses strong antifungal and antibacterial agents that kill bacteria. A few slices of fresh garlic ground in paste needs to be applied to your vagina. Rinse it off with water later.
  • Fenugreek: Soak fenugreek in a glass of water in the night and then drink the water in the morning. Drink the water on an empty stomach. This solution balances the hormones efficiently and regulates menstrual cycles.
  • Tea bag: A wet tea bag reduces itchiness in the vagina. Freeze it for several minutes and then put into the vagina for 10 minutes.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt helps to balance normal vaginal pH level. Soak a tampon in the solution, which includes yogurt and water. Pass the tampon through the vagina for 3-5 minutes and rinse it later. Because of the presence of lactobacillus acidophilus, yogurt helps in proper restoration of equilibrium in a woman’s vagina.
  • Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruit is a great source of vitamin C that fights against vaginal infection and fights against vaginal odor.
  • Diet concerns: Avoid high fat foods including butter, milk, chocolate and the like.
  • Vitamin E content: Get enough Vitamin E through fruits like avocado, broccoli, kiwi, and other fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid certain products: Avoid fermented items, chocolate, soy sauce, vinegar, cheese and the like.
  • Douche: Douche, specifically boric acid type of douche helps in the acidification of overall pH of the vagina. Those sensitive to Boric Acid should refrain from using it. Potassium iodide-rich douches are effective in terms of lowering the overall pH or you can use vinegar with less concentration. Some experts believe that one should refrain from douching, but do consult someone before doing this practice.
  • Warm water bath acts as a powerful home remedy for the disease. It helps soothe the vaginal tissues.The warm temperature of the water also helps in eradicating weak organisms present in the vagina. It is important to set the right temperature of the water to avoid any skin injury.
  • Practice of Safe Sex: In addition to the above, safe sex is a must. Use protective means to avoid getting organisms. Vaginal condoms are necessary in this regard. This will also help reduce the possibility of transmission to your partner.

It is important to consult experts to determine the possible complexity of using any of the solutions for bacterial vaginosis. The best solution should be used for eradicating bacterial vaginosis. Abstinence is essential for better healing of this disease.

Author Bio:

This article is written by Joydeep Majumder. Bacterial Vaginosis has been affecting lots of women these days due to different factors. These bacterial vaginosis remedies can help you cure the disease painlessly and effectively.

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Book Review: The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones

madwoman4

This highly personal memoir of Menopause contains belly laughs interspersed with poignant self-revealing moments. As every woman’s Menopause is unique to her, you likely will relate to some of the author’s travails and scratch your head at others.

Sandra Tsing Loh’s edgy, acerbic humor permeates this book. And its rawness may make you uncomfortable in spots. Menopause is uncomfortable, that’s a fact. And it is humorous. And it sucks quite a bit before it gets better.

Halfway through the book, I became alarmed at how self-involved the author presented herself. And then I realized that she was possibly the creative doppelganger of a friend we goddesses midwifed through the Change. High achieving, energetic, actress, writer. And exhausting to her friends and family.

I realized that this book describes Part I – the sucky part of Menopause where we can’t help but be self-involved. We are just discovering our Self, likely for the first time in years. Menopause forces you to focus on you. With the shitstorm of changes coming at you, you literally have no choice. In Part I of the Menopause journey, it becomes “all about me.” And that is a very important and necessary process.

Part II of the journey heralds a rebirth.  A woman having become newly acquainted with her self finds herself in this next phase where it is no longer “all about me”. Part II is the hopeful sequel to Part I of the Menopause journey. Keep that in mind as you read this book. Menopause is hard as Sandra Tsing Loh shows us unflinchingly. I can promise you (and Sandra) that is does get better. Much better.

After the hard part, comes a whole new life. Oh yes, ladies, there is life after Menopause. And it is worth every bit of struggle.

You can purchase Sandra’s book at your local bookstore or on Amazon.

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Demystifying the Relationship Between Soy and Breast Cancer

Cactus Bloom © lynette sheppard

Cactus Bloom © lynette sheppard

Mary Tagliaferri MD shared this plain talk guest post with us. I had the pleasure of interviewing “Dr. Tags” recently – and found a new goddess sister! As an MD with a Master’s in Oriental Medicine, she bridges the gulf between Eastern and Western medicine approaches. Most important, she has conducted research for the last 20 odd years on plant based natural remedies. You can find her Menopause formula on her website: drtags.com. She sent me some to try – and now I don’t know how I got by without it. Enjoy her special brand of wisdom here:

Demystifying the Relationship Between Soy and Breast Cancer

Women with a history of breast cancer often asked me if it’s safe to eat soy products. Soy products include simple soybeans (edamame), or manufactured forms such as miso soup, tempeh and tofu.  Some breast cancer specialists tell their patients to avoid soy products since they’re “estrogenic,” meaning they contain estrogens. A woman’s breast cancer may be of the estrogen-responsive type, meaning that estrogen “docks” on the tumor cells and causes breast tumor growth.  The estrogen in soy is a phyto-estrogen (phyto means plant-based). Phytoestrogens can sometimes act as estrogens in our bodies, but they do not stimulate breast cancer associated tumor.

I’m always amazed when I hear that medical professionals continue to be confused on this topic. Most physicians work very hard to keep abreast of the latest medical findings, but somehow the “soy issue” slips through the educational cracks.

What we know about soy from other cultures

Japanese women have one-third the amount of breast cancer when compared to American women. However, when Japanese women move to the US, the first generation of their offspring has the same rate of breast cancer as American women!  Since a person’s genetic lineage can’t change within one generation (with very rare exceptions in the form of mutations), that leaves the person’s environment at cause.  The Western diet, a culprit in so many “diseases of affluence” (diseases prevalent in First World countries), is again partly to blame for the phenomenon. Thanks to our American appetites, we now have a 1 in 8 lifetime risk for breast cancer, and the disease is the second leading cause of cancer death.

When I had breast cancer at the young age of 30, I was a die-hard tofu fan.  I wanted to know if I would be able to continue eating a staple of my diet and started digging into the medical literature. My research led me to write a chapter about soy in Breast Cancer: Beyond Convention, a book I edited about complementary and alternative practices in the treatment of breast cancer.

What I’d found was this:

Soy intake in an amount consistent with a traditional Japanese diet (2-3 servings daily, containing 25-50 mg isoflavones) has been shown to be protective against breast cancer and breast cancer recurrence.
Soy does not increase circulating estrogen levels in the body or affect estrogen-responsive tumor tissues.
Women with a history of breast cancer who are taking tamoxifen and eating soy do not have an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence.

How not to eat soy

The temptation in our American culture is to take a food known to have healthful properties, process it into high-dose pills, and pop a few of those capsules when we feel like we need a boost. We’ve done it with fish oil, red wine antioxidants, mushrooms, garlic, and so on. Sometimes this approach works, when done in a measured and thoughtful way (think of the complex and ingenious combinations of herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine formulas). Most of the time, though, we overdose on one specific chemical compound in that food, without really knowing how it will affect us in the long run. I would caution anyone (not just breast cancer patients or survivors) against the use of high-dose soy supplements, since large amounts of soy phytoestrogens could be unsafe.

How to enjoy your soy

Have those 2-3 servings daily, since they’ve been shown not to cause harm and to possibly be protective against breast cancer development and breast cancer recurrence. Cultivated or fermented soy products like miso paste and tempeh may be easier to digest than plain soybeans or tofu. If you’re currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer, please discuss any soy use with your doctor first.

Enjoy your soy, eat it with peace of mind, knowing that it can be a part of a healthy diet before and after breast cancer.

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Osteoporosis Facts and Tips for Prevention

Summer Aspens © lynette sheppard

Summer Aspens © lynette sheppard

May is Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. With that in mind, Dr. Mario Trucillo of American Recall Center (a brand new health and wellness news site) shares this infographic. Even though this post is occurring on the last days of May, remember it is never too late to take care of your bone health.

Osteoporosis Infographic

Osteoporosis Infographic

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Aging Gracefully Both Outside and Inside

 

Always Rising © lynette sheppard

Always Rising © lynette sheppard

Enjoy this guest post by Suzanne Coblentz advocating common sense strategies for aging gracefully.

Aging is an inevitable part of human life. And yet some people approach the process with fear and trepidation, while others embrace each new day with unmatched optimism.

What distinguishes these two groups?

Many experts point to genetics, finances, and a whole range of external factors to explain this discrepancy. But anyone can age gracefully if they plan for success.  By adopting a holistic approach to personal health, you can dramatically reduce both the signs and effects of aging.

The following is a simple checklist of do’s and don’ts to help you age gracefully, inside and out.
Mental Health Tips for Aging

You’ll probably feel the effects of aging in your body first. But the most important thing you can do right now is believe that positive change is possible. It doesn’t matter how old you are; it’s never too late to start leading a healthier lifestyle. Before you do anything else, make a firm commitment to follow the steps outlined below:
1.  Don’t Ever Stop Learning
To reduce the mental effects of aging, never stop learning. Instead:

  • Take on a new hobby
  • Travel more often
  • Pick up a crossword puzzle
  • Learn a new subject

Even something as simple as switching hands when you brush your teeth can keep the neural synapses in your brain active.
2.  Increase Your Social Interactions
The positive link between happiness and aging is well documented. In a landmark 2004 study, researchers discovered that those with an optimistic outlook had a 55 percent lower risk of dying over the course of the study, and a 23 percent lower risk of heart failure than pessimists did.

But how do you consciously increase happiness?

Recent research out of Harvard Medical School reveals that increased social interaction is one of the fastest ways to boost happiness levels. As social animals, we’re hardwired to seek communication, acceptance and belonging.

Some turn to Facebook and other networks for social support. But you can just as easily:

  • Host more family gatherings
  • Reconnect with long-lost friends
  • Volunteer within your community
  • Take on a group hobby (e.g., team sports)

The more social support you receive (and give), the happier you’ll become.
3.  Meditate and Reflect
Another powerful way to boost happiness is through meditation. This doesn’t mean you have to become a reclusive monk. Just five or 10 minutes of peaceful reflection can do wonders for your optimism.

Many find that counting their blessings improves their outlook. By writing down three things you’re thankful for every day, you discover new sources of joy hiding in plain sight.
Physical Health Tips for Aging

With a well-focused (and happy) mind, tackling the physical aspects of aging becomes much easier. Let’s review some simple do’s and don’ts for the body.
1.  Exercise Daily
Sitting still is the physical equivalent of not learning. Your body is a machine that must remain active. This means that the TV is not your friend. Neither is the couch, your favorite easy chair or the hammock.

Instead, exercise regularly. Thirty to 45 minutes of daily cardiovascular activity is ideal — even long walks can help get your blood circulating. Certain hobbies (such as gardening or bowling) offer the dual benefit of increased physical activity coupled with constant learning.

An important but often overlooked aspect of exercise is stretching. If you can’t join a yoga studio, try out these simple stretching exercises instead.
2.  Sleep Well and Often
Physical activity is important, but never underestimate the rejuvenating effects of sleep. Some of the many benefits of regular rest include:

  • Reduced stress
  • Higher energy levels
  • Faster memory recall
  • Better concentration
  • Increased immunity
  • Healthier skin
  • Fewer medical complications

Make sure your body gets a minimum of six and a half hours of sleep every night (eight hours is even better).

3.  Eat Healthily
You are what you eat. The food you put in your mouth is what powers all of your physical and mental activities day in and day out.

With plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins in your system, you’ll have more positive energy than you ever thought imaginable. And if you regularly dine with friends and family, you’ll reap the benefits of increased social interactions as well.
Adopt a Holistic Approach to Health

There is no shortage of quick-fix anti-aging pills on the market. But what all of these solutions have in common is a failure to appreciate the holistic nature of your body and mind. Aging is a journey, not a destination.

By incorporating positive daily habits (like the ones outlined above), you can prolong the journey and reap cumulative rewards as you embrace a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.

Author Bio:
Suzanne Coblentz is the Director of Offline and Social Media for Nava Health & Vitality Center. Nava Center aims to introduce all their clients to a new side of total body wellness.

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Hot News Flashes

Tangled Agave © lynette sheppard

Tangled Agave © lynette sheppard

Whew, things are heating up In Menopause Land. There is lots going on in the land of the Big M. Check out these news flashes.

Research
First off, there’s a relevant new research study regarding body image, sexual health, and aging that I urge all Menopause Goddesses to participate in. Rose Bouaziz, a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Ottawa, is looking at how mature women relate to their body and how it affects their sexual health.  Through this study, she hopes to help women who are struggling with body image and sexual issues, especially as they go through menopause.

Here’s the link to the survey:   http://fluidsurveys.com/s/MirrorMirror/.
It takes 15-20 minutes and is completely anonymous. Even if this is not an issue for you, all we learn can help other women as they travel through this transition.

Urinary Leakage
Do you know anyone (friends, family, patients), that suffer from some form of urinary leakage as a result of menopause (or pregnancy or childbirth?) A group of women are looking for innovative solutions for women with leakage.  They are currently looking for women to give feedback on their solutions. If you know anyone that might be interested, please send them this link that provides a page for them to sign up:
http://www.undertheresolutions.com/

panties
Here’s a note from their site:
PARTNER WITH US TO DEVELOP PRODUCTS

We’re women, we’re scientists and and we’re innovators—and, like most women, we have occasional bladder leaks. We’re on a mission to make sure that all women with light bladder leaks never have to wear a pad again. We have some ideas and prototypes and need your help to design and test them—about 6 hours a month—and we’ll compensate you for your time.

I checked it out, ladies. It definitely looks worthwhile.

Jewelry to Cool Hot Flashes
While I have hinted to Dewitt that silver earrings and other such presents might make menopause more bearable, I really had no hope that I’d be cooler, just better adorned.

But now, drum roll, there is actually jewelry made to cool us. Literally. Constance Sherman, the Chief Cooling Officer of Hot Girls Pearls alerted me to their super cool products. Their pearls are filled with non toxic cooling gel. Just throw them in the freezer. When the world heats up, cool off with pearls. Check them out here:  Hot Girl’s Pearls.

hot girls pearls

hot girls pearls

I love their tagline:  Global Cooling. One Woman at a Time.

Okay, lots more in the pipeline – stay tuned for the next hot news flashes. And in the meantime, stay cool.

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