Midlife & Menopause Moments
After hip surgery a few weeks ago, I have some real barriers that keep me from doing what I want to do — I want to exercise! My usual barriers of fatigue and limited time have been replaced by barriers of physical limitation and lack of mobility. So, how am I getting around my exercise barriers?
A patient came to see me for her annual physical, and she had just a few complaints: rare hot flashes and night sweats, and irregular spotting. So far, so good. Her last regular period was approximately a year and half ago, and since that time, she had started using hormone creams prescribed by her chiropractor. She told me she had been feeling great; her hot flashes were rare, and her once-thinning hair was now getting thicker. I continued to listen with an open mind as we discussed the rest of her health.
The holiday season is crazy for everyone, including me. I have my usual work and home responsibilities, and I care deeply about making sure my family’s holiday wishes come true. I would not trade the craziness and over-the-top days for anything, but I do sometimes have to stop and think, “Am I also taking care of myself?”
A patient came to see me because she was concerned that her period was changing. She was 46 years old and healthy overall. She had done her homework. She recorded her period for the last 12 months in a notebook, including the dates of her period, how long it lasted, and how heavy it was each time. My first goal as a specialist in perimenopause and menopause is to make sure nothing abnormal is happening.
Ruth had always enjoyed a healthy sex life and a close friendship with her husband—until recently. She came to me for help with a problem that was affecting her life in several ways and causing serious consequences to her relationship with her husband. It was an extremely personal situation and very distressing. Ruth complained of pain during intercourse that was becoming increasingly worse.
One of the most frequent complaints women have about midlife and menopause is trouble sleeping, although not every woman walks through my office door and says, “My problem is poor sleep.” What they say usually goes something like this: “I am so irritable, I do not like myself,” or “I cannot seem to remember anything,” or “Why am I so tired?” But I know the real problem is that they are either not sleeping well or enough.
I’ve told all of you about my mantra — lean and ease of movement — in some of my earlier blogs. My plan to help me achieve this mantra is to eat small, frequent meals of complex carbohydrates and protein, plus one simple carb treat each day. How many of you came up with your own mantra to help you make good decisions every day? I ask that question because I really believe everyone needs a little help to make smart choices, especially during middle age and menopause. One of the most important reasons to choose what you eat wisely…
I think about brain neuro-transmitters (or brain chemicals) like money in the bank. We all make brain chemicals when we sleep, and we spend them throughout the day to accomplish everything we do. Some chores and events “cost” more brain chemicals than others — the more stressful the event, the more chemicals that are used and the higher the “cost.” We all experience periods of stress throughout our lives, and stressful events we feel the least control over cost us the most brain chemicals. For genetic reasons, some of us make more brain chemicals than others. Unfortunately, when our estrogen…
I’ve talked quite a bit about night sweats in my blogs. That’s because so many women are affected by night sweats and hot flashes, and I think it’s important for all of us to understand why they happen and what can trigger them. Hot flashes are a sure sign that our ovaries are getting older, and I have spent countless hours researching these annoying signs of perimenopause and menopause. Many of my patients are surprised when I tell them hot flashes aren’t always caused by a hormonal imbalance. In fact, I have a number of patients who come to see…
Night sweats are typically one of the most annoying symptoms of perimenopause. My patients confirm this to me nearly every day. Night sweats are not only uncomfortable, they can also interfere with your sleep. You already know sleep is important for many obvious reasons, but you may not know it is the time when you make your brain chemicals that power you up for the day. You also know how you feel when you either get interrupted sleep or not enough sleep: foggy, moody, forgetful, and irritable (like overreacting to your kid spilling milk or forgetting to finish a chore)….