Tag Archives | menopause treatment

Menopause Wellness Summit

For those approaching or already deep into perimenopause and menopause, a wealth of information will be offered at the Menopause Wellness Summit. Several experts will offer information and support for the Change. Hosted by Shirley Plant, the cost is only $49. Don’t miss it. Sign up here:  Menopause Wellness Summit.

Comments { 2 }

Change of Season

Squirrel Tail Barley © lynette sheppard

Squirrel Tail Barley © lynette sheppard

Greetings dear readers. Summer is nearly over, autumn is on the horizon. It’s time to take stock of things. Changes are part of the season and part of life. Change has come to the blog as well. Ashley has taken a full time holistic health position, which leaves her little time to contribute to Menopause Goddess Blog. We wish her well in her new endeavor and hope to hear from her in the future.

That said, Menopause Goddess Blog has been around for 15 or so years. In that time, we have covered just about every physical, mental, and emotional symptom of the Big M. If you want to know more about any manifestation or remedy, simply put it in the search box and all blog posts relating to it will show up. Really. Examples might be:  anxiety, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, research, natural remedies. heavy bleeding, and so on.

Rather than repeat these topics, I’d like to focus on new research, products, and remedies as they surface. Also, I will post on how we create a vibrant Second Adulthood and grow into the elders we wish to become. Posts will be at least once per month, sometimes more often as needed. As always, we welcome your thoughts, comments, insights, and questions. Women sharing wisdom, that’s what we are all about.

Stay tuned for our next post where I share the latest research on wine as a weight loss aid. No joke.

Comments { 0 }

Maca Root: Natural Support for Menopause

Daisy Chain © lynette sheppard

Daisy Chain © lynette sheppard

In keeping with Ashley’s most recent post about plants and their healing properties, I’d like to talk about one of my favorite remedies: maca. Maca comes from Peru, a veritable paradise of wonderful grains and healing plants. (Including the much maligned coca leaf, but that is a story for another time, girlfriends.)

Originally eaten by the Inca for strengthening and increasing energy, recent studies have found maca root to be helpful in relieving menopausal symptoms and returning our sexual vitality. Side effects? Virtually none, save occasional reports of gas with the raw version. (It is available in raw powder, capsule, or elixir.)

Maca root seems to work by balancing hormones and the entire endocrine system. Believe me when I say that our hormonal systems are interconnected and all of them need balancing after the Pause, not just our estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone.

I took maca root early on in my menopause journey – then I ran out and “forgot” to order more. Menopause brain, I suppose. Luckily, the wonderful folks at The Maca Team contacted me about trying it again. They sent raw red powder, gelatinized powder, and elixir.

Two of our goddesses have tried the powder and both are reporting better energy. One was suffering hot flashes again after losing fat and adding muscle mass. (Yep, fat is a great place to store hormones it seems.) Her hot flashes have decreased using the maca root and she is once again sleeping through the night.

I opted for the elixir and love taking it – I get lazy when it comes to powders. I know, ridiculous but true. A couple of droppers full three times a day and my vitality has definitely risen. Placebo effect? I don’t know, since I can’t split myself in two and conduct a controlled clinical trial, but any way I can feel strong and healthy works for me.

So many reports are anecdotal (stories by women like us) but more studies will likely bear out maca root’s health benefits.

Synchronistically, just as I was working on this post,  I got a note from ethnoherbalist Kevin Curran about maca and its role in relieving menopause symptoms. To learn more about this wonderful plant medicine, please visit Dr. Curran’s site .   It’s fascinating!

For more information or to order maca root supplements, visit The Maca Team website. Let us know how maca root works for you. We learn by sharing our wisdom and experiences with one another, so don’t be shy.

Interesting side note: Every time I try to type ‘maca’, autocorrect changes it to ‘mama’. A message or sign? Maybe not. Then again, maybe.

Comments { 5 }

Managing Hot Flushes & Night Sweats

Flame On © lynette sheppard

Flame On © lynette sheppard

One of our goddess sisters from across the pond, Lucy Teear, shares this terrific book review with tips for managing hot flashes and night sweats naturally. And do check out Lucy’s blog at Embrace the Change.

Book Review: Managing Hot Flushes & Night Sweats  By Myra Hunter & Melanie Smith

by Lucy Teear

Whoa…. My usual chick lit abandoned for two nights in favour of truly engrossing and informative read about the menopause, not something I ever expected to say! The menopause seems to be such a taboo subject, something to be suffered in silence and ever so slightly embarrassing, but this book provides balanced informative which changed my preconceived negative thoughts and the four week self-help guide shared techniques to help manage symptoms that are uplifting and positive.

The Finding of This Holy Grail….

I discovered Myra Hunter and her wonderful book in October whilst attending a “Managing menopausal symptoms following breast cancer treatments” (bit of a mouthful) held by “Breast Cancer Care” support – a fabulous support network that saved my sanity whilst going through chemo.

Having had breast cancer the possibility of HRT is ruled out for me, so resigned to the fact I’d have to go cold turkey and the impact of chemo can make the symptoms more severe than a natural menopause… Explains the hell of the last 3yrs, major hot flushes up to 10 – 15  times plus a day at its peak, then the flooding where my period would last weeks and be so super heavy I’d be jacked up on tampons and pads giving me a cowboy stance!! All in all leaving me feel drained and incredibly miserable. Happy to report I’m in a much more manageable place but still attended like the majority of the women in the room full of hope of discovering a new medical breakthrough, a pill, a drug that would magically alleviate the suffering of the night sweats and hot flushes (now at about 2 a day), but what we covered and discovered was far more powerful and enlightening, resonating with me….

Including:

What is the menopause
Symptoms
Pharmacological approaches to alleviating symptoms
Non-pharmacological approaches (natural remedies etc.)
Cognitive behavioural approaches
Self-help strategies

All the above is covered in detail in a readable and engaging format in the book.

So, we didn’t get the pills and drugs but instead  CBT.

So what is “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)”:

CBT is a therapy that helps manage problems by enabling you to recognise and ultimately change the way you think and behave in connection with the problem. Combining a cognitive approach with a behavioural approach, CBT encourages you to notice how your thoughts and actions influence one another.

It was clear that most of the women in the room felt the menopause was a taboo topic, something viewed negatively by society and therefore a source of great embarrassment… This is where CBT kicks in, as how we think will ultimately have an effect on how we experience the symptoms – makes sense right?

The below slide highlights the negative thought cycle:
hot flush cycle

My personal experience with hot flushes are they tend to arrive at the most inconvenient times, an example being a business meeting I had with five guys in a very small room, knowing it was going to be a challenging negotiation I was pretty pumped up and as soon as we started, it started… heat building, sending my pulse racing, panic rising along with the heat “My god they’ll notice” was all I could think, just intensifying the whole darn experience! In reality I’m sure it looked like a normal stress related response to the situation, and had I read this book then my perception would be just that and I’d have handled differently, controlled my breathing and had a very different internal dialogue.

Although a complete rookie yogi, I’m a newbie fan of mediation/mindfulness and often use it to help with the stresses of work (Construction industry is a hive of stress), and hadn’t thought to apply it to menopausal symptoms but having read the book I now see the correlation between the reduction in my flushes and the reduction in stress since practising meditation daily. At the seminar Myra guided us through a paced breathing exercise and calm spread through the room, even the most skeptical looked more relaxed and chilled out!

Right, lets take a look at this book….

Managing-hot-flushes21

Firstly the authors credentials:

Myra Hunter (the speaker above) is professor of clinical health psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. She’s worked in the area of women’s health for over thirty years and her research on menopause has established her as an international expert in the field…. Knows her stuff for sure.

Melanie Smith is a clinical psychologist who has specialised in helping people to manage physical health conditions through the use of cognitive behavioural therapy. She is currently working with the Manchester and Salford Pain Centre.

The format:

The book covers in more depth what we touched on in the “Breast Cancer Seminar” and is divided into two sections:

Information about the menopause, hot flushes and CBT explained
CBT Self-Help Guide

There’s also download link which provides an audio recording guiding you through a relaxation and breathing exercise, which I love  listening to first thing in the morning to set me up for the day, as feel amazingly refreshed and positive after – Also great just before going to bed if you need to let go of the days fuzz buzzing around the mind!

Although both academics this book is clearly written by women for women, the first section shares current knowledge based on really accessible and easy to understand research data, along with the latest information on why we experience hot flushes and night sweats – It’s not all about the hormones! It looks at how different cultures experience the menopause which is fascinating, and makes you consider if society was less judgmental about the ageing process then maybe as women we wouldn’t judge ourselves so harshly and feel the embarrassment quite so deeply!

It covers the principles of CBT, the theory behind how it works and the relationship cycle between: Thought – Feelings – Behavior – Physical reactions and how this cycle impacts on menopause symptoms.

I found it a compelling read and I’m usually more of a fiction gal! Even reading aloud parts with much excitement to Teear (my husband for those who haven’t read my intro)… not sure how much he took in but feigned sufficient interest!

The second part of the book sets out an interactive four-week programme using CBT, exercises and worksheets designed to enable women to develop strategies for managing symptoms. This approach is based on the authors’ research and has been shown to be effective in recent clinical research trials.

The main components of the self guide include:

Being informed about menopause symptoms;
Understanding what can help you cope with your symptoms
Learning steps to use relaxation and paced breathing
Taking steps to reduce general levels of stress
Identifying and modifying triggers of hot flushes
Dealing with negative thoughts and behavioural reactions
Practicing relaxations and breathing at the onset of a flush
Dealing with hot flushes in social situations
managing night sweats and sleep

We’re now embarking on the four week self-help guide, Diane (who’s also reading the book) and I are doing this part together so we can compare notes and we’d like to invite fellow suffers to join in, feeding back your experiences and reviews – If you fancy giving it a go you can buy the book on: https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415625159.

Available also in the US at Amazon: click here.

Comments { 0 }

How to Help Ease Menopause with Diet

Apple with Pomegranate Seeds by Chef Shon of Sego Restaurant, Kanab UT

Apple with Pomegranate Seeds by Chef Shon of Sego Restaurant, Kanab UT

Please enjoy this guest post by Angela Peck with common sense advice about relieving menopause symptoms with diet.

If you’re bothered with common menopause symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, mood changes, and weight gain, then this period of your life can feel like you’re constantly fighting against your body—and your body is clearly winning. And certainly, some of these signs of “Meno-Pot-Belly” or “turning St. Catherine’s corner” (editor’s note: Angela tells me that this is an antiquated, vague term for going through menopause) are to be expected due to the changes that are going on internally, but that doesn’t mean that they have to be tolerated.

The one positive thing about menopause (if there is such a thing), is that you have a lot of different options when it comes to easing the symptoms that come along with it. One that is not talked about often but that can have a very positive effect on how easy this period of your life is, no pun intended, involves your diet. What are some changes that may help you better survive “the change”?

Eat More Fruits and Veggies
Dr. Elaine Magee suggests that one way to help manage bothersome menopausal symptoms is to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. This can be accomplished by cutting them up and eating them as snacks, adding them to your favorite dishes and casseroles, and using them as side dishes.
Juicing is another way to help ensure that you get the fruits and veggies your body needs to function as efficiently and effectively as it can during this time of change. Plus, getting an abundance of vitamins and minerals often comes with other benefits as well. For instance, one woman used juicing to help her reverse her skin condition, which is a bonus in anyone’s book.

Limit High Fat Foods
While you want to increase your fruit and vegetable intake to better survive menopause, at the same time you also want to decrease the amount of high fat foods you eat to further lessen its effects. How much? According to WebMD, “Fat should provide 25% to 35% or less of your total daily calories. Also, limit saturated fat to less than 7% of your daily calories.”

This mean choosing lean meats over meats that have visible fat on them and selecting lower fat options when it comes to dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese. However, some good-for-you fats that actually offer a number of health benefits can be found in nuts, seeds, salmon, coconut oil, and seafood, so those are ones you’ll want to consider leaving in your diet.

Drink More Water
Because the decrease in estrogen during menopause generally results in drier-than-normal skin and a dry vaginal area, drinking enough water daily can help. It’s been found that water can actually help to lower the amount of bloating that can take place during changes in hormones. As a result, a little extra H20 offers a few different benefits in this stage of life.

Ultimately, you want to aim to consume at least eight glasses per day. If plain old water bores you, consider adding fruit slices or melon dices to it to give it some flavor without adding sugar or calories. Also, keep in mind that caffeine is a diuretic, so you’re best sticking with water when you can.

Menopause may be not unavoidable, but sometimes its symptoms are. Making these three dietary changes certainly can’t hurt. Who knows? They might even help.

Angela Peck

Angela Peck

Comments { 5 }

Feel Fab After 40: A Webinar for Menopause Goddesses

Flame On © lynette sheppard

Flame On © lynette sheppard

Health and wellness company Root Fitness across the pond is offering a free webinar with help for menopause goddesses on Wednesday 22nd Oct. at 13:30  (1:30 pm) Pacfic Time.  To sign up, just click here.

This ‘Feel Fab after 40’ webinar gives ladies the opportunity to understand what causes and exacerbates menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, weight gain around the middle, poor sleep and irritability.   They then follow up with NATURAL solutions to keep these exhausting symptoms at bay so that women can go back to gliding through life with energy, vitality and confidence!

For more information about their program, Hot Flush Free  visit https://www.facebook.com/hotflushfree or www.hotflushfree.wordpress.com

Comments { 0 }

When Hormones Go Wacko

Feminine Confusion © lynette Sheppard

Feminine Confusion © lynette Sheppard

Genemedics Health Institute shared this  interesting and illuminating infographic on hormone imbalance with us. Enjoy.

When Hormones Go Wacko

About 80 percent of women worldwide experience different kinds of female hormone imbalance. In fact, an estimate of 2.2. billion women age 50 and above are presumed to experience female hormone imbalance by the year 2025.

Although female hormone imbalance may seem like a norm these days, it can still be remedied. With the right knowledge and information, women can live a normal life without having to suffer from the adverse effects of female hormone imbalance.

If you are already suffering from female hormone imbalance, there is a solution. Imbalances can be corrected through simple, natural, and practical ways such as staying active, eating healthy, and undergoing hormone replacement therapy.

You don’t have to be a part of the increasing 80 percent of women experiencing female hormone imbalance. Everything you need to know about female hormone imbalance is readily available for you to read here!

When Hormones Go Wacko - Female Hormone Imbalance

Comments { 3 }

Getting Your Sexy Back

VN-sex-after-meno-ad-15_04-300x250

Loss of libido, painful intercourse, vaginal dryness and inflammation. All of these are all too common symptoms of the Big M. And they are talked about all too little. Thankfully, the times they are achanging.

The first ever live, webcast discussion event from Vibrant Nation took place on March 31, 2015 about reclaiming sexual intimacy during and after menopause. We were proud to publicize it here. Those of you who saw it know that Dr. Barb Dupree, Vibrant Nation sexual health expert and blogger led a panel of women who shared excellent information about rekindling our sex life. (BTW, for those of you who don’t know, Vibrant Nation is the leading online community for women 45 and older.)

Great news for those of you who missed the event (and for those who’d like a refresher); we now have access to the videos. Free. Here is one of my favorites that deals with maintenance whether or not you have a partner:

Loss of libido and vaginal dryness can really derail a woman’s sex life. I can’t tell you how many letters I receive about this very issue (and the goddesses in our group have certainly had their struggles.) We might believe that this part of our lives is over.

Thankfully, there is now a conversation about these issues and ways to reclaim this vital part of our lives. We can light the spark in the bedroom once again and get our sexy back.

Full disclosure: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Vibrant Nation. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Vibrant Nation and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

You know me, I don’t post it if I don’t truly believe it can help our community of menopause goddesses.

To see the rest of the video segments, click here:    http://bit.ly/1EmiCAb  You can’t afford to miss these.

Comments { 0 }

Get Your Midlife Mojo Back

Butterfly Glowing © lynette sheppard

Butterfly Glowing © lynette sheppard

Dr. Joni Labbe’s new book “Why is Mid-Life Mooching Your Mojo” is absolutely my favorite book about those persnickety symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, and weight gain that afflict so many of us in perimenopause and menopause.

meno mojo

As she says, you are not crazy, lazy, or finished! Not by a long shot. And she offers down to earth wisdom for getting your mojo back. It’s like having an integrative practitioner and a girlfriend in one. She ought to know, she lived it when she went through menopause.

Those of you who’ve written me over the years when at the end of your rope with all the changes know that I highly recommend a holistic or integrative medicine practitioner to learn about and treat your menopause symptoms. I also believe that we cannot travel this journey alone and advocate starting your own Menopause Goddess group or staying in close touch with your virtual community on the blogsite and Facebook page.

Dr. Joni demystifies the changes (and many of the conditions that may accompany the Big M, like thyroid dysfunction, adrenal fatigue, and inflammation.) Her plain talk approach on what’s happening and what to do about it are brilliant. Allopathic medicine (aka the regular medical model in our healthcare system) has been woefully inadequate in diagnosing low thyroid, adrenal insufficiency, and quite frankly, menopause. Working with functional medicine as a model, Dr. Joni explains how you can find relief and feel like you again.

I was lucky enough to find my own Dr. Joni (Dr. Michael Gerber) after a few rough years who tested me and helped me make simple life changes (+ bioidentical hormones, which also helped). So much of what Dr. Joni says I fervently agree with and am proof that dealing with inflammation and hormonal issues can give you back your vitality.

What I love about this book is how clear, concise, and downright helpful it is! I believe that every woman approaching this transition or having any of the symptoms that plague us during the Big M needs to read this. Thankfully, it’s easy to read, interwoven with real life case studies and humor. And you can keep up with new info on Dr. Joni’s website:  MojoGirlfriends.com.  Buy her book on Amazon – click here.

Comments { 3 }

Menopause and Facial Hair – Now There’s Help

Cactus Hairs © lynette sheppard

Cactus Hairs © lynette sheppard

I will never forget the first time I felt it – a hair. Poking out from my chin. As if perimenopause had not visited enough indignities upon me, now I was growing a beard. I briefly thought about joining a circus, but thought better of it and plucked the offender with a pair of tweezers.

Another of our goddesses, petite and gorgeous, shared at an annual meeting that her son caught her plucking an errant menohair one day. “Nice beard, Mom,” he quipped. It felt like a new low.

After a couple of years, I no longer needed the tweezers. It just went away, like so many of the unwanted menopause symptoms. I am happy to report that there is now a product that just might help perimenopausal women past the bearded lady stage more easily. Enjoy this guest blog by the kind folks at Inhibitif. And be sure to enter to win a free bottle -details at the end of the post.

Menopause and Facial Hair – Why Inhibitif’s Face Serum Can Help
For many menopausal women, an increase in unwanted facial hair is common. About 30 percent of women report unwanted hair on the face.  This increase is typically called hypertrichosis, and is seen in areas where visible hair is usually seen in men. The hairs themselves have always been there, but as a result of hormonal changes related to menopause, they are brought up to the surface.

Many women who are not accustomed to removing this hair turn to traditional methods of hair removal, such as waxing, threading, plucking and even costly laser hair removal. While these methods are great for temporarily removing hair, there is a product which can help cut down the amount of times where hair removal is needed.

INHIBITIF’ s Face Serum can be combined with most hair removal mechanisms to make them needed less frequently with less irritation and with better results. The face serum works as follows. After you remove the hair on your face from either shaving, waxing, threading or the method of your choice, apply it twice daily on the affected area. Use INHIBITIF’s Face Serum twice daily as part of your regular beauty routine as the first step before other topical creams. Use alongside your usual depilatories for the first 8 weeks applying on shaved, waxed or threaded facial areas until hair growth, density and thickness are visibly reduced.

Facial hair during menopause can come up as a shock to many women who have never dealt with it before. But you aren’t alone and Inhibitif’s Face Serum can help you tackle the hair growth which you shouldn’t have to deal with!

Pack Shot - Face Serum - v2 copy

Inhibitif’s Face Serum:

Visibly minimizes hair regrowth
Reduces need for frequent hair removal
Visible results from 2 weeks
Reduces irritation & redness
Targets ingrown hairs
Hydrates with Hyaluronic Acid
Suitable for all skin types
You can visit their website by clicking here.

The serum is only $19.99 USD available at inhibitif.com

Inhibitif has sent us a bottle of their serum to give away to a lucky menopause goddess. All you have to do to enter is to LIKE Menopause Goddess FB page and the Inhibitif FB page. And if you go so far as to tell us your funniest facial “hair” story, we’ll give you two chances at the drawing. So get liking and get rid of that hairy problem. We will draw and announce the winner on Saturday Dec. 20th.

Comments { 4 }