"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why belly fat increases in women after the age of 40 & what to do about it

This article was of interest to me (I've lost over 100 pounds now, but still struggle with the belly fat issue) and I am sure it will be to many of you also. It's from the Sacramento Examiner.com, and you can click here to read the entire article.

Sketchers update ---- for those of you new to the blog, I finally bought a pair of the Sketcher's Shape Up workout shoes, and since several people emailed me to ask how I was doing with them, I decided to update them on the blog. I wore them Monday for a fitness walk, made it about 1.5 miles (that's pretty good for me, my back can't walk more than that even on a good day). I did pretty well ---- I walk with the Nordic Walking poles. The next morning, I could feel a bit of tightening in my gluteal (butt) muscles, so I think they do work out the muscles differently. I have now worn them to three circuit training classes at the YMCA, and the only thing I have to be very careful of is stepping up on one of the fitness ramps---it moves my foot out of allignment.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Combating The Symptoms Of Menopause

OK, I'm feeling a little snarky today, so I decided to take on this article in from NJToday.net. The author, who is the president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynogologists, is obviously not a fan of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Fact---although numerous studies have been done overseas studying the efficacy and safety of bioidentical hormones, there will likely never be large studies done in the US, because the pharmaceutical companies have no interest in studying substances they can not patent (US law prohibits patenting anything that occurs in nature). Since the FDA is pretty much in Big Pharma's pocket----you can see where I am going here.

Make it a great day ---- much needed rain here in Charlotte. I'm up and running early waiting on the plumber, guess I will get in a weight workout as soon as he leaves (fitness walk if the rain abates).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Study Shows that the Addition of T3 is Superior to Levothyroxine/T4-Only Thyroid Treatment for Hypothyroidism

Hello everyone! Late posting today----I took a trip to a local botanical garden today---somewhat of a waste for two reasons: 1. mysteriously the memory card was missing from my camera (I have never taken it out that I know of, and I live with three stuffed animals), 2. the brutal summer heat really whipped most of the flowers, it was nowhere near as beautiful as last year. That's ok, I still have a couple more gardens to visit this month, and goodness knows I have a lot of flower pictures already.

Today's article comes from Mary Shomon's Thyroid Blog (if you don't subscribe to it and you are one of the many peri/menopausal women who have thyroid issues, subscribe, I have learned a great deal from her weekly emails)---and it confirms what many patients have long suspected -----a combination T3/T4 thyroid medication protocol is superiour to a T4 only regime. I have been taking T4 (Levoxyl) and T3 (compounded) medications for over 4 years, and I know it's the two meds together that keep me feeling well. It breaks my heart when patients email me with all the classic symptoms of thyroid imbalance, and their doctors either refuse to test them, or only test TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and tell the patient it is in "normal" limits.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Can't Focus? Maybe It's The Wrong Time Of Month

This article from RedOrbit.com may be of particular interest to those of us who are estrogen dominant (like me, I am still making estrogen at premenopausal levels, although I am clearly post menopausal). It makes a lot of sense in my case, I am ADD and took Ritalin for about 15 years. When I went on progesterone cream (which counterbalances estrogen) I was able to get off the ADD meds within two weeks. I am still ADD to be sure, but the progesterone cream does as much (or more) to alleviate the symptoms as the Ritalin ever did, and without raising my blood pressure!

It finally rained here in NC, and now come the cooler, fall-like temperatures. Hope everyone has a great Sunday!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stress and Adrenal Health

Interesting article from JournalLive.com (UK) on stress and adrenal health. Click here to read the article.....

Update on my experiences with the Sketcher's Shape Ups---I wore them to my circuit training class on Thursday (circuit training is a minute of aerobic activit, a minute of weight machines--if you've ever been to Curves, that's circuit training). I did pretty well, the only things I noticed are I have to be careful when steping up on the ramp boards (throws off the balance a bit), and when I got on the leg press machine, my knees were a bit more crunched up around my ears (I already have the seat set as far back as it will go, I have long legs). Today is (hopefully) the end of the hot weather, I am hoping to get out and fitness walk early next week. That will be the real test of how I do with them. Overall, so far I am satisfied with their performance. If you wear them, leave me a comment and let me know of your experiences!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Teaching Doctors About Nutrition and Diet

I love this article from the NYTiimes.com --- and I was so struck by the last line:

“You can’t just keep writing out script after script after script of new medications when diet is just as important as drugs or any other treatment a patient may be using.”

I finally have two doctors who "get it" -- and I am much happier and healthier because of it.

Sketchers Update!

Day 1 with the new Sketcher Shape Ups----I wore them for several hours to go run errands. Since it is still about 90 degrees here, they felt hot to me, but that's because I have claustrophobic feet. I quickly learned that they do help me not rock back on my heels so much, which I think will be a help in the long run. Went up and down 4 flights of stairs, did it slowly as one of the things to get used to is that you can't really feel the ground like you do in regular workout shoes.

Didn't feel anything in my muscles yesterday, but when I got up this morning I definitely could feel my gluteal muscles (insert your own joke here!) All in all, I like them about as much as I will ever like a pair of workout shoes (grin)----tomorrow I am going to wear them to Quick Fit at the Y (circuit training class) and I will report back then. Make it a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How To: Fight night sweats

Night sweats are the one menopausal symptom I DIDN'T have when I was in the menopausal transition---but I have heard from many women how terrible they are. You can't sleep when you are bursting into flames! I ran across this little article from The Denver Post.com --- some good tips!

Health Tip: Recognizing Hypothyroidism

I get a lot of requessts for a list of symtoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)---here's a quick list from HealthDay.com.

OK---everyone, I need your input on this!

I have been eyeing the Sketchers Shape Ups for almost a year now---and when I asked my pain managment doctor about them (I have a very screwed up back and hip from a car accident) he encouraged me to get a pair. Now, I will tell you honestly that I hate sneakers in general, about the only time I wear them is when I am working out (said car wreck meant I had to wear only sneakers on my feet for almost two years post trauma, and I am one of those women who just loves pretty shoes!) I bought this pair at the Charlotte Women's Show last week:

and they are now on my feet as I head out the door to run errands. If I don't post for a few days, you will know I fell off them.
I'm curious, do any of you have these (not necessarily Sketchers Brand, any of the fitness shoes with the thick, rocker like soles)---how do you like them, do you notice a difference in your muscles? How much do you wear them (some people live in sneakers---I am not one of them), what's the best thing about them, what's the worst (they make me about 2 inches taller, and I am 5'9" barefoot!) Leave me a comment, and I will post again later this week with my experiences!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prioritizing your health when money is tight

Believe me when I tell you that I truly do understand that hormonal balance is not inexpensive---some places charge an arm and a leg for a consultation, I am fortunate to have a physician who believes that hormone balance should be available to women of modest means. I scrimp and cut back on other things to do the bioidentical hormones.

I ran across this article today on Womentowomen.com ---- it gives some great tips on low cost/no cost ways to improve your health. Enjoy---Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Women's Hormones--What do Female Sex Hormones do?

From EmPowerHer.com----a look at the functions of estrogen and progesterone. Click here to read the article!

Stay Sharp

Good morning! I ran into this article from USAWeekend.com on ways to keep our minds sharp as we age. It's interesting reading, I was particularly interested in the paragraphs about Googling and growing new brain cells.

Speaking of exercising----I just got a new pair of the Sketchers sneakers with the curved soles. My pain managment doctor recommended them---said it really helps with propioception (balance). He cautioned me, however, to start out slowly so I don't fall off them (how embarassing would that be to end up in the ER with the explanation ---"uh, I fell off my workout shoes!") Do any of you have these shoes, what has been your experience with them? Leave me a comment!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Those popular joint-pain supplements? They don't work.

I took glucosamine/chondroitin for several years, didn't do a thing for me, and they were expensive! Guess I was right to stop them according to this article in the NYTimes.com. I found that hormone balance (reduced inflammation) helped my joints more than anything else.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

B vitamins found to slow progression of dementia

This article from MSNBC.com comes with the usual caveat of talk to your doctor. The information presented caught my eye because my homocysteine level (measures the stickiness in your blood) was just over the upper end of normal about 2 years ago, and Dr. Carr suggested I start taking Cardio B by Integrative Theraputics. I did, and within 6 months, my level was cut in half. Menopause is cognitively impairing enough, I need to do everything I can to stay sharp!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Stop singing the Beer Belly Blues

I'm not advocating this author's book (I've never heard of it so I don't know anything about it one way or the other), but I am sharing this link from the OttowaCitizen.com so that you can read the "lyrics" the article's author envisions for andropause (the male menopause). If you can't laugh, you can't live, so I offer the article with that thought. Share it with the guy you love. Have a great weekend!

Try natural solutions for insomnia

Good morning! Hope you all had a restful night's sleep........I know, sleep disruption is one of the most common (not to mention distressing) symtoms of peri/menopause. Check out this morning's article from the DailyJournal.com ----some good, basic reminders about sleep hygeine, and a few suggestions of supplements that may help you get a better night's rest (and be sure to read the caveat about checking with your doctor before adding new supplements to your regeime.)

It's a tough day for our nation ---- none of us will forget what happened on September 11, 2001. Pray, meditate, remember, but then get on with your day----that's the best way to honour those lost. Blessed be.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Vitamin D Levels and Vaginal Infections

This is one study I hadn't heard about before, but it does make sense. Check out this article from EmPowHer.com ----- a study done of pregnant women showed a marked increase in vaginal infections in women with low levels of Vitamin D. Since Vitamin D helps the immune system, this makes sense. I am one of those lucky women who have not had a vaginal infection in years, but then again I haven't been on antibiotics in years (and trust me when I tell you that BHRT will boost your immune system big time)----and back in the day, I used to be on antibioitics all the time (I taught in a public school). The doctor that I had at that time just routinely handed me a prescription for Monostat along with the antibiotic prescription.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

TV Alert!

Hi everyone, sorry for the short notice on this:

Tomorrow (September 9) the Dr. Oz Show will have a segment called Insomnia Clinic: Are Your Hormones Keeping You Awake? Here's the link to the show's website so you can check the time and channel in your local area!

Have Asthma? Vitamin D May Help

This article from Newswise.com may be of interest to you if you or a member of your family suffers from asthma----adequate Vitamin D levels may be an important part of your treatment plan. This was first mentioned in several medical journal articles about a year ago, and now articles seem to be popping up all over. As always, check with your doctor for the Vitamin D level best for you.

Wyeth paid writers to promote hormone therapy: study

This isn't new, just an update from Reuters.com --- Wyeth Pharmaceuticals paid ghostwriters to generate "scientific" articles touting the benefits of their synthetic hormone preparations Premarin and Prempro. It's disgusting.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Vitamin-D Debate: How Much is OK?

Maybe all the Vitamin D articles are popping up because it's sunny out (yeah, that must be it!)---here's a good article on the benefits of Vitamin D from TimeMagazine.com.

Have You Taken Your Vitamin 'N' Today?

This article from The HuffingtonPost.com really doesn't have much to do with menopause ---- but I do think what it says can improve our overall health. I know when I lived up north (I am an Upstate NY native) that I did not get out for fresh air nearly often enough. It was one of the reasons I moved to NC, and my health is certainly better for it. In the summer, I swim outdoors in a pool about 4 days a week, and in the other seasons I take fitness walks at least 2-3 days a week. In a few weeks, I will be making my twice yearly trips to all the gardens in the area to get flower pictures---and all the while I will be absorbing Vitamin D from the sun!

Low Vitamin D Linked to Heart Failure Deaths

You are taking your daily Vitamin D, aren't you? If not, here is another reason to start----check out this article from WebMD.com......a study done on heart patients with varying levels of Vitamin D indicates that the risk of heart failure is higher (by about 30%) in those with the lowest levels of Vitamin D. As always, check with your doctor!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sleep 101

Next to hot flashes, disrupted sleep is probably the most common complaint I hear from women as they enter the peri/menopausal stage. I know, I've been there, and while the hormonal balance has certainly helped, I still struggle with getting a good night's sleep (I have a chronic pain issue in my back and hip that makes it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep).

Check out this article from EmPowHer.com. It lists some basic (but often overlooked) ways to help you get a good sleep ---- my pain managment doctor refers to them as sleep hygeine. Enjoy your day!

360 Menopause!

Good morning and happy Labour Day! It's a gorgeous day here in NC, I have the air conditioner off and the windows wide open---I'm looking forward to autumn.

A news brief came across my newsfeed this morning for a new site called 360Menopause.com. I checked it out, and there are some interesting articles on their to educate women about wellness, exercise and nutrition as they reach their menopause stage of life. I think it's worth checking out, and you can access it by clicking here. Have a great day, everyone!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rough transition into menopause

This article from the LATimes.com caught my eye this morning----it's written by a female physician who is going through the peri/menopausal transition and she is lamenting the limited treatment options for her symptoms. As far as I can tell, the biggest limit on treatment options is the limited number of doctors who are progressive enough to know that women (and men) need hormonal balance, not a handful of pharmaceuticals to help them age with dignity and grace and quality of life. I wrote a comment at the bottom of the article.

Happy Labour Day weekend, everyone, I hope you are enjoying this last "official" weekend of summer!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

National Menopause Awareness Month

Did you know that September is National Menopause Awareness Month (ok, snark here ---- I'm pretty sure if you are experiencing menopause, you are aware of it every single day!) I ran into this explanation on the Office of Research on Women's Health site. I had to laugh---the article directs you to NAMS (North American Menopause Society) which has some pretty archaic ideas about menopause and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy----oh, well, c'est la vie.

I think all menopausal women should be put on a pedastal this month-----and little gifts, like goody bags full of bioidentical hormones, skin care products, chocolate, perhaps the keys to a new sports car-----ok, that one is a little out there, but it would be nice!