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DATE SENT: 08-10-2010
Herbal remedies - Making menopause manageable.
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When Menopause HurstWhen Menopause Hurts...

Research has found that women feel pain more than men despite the popular notion that the opposite is true (we endure childbirth).

Now that we are gracefully maturing into the menopausal portion of our lives we believe that our day-to-day pain is just part of the aging process. What could menopause have to do with... Headaches, TMJ, Abdominal Pain, Joint Pain, and Arthritis?

We have all heard our mom's and grandmother's complaints, all the while thinking that we would be different. We are different... Please read carefully the following information from Cheryl Myers.


Most of us are not going to have our grandmother's or even our mother's menopause. This entirely normal transition has become far more complicated in this brave, new world of pollutants and plasticizers that disrupt normal hormonal responses.

We are living longer than any generation in the history of human kind, with astounding increases in the number of people living well past the century mark. It is estimated that 50% of girls born in the year 2000 will live to be more than one hundred years old. That means that women may well live 50, 60, even 70 years beyond the cessation of their menstrual cycles. Yet there are still out-dated stereotypes that menopause is the demarcation of entry into old lady land. The beginning of the end. We are supposed to become frail and accept certain losses, lose our sex appeal, our vitality, and become supportive actors instead of the star of the show. These unfair perceptions not only undermine women's self-esteem, they can make a difficult transition worse. Too often, women are embarrassed that they are going through menopause, and don't get the help they need to alleviate the discomfort that can accompany this hormonal change.

Another problem is that sometimes women don't recognize that certain symptoms are related to menopause at all. Everyone knows about hot flashes and night sweats, but what about pain?

You may be surprised to learn that menopause can have a great deal of impact on pain, both positive and negative. Women who experience migraine headaches that are triggered by the abrupt drop in hormones immediately before the onset of menstruation often find their severe headaches are completely eliminated when their cycles cease. Some sufferers of TMJ (a painful jaw disorder) experience increased pain prior to a menstrual period. This increase in pain can disappear after menopause. Some women have very painful menstrual cramps that, of course, disappear when menstrual cycles are no more.

But there is an unfortunate downside as well. Many women see a jump in inflammation and joint pain during this hormonal transition. One of the reasons is that cartilage may decrease as estrogen decreases in the body. Lack of the cushioning benefits of cartilage may increase risk for bone inflammation that can lead to osteoarthritis. Additionally, the perception of pain itself can be influenced by hormonal status.

There is a syndrome that affects a small number of women as they experience hormonal changes related to menopause called "Menopausal Arthritis." The complexity of today's menopause transition can initiate a sudden increase in joint and muscle inflammation in a woman's body. This pain syndrome is also sometimes seen in women who take special medication to deplete estrogen in the body in an attempt to reduce breast cancer recurrence risk (like tamoxifen, for example, which blocks estrogen receptors).

The way in which hormonal fluctuations trigger inflammatory conditions is not completely understood. One would think that if pain is caused by a sudden decrease in estrogen and progesterone, restoring estrogen and progesterone would eliminate the pain. Unfortunately, results have not been very encouraging with using standard hormone replacement therapy to alleviate this type of pain.

If you think your pain is related to menopause, a practitioner who specializes in natural women's health may be able to help you a great deal with lifestyle change suggestions, diet choices, and dietary supplements to help achieve a healthier hormonal balance. The good news is that some women report that the pain diminishes over time as the body adjusts to its new hormonal set point.

So if you thought menopause was a pain, you could be right. It's not all in your head. And there are tools at your disposal to help make this transition as comfortable as possible. The bottom line is to never accept the status quo and keep looking for answers until you find what works best for you!

About Cheryl Myers...

Cheryl MyersCheryl Myers, RN, is recognized as an expert in the health and dietary supplement field. She writes, gives public appearances, and acts as a research and media consultant. She graduated from Purdue University, and also has clinical certifications in oncology and gerontology, and has a second degree in psychology. Cheryl's nationally published articles have addressed a variety of health applications for natural products, and Cheryl has been a featured guest on radio shows, and is frequently interviewed by a variety of periodicals, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Prevention Magazine, and Healthy Living.


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