Enjoy Your Menopause!

January 4, 2010

Baby Boomer Women, Menopause and Memory

Some of us joke about not being able to find or remember things during menopause but have you ever stopped to wonder if you could be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or some other dementia? Do you worry that you are losing your memory, and don’t know what to do about it?

One mental health expert offers these 5 tips to help keep your brain and memory active as you age:

#1. Increase your Fitness

Every time you move your body and raise your heart rate, it increases blood flow to the brain and produces endorphins. Not only are endorphins 50 times more potent than any pain medication, but they also help you feel better. A happier and calmer mind produces lower amounts of the stress hormone, cortisol ( found in high quantities in Alzheimer’s disease). When your mind is quiet, you will retrieve information from your brain more easily. Your immune system is stronger, minimizing your risk of developing degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Doing a variety of activities – at least 30 minutes, 5-7 days a week – stimulates brain growth, reduces boredom and keeps injury rate down.

#2 Good Nutrition

Do you ever hear the expression…”you are what you eat’?

While researching natural remedies for my rising blood sugars and pressure, I discovered that low-glycemic carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, grains) are key. They reduce sugar crashes, and cravings throughout the day; stabilize moods; boosts energy, and takes away the ‘fuzzy’ mind at the end of a work day. To maintain a constant energy level, eat smaller meals and snacks 5 times a day.

The brain requires a balance of:

1. carbohydrates for energy;
2. good fats (omega 3- salmon, almonds, avocados) to nourish brain tissue (brain is 60% fat by solid weight);
3. protein (lean meats, soy, legumes, nuts) for balancing blood sugars, and building our neurotransmitters – serotonin and dopamine, for mood control. High fiber foods-grains and nuts – are also critical.

The debate over nutritional supplements is ongoing. More research is supporting the benefits of a good multivitamin/mineral to reduce oxidative stresses and to fill the gaps in our diet. Ginkgo biloba, which increases blood flow to the brain, has also been suggested.

Did you know that the brain is 80% water? By drinking 6-10 glasses of water throughout the day, you will feel less fatigue and ‘foggy’ brain moments. Limiting coffee (dehydrating) to 1-2 cups/day, and alcohol, which damages brain tissue, are a good idea.

#3 Brain Exercises

Our brain has a ‘plasticity’ switch – very active in children. When you learn new skills and tasks, it increases the activity in the hippocampus or memory areas. Adults have a tendency to develop routines – drive the same way to work, have tedious jobs, regular daily habits etc.

Turning on this plasticity switch is as easy as brushing your hair or teeth with non-dominant hand; playing a new sport; taking music lessons or using your creativity in a craft. Other ways to stimulate brain cells – puzzles (crosswords, Sudoku, jigsaw); doing simple math, such as mentally adding up your grocery bill while standing in a line-up, or counting backwards from 100 by 2; reading; playing cards; board games…the list is endless.

#4 Meditate, Yoga, Journal

Calming your mind allows you to live in the ‘present’ moment. There are no worries in this moment, allowing you to feel happier and seeing more of the beauty around you.

Meditating (10-20 minutes/day) is relaxing and clears the pathways for information to flow through your mind effortlessly.

Yoga teaches deep, diaphragmatic breathing – increasing oxygen supply to your body and improving lymph flow, which carries away toxins.

Gratitude journal (writing 5 things you are grateful for every day) helps to focus more on the ‘abundance’ in your life. According to the Universal Law of Attraction – whatever you predominantly think about, you will attract more of it.

#5 Have Fun – Laugh

More than once, I have heard that I am the average of the 5 people whom I spend the most time with. Everyone emits energy – some people are more positive than others. If you want to feel happier and energized, spend time with friends who are more optimistic, and fun to be with. It is refreshing to watch children play and laugh. Why do we have to give that up just because we are grown-ups?

Laughing releases endorphins…happy mind = healthy brain.

It is difficult not to continue writing more tips – such as sleeping 6-8 hours/night (I couldn’t resist adding another one) – but I will save those for another time. The number of baby boomers diagnosed with early onset (before age 65) Alzheimer’s and dementia is rising steadily every year. The good news…research and personal experience are showing that, regardless of our age, we can do something to raise the lid on our brain’s potential.

It takes 21 days to establish a habit. Why not start weaving some of these tips into your life today?

July 20, 2009

Perrie Meno-Pudge Cartoon of the Week

cartoon_3/17/09

April 26, 2009

Perrie Meno-Pudge Cartoon of the Week

Filed under: menopause — Beverly Mahone @ 2:23 pm
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carton_2/24/09.rev

April 21, 2009

Inhaling a Heart Attack?

In case you haven’t heard, heart disease is the number one killer of women over the age of 40.  We are used to thinking of heart disease as a product of genetic factors or lifestyle choices, such as what we eat and how much we exercise. But now it appears there is another road to heart disease: breathing.

Researchers at the University of Louisville and the University of Michigan say there are a number of studies connecting pollution with heart disease:

• A study of six U.S. cities found that people died earlier when they lived in cities with higher pollution levels. A majority of these deaths were due to heart disease.
• A study of 250 metropolitan areas around the world found a spike in air pollution is followed by a spike in heart attacks.
• A study in Salt Lake City found that when a nearby steel mill shut down for a period of months, there was a 4-6% drop in mortality. The mortality rose to previous levels when the steel mill re-opened.

The people who seem to be most susceptible to environmental pollutants are the people who are already vulnerable, including the elderly and people with coronary artery disease. There is also some evidence that diabetics, women and people who are obese may be at greater risk.

One intriguing statistic is that the risk of heart attack increases in parallel with time spent in traffic the previous day. In animal experiments, researchers found that aldehydes — a toxic class of chemicals found in most forms of smoke, including cigarette smoke and car exhaust — increase blood cholesterol levels and activate enzymes that cause plaque in the blood vessels to rupture. When plaque ruptures, it can cause a blood clot, which may block an artery and lead to a heart attack.

If you live in an area where pollution levels may be high, doctors say you can take steps to reduce the risk of air pollution.  During times when air quality is unhealthy, exercise indoors, because indoor air is filtered. If you exercise outdoors, particularly if you’re at risk for heart disease, do it when pollutants are at lower levels. Avoid peak traffic times.

February 11, 2009

Perrie Meno-Pudge Cartoon of the Week

Cartoon_2/2/09fix

February 4, 2009

Let’s Talk About Yeast Infections

Have you ever felt like going somewhere or just walking around the house without wearing any panties?  Some doctors say it’s actually a lot healthier to go without because certain panties have been known to cause yeast infections.  Doctors recommend you go without wearing panties on occasion to allow the vaginal area to “air out.”

So what is a yeast infection?  Yeast is a fungus that normally lives in the vagina in small numbers.  A vaginal years infection means too many yeast cells are growing in the vagina.  These infections are very common and can be bothersome, but are usuallt not serious.

A yeast infection causes itching or soreness in the vagina and sometimes causes pain or burning when you go to the bathroom or have sex.  Another sign is you will notice discolored urine that appears thicker than normal.

You can prevent yeast infections by making sure your vaginal area stays as dry as possible and can “breathe.”

Avoid douches, feminine sprays, scented toilet paper and deoderant tampons. 

And when you do wear panties, make sure they’re cotton, not nylon, and not tight-fitting.  That means NO THONGS. 

 

January 10, 2009

Bleeding During Menopause

One of the clear signs that you’re in full blown menopause is when your periods stop.  That’s what the doctor tells us, right?  Well that may not be necessarily so.  True, your menstruation cycle does stop, however, bleeding may not. 

 

According to my gynecologist, Dr. Katrina Avery (who is not only my doctor but also my friend) there are other reasons you may experience bleeding. 

 

 

As you enter menopause, the decline in your body’s estrogen levels can cause tissues lining the vagina to become thin, dry, and less elastic. Sometimes this lining can become broken or easily inflamed and bleed. It can also become injured during sex or even during a pelvic exam.

 

Once you’ve reached menopause, though, you should report any bleeding that you have to your HCP. Uterine bleeding after menopause could be a sign of other health problems. Other things that can cause abnormal bleeding include:

  • fibroids
  • the use of birth control pills
  • a hormonal imbalance
  • non-cancerous growths in the lining of the uterus

It’s your body and your health so don’t hesitate to take care of it and enjoy your menopause!

January 3, 2009

Perrie Meno Pudge Cartoon of the Week

cartoon_9/29_dereg.2

December 31, 2008

Marriage & Menopause

Women who have a poor relationship with their spouse may face a serious bout with depression during menopause according to some medical experts.

Women in distressed marriages have higher levels of stress, less physical activity, and may find themselves isolated from the public more often than not.

According to researchers at Ohio State University, the increases in stress and other problems that come with a distressed marital relationship can have real health consequences. 

Symptoms of depression can range from physical signs to obvious emotional feelings. Many women suffering from depression suffer from cognitive problems including poor concentration and memory loss; while others find that their bodies require more or less food or sleep. Emotional symptoms may include increased anger as well as feelings of malaise and hopelessness.

 

One of the first steps should be to get a complete physical examination and discuss with your Primary HealthCare provider the symptoms and effects of the depression you are suffering from. Once that is accomplished the two of you can then decide on a course of treatment.

Whether your depression is brought on by the circumstances in life or the chemicals affecting the neurotransmitters in your brain, you can manage and conquer depression caused by Menopause.

December 28, 2008

Perrie Meno Pudge Cartoon of the Week

cartoon_10/7.math

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