Menopause Solutions: Making Sense of Hormones

If you have hot flashes, sick mood swings, stuff memory problems or foggy thinking you may be experiencing changes in your hormone levels due to the onset of perimenopauise or menopause. However, only your doctor can perform tests to determine if your personal levels of oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are in need of rebalancing.

What to Expect: If your hormone levels are on the decline, your doctor may recommend Hormone Replacement Therapy, also known as “HRT” (However, I strongly favor Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy!) In addition to traditional HRT and Bio-HRT there are many natural alternatives worth exploring.

For example, if it is determined that you are low in oestrogen, you can supplement with plant based or phyto-oestrogens. These can be found in soy isoflavones or black cohosh. Red clover and red raspberry contain phyto-oestrogen properties as well.

Further, if it is found that your progesterone levels are imbalanced, you can ask your doctor about wild yam cream. Wild Yams may contain compounds that have similar effects to natural progesterone. You apply wild yam cream to the body rotating from the inner thigh, inner arm, and breast areas. Our skin is our largest organ, therefore making an ideal medium for a natural treatment!

Lastly, falling Testosterone levels may be combated with phytoestrogenic or non-estrogenic supplements, however take heart that you, your body and your hormones are unique! Explore your options and never be afraid to say “I need help.”

If you are interested in taking action to move your health to the next level, please apply for a complimentary  Health Breakthrough Strategy Session by filling out the contact form here (Please note – it doesn’t matter where you are in the world for you to benefit, as long as you have an internet connection or phone line).

Yoga for Weight Loss and More!

Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise that can not only help you with weight loss, there but improve your overall health and alleviate some of the most bothersome symptoms of menopause. While it originated as a part of the Indian cultural tradition, see it is now a mainstay in across the world in health clubs, gyms, spas and private studios.

As a matter of fact, did you know that…

…You can use Yoga to combat stress, bone loss and weight gain in all stages of menopause? The exercises alone will help strengthen your bones and improve your flexibility. The meditation aspect of it will lower your stress level. Since we tend to overeat during times of stress yoga can assist with weight loss by reducing stress before we start self-medicating with cheap sugary calorie and fat-ladden food!

…Yoga banishes anxiety through slow stretching, quiet meditation and focusing our minds? Slowing down while engaging your body and mind helps you put things in perspective and relax before starting (or ending!) your day. See the photo to your right for some of the poses most commonly used!

…Yoga can help you lose weight because it reduces your stress which can affect your eating habits. The movement will also help you burn calories. Most yoga programs tend to be pretty low impact, but there is also some more intense yoga workouts designed to burn fat quickly, such as Bikram or “hot” yoga.

Yoga is just one part of a total mind-body approach to weight loss and menopause related problems. As always, consult with a medical professional to receive sound advice about what is best for you.

If you are interested in taking action to move your health to the next level, please apply for a complimentary  Health Breakthrough Strategy Session by filling out the contact form here (Please note – it doesn’t matter where you are in the world for you to benefit, as long as you have an internet connection or phone line).

Simple Strategies to Dismiss Stress!

It goes without saying… Perimenopause and Menopause can be very stressful periods in a woman’s life. However, did you know that stress itself is one of the leading cause’s of high blood pressure and cancer? Reducing our stress levels daily is necessary and possible by following some simple and straightforward strategies.

A FREE and EASY way to reduce stress on a daily basis during menopause is exercise. Get involved in a sport or activity that you find fun. Running, swimming, yoga or even dancing are good choices! Even simple physical activities like walking or stretching can make a huge difference. This is because exercise releases endorphins in your brain, which help melt away stress.

A well-balanced diet full of nutritional value is essential for fighting stress caused by Menopause. At a woman’s midlife, it’s of vital importance to eat a healthy, balanced diet and consume proper  vitamins and minerals. Healthy nutrition will assist in the maintenance of strong bones, a healthy heart, banish menopausal weight gain, increase energy levels and improve our overall quality of life through good health. It’s important to note that Vitamin D and Magnesium are both essential, since they can help reduce the bone loss that occurs during Menopause.

If none of these day to day stress relief strategies work for you, then hormone replacement is a viable yet riskier alternative. Hormone replacement works by artificially replacing the hormone levels that naturally decrease during Menopause. However, a viable alternative to commercial HRT (artificial hormones) is bio –identical hormones, although you will need to consult a doctor privately to obtain these tailored to your own personal needs… (Please contact me for details on Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy).

If you are interested in taking action to move your health to the next level, please apply for a complimentary  Health Breakthrough Strategy Session by filling out the contact form here (Please note – it doesn’t matter where you are in the world for you to benefit, as long as you have an internet connection or phone line).

 

 

Holistic Health Tips for Beginners

Holistic Health — We are hearing the term more and more as going the “Holistic Route” with our health becomes more mainstream and widely accepted. Also known as “complementary medicine,” holistic health treatments include any practice that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine. This can mean improving health and well-being through a variety of methods, including essential oils, stress management and eating organic foods.

Is holistic health right for me?
Are you human? Are you looking for a more natural solution to help you lose weight, reduce stress and improve your overall well-being? Have you tried traditional medical treatments and none of them have really worked? It might be time to give holistic health a try!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Aromatherapy- One of the easiest, and widely obtainable methods of holistic health practices. Aromatherapy uses plant materials, known as essential oils and other aromatic compounds for the to enhance a person’s mind, mood, cognitive function or health through inhalation (think oil burners or candles).
  • Yoga- Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard of or even tried yoga. It’s a great exercise that can be modified for almost anyone, regardless of age or health condition. Persons who engage in regular practices of yoga report that it helps them feel a deeper connection with their bodies and minds.
  • Go Organic–  By reducing the amount of pesticides and chemicals you ingest, you can dramatically improve your health and well-being. Look for items marked organic in your local grocery store, or shop organic farms at your local farmer’s market.
  • Eating “Low GI” Foods–  Individuals that use the Low G.I. diet approach report having increased energy      and improved moods. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish and poultry nourishes our bodies, provides optimum energy, and aids in healthy, sustained weight loss.

There are many holistic and alternative health methods out there. Due your own Due Dilligence, and make sure you choose a reputable professional if you feel this is a good choice for YOU.

If you are interested in taking action to move your health to the next level, please apply for a complimentary  Health Breakthrough Strategy Session by filling out the contact form here (Please note – it doesn’t matter where you are in the world for you to benefit, as long as you have an internet connection or phone line).

Sex and Menopause; Intimacy during “The Change”

One of the most frequent complaints in menopausal women is low libido (low sex drive). A huge contributor is vaginal dryness, here caused by declining oestrogen levels.  Because oestrogen actually plumps vaginal cells, consequently during menopause the vaginal walls become thin, dry and lose elasticity. When the act of intercourse becomes challenging due to physical hurdles, our internal dialogue can increase the anxiety we face if we focus on what our body cannot naturally do for us.

         To treat naturally, consider using a bioadhesive lubricant that you can buy over the counter to bring immediate relief. You can find brands such as Yes Yes Yes and Sylk locally. Be kind to yourself by allowing extra time for foreplay with your partner. This is a great time in life to explore new ideas with your partner in the bedroom, also. Mostly, communicate with your partner your needs and desires, as this will nurture yourself and your relationship!

If you are interested in taking action to move your health to the next level, please apply for a complimentary  Health Breakthrough Strategy Session by filling out the contact form here (Please note – it doesn’t matter where you are in the world for you to benefit, as long as you have an internet connection or phone line).

Fighting Osteoporosis in Menopause- 3 Things to Do TODAY!

Declining Oestrogen levels are the greatest contributor to bone weakening and loss during Menopause. In fact, medicine Osteoporosis derives its name from the Greek meaning of “Porous Bone.” As self- aware and health conscious women, we must take steps now to stop, reverse, and manage this disease which can lead to dangerous and painful breaks and fractures and will ultimately cause a significant decline in our quality of life. The tips below can help you get started on the road to happy-bone health!

  1. Strength Training Exercise

Engaging in Strength training exercise assists in building and maintaining bone mass. Try step aerobics, hand-weight lifting, or even jogging.

  1. Getting your RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) of Calcium AND Vitamin D
    Taking a Calcium Supplement of at least 1,000mg along with 1,000mg of Vitamin D (Your body needs the Vitamin D in order to absorb the Calcium optimally) will help your body to maintain the health of your bones.
  2. Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy

Bio-Identical Hormones are natural; plant derived hormones that mimic our naturally produced hormones. Oestrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone and DHEA are all believed to have healthy bone density properties.

If you are interested in taking action to move your health to the next level, please apply for a complimentary  Health Breakthrough Strategy Session by filling out the contact form here  (Please note – it doesn’t matter where you are in the world for you to benefit, as long as you have an internet connection or phone line).

Beating Fatigue in Menopause

Feeling fatigued and tired is common for many people who lead busy lives. You might try getting more sleep, taking away coffee in the later part of the day, or turning off the TV at night, but often those options won’t combat fatigue when it is showing as an early sign of menopause. Constant tiredness and general body fatigue is one of the first symptoms of menopause. While it’s often blamed on lack of sleep, or other sleep disrupting activities, the truth is when it’s caused by menopause, coffee won’t be your solution.

 

Here are three natural ways to combat the fatigue you may be feeling:

Yesterday we touched on adding more whole foods to your diet, but here’s another spin on it: Consider an alkaline diet. The foods you eat all have a pH level, as does your body over time as it takes in the food. The higher your body is in acidic items, the more tired you’re going to feel. Alkaline foods items, like fruits and vegetables, nuts and oatmeal, will lower your acidity and give you more energy throughout the day. In addition, this will provide you with more vitamins and minerals your body needs to be happy and healthy.

Being a Holistic Doctor and believing whole-heartedly in natural and complementary therapies I have to endorse the supplements black cohosh and valerian root. Both have shown positive results for beating menopausal fatigue. These are easily accessible in the pharmacy or any natural drug store. Do make sure to check with your own doctor before taking these herbal supplements, as they can sometimes have an interaction with medication you might already be taking.

If you are interested in taking action to move your health to the next level, please apply for a complimentary ”Get Your Life Back” Strategy Session by filling out the contact form here  (Please note – it doesn’t matter where you are in the world for you to benefit, as long as you have an internet connection or phone line).

Menopause & Your Lifestyle, Simple Changes to Feel Great!

Menopause brings enough changes to our bodies and minds without adding our own spoonful of sugar.  If we desire whole body health, remedy considering lifestyle changes can make Menopause much easier to manage. Treating Menopause as a whole and not just putting a band-aid on the symptoms can lead us toward a better quality of life and thriving! Here are two things you may not have considered:

1-      Quitting smoking.
Did you know that smoking can bring on menopause as much a 2 years earlier than female non-smokers? If you continue smoking during menopause, viagra sale your risks of Heart Disease, Stroke, Breast Cancer and Diabetes are much greater than non-smokers. If that isn’t incentive enough, women smokers have much more frequent and more severe hot flashes!

2-      Loosing weight and maintaining weight through dietary changes.
Making simple changes, such as eating more fruits and vegetables, cutting down on caffeine, and increasing your water intake can help you to feel healthier, more energetic, and fuller- longer. Adding some daily cardio (such as brisk walking) will help you to loose weight and keep it off.

Incorporating changes little by little will help you have greater success in the long run. If you are a smoker, try cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke during the day to start. Also, replace a mid-morning sugary snack for a fresh apple, and add in 2 glasses of water. Build slowly; it takes the average person 21 consecutive days to adjust to a new routine. Be kind to yourself and don’t give up! Menopause is a challenging time for women, but can also be a time that you thrive if you address the whole cause, and refrain from “just treating the symptoms.”

If you are interested in taking action to move your health to the next level, please apply for a complimentary ”Get Your Life Back” Strategy Session by filling out the contact form here  (Please note – it doesn’t matter where you are in the world for you to benefit, as long as you have an internet connection or phone line).

 

New start/starting over- “Re-Set”. Low G.I. – healthy weight loss Benefits of low G.I. diet; Weight loss and disease control – part 3

Discussion

On average,the12 week lifestyle modification program employed in this study had dramatic impacts onthehealth ofthe25 subjects.

On average, subjects lost 13 lbs of body weight per person over the 12 weeks (about 6% initial body weight). Four subjects lost 25 lbs or more. This weight loss was further reflected in significant declines in BMI and waist circumference.

Even more dramatic, however, were the changes in cardiovascular and metabolic health.

  • Blood pressure declined from an average of 131/86 mm Hg (Baseline) to 121/80 mm Hg (Final).
  • Total cholesterol dropped from an average of 206 mg/dL (Baseline) to 176 mg/dL (Final). Most of this decline resulted from a drop in LDL cholesterol from an average of 134 mg/dL (Baseline) to 111 mg/dL (Final).
  • Fasting blood glucose levels declined slightly overthe12 week program from an average of 97 mg/dL (Baseline) to 95 mg/dL (Final).
  • And a standard Index of Insulin Sensitivity based on a Glucose Tolerance Test increased markedly from an average of 0.111 (Baseline) to a value of 0.127 (Final).

All of these changes are consistent with a reversal of Metabolic Syndrome and with significant improvements in cardiovascular and metabolic health. They are further consistent with a dramatic reduction inthe risk of type 2 diabetes. Moreover, it is important to note that, most ofthe changes inthe health parameters measured in this study were continuous throughthe 12 week period, suggesting that asthe lifestyle program is extended, further improvements in health status and reductions in disease risk can be expected.

We conclude thatthelifestyle change program employed in this study was fully effective. The shifts in dietary habits to include low-glycaemic functional foods and low-glycaemic meals, andthemodest increases in physical activity offer a valuable approach for reversing Metabolic Syndrome and preventing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease in at-risk people.

Acknowledgment:
This study was funded by USANA Health Sciences, Inc.  It was conducted in partnership between USANA and Dr. Ray Strand. The protocol for the study was approved by the Western Institutional Review Board.

References

  1. Mokdad AH, et al. 2000. Diabetes trends intheU.S.: 1990-1998. Diabetes Care 23:1278.
  2. Narayan KM, et al. 2003. Lifetime risk for diabetes mellitus intheUnited States. JAMA 290:1884..
  3. Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. 2002. Reduction intheincidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. N Engl J Med 346:393.
  4. Tuomilehto J, et al. 2001. Prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus by changes in lifestyle among subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. N Engl J Med 344:1343.
  5. Pan XR, et al. 1997. Effects of diet and exercise in preventing NIDDM in people with impaired glucose tolerance. Diabetes Care 20:537.
  6. Reaven G. 2000. Syndrome X. Simon and Shuster, NY. 284 pp.
  7. The functional foods supplied by USANA Health Sciences included low-glycaemic drinks (e.g. Nutrimeal) and low-glycaemic bars (Nutribars). The multivitamin/mineral supplement was USANA’s Essentials (Mega Antioxidant plus Chelated Mineral).
  8. Stumvoll M, et al. 2000. Use of theoral glucose tolerance test to assess insulin release and insulin sensitivity. Diabetes Care 23:295.

Graphs

Results from the clinical trial measuring Reversal of Metabolic Syndrome through a Lifestyle Change Program involving a Low Glycaemic Diet and Exercise.  Results for the changes in body weight, total cholesterol, serum triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and urinary 8-isoprostanes are shown in the six graphs below.  In all cases, the changes from Baseline to Week 12 are statistically significant at the p< 0.05 level.

If you are interested in taking action to move your health to the next level, please apply for a complimentary ”Get Your Life Back” Strategy Session by filling out the contact form here  (Please note – it doesn’t matter where you are in the world for you to benefit, as long as you have an internet connection or phone line).


New start/starting over- “Re-Set”. Low G.I. – healthy weight loss Benefits of low G.I. diet; Weight loss and disease control – Part 2

Methods

Twenty-five subjects, five males and 20 females, 20-65 years of age, were recruited forthestudy. To select people at risk for Metabolic Syndrome,

Men were required to have a waist measurement >40 inches

Women had to have a waist measurement >34.5 inches.

Moreover, all had to have two or more ofthefollowing additional symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome:

  • elevated blood pressure (>130/85 mm Hg),
  • elevated triglycerides (>150 mg/dl),
  • elevated fasting glucose (>110 mg/dL),
  • low HDL cholesterol (<50 mg/dL for females, <40 mg/dL for males).

The lifestyle change program employed in this study was developed by Dr. Ray Strand, a family practice physician in Rapid City, SD. This 12-week, internet-based program was specifically designed to help people reverse insulin resistance through dietary modification and increased exercise.

Specifically, during Weeks 1-4 oftheprogram, subjects were instructed to consume

  • one low-glycaemic meal replacement shake for breakfast,
  • a second shake for lunch,
  • one low-glycaemic nutrition bar as a daily snack,
  • and a normal, but low-glycaemic dinner prepared according to instructions

provided by Dr. Strand. During Weeks 5-12 oftheprogram, subjects consumed one low-glycaemic meal replacement shake per day, one snack bar, and two normal, but low-glycaemic meals. In addition, throughoutthe12 weeks, subjects took a multivitamin-mineral supplement daily. All meal replacement shakes, snack bars, and nutritional supplements were provided by USANA Health Sciences, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT (7). Subjects were further coached to increasetheir physical activity and to ultimately exercise at least 45 min per day, five days per week, duringthelast eight weeks oftheprogram.

To determinetheimpact ofthelifestyle program onthesubjects’ health, measurements ofthefollowing parameters were made during Baseline (Week 0), Interim (Week 6), and Final (Week 12) Visits tothestudy clinic: weight (lbs), height (in), waist circumference (in), blood pressure (mm Hg), blood cholesterol (total, LDL, HDL; mg/dL), serum triglycerides (mg/dL), plasma glucose (mg/dL), and insulin sensitivity (8).

 

Results

Twenty-one ofthe25 study participants showed good (>80%) compliance withthedietary and exercise recommendations oftheprogram.

Four showed relatively poor compliance.

Neverthe-less, we included data from all subjects inthestatistical analyses of results. The attached figures show

the changes in average weight, total cholesterol, serum triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and urinary 8-isoprostanes (a marker of oxidative stress) forthe25 participants. In addition,thefollowing results were observed.

  • The average BMI of participants declined from 34 ± 5 (Baseline) to 32 ± 5 (final).
  • Waist circumference declined from 41.5 ± 4.2 (Baseline) to 38.9 ± 4.4 in (Final).
  • Diastolic blood pressure declined from 85 ± 7 mm Hg (Baseline) to 80 ± 7 mm Hg (Final).
  • LDL cholesterol dropped from 134 ± 23 mg/dL (Baseline) to 111 ± 24 mg/dL (Final),
  • while HDL cholesterol remained unchanged at 43 ± 10 mg/dL throughoutthestudy.

 

If you are interested in taking action to move your health to the next level, please apply for a complimentary ”Get Your Life Back” Strategy Session by filling out the contact form here  (Please note – it doesn’t matter where you are in the world for you to benefit, as long as you have an internet connection or phone line).