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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!!!

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