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Menopause Matters

Updated on October 7, 2014

What's going on?

Your family wears you down, your work suffers, your body won't obey you, your temper is on a short leash and tears are just around the corner. Things seem to just get out of control nowadays and what are you told?

It's that dreaded M word. Big deal.

Living with the Change doesn't mean you're on the way to a nursing home.

Don't throw in the towel, keep it handy for a quick mop of your face!


And look forward to PMZ!Post Menopausal Zest, the best thing since underwired bras

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Twenty One Tips to beat the Hot Flush and Flash

Firstly, don't fight the flush, you have to ride with it. Try to relax if you can. I don't have to look far to see why my hot flush-flash pattern returns .. stress. Any anxiety and, next thing, my glasses are misting up!

1. Cut down on coffee and strong stimulants.

2. Avoid spicy foods

3. Eat smaller meals more often to avoid the heat generated by digesting large amounts of food.

4. Try adding horseradish to your diet.

5. Apple cider vinegar. Some women find relief from a glass each morning with honey

6. Fan Get some little hand fans for your purse.

7. Keep ice water to sip to cool down your insides

8. Carry moist tissues, baby wipes, to freshen up after a flush.

9. Carry sprays to help lower your skin temperature

10. Open your freezer and stick your head in for a minute.

11. Practice deep-breathing and relaxation techniques.

12. Dress in layers

13. Throw away your turtlenecks and fitted collars

14. Wear cotton pajamas or a nightgown. Nighties are easier to change than sheets.

15. Use cotton sheets only, not synthetics.

16. Take a cool shower before bed.

17. Keep a cool gel pack under your pillow at night so that you can turn the pillow over for a cool effect

18. Keep a hand towel by your pillow to wipe the perspiration from your neck

19. Get a bigger bed if you and your partner are on different heat planets but you still want to stay in close orbit.

20. Tell yourself, out loud, that this is a temporary symptom

21. Keep your sense of humour

Midlife is the upbeat new euphemism

There are no good words to describe this time of life. "'Older' raises the question of 'older than whom?'

'Middle-aged' sounds tired and plodding, almost as bad as 'aging' - and 'aging' is sad and pitiful, an insult even though it's actually universally applicable.

A 50-year-old is aging at the same rate as a baby or a bottle of wine, exactly one second per second.

How to Identify Erratic Estrogen

1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem

2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelette

3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans

4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing with everything you say

Sleep Comfy

Have a perfect sleep every night.

These moisture wicking PJs pull moisture away from the skin and dry rapidly to ensure a good night's sleep. Stay cool and dry when you feel warm, stay cozy and comfy when the temperatures dip. Every night will be a great night with Cool-jams

Pajamas that control body temperature as you sleep!

Hormone Replacement Therapy

My argument against HRT

Early in 2008, an international group of menopause experts concluded that the use of HRT in the early postmenopausal period is safe for healthy women going through the first few years of menopause.

This is the conclusion and clinical advice of the First Global Summit on Menopause-Related Issues, which was held in Zürich in March 2009.

International Menopause Society President Professor Pines summed up the findings :

For young healthy women at the onset of menopause, there is very little risk and the benefits outweigh the risks for women with symptoms

Personally, I am not at all convinced. Not even a little bit. The symptoms of the menopausal experience can be a real drag but only in few women do they stretch you beyond your limit. And I don't like "the benefits outweigh the risks". That only tells me that the risks are certainly there.

If, after trying a natural approach to relief, you feel as though life isn't worth living, by all means try HRT but please, for as short a time as possible.

And when you are taking these drugs please please do not smoke, do not carry more than a few pounds of excess weight, rarely have an alcoholic drink, do not eat processed foods and avoid as much stress as possible in your daily activities.

Of the women in the original Womens Health Initiative study, 36% had hypertension, 49% were current or past smokers, and 34% were clinically obese, all factors which contribute to increased health problems. On top of that they took HRT.

So I repeat the conclusion of the Summit on Menopause-Related Issues .. If you are young and healthy, menopause is just starting - there is very little risk and the benefits outweigh the risks.

It's up to you. Each woman is an individual. Talk to your doctor.

The Million Women Study

Bad News on HRT from British Study

The Million Women Study in UK is a national study of womens' health, involving more than one million women aged 50 and over to study factors affecting womens' health. It's the largest study of its kind in the world.

The main focus of the study is the effects of HRT.

The important findings from this study are:

* The risk of breast cancer increases with duration of use of HRT

* Ceasing HRT reverses the risk over time

* There was an excess of breast cancer deaths in women who received HRT

This is an extract from Risks of HRT are too high : Mind over Menopause

Cooking With Hot Flashes - And Other Ways to Make Middle Age Profitable

Does life seem more stressful in your middle years?

Have a break and a laugh.

The best way to fight - and win- the annoyances of menopause is to keep a grin on your face.

Do we need Desire?

Your body knows what it's doing. If you have no desire, then you have no desire. Your body has no plans, either now or in the long-term, for pregnancy, and feels little need for the business of penetrative sex.

Let's face it. When you're wracked with anxiety from hormone swings, soaked with sweat from hot flashes, or in what feels like a constant state of PMT, you're unlikely to be feeling very sexy. Once the ovaries have stopped putting out hormones, vaginal dryness can make penetration painful.

Then there's the symbolic value of menopause. In itself, it can make us feel old, unattractive, and sexless.

Or you can find that a decreased interest in the sexual side of life is unimportant to you - or even welcome.

After decades of being driven by our sexuality, many of us find the calming of the senses that can accompany menopause to open us up to a new independence, and to enthusiasm for exploring new interests.

Lisa Koch - Middle Aged Woman - New, approved version

© 2006 Susanna Duffy

Want to weigh in here? - Got any tips or tricks?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i had a blood test to see if i had started in the meopause, offered by the doctor, when i rang for the results i was told he wanted the test repeating i rang for the results and was told he wanted a telephone conseltation with me, he just rang saying i am post meopausel, i am very shocked as i am 47 tomorrow and have had no symptoms.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm turning 47 this year and I am so over the peri menopause I can't wait until the hot flushes come and the heavy excess heavy bleeds are gone. It seems I have to plan my life around a cycle that seems hell bent on having no plan if you get what I mean. The bid down side for me is the battle to get onto of my fitness and weight before the hormones stop. I am walking over 3kms per day but it does not seem to be enough. lol blessed

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm turning 47 this year and I am so over the peri menopause I can't wait until the hot flushes come and the heavy excess heavy bleeds are gone. It seems I have to plan my life around a cycle that seems hell bent on having no plan if you get what I mean. The bid down side for me is the battle to get onto of my fitness and weight before the hormones stop. I am walking over 3kms per day but it does not seem to be enough. lol blessed

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm turning 47 this year and I am so over the peri menopause I can't wait until the hot flushes come and the heavy excess heavy bleeds are gone. It seems I have to plan my life around a cycle that seems hell bent on having no plan if you get what I mean. The bid down side for me is the battle to get onto of my fitness and weight before the hormones stop. I am walking over 3kms per day but it does not seem to be enough. lol blessed

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm turning 47 this year and I am so over the peri menopause I can't wait until the hot flushes come and the heavy excess heavy bleeds are gone. It seems I have to plan my life around a cycle that seems hell bent on having no plan if you get what I mean. The bid down side for me is the battle to get onto of my fitness and weight before the hormones stop. I am walking over 3kms per day but it does not seem to be enough. lol blessed

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I am actually enjoying life fully now that the nasty heavy duty menopause symptoms have abated. I love no longer having a messy period and feel that I truly have had a "curse" removed from my life.

    • Didijudy profile image

      Didijudy 5 years ago from Canada

      Love your lens and all the great tips. Some days, you just don't have anymore ideas on what to do about the hot flashes. Didn't even know they had pajamas that control body temperature as you sleep! Thanks for sharing with us!

    • HannaKroeger profile image

      HannaKroeger 5 years ago

      I'm with you on "benefits outweighing the risks" and wonder how much you looked into herbs for menopause like black cohosh and red clover?

      http://www.hannakroeger.com/2012/02/08/herbs-for-m...

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Oh I know the feeling well. Hubby is shivering in bed while I am throwing the windows open!

      The thing that a lot of people dont seem to realise is that HRT just delays the inevitable symptoms of menopause. Once you stop the HRT, then you get the symptoms. My feeling is that you may as well just get on with it so you can get over it.

    • EarthHealer profile image

      EarthHealer 7 years ago

      Hello Susanna :). Thank you for your comment on my Labyrinth lens.... I went to you to see who you are and found a huge number of lenses... I am in awe of people who can do that!!! I love things Arthurian, so there is much there for me to read, but,menopausal myself, I must admit that this lens attracted my interest immediately! :) I am early 50's and stopped bleeding on and off about three years ago, but consistently about 18 months ago... I still have hot flushes,. and quite enjoy them, honestly... mainly because I am happily living in a comminity of hot-flushing women, and it creates a certain bond... we laugh when we see each other whip out a fan, or grab at clothing...and even the fellows 'get it', and laugh along with us! It is certainly more fun sharing! We almost named our community choir The Menopausal Moaners, but thought better of it! :) I won't do HRT, having a family and personal history of breast cancer... Luckily, I seem to be able to cruise fairly easily through it now, although in the very first few months I thought I was going quite crazy... My tip is to seek out others who are also travelling the same path, and laugh together... Tonight, I am going with my husband and two women friends, one mid-menopause and one pre-menopause, to see Menopause the Musical... I imagine we will be rocking with laughter! One part of me initailly mourned the end of my child-bearing era, but I quickly realised I was kidding myself... At 49, I certainly wasn't planning on expanding my family, and the well-rounded, somewhat mature body wouldn't much like it, either... Now I smile quietly knowing I no longer have to plan for bleeds, or pay money to deal with same... I love it!!!! Best wishes to all.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hello ... I'm 32 years old and I think I may be having early 'M' but everyone around me keeps telling me am way too young and am just imagining things ... haven't seen my gynae yet and will soon to confirm why am perpetually tired and fatigue and feeling like an 'overheated engine' most of the time - whether night or day ...

      Thanks for this ...not feeling like am just a mad person dreaming up my condition and state of body now ... cheers

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hi again, thanks for being my fan! I love this lens. I'm 55 and having my period right at this moment. I had a weekend of hot flashes a month ago and thought, "this is finally it," but they went away. I was glad, for once, that I live alone, because when a flash came over me at night I could quick throw all the covers off me without worrying about somebody else. Catch you later - Jane

    • buteoflyer2 profile image

      Kathie Miller 8 years ago from Southern California

      It always seems it the male doctors that tell you the "lies". I'm so glad I found this lens. I too am going through it the natural way. Hell, we women put up with this stuff for millions of years. It's good to read something intelligent about menopause for once. Thank you. 5*

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I enjoyed this lens, Susanna. I've had some minor hot flashes and major moodiness, but haven't started full-fledged menopause yet. I'm 44 years old. My grandma was in her late 30's when she started. I once read a book called "Mental Pause" that made me laugh so hard that I cried. Aren't we women special!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 8 years ago from Vermont

      Oh, Susanna, thank you! I'm in the 4th year of dealing with the big M and still learning what helps with symptoms and what's rubbish. I never bought into the HRT is safe argument, and this lens convinces me I was right to go it naturally. Here's to you for a superb lens!

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 8 years ago from England

      I was on HRT for 10 years! Then a new doctor said' time to come off' I have to admit, I was terrified of life without it after all that time. It took 6 months to ween myself off and the hot flushes really kicked back in. But now, a few months on, they come and go but are usually very brief and not so strong. I've noticed they don't happen so often either. The night sweats are getting fewer and fewer too but are always worse if I've had a glass or two of wine. Thanks for all the good tips! My best one would be as you said, dress in layers so you can strip 'em off real quick as that flush hits! 5*****

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Awesome. Just what I needed to read. Just what my husband needs to read, but he still won't "get it." I love this lens!

    • profile image

      ChristiannaGarrett-Martin 9 years ago

      Intelligently written article on menopause. I like the serenity that follows the storm.

      5 stars.

      Christianna

    • Auntiekatkat profile image

      Auntiekatkat 9 years ago

      Well I used to be difflicult now I am just menopausal. I am fifty three now and started the menopause when I was forty. So I think that you can safely say that no two women have the menopause the same. However it will pass, sometime in the next ten years....one of the good things is that having lost at least half my brain I forget a lot of the worst bits. Its good to now I am in such austere company here on Squidoo. Many thanks Susanna for creating this excellent lens, good to know the natural way is best.

      As a chef I have to go and get that book "cooking with hot flashes" it should be an inspiration to us all. Talking about inspiration what a lovely touch at the end a thank you note, I am off to my lens to amend and add one.

    • VBright profile image

      VBright 9 years ago

      Funny, funny lens. I have been in menostuck for 2 years now...'taint fun MeGhee! (My God that's my Father's phrase!)

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Where can I buy the sheet music for "Middle Age Women"?

    • profile image

      tally lm 9 years ago

      Great Lens!!! about the Big "M" Menopause. I love the minniepauz cartoons and also Lisa Koch CD. I use YL peppermint oil in a glass of cold water. It cools you right down!!!! I am dealing with it now and I can tell you I am so glad that I have choosen the natural alternatives to assist me with the change. It has made all the difference in my health. I am gliding right through this "Menopause" change. lol And what you say is so true each individual women is different in how menopause affects them.

      Thanks for stoppping by the highheels lens and commenting and giving me a nice rating. I really appreciate it. And since you are talking about the big "Menopause" thing. I have to give you a 5 on a great lens. *****5 stars!!!

    • LetaRussell LM profile image

      LetaRussell LM 9 years ago

      I didn't really suffer much from hot flashes...attribute that to all the supplements I take. I also do the 5 Tibetans daily which are great for hormone regulation. Great lens and I'm finally getting around to rating and adding to my faves, which includes this one.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 9 years ago

      Ah, I love '20. Tell yourself, out loud, that this is a temporary symptom' as I do that daily. As all things will pass -- only seems to take forever. Seems like there are plenty of us menopausal women here on Squidoo -- like a tribe. 5*****

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 9 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I agree with you about HRT. I had terrific hot flushes but I decided they were amusing - that's how I dealt with them. If somebody complained of feeling cold, I'd say, stand next to me, I'm like a radiator right now. I got over them and now I'm past all that stuff and glad I didn't take HRT. I believe menopause is another natural stage like puberty that we have to go through.

      Great advice - 5*.