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Friday, May 29, 2009

Balancing Hormones Matters!

Although it's late May, the temperature is still well below normal for this time of year.  In spite of that, I'm happy to report that I have been finding time in the early evening to walk the boardwalk around the harbor in front of our home.  All together, it's about 2.5 - 3 miles since I do the loop twice and I'm already feeling better.  Want to get that in at least 4 times a week, more if I can. So nice to get in some alone time, strap on the old IPod and blast some tunes from my 20's (doesn't hurt to dream about those times does it Lol)!  Fresh air doesn't hurt either!  Also getting out daily with my 3-year old for some yard games during the day.

Still having hot flashes? Oh yeah, big time but mostly at night.  I don't know if that is just because we are more settled at night and I don't notice it as much during the day or what. Either way, when the hot August weather finally hits I know I am going to mind those sudden fevers when I'm trying to sleep.  

So last time I wrote, I mentioned that I was on chapter 1 of Robin's book "What's Age Got To Do With It?".  Finally finished it, quick and easy read. Overall, it's a journal of her trying to figure out what make-up looked best, what clothes, hair you name it, something we can all relate to and topics that very few 50 somethings haven't already figured out.  I mean face it, if you were going to wear make up, you would have figured that out in your teens, most of us don't wait until we are 50 to start thinking about how we look.  On the other hand, I did like her advice on thinking outside the box of old wives tales about where your hemline should be, how short you hair should be etc. at a certain age.  Also great advice from experts for looking your best at any age.  Nutrition chapter was interesting too, diet, exercise, she covers it all. Overall, it's a great book to get the reader to re-program their thinking of how their midlife and beyond years should look and more importantly, feel.

The chapter on menopause though had some great information.  This is something we don't give much thought to until we hit it. Reading about her path of finding what worked for her is valuable information although very few of us happen to live within an easy drive to the Hall Wellness Center or can afford the $850 appointment fee.  For anyone curious, they have a website 

So I've been researching hormones and what impact they can have on us as they change before, during and after menopause.  Here's a quick recap of what I've learned so far.

Estrogen - if you're DEFICIENT in this hormone, you could have Hot Flashes, Insomnia, Body Aches, Lower Sex Drive and Vaginal Dryness (sounds like this isn't a hormone we want to be low on).

On the other hand, too much estrogen could cause Weight Gain, Abnormal Periods, Depression and Tender Breasts.

Progesterone - if you're DEFICIENT in this hormone, you could have Irregular Periods, Mood Swings and Increased PMS

Too much Progesterone and you could be Sleepy & Dizzy, Depressed, have an Increased Appetite and Gain Weight

Testosterone - If you're DEFICIENT in this one, you could suffer from Muscle Loss, Increased Body Fat, Depression and Lower Sex Drive

If you're Testosterone Dominant - You could have Acne, Unwanted Hair Growth and Increased Sex Drive.

If this information isn't enough to make you want to balance your hormones, I don't know what it will take.  And this is probably just the tip of the iceberg of what's going on.  I know that I have also read that it is important to have your thyroid checked during menopause.

I plan to visit with my own physician this Summer and have my hormone levels tested again and have my thyroid checked. Can't balance what you don't know although the list of symptoms makes it easy to guess where the problems may be. Whether I can access Bio-Identical hormones locally is still a mystery but I'm going to continue asking and researching.  I'll keep you posted!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Think I've Got a Plan!

So I received Robin's book last week, "What's Age Got to Do With It" and although I'm still on the first chapter, it's a really good read.  Very well written and in a format that allows the reader to identify with the topics being discussed.  So far, I haven't hit the menopause section but I'm getting there.  In the meantime, I sent an email to asking for more information and they were very quick with a response.  Anyone looking for information on bioidentical hormones should check out their website. I noticed that they ship all over the world so it's nice to find a company in the USA that ships internationally. They recommended a few products for my symptoms but until I have more information, I'm not ordering anything. 

Weather is warming up here and we spent last weekend cleaning the cottage for the upcoming Summer season. By the time we arrived home on Monday night, I needed a vacation Lol!  Now that the cleaning is done though, we can enjoy the cottage and invite friends and family all Summer long. We have friends from New Zealand who will be staying with us for a week in June and I know driving to the cottage for a couple of days will be on the agenda.  Now I have to get the house in order for their arrival Lol!

On the "Get Out & Get Moving Front", I've been getting out with my daughter on a regular basis, doing some yard work and walking around the neighborhood while she rides her tricycle.  This week I'm hoping to add a daily walk on our boardwalk around the harbor in an attempt to get some much needed exercise. Wouldn't hurt to have that 45 minutes to myself to clear my head too, I know all you other moms out there can identify with craving some much needed solitude!

On the "Weight Front", I've been watching my diet although with hubby continually bringing cookies and frosted pound cake into the house, I'm not having a whole lot of luck. Going to try to get motivated for the next few weeks because I know when our company arrives, it will be much more difficult to keep on track. I'm having a hard enough time when it's just us! Anyone with any tips or advice, bring it on!!

On the "Menopause Front", still having hot flashes, mostly at night which is not so bad in the Winter while we are freezing up here but during the hot months, I'm going to mind them a lot more. Funny thing, I was talking to a friend from high school the other day who I haven't spoken to in more than 25 years and she tells me that she and her friends are trying to get off synthetic hormones and find a way to acquire bioidential ones. What is it about menopause that during a one-hour conversation with someone you haven't seen in 25 years, it comes up and not just in passing? We must have talked about menopause for half an hour! 

So that's where things are right now. Doesn't sound like I'm making much progress but I think I have a plan in my head, now if I could just implement it!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Why Hadn't I heard of Bio-Identical Hormones??!!

So I saw the Dr. Phil show the other day on menopause and what an eye opener!  Here I had been blaming all these symptoms on trying to raise a baby in my forties when there it was in big print on the screen behind him. Everything that I have been living with for the past three years.

Thank you Robin for doing the research on hormone replacement and being an example to prove that we don't have to accept these symptoms as just another stage in life.  I will be doing as much research on bioidentical hormones as I can so I can make an informed decision on what is the best treatment to regain the energy I will need to raise my daughter.  I know that because I live in a small town,  resources will be limited but I have to start somewhere.  First step will be to schedule an appointment with my physician and get the results of my hormone levels so I know what I am working with. Being told that they are at the level of a post-menopausal woman won't cut it this time.  I want numbers!

So I've ordered Robin's book and will give you an opinion on what I think of it.  I hope it will give me some guidance on where to start and go about trying to figure this out.  I will keep you up to date on my progress as I expect this will be a long journey. I've also found the website quite interesting.

So turning the attention to my daughter, I'm happy to report that we have been spending time outside together on warm days, raking leaves and also me walking along beside her while she pedals her tricycle around our block over and over.  The fresh air is helping and I'm hoping that with the coming Spring weather, I will feel more like myself again.  I've even started taking a multi-vitamin (for seniors of course LOl) and eating much healthier food.  I don't weigh myself but feel that lately, my clothes have some room in them that wasn't there before.  It's a start so fingers crossed things will get even better!  I'd love to lose about 20lbs!

We have company coming from overseas in a few weeks so I know I will be spending time getting the house ready for them.  They are staying for a full week so I know things will be hectic and it will be more challenging to stick to my goals. Only a week though and with time moving as quickly as it does, I know the time will fly by and we will be seeing them off in no time. Then back to getting things in order with me!  Here's hoping there's a light at the end of this long tunnel!