Posts made in April, 2009

Sticks and stones

Posted by on Apr 6, 2009 in bone health | 0 comments

Remember that nursery rhyme from days gone by? It appears that vasomotor symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats, may be as powerful in contributing to breakage as sticks and stones. Or at least in contributing to a lower bone mineral density (BMD). BMD reflects the strength of an individual’s bone, usually in relation to calcium content.

Researchers analyzed data for 2,213 women participating in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. At the time of the study, all participants had their uteri intact, were not using hormones and were determined to be in pre- or perimenopause.  Menopausal stage and vasomotor symptoms were assessed via questionnaire and BMD was analyzed at yearly follow up visits.

The results, which are published in the March/April edition of Menopause, showed that BMD was consistently lower among women who had had vasomotor symptoms than among women who had not. These findings remained even after researchers adjusted for factors such as age, time within each menopausal stage, race/ethnicity, study site, and stage of menopause at the time that the study began.

Additionally, BMD was even lower among women who had more frequent night sweats and/or hot flashes than those who did not.

Notably, these effects varied by anatomic site and were most prevalent in the lumbar spine and hip in postmenopausal women, and at the femoral neck (pelvic region) among pre and perimenopausal women. More troubling, even women in the earliest stages of menopause also experiencing vasomotor symptoms  had lower bone mineral density than those who did not.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, it is never too late to start a program aimed at halting bone loss and preventing future fractures. Because data are now suggesting that vasomotor symptoms may be linked to lower bone mineral density, it might be worthwhile to speak to your doctor to determine if you should undergo BMD testing. Other important steps include making sure that you are getting adequate amounts of vitamin D and calcium, engaging in weight-bearing activity, avoiding cigarettes and minimizing alcohol intake.

There is not time like the present to avoid potential pitfalls (no pun intended). Only you and your health practitioner can determine the proper steps to take. I’d also encourage you to read more about osteoporosis at the National Osteoporosis Website. The information is thorough and easy to navigate through.

Sticks and stones may break your bones. And hot flashes and night sweats might hurt you? Yikes!

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What’s cooking?!

Posted by on Apr 3, 2009 in hot flash, humour | 2 comments


In college, we had an oven that was malfunctioning. Consequently, one of my roommates was able to fry an egg on its surface without the use of any burners.

Who knew that 30 years later, there would be an alternative?!

Happy Friday!

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Wednesday Bubble: We Ain’t No April Fool’s

Posted by on Apr 1, 2009 in sexual desire, sexual health | 2 comments

Jane Brody. You disappoint me. I wonder why you would lend your name and esteemed reputation to a rather narrow treatise on diminishing sexual desire during menopause and treatments half-answers to an issue that is not just physical but also emotional.

In all fairness, in an article published yesterday’s New York Times Health section Brody provides a thorough introduction to the “why’s” underlying changes in sexual desire. Indeed, I encourage readers of this blog to check it out as the personal anecdotes coupled with scientific information are nteresting and informative. But that’s where the article stops to inform and turns to the old paradigm “menopause as a disease.”

Brody suggests that Estrotest (a drug containing estrogen and testosterone) and transdermal (through the skin) estrogen formulations may help. She also recommends lubricants, and use of the antidepressant Wellbutrin.  And she does give self-stimulation a blip, even though that’s where she stops.

So in the most respectful way possible, I’d like to suggest that we ain’t no fools. In fact, with regards to testosterone data have been anything but favorable as of late. So, ladies, let’s take a look at a positive, empowering non-therapeutic approach that encompasses wellness and self-esteem.

The following was written last November. I am reposting it today to lend another perspective on the issue of hormones and sexual desire.

I’ve written several posts about the use of testosterone for sexual dysfunction in menopausal women and its less than pleasant side effects, such as unwanted hair growth and development of the metabolic syndrome.

Fortunately, Dr. Christiane Northrup has a different and much healthier perspective about sexual dysfunction during the transition.

One of the first things she writes, in her newly published “The Secret Pleasures of Menopause,” is that an important key to achieving health and healthy sex during and after the menopause is to boost one’s nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide, she explains, is a free radical produced in the lining of blood vessels, by lung and white blood cells, and nerve cells in the brain, that “resets your power grid and reboots your body, a secret weapon for optimal health.”

In order to produce more nitric oxide, you need to engage your mind, body an spirit in positive activities, such as:

  • associating with positive people
  • eating healthily and exercising
  • being kind/taking pride in yourself
  • realizing you are what you believe
  • letting go of the past and embracing the present
  • understanding that health and sex go hand-in-hand

Dr. Northrup suggests that we become “ardent explorers” of our own pleasure, in essence, become our own partners in sex. Turn ourselves on and tell ourselves often that a turned on woman is irresistible. Recognize and release anger as much as we can. Commit to regularly exploring our pleasure potential and live our lives in ways that “excite, motivate, and turns on” other people in our lives.

A few additional tidbits:

  • Think heartwarming, sexy, uplifting, kind, loving and positive thoughts about yourself and others EVERY DAY
  • Strive for commitment, trust and vulnerability with your partner
  • Do things that keep you in touch with your life force…cultivate your inner pleasure and exchange it for stress, and decide that this half of your life is really the best
  • Get out of your head and into your body….regularly

Desire pleasure, know that you deserve it, believe you can bring it into your life, overcome your resistance to accepting it, and embrace it.

Honestly, I’m not usually into this touchy feely stuff. But I encourage you to read Dr. Northup’s book and start to practice some of these positive, life affirming, love affirming steps. Pleasure truly starts within by changing our mindsets about our limitations, we can  fine tune our bodies in ways that make us and others feel great.

As Dr. Northrup says, our bodies were made to experience unlimited pleasure.

And of course, pleasure begets pleasure….

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