Categories
Featured

Guide to Natural Menopause Survival

[amazon_link asins=’0007169671,B005DSAMKW,B013XJPZQI,B01F2NYNF2,B015X0CQR6,B074YY8FR3,B074Z2KRNJ,B01F2O8M4Y,B071L79JQ9′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3e1aad7e-08f7-11e8-bbca-931ba8bdcb58′]

“Men-o-pause” may be a funny play on words but it’s no laughing matter to millions of women. When hot flashes, mood swings and memory changes are affecting your life, you want help fast. But where can you find it when the “newest” science says the old science is wrong — or even harmful?
CLICK & SEE
An understanding of how and why science went astray, plus a simple, strategic plan can get your life back in balance.

What Happens During Midlife’s Pause?

Menopause is nature’s way of signaling the end of child-bearing years. When you stop having your periods naturally — usually when you’re around 50 years old — the slow-down tends to be gradual.

But menopause can occur before or after age 50, and it can also be surgically induced.

For instance, if you have your ovaries or uterus removed, you’ll skip the “peri” part and advance straight to full-blown menopause. When that happens, symptoms often intensify because there’s no gradual downshift: estrogen and progesterone production simply stops.

When menopause occurs, the primary symptoms you’re likely to experience are:

•Hot Flashes

•Vaginal Dryness

•Menstrual Irregularities (natural)

•Depression, Mood Swings

•Weight Gain (natural or surgically induced)

Short and long-term strategies can help you control these symptoms. The best approaches are preventive and involve diet and exercise. That’s not surprising because the most obvious manifestations of menopause have emerged in the last 75 years.

With a return to what’s been natural for centuries, it’s possible to minimize even the most frustrating night sweats and weight gain.

Menopause is NOT a Disease

As it is  mentioned, menopause occurs when you stop producing estrogen and progesterone, and your periods cease. So, it seemed sensible to scientists that replacing those hormones would alleviate menopausal symptoms.

One of the problems with this approach was that it looked at menopause as a disease to be treated with medication, as opposed to another life stage. The other: it turned out that synthetic hormones don’t act like the real thing.

The problems will be detailed with hormone replacement later, along with information on the “new” science of bioidentical hormones.

For affordable symptom-relief right now, here are the simplest, heart-healthy ideas, followed by longer-term solutions.

Heart-Healthy, Symptom-Ease

We all hope for a quick fix. That’s not what healthy lifestyle changes are all about, but for those who want the short-list, here’s an easy way to determine if you’re in menopause, along with the “to-dos” that put you on the right track fast.

First, ask your physician for a blood test called an FSH test. It determines if your pituitary gland thinks your ovaries aren’t fully functioning, and as a result, is secreting “follicular stimulating hormone” or FSH. There is no need to do this if you have had a surgically induced menopause, as you are menopausal by definition and your FSH will be elevated.

The higher your FSH level, the more likely you’re in menopause. Peri-menopause begins the process a few years in advance; once you haven’t had a period for a year, you’re considered post-menopausal.

Just a few diet and lifestyle changes can have a dramatic effect on how you experience menopause — especially if you start making them at the “peri” stage.

Three Surefire Strategies to Start

1.Phytoestrogens. Taking Phytoestreogens or plant-estrogens before menopause can moderate day-to-day estrogen levels, so that when menopause comes, the drop won’t be so dramatic. Weak estrogens that block stronger forms, phtyoestrogens are found in licorice and alfalfa.

Royal Maca also seems to be an amazing adaptogenic herbal solution for menopause that has helped many women. Be sure to avoid the inexpensive ones, as they typically don’t work. Get the real deal from Peru.

2.Omega-3. Take high quality, animal-based omega-3 fats. A high quality animal-based omega-3 supplement, such as krill oil, can be far more effective and beneficial than fish oil. Balance omega-3 and omega-6 by eating foods rich in these oils.

3.Green tea. Polyphenols are associated with a lowered risk of heart disease, and green tea like Royal Matcha has polyphenols that can be more effective than those in red wine — plus 17 times the antioxidants of wild blueberries.

One study shows green tea can also reduce the risk of breast cancer in younger women under 50, and now, certain polyphenols have been shown to have some HRT-like benefits, without the drawbacks.
If you noticed soy isn’t on the list, it’s because non-fermented soy can damage your health.

There are also musts-to-avoid, some of which you may be aware of already. They include refined carbohydrates, sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

What to Follow Up With

Once you’ve covered the three musts to start with, add the following to your lifestage regimen:-

•Black Cohosh. It may help regulate body temperature and hot flashes.

•Locally grown, organic food

•Exercise! Start a program that you know you’ll do at least 3 times a week, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day to start.

•Vitamin D. Please review my one-hour video lecture for the latest on this essential vitamin.

The Smartest Long-Term Solutions

If you’ve developed healthy habits that support your lifestage and invested a little time exploring the web links highlighted here, work on these long-term adjustments next:

•Add low-to-moderate intensity and variety to your exercise plan

•Optimize your health with my easy Nutrition Plan

Avoid These DANGEROUS Solutions
:-

It has been overwhelmingly proven that conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which science once touted, is in fact, dangerous. The following prescriptions now have black box warnings and need to be avoided:

1.Premarin. Premarin is an estrogen extracted from Pregnant Mare’s Urine. We now know it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

2.Estrogen Therapy. Estrogen, which is extracted from Premarin, was effective in combating some menopausal symptoms but proved to have serious, negative side effects, such as the increased risk of breast cancer and an increase in insulin levels.

3.Provera. This drug is a progestin or a synthetic form of progesterone, which probably makes it even more toxic than Premarin. Its well-documented, negative side effects include blood clotting.

In addition, long-term usage studies revealed many other negative side effects of HRT, including high blood pressure and vaginal bleeding. A year after millions of women quit taking hormone replacement therapy, incidents of breast cancer fell dramatically — by 7 percent!

No wonder women now know to avoid dangerous, conventional estrogen replacement.

The “New” Science: Bioidenticals

Recently, there’s been tremendous excitement about Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), which was even discussed on the Oprah show in a television breakthrough.

When diet and lifestyle changes are not enough, bioidentical hormones may be able to help.

However, the FDA has recently attacked BHRT, specifically estriol, effectively banning it. Ironically, the FDA is simultaneously attempting to create natural-substance knock-offs. Here’s what’s happening:

Bioidenticals, unlike synthetic hormones or natural ones from animals, are natural hormones that are bioidentical to your own.

The bioidentical that is prescribed 80 percent of the time is estriol. It’s natural, not a drug, and you get it at compounding pharmacies. The FDA is trying to require physicians who write prescriptions for it to fill out an Investigational New Drug (IND) application. It’s no simple form; it’s 40-pages long and expensive to file. And, the FDA admits it’s unaware of any adverse effects of bioidentical hormones.

The inside scoop: Estriol has been used safely for decades, and it is  believed that  it  is particularly useful when your ovaries have been removed or you’ve had a hysterectomy. Dr. Johathan Wright, who was interviewed many times for  Expert Inner Circle program, is a pioneer in bioidenticals, and you can see what he has to say about their value in this short video.

The attack on bioidenticals comes just as the FDA is advancing drugs that are synthetic knock-offs of natural estriol. Talk about an upside down world!

Note on Bioidentical Delivery Methods

As for administering bioidentical hormones, you need to know that some delivery methods are clearly superior to others.

Oral supplementation is perhaps your worst option, as your liver processes everything in your digestive tract first, before it enters your blood stream. Any method that bypasses your liver will therefore be more effective.

Hormone creams are one common alternative that achieves this. However, since progesterone is fat soluble, it can build up in your fatty tissues and lead to having too much progesterone in your body. This in turn can disrupt other hormones. It’s also near impossible to accurately determine the dose when using a cream.

Sublingual drops offer the best of both worlds, as it enters your blood stream directly and will not build up in your tissues like the cream can. It’s also much easier to determine the dose you’re taking, as each drop is about one milligram.

So you know exactly how much you’re taking. The direct delivery system also means you can oftentimes take a lower dose than you would need if you were taking it in pill form.

Knock-Off Naturals: Don’t Be Fooled

Natural estriol can’t be patented, so there are no huge profits to be made on it.

I’m not surprised its availability is being threatened. In fact fake, profit-generating versions of the real thing are mushrooming.

Omacor (an FDA-approved, Omega-3 fat fish oil), Trimesta (a knock-off of natural estriol, now Lovaza) and already FDA-approved Prestara, a pharma version of the natural hormone DHEA, will all soon be competing against what you can get cheaper. Some believe these natural knock-offs could even be dangerous.

For instance, Trimesta is taken orally, even though this is known to be a greater risk factor for endometrial cancer than taking hormones transdermally (through the skin). Prestara is taken in doses of 200 mg daily, which is too high for women — even 50 mg daily may cause women to experience undesirable side effects, including facial hair.

To support physicians’ rights to freely prescribe bioidenticals and your right to have access to them, go to the Health Freedom Foundation’s website. You’ll find updated information and a letter you can send to Congress and the President.

One Small Step Toward Lifelong Serenity

Menopause is one of those instances where what’s easiest and natural is also best. Because prevention is always the smartest medicine, start making changes in your diet and lifestyle during peri-menopause.

Sticking to the perimeter supermarket aisles, where vegetables and fruits dominate, puts you on the right path.

By the time menopause comes, you’ll have developed healthy nutritional habits that you can build on for every life stage.

Written By Dr. Mercola

References:
[1] The Mao Clinic Staff, “Menopause Symptoms,” The Mao Clinic
[2] American Physiological Society (2007, August 14). Grapes, Soy And Kudzu Blunt Some Menopausal Side Effects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2009

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements
Categories
News on Health & Science

Alternative Medicine May Help Relieve Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause in women is associated with the lowering of estrogen levels and cessation of reproductive fertility. With significant individual differences, women may experience a variety of bothersome symptoms as they go through that phase, including hot flashes, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, weight gain and fatigue.

[amazon_link asins=’B00S74SB9S,B01EO875SI,B00NEP1VXI,B01BDJERKK,B00SIIC5I6,B014JTKZ5C,1937930270,B009WIUZQ0′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’648989be-0ad0-11e7-b0b7-cdb3ad43d867′]
In the 1990s, hormone replacement therapy became popular, but new studies have largely discredited that method as they found it raises the risk of developing heart diseases and certain cancers.

Currently, women are encouraged to try more natural and holistic approaches such as exercise, meditation and nutritional supplements.

Some companies are also engaged in developing innovative products that deliver relief with all-natural and clinically proven ingredients.

One of them is Seattle-based women-owned Beveragette Ventures which has just unveiled a low-calorie beverage which may minimize the many unpleasant symptoms of the transition.

Source: Better Health Research. 2nd.Nov.’09

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Categories
News on Health & Science

Exercise Gives More Health Benefits to Women

[amazon_link asins=’0385339984,0446699977,193771571X,B07D62QTV5,142621832X,B01MXF40F9,0767904729,B000NW6NAQ,1612435289′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e27a38d0-661f-11e8-a1d0-0f7707a3c01a’]

A long-term study of over 8,700 middle-aged men and women has shown that women experience greater health benefits than men as a result    of exercise.
The analysis of this large Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study was carried out by Keri Monda and colleagues at North Carolina University (NCU).

They found that over a 12-year period, all individuals who increased their exercise by about 180 metabolic units per week (equivalent to an additional hour of mild or 30 minutes of moderate activity per week) displayed decreased levels of triglycerides and increased levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol.

However, statistically significant decreases in the “bad” LDL cholesterol were only observed in women, with particularly strong effects in menopausal women and African-American women. And total cholesterol levels were only significantly decreased in African-American women, said an NCU release.

The authors speculate that these differences may arise from hormonal differences between the sexes, especially considering the extra effects seen post-menopause. The racial differences observed may stem from genetic variations that require further exploration.

Source: These findings appear in the August issue of Journal of Lipid Research.

 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Varicose Veins

Image by me. Larger version available on Flickr.
Image via Wikipedia

Definition:
Varicose veins are most often swollen, gnarled veins that most frequently occur in the legs, ankles and feet. They are produced by a condition known as venous insufficiency or venous reflux, in which blood circulating through the lower limbs does not properly return to the heart but instead pools up in the distended veins.
CLICK & SEE
More than 25 million Americans suffer from venous reflux disease. The symptoms can include pain and fatigue in the legs, swollen ankles and calves, burning or itching skin, skin discoloration and leg ulcers. In less severe cases, thin, discolored vessels – “spider veins” – may be the only symptom.

Gender and age are two primary risk factors in the development of venous reflux. An estimated 72% of American women and 42% of men will experience varicose veins symptoms by the time they reach their sixties. Women who have been pregnant more than once and people who are obese, have a family history of varicose veins or spend a great deal of time standing have an elevated risk for the condition, but it can occur in almost anyone at almost any age. Varicose veins never go away without treatment and frequently progress and worsen over time.

Severe varicose veins can have a significant impact on the lives of people who work on their feet – nurses, teachers, flight attendants et al. Research has shown that more than two million workdays are lost each year in the US, and annual expenditures for treatment total $1.4 billion.

Symptoms
Varicose veins are swollen vessels, blue or purple in color and generally bulging above the surface of the skin. They may appear twisted or “ropey” and can be accompanied by swelling in adjacent tissue. They can be found anywhere on the leg, from the ankle up to the groin, but most commonly appear on the inside of the thigh or on the back of the calf or knee.

Varicose veins are not always a serious or uncomfortable condition – for some people, small discolored vessels or minor swelling may be the only signs – but for millions of sufferers they can cause symptoms severe enough to significantly impact the quality of life. Throbbing pain, a deep ache or heavy feeling in the legs, muscle cramps, fatigue, “restless” legs, burning or itching skin, and severe swelling of the ankles can all be symptoms of venous reflux disease, the major underlying cause of varicose veins.

CLICK & SEE

If you have varicose veins, your legs may feel heavy, tired, restless, or achy. Standing or sitting for too long may worsen your symptoms. You may also experience night cramps.

You may notice small clusters of veins in a winding pattern on your leg, or soft, slightly tender knots of veins. Sometimes, the skin on your legs may change color, become irritated, or even form sores.

If you have severe varicose veins, you have slightly increased chances of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT may cause sudden, severe leg swelling. DVT is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention

When symptoms like these are present, they frequently curtail the patient’s activities and can even force them to miss work. Sufferers complain of being unable to walk, stand or sit for very long without feeling pain or exhaustion.

In severe cases, varicose veins can be indicators of serious circulatory problems, producing blood clots or skin ulcers that require immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis:
To determine whether venous reflux disease is causing your varicose vein symptoms, your primary care physician may conduct an examination and some tests. In some cases, you may be referred to a vein specialist at this time.  After you describe your symptoms, the doctor will examine your legs in a standing position, looking for swelling, visible veins and signs of skin changes, like discoloration, irritation or early signs of ulcers.

The next step is a “hands-on” examination – the doctor will feel your leg with his fingertips to detect swollen veins that are too deep under the skin to be visible. The groin area and the back of the calf are particular targets for inspection, and the doctor will also pay special attention to any areas of significant pain or tenderness, because that can indicate a possible blood clot or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

If the exam produces sufficient signs of venous reflux, your doctor will probably order an ultrasound examination, a non-invasive test that provides a clear and detailed image of the circulatory system in your leg. The most sophisticated ultrasound tests use  Doppler technology – the same technology used for weather radar – that illustrate the blood flow in various shades of red and blue to show the doctor the speed and direction of the blood flow through the vein.

If the ultrasound confirms the diagnosis of venous reflux, your physician will commonly prescribe conservative measures like compression stockings as a first step in your treatment. (If the ultrasound does not indicate venous reflux, a Magnetic Resonance Imaging test may be ordered to pinpoint the source of the symptoms.) Patients exhibiting the signs or symptoms of varicose veins may request a referral to a specialist performing the VNUS Closure procedure.

Causes :

Heredity, obesity, age, trauma and standing for long periods of time have all been thought to damage venous valves and therefore cause venous insufficiency and varicose veins. Women, especially if previously pregnant, are more likely to develop varicose veins.

If you have never suffered from varicose veins, you are quite fortunate or you are in the minority as– nearly three-quarters of American women and more than 40% of men will encounter the condition by the time they reach retirement age, and venous reflux disease occurs even in teenagers.

Possible causes are:-
High blood pressure inside your superficial leg veins causes varicose veins.

Factors that can increase your risk for varicose veins include having a family history of varicose veins, being overweight, not exercising enough, smoking, standing or sitting for long periods of time, or having DVT. Women are more likely than men to develop varicose veins. Varicose veins usually affect people between the ages of 30 and 70.

Pregnant women have an increased risk of developing varicose veins, but the veins often return to normal within 1 year after childbirth. Women who have multiple pregnancies may develop permanent varicose veins.

Risk Factors
By an almost 2-1 margin, women are more likely to develop varicose veins than men. pregnancy and childbirth are major contributing factors – women who have been pregnant more than once are highly susceptible – partly because the hormonal changes that occur during pre-menstruation and menopause are known to relax vein walls and increase the chances of venous reflux. Hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills can increase the risk as well.

Other significant contributing factors for varicose veins include obesity, a family history of varicose veins, and extended periods of standing – nurses, teachers, postal workers, flight attendants and other people with “vertical” careers or activities are vulnerable to developing varicose veins, as is anyone who does a lot of heavy lifting.
Finally, the longer you live, the more likely you are to develop varicose veins.  Half of all Americans over 50 have them, as do two-thirds of women over 60.

Prevention:
There are no medically proven ways to completely prevent varicose veins. Common sense, however, tells us that relieving pressure on the veins as well as promoting muscle strength helps to keep the blood flowing in the correct direction. Exercising, losing weight, elevating your legs when resting, and not crossing them when sitting all have potential benefits. Wearing loose clothing and avoiding long periods of sitting or standing also are thought to be helpful. Wearing high-heeled shoes is not advisable because they don’t allow the calf muscles to fully contract. Other than varicose vein treatment, medical compression hosiery is the most helpful method of decreasing the symptoms of varicose veins.

Advanced Vein Therapies uses the latest technology and offers several vein therapies & procedures to effectively treat varicose veins.

Treatments

* VNUS Closure® (Click  to 0pen the window to go toVNUS Closure Video)
* Endovenous Laser (EVL) (Click  to View RF Thermal Ablation Device Outperforms Endovenous Laser)
* Vein Stripping………CLICK & SEE
* Phlebectomy……….CLICK & SEE

Overview
For milder cases of varicose veins and spider veins, physicians generally recommend a variety of self-help, non-surgical measures to ease discomfort and prevent the condition from worsening. These measures include exercise, losing weight, wearing compression stockings, elevating the legs and avoiding long periods of standing or sitting.

Direct medical treatments for spider veins include sclerotherapy, in which the veins are sealed with injections of a chemical solution that closes the vein walls. Spider veins can also be treated with non-invasive lasers, which cause the veins to fade and disappear.

For more severe cases of varicose veins, in which the veins bulge beyond the skin or cause significant pain and swelling, relief usually requires a medical intervention. The traditional surgical approach has been vein stripping, a procedure commonly requiring general anesthesia in which incisions are made near the knee and groin and the diseased primary vein is literally pulled from the body using a device. While reasonably effective, vein stripping generally produces significant post-operative pain and bruising, and usually requires a lengthy and uncomfortable recovery period.

In the United States, however, vein stripping has been rendered virtually obsolete by new, minimally invasive catheter technology that enables even severe varicose veins to be successfully treated in a doctor’s office under a local anesthetic in just a few minutes. A device is inserted into the diseased vein, where a catheter or fiber delivers either radiofrequency (RF) or laser energy to heat and seal the vessel. The technique is extremely successful and far less painful and traumatic to the patient than vein stripping.

Endovenous laser (EVL) devices utilize an optical fiber to deliver extremely high heat – over 700 degrees centigrade – that boils the blood in the vein to create a clotting effect that seals the vein as the device is withdrawn. Radiofrequency devices operate at far lower temperatures to heat and shrink the vein walls, limiting the impact on surrounding tissues and, according to a clinical study, causing significantly less pain and bruising than laser.

Physicians using the VNUS® ClosureFAST™ catheter, the only radiofrequency device on the market today for the treatment of venous reflux,  report that most patients return to normal activity almost immediately following the procedure, with little or no post operative pain.

Compression Stockings.
For more severe varicose veins, your physician may prescribe compression stockings. Compression stockings are elastic stockings that squeeze your veins and stop excess blood from flowing backward. In this way, compression stockings also can help heal skin sores and prevent them from returning. You may be required to wear compression stockings daily for the rest of your life. For many patients, compression stockings effectively treat varicose veins and may be all that are needed to relieve pain and swelling and prevent future problems.

When these kinds of treatments alone do not relieve your varicose veins, you may require a surgical or minimally invasive treatment, depending upon the extent and severity of the varicose veins. These treatments include sclerotherapy, ablation, vein stripping, and laser treatment.

Sclerotherapy

During sclerotherapy, your physician injects a chemical into your varicose veins. The chemical irritates and scars your veins from the inside out so your abnormal veins can then no longer fill with blood. Blood that would normally return to the heart through these veins returns to the heart through other veins. Your body will eventually absorb the veins that received the injection.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.vnus.com/vascular-disease/varicose-veins/diagnosis-of-varicose-veins.aspx

http://www.vascularweb.org/patients/NorthPoint/Varicose_Veins.html

http://www.avtherapies.com/varicose-veins.php?gclid=CO7WodevxpsCFQ_xDAodqgvhAA

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Categories
Acupunture News on Health & Science

Acupuncture Beats Drug to Treat Hot Flashes

acupunctureAcupuncture works as well as Effexor, a drug commonly used to combat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms that can accompany breast cancer treatment.

In fact, the benefits of acupuncture last longer than the effects of Effexor, and without any bad side effects. After 12 weeks of treatment, symptoms were reduced for 15 additional weeks for women who had undergone acupuncture, compared with just two weeks for those who had taken Effexor.

Not only were no bad side effects associated with acupuncture, women who underwent the treatment reported increased energy and overall sense of well-being. Those taking Effexor reported side effects including nausea, headache, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, increased blood pressure, fatigue and anxiety.

Sources:
  • American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology Meeting September 21-25, 2008 Boston, MA
Enhanced by Zemanta