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I’ve decided to start a new monthly feature — The Roundup.
Developed for my dear readers who only visit this blog periodically, The Roundup will provide an ‘at-a-glance’ overview of the month’s posts. The goal? To help you save time and access the posts you care most about.
I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts about this new feature so please, share your comments.
Hence, without further ado, here are June’s highlights:
- More news on the HRT front: lung cancer – Preempro shown to increase the risk for death among women who develop lung cancer.
- Something for da guyz – Writer Dana Jennings shares his personal experience with hot flashes. Yes, “his!”
- Gal pals – your second self – Emotional closeness boosts progesterone levels. Can friendships help in ways we’ve never imagined?
- She’s so hot and it’s so cold – A new book lays the groundwork for how western medicine has turned menopause into a disease, and what we can do about it.
- Age ain’t nothing but…. – Is it possible that some of the symptoms we associate with menopause are actually associated with aging?
- Feeling irritable? – Researchers finally pinpoint the exact hormones responsible for irritability towards others during menopause.
- Early menopause, part I – Ever wonder about the distinction between early and regular menopause? Here’s a brief primer.
- A panacea for aging skin? An anticancer creams fights wrinkles. But should you try it?
- Hot, hot hot! – Did you start and then stop HRT? Your hot flashes are likely to return.
- Are you rubberstamping the cougar narrative? Meet Lina, a hot Brazilian 73-year-old who is defying boundaries in more ways than one.
- Flava flavonoid – Good news for all you berry lovers. Tastes good and good for you…in ways that you could never imagine!
- Something to chew on – menopause gum – A one-stop shop for gum chewers? Or another scam?
Hey ladies! Now you can just chew the menopause [blues/anxiety/hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, heart palpitations, urinary problems AND vaginal dryness] away! Wow – who knew it was so simple? In fact, Zoft Menopause Gum will cure what ails you in just weeks if not days, with the added benefit of fighting dental decay.
So what’s in this miracle gum you ask?
“Zoft Menopause Gum is a space age blend of Dong Quai Root, Black Cohosh Root Extract, Damiana Leaf, and Mexican Wild Yam Root. Until now, no culture has had all these ingredients in a single formula.”
This space-age product has evidently been featured on ‘The View’ not once, but twice, which of course, provides an authoritative testimonial as to its efficacy.
Wait! There’s more….the company also offers breast gum to enlarge your breasts WITHOUT surgery, and hoodia gum to help you get back into that size 4 pair of jeans. And just in case your partner feels left out, the company also manufactures stress gum and virility gum.
Guess if you order now you might even get ‘My Lil Reminder’ as an added bonus.Read More
With the acai berry craze hitting its peak, I thought it was high time to devote a post to flavonoids (compounds found in plants, fruits and beverages that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties) — namely, those found in berries.
Yes, berries, This sounded a bit preposterous until I dug a bit deeper and located a current review in Maturitas, suggesting that berry flavonoids might be important for long-term health in menopausal women. However, researchers still can’t define the most important details, for example:
- berry type
The amount of berry flavonoid that becomes available and used by the body after eating also varies by individual make up and by the different types of flavonoids.
All of these factors are critical to designing a strategy that will yield the maximum health benefit. Nevertheless, evidence from clinical studies suggests the following:
- The addition of berries to the diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by halting the inflammatory process, eliminating free radicals (which can harm the structure of cells), decreasing blood pressure, inhibiting the gathering of platelets (which can lead to clogged arteries) and increasing high density lipoproteins (HDL, good cholesterol)/ reducing low-density lipoproteins (LDL, bad cholesterol). Data points to cranberry juice, wild blueberries, bilberries, blackcurrant or strawberry puree, and chokeberry or raspberry juices.
- Cancer prevention. Note that this has been controversial since increased consumption of dietary fruits and vegetables and not just berries, have been shown to impact certain cancers such as esophogeal cancer. In the small studies that the researchers cite, cranberry juice and freeze dried black raspberry have been shown to control signaling that promotes the proliferation of cancer cells.
- Age-related declines in motor skills, learning and memory impairment, specifically, those linked to a decline in the body’s ability to fight circulating free oxygen radicals that can damage cells. Evidence for these benefits are primarily derived from animal and not human studies, and concentrate on strawberries, blueberries and cranberries.
The researchers caution that it’s impossible to define how much of a single berry or combination of berries might help in disease prevention. Hence, it’s too early to make any definitive claims about berry consumption. However, they do emphasize that to date, research supports the importance of berries as part of a healthy, balanced diet for menopausal women.
Personally, I love berries and health benefits or not, I plan to eat as much of them as I can get my hands on this summer.Read More
I’ve been somewhat amused and a wee bit miffed at the double standards placed upon women who “prey” on younger men. While their sugar daddy counterparts get away with endless forays into the dating world without nary a word, these women are dubbed “cougars” and frowned upon. However, have you ever considered that these younger men don’t feel preyed upon at all but prefer the company of a well-rounded, intelligent, sexy woman who can titillate their minds, souls AND bodies?
Perhaps the cougar ‘narrative’ and its fallacies should be put to rest.
If you have even a wee bit of doubt about what I’m saying, I’d like to introduce you to 73-year-old Rio de Janero resident Lina Merceis. Lina is the star of a documentary short entitled “Bye Bye, Cest Fini,” and the ultimate inspiration for any woman who believes that life ends at midlife and beyond. Lina, having suffered early disappointments in marriage and love, is now dedicating herself to herself. Lina deliberately chooses the single life, claiming that men are too much work. ‘Seductress to a slew of 30 somethings, she enjoys her lovers, acknowledges her occasional loneliness, and confesses to a good friend (as they sit on the beach eying the candy) that sex and fun are her life prescriptions not options. Not surprisingly, the young men who are fortunate to become one of Lina’s lovers are happy to oblige.
My friend Twitter friend Erika over at Redheaded Fury wrote an interesting missive last week in response to a Denver Post article about ‘Cougars on the Prowl.’ Her point? That society’s caricature of the lonely older woman preying on younger men might not be entirely accurate. I think that Lina is a testament to that. More importantly, watching Lina onscreen taught me that life gets started when you decide, not when something (or someone) else does.
Take the reins ladies; there’s no time like the present to write your own narrative (and be proud of it).Read More
Think that hormone replacement therapy is going to get rid of those hot flashes forever? Think again. Indeed, researchers have discovered that the majority women who start hormone therapy because of hot flashes and then stop, may experience a recurrence of symptoms!
In this study, which appears in the Ahead of Print edition of Menopause, 1,733 women between the ages of 53 and 54 completed a validated questionnaire looking at menopause, hormone therapy and vasomotor symptoms. Among the women who submitted completed surveys (~73%), 242 had previously used hormones and 69% indicated that they had vasomotor symptoms before starting therapy. Regardless of how long hormone therapy was used, symptoms returned in 87% women who stopped, even if they had completed menopause (although hot flashes were reportedly less frequent and bothersome).
The bottom line: Research has shown that disease risks, e.g. breast cancer, increase when hormone therapy is used more than five years. So clearly, remaining on hormones to address returning symptoms is not a wise option. Rather, safer and equally effective alternatives are needed to address return of symptoms as well as aid in disease prevention.Read More