Friday, October 29, 2010

You May Be Too Young For This

If you are not middle-aged you probably don't need to read this. I'm writing this for all the women who like me are going through perimenopause or menopause. (That's a big word for "why are all these things happening to me now?") Ah yes, changes...changes...

I never knew quite what to expect since my mother didn't ever talk about her experiences. I knew from reading women's magazines and hearing other women talk that my body would be changing. But I kept thinking that was all in the distant future. Well, that time has come!

Since early summer I have been having hot flashes and night sweats. Sweater on, sweater off. Air-condtioning used to bug me if it was too cold, not now. What I really hate are the night sweats. I wake up many times during the night and throw back the covers just to find that a few minutes later I'm chilled so I cover up again. (You can imagine how fun this is for my hubby. His sleep is interrupted too.) Not to mention being irritable during the day because I haven't gotten a decent night's sleep.

What to do, what to do? I started doing a little research and also talked to my daughter who is a chiropractor. I asked her about taking Black Cohosh. She told me to try that and also to drink 4 oz. of soy milk before bedtime. I am also having her do acupuncture on me once a week. There are also essential oils that help. Geranium, Fennel and Clary Sage can all help balance our systems. Peppermint can help with the hot flashes.

I can't tell you what a difference this has made. I can't remember the last time I had a hot flash. I've been able to sleep at night without having the window wide open! My outlook on life has become way more positive. I'm not crazy about the taste of soy milk but I'll gladly drink it if it makes a difference!

I read that 15% of women make it through "the change" with no symptoms. (lucky them!) For others mild symptoms can start as early as 40 and persist for years. (I'm hoping my good results last.) I also read that 70% of women have hot flashes so I know I'm not suffering alone.

I'm glad that the natural remedies I've tried are working for me. Another supplement that has seen good results is chasteberry (vitex). One study found that the women who took a supplement containing vitex saw a 69% decrease in night sweats. (I don't have any personal experience with this.)

The good news is that symptions typically subside within three years of our last period. Emotional highs and lows should take on a more even keel then. Many postmenopausal women report that the brain fog lifts and they have back their mental clarity. This is all good but my next question do we keep the weight around the middle off?

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