Posts made in May, 2009

One size fits all

Posted by on May 18, 2009 in herbal medicine | 1 comment

Like Zappa, I’ve never been one to be confined to a box. Or to be so presumptuous to believe that I am like any other woman out there (except, perhaps my mother but that’s an entirely different topic!). So why do manufacturers continue to assume that a single neutraceutical or combination supplement is going to address all of the major attributes of perimenopause, e.g., hot flashes AND night sweats AND mood swings AND sexual desire and so on and so on and so on? Am I missing something here?

One of the reasons I continue to encourage women to speak to a licensed practitioner is so that they can obtain advice that is individualized and personalized to their unique needs. I may be having night sweats every other night and regularly waking at 3 am, while you might be experiencing hot flashes every two hours. Should we believe that a single pill that combines, say, isoflavones, black cohosh and chaste berry will be helpful for both of us?

So, once again, I was dumbstruck when I ran across a site for yet another menopausal supplement:  Menozac™, your one-stop pill for:

  • hot flashes
  • night sweats
  • vaginal dryness
  • forgetfulness
  • mood swings
  • bloating
  • anxiety
  • emotional issues (which in turn, will benefit sexual issues)

Have you tried Menozac™? Was it “all that and more?”  Did you “graduate to maturity and being free of the responsibility of being fertile?”  Did Mother Nature’s “helper” save you from being bedeviled by the menopause?

I swear, I didn’t write this copy. I simply took poetic license with it. In fact, it’s so “all that” that I don’t believe that I am creative enough to come up with the degree of hype that permeates each sentence.

Dear readers – please be safe, be diligent, do your homework and make conscious decisions. Be skeptical.  Be suspicious. Ask questions.  Speak to a trained expert. Read. Explore.

One size does not fit all.

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Blogaversary – Cheers!

Posted by on May 14, 2009 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

I can’t believe that I missed it!

Thanks to my BBFF Amy, whose blogaversary post this week jarred me into reality, I realized that over a year has passed since my first post. I have many favorites, but I thought I’d share one that perhaps conveys the true intent of this blog.

Thank you all for taking this journey with me. And as they say, the best is yet to come.

Midlife ain’t see nothing yet!


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Wednesday Bubble: I am woman

Posted by on May 13, 2009 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


Hear me roar!

Sometimes it seems that estrogen has dealt women sort of a bad hand. Except when it comes to our immune systems. In fact, researchers from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center and McGill University in Montreal report in a new study that women have more powerful immune systems than men, especially when it comes to fighting off bacterial infections.

The study, which was conducted on mice,  shows that naturally-produced estrogen actually blocks the production of an enzyme known as Caspase-12 which helps to block inflammation. The mice, which lacked the Caspase gene and were therefore, very resistant to infection at the start, were implanted with a human form of the gene. Ironically, after implantation,  only the male mice became prone to infection. The researchers were also able to locate the exact place where estrogen interacts with Caspase-12, meaning that the action is direct.

The researchers consider these results applicable to humans because the mice were implanted with the human form of Caspase-12.

Unquestionably, this doesn’t have anything to do with menopause or midlife directly. But I find it inspiring that in the survival of the fittest, it’s women who are likely to come out ahead.

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Wednesday Bubble: “Severe depression? Apathy? Psychomotor retardation?” How about a bennie?

Posted by on May 11, 2009 in emotions | 0 comments

Every now and then, a post deserves a second viewing. This week, I’m bursting the bubble on more vintage advertising. Nothing like an upper for the mid-week blues, right?


“In the severe depressions of the menopause, marked by apathy and psychomotor retardation…”just use a bennie. You’ll be speeding through your day in no time! (And will probably lose that extra weight too!)

Really! What WERE they thinking?!


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Bad to the bone

Posted by on May 8, 2009 in bone health | 0 comments


Are hot flashes and other vasomotor symptoms an indication of adverse bone health? According to data coming out of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, they might possibly be. Notably, while studies have examined the association between vasomotor symptoms and bone mineral density (BMD) previously, they have not followed women as they undergo the menopausal transition and rather, focused on women after they completed menopause.

Here are some of the study’s highlights:

  • 2,213 women, ages 42 to 52, were included in the five year study. all had a uterus, were not using hormones, and had not yet entered menopause (i.e. still had their periods)
  • Menopause stage and degree of vasomotor symptoms were assessed each year by questionnaire
  • Bone mineral density was measured at the study’s start and each year. Dimensions were taken at the spine, hip, and pelvis

Study findings, which were published this past March in Menopause, showed that bone mineral density was lower in women with vasomotor symptoms compered to those without. What’s more, these effects varied depending in the stage of menopause. For example, women in pre- and early perimenopause with vasomotor symptoms had lower bone density measures in their pelvic areas, while women in postmenopause with vasomotor symptoms had lower BMD in their spine and hips. Overall, bone mineral density was consistently lower in women who experienced frequent vasomotor symptoms versus those who did not. In these cases, lower bone density was more evident in the lumbar spine in early peri- and postmenopause, and in the pelvis among early pre-menopausal women.

Whew! What does it all mean?

According to researchers, the findings suggest that vasomotor symptoms in menopause are linked to bone density deficits, which vary depending on the severity of symptoms and menopausal stage. This may help women and their practitioners devise more targeted strategies to protect bone health at appropriate times, and potentially encourage regular screening to prevent osteoporosis, fractures and related problems. The National Osteoporosis Foundation’s Bone Tool Kit includes information on calcium, vitamin D and exercise. Yoga Journal also has some great advice regarding safe and helpful postures.

Hot flashes and night sweats may be bad for the bones. But there are many positive steps we can take to protect them. Afterall, we only have one set. There’s no time like the present to take better care!

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