[Credit: Special thanks to artist Darryl Willison of whimsicalwest.com. Please visit his site and support his work!]
One of my dad’s favorite sayings (in response to the question, “what’s going on,”) is “there’s a lot going on.” And in August, there was!
For your perusal, the highlights:
- Solitude – It takes courage to allow oneself to be deeply loved….a brief (and highly personal) exploration of the difference between solitude and isolation.
- Reaching the gentler sex: why marketing to women requires a holistic approach. Guest post by Andrea Learned – A glimpse into why we need to act holistically in our lives and our careers; as women, it’s an essential part of our fabric.
- Better living through chemistry – your aging skin – Dermatologists at the American Academy of Dermatology weigh in on why HRT is not your best bet for improving your appearance.
- Buyer beware: on snake oil, menopause and Michael Jackson – What a trifecta! A treatise on snake oil treatments for menopause and why you might want to avoid the big tent at all costs.
- Midlife metamorphosis – Midlife is not a four-letter word, even when it comes to men….a glimpse into the male psyche, and the challenges our partners face as they age.
- Cheers! (Please don’t let me burst this one!) – One of my favorite Wednesday Bubbles – can red wine increase sexual desire?
- Giving voice – Damn those hormones! Data suggest that our voices may be subject to change, along with the rest of us.
- Transition without tears – Once again, advertisers show why Big Pharma doesn’t get it!
- Maca What? – Peruvian Maca looks promising for menopausal symptoms, or does it?
- Beer boosts bones – An alliterative glance at beer and how it might provide support of bones, in moderation of course.
- What’s your chill factor? – No more fighting over that remote, at least when it comes to hot flashes. Wirelessly chill your sleep.
- Cool like dat – Drink your menopause away…once daily! Seriously?
- Battle of the bulge – Researchers reveal the culprit behind the extra 5 lbs you’re carrying.
You know that donut that’s forming around your midsection? The one that doesn’t seem to budge even though you’ve boosted your exercise regimen and take a restrained approach to eating whenever possible? The one that some experts say has nothing to do with hormones and others say it does?
New data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, which I’ve referenced previously in many posts, suggest that testosterone might be the culprit here. In this particular analysis, researchers examined the potential relationship between testosterone and visceral (belly) fat in 359 middle-aged women who were in various stages of the menopause. Visceral fat was measured via CT scans, and blood was drawn to assess sex hormone (i.e. estrogen and testosterone) levels.
Study findings, which were published in the online edition of Obesity, showed that levels of active testosterone were the strongest predictors of the development of the middle-aged bulge, even more so than estrogen. What’s more, this association remained even after the researchers made adjustments for total body fat, age, race and other risk factors.
Besides appearance, abdominal fat is linked with an increased risk for the metabolic syndrome, a collection of risk factors that in concert, promote coronary heart disease. What’s more, circulating levels of testosterone may increase one’s risk for developing the metabolic syndrome.
It’s challenging. We’re told to exercise more, restrain our eating, limit alcohol intake and yet, there’s still no magic bullet to kill the middle -age bulge, especially since the battle may ultimately lie with hormonal balance. But don’t lose hope; I suspect that before many of us are through the worst of it, researchers may finally identify a viable, effective strategy.
In the meantime, don’t give up. I’m not sure that all is lost. At least, I hope not!Read More
Hey Ladies! Wondering how to rid yourself of those hot flashes forever? Just a drink of ‘GEM Keep it Cool’, and voila, your hot flashes will disappear! Heck, Marie Osmond swears by it.
Evidently, ‘Keep it Cool’ works on irritability and night sweats as well.
A glance at the nutrition panel shows that ‘Keep it Cool’ contains black cohosh as well as a proprietary blend of adaptogen herbs. ( Adaptogens are agents that theoretically, boost the body’s ability to fight off physical, chemical, or biological stressors by raising its resistance level.) GEM also makes drinks that relieve stress, boost mental acuity, promote bone strength and prevent aging.
If only it were that easy. Cool like dat….not!
One drink a day.
What do you think? This bubble’s bursting so wide that I can hardly stand it.Read More
Brrrr…it’s getting cold in here. No, it’s hot, no, it’s cold. Sound familiar? Maybe the ChiliPad™ is for you. This new technology, brought to you from ChiliTechnology, is like a sleep number for the menopausal set.
The ChiliPad cools and heats the entire surface of the bed to a desired temperature to promote a more restful sleep without bothersome hot flashes or night sweats. Got a partner? The dual remote control allows him/her to stay warm while you chill yourself to the bone.
A few months ago I wrote about the Bedfan, a tongue-in-cheek, futuristic wish list item for hot flashes. Who knew that someone had actually taken it one step further to create an entire chill experience for your nighttime pleasure?
My question, however, is this: if you are chill all night long, what happens when the flash stops and you need some warmth? Short of snuggling up to your partner, do you instead, spend the entire night messing with the wireless remote? Hmm, doesn’t sound very restful, does it?
So… what’s your chill factor?Read More
Beer boosts bones. Say that three times fast.
Seriously, the weekend is fast approaching and it’s a beer sort of day; well sort of. A newly-published study is touting the news that bone density is better in beer drinkers than in non-beer drinkers. On the otherhand, drinking more than two alcohol drinks a day can be harmful to bone. Confused yet?
Researchers say that at appropriate doses, alcohol stimulates calcitonin, a hormone that inhibits the breakdown of bone cells and stimulate bone formation. As women age, they experience a deficit in calcitonin, which is one reason why osteoporosis is so prevalent after menopause. Key components in alcohol that promotes calcitonin and also inhibit postmenopausal bone loss are flavones, which are a type of flavanoid primarily found in certain cereals and herbs. Evidently, beer contains flavones.
In this particular study, which was published in the journal Nutrition, researchers measured bone density of the bones in their fingers, and evaluated weight, age and alcohol use in 1697 women. Women who participated in the study were on average, 48 years old; 710 were premenopausal, 176 were perimenopausal and 811 were postmenopausal. All participants were classified as moderate drinkers (1/2 cup to 10 ounces of alcohol per week), light drinkers (less than 1/2 cup alcohol per week) or non-drinkers, and were also classified according to whether they were beer or wine drinkers.
Study findings showed that women who were characterized as moderate beers drinkers had superior bone density compared to non-drinkers and wine drinkers, regardless of menopausal status and independent of age.
The researchers point out that it is likely that certain components of hops, namely the female flowers, have high estrogen-like properties. Moreover, they say that two isoflavones — daidzein and genistein — have been shown to have bone-protective properties and are present in beer. Beer is also a major dietary source of silicon, which studies show plays a major role in bone formation.
So, what to make of this study? Should you run out and buy a six-pack? Forgo that glass of wine for a cold one? The researchers say that they are not recommending that peri- and postmenopausal women start drinking beer to decrease their risk of osteoporosis. Still, one or two beers can’t hurt, right?Read More