Posted on 28 Comments

My Current Situation

Copy of Social Distancing (3)

Menopause is an evil most of us could do without. This is my current situation today. As if everything else in the universe and social distancing is not enough!!

This rabid evil has me so hot today I could tear my hair out and dive into a pool. Bear in mind that I CANNOT swim and am deathly afraid of large bodies of water.

It will not let you be, I cannot get my hormone replacement therapy.

Hyperhidrosis and hot flashes are NOT a good combination, coupled with Texas today @

Dallas, TX
Monday 3:00 PM
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny

71
°F | °C
Precipitation: 0%
Humidity: 62%
Wind: 7 mph
That may not be hot to most people but to me ….. RED HOT!!!
Keep me dear Jesus!
Any relief suggestions is eagerly accepted … 🙄
Posted on 11 Comments

Black Cohosh & Menopause

Black Cohosh Plant

Black cohosh aka Cimicifuga racemosa is a herbal supplement taken by some women to help in dealing with some of the symptoms of menopause, namely hot flashes and to improve our quality of life.

It is a perennial flowering plant that grows in open woods and at the edges of dense forests in Canada, United States and in many many other parts of the world.

The word “black” refers to the dark colour of the rhizome (mass of roots). The name “cohosh” means “rough,” referring to the surface of the rhizome.

This herb is associated with a low incidence of adverse reactions.

The plant primarily got its name from its black roots. The roots are believed to have healing properties.

Black Cohosh Named for its’ black roots

Black cohosh root has a long and illustrious history of being used for medicinal purposes.

Uses of Black Cohosh

  • kidney issues
  • malaria
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • joint inflammation
  • sore throat
  • helping with labour
  • menstrual cramps
  • menopause
  • PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome)

PCOS and black cohosh

In polycystic ovarian syndrome, the ovaries do not work normally and produce too much testosterone. Testosterone is referred to as the “male hormone.” Normally the ovaries produce very small amounts of testosterone, but in women with PCOS, they make greater amounts of the hormone.

Normally once a month, the ovaries make a structure called a “follicle”. As the follicle grows, it makes hormones. When mature this follicle releases an egg. This is “ovulation.”

In women with PCOS, the ovary makes many small follicles instead of one big one. More hormone is then made by all the small follicles creating higher than normal levels. Ovulation doesn’t happen every month the way it is supposed

Studies have investigated black cohosh for improvement in fertilization and pregnancy rates of women with PCOS with some success.

The Native Americans how to use black cohosh to treat snake bites, uterine issues, nervous disorders, and so much more.

From the early 1900s to present black cohosh has been used in medicine.

Today, black cohosh is mainly used to help treat symptoms associated with female issues and menopause.

How is black cohosh used?

The roots are dried and made into teas, liquid extracts, and put into capsule form. Sometimes, black cohosh is used as one ingredient in a herbal mixture.

Always Consult With Your Doctor Before Starting New Medicines, Vitamins or Herbs:

  • Always check with your doctor before you use any new products as some products may interact with other drugs or natural products.
  • Black cohosh may interfere with the results of your lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all the drugs you are taking.
  • Do not use this product if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Use birth control you can trust while taking this product.
  • Do not use this product if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not use this product if you are taking drugs for heart failure. These are drugs like captopril (Capoten), metoprolol (Lopressor), amiodarone (Cordarone), or losartan (Cozaar).
  • Exercise caution if you are allergic to aspirin.
  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:
    • Cancer
    • Liver problems
    • Heart problems

Don’t use black cohosh if you have a history of liver disorders. Also avoid it if you’re experiencing symptoms that can signal liver trouble, like abdominal pain, jaundice, or dark-coloured urine.

Side Effects of Black Cohosh:

  • stomach issues/pain
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • low blood pressure
  • changes in heart rhythm

Since black cohosh is in the same family as the buttercup plant, people who have allergies to buttercups should not try black cohosh.

Other Considerations When Using Black Cohosh

Herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other plant extracts are considered a dietary supplement and do not require regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you’re considering trying the herb, first talk to your doctor. Taking black cohosh might help, but it’s not a substitute for tested medical treatments.

Sources Cited

 

 

Posted on 16 Comments

Estrogen: The Mostly Female Hormone

Estrogen
Photo by Daria Shevtsova

Estrogens are a group of hormones.

Their main job is to develop and maintain the female characteristics in the body. Estrogen is one of two main sex hormones that women have.

The other main hormone is progesterone. Estrogen is responsible for female physical features and reproduction. Men have estrogen, too, but in smaller amounts.

Why Is Estrogen Important?

Estrogen helps bring about the physical changes that turn a girl into a woman. This time of life is called puberty. These changes include:

  • Growth of the breasts
  • Growth of pubic and underarm hair
  • Start of menstrual cycles

Estrogen helps control the menstrual cycle and is important for childbearing. This hormone also has other functions:  

  • Keeps cholesterol in control.
  • Protects bone health for both women and men.
  • Affects your brain (including mood), bones, heart, skin, and other tissues.

Estrogen also plays a key role in the menstrual cycle, it is instrumental in its’ commencement and cessation.

Your ovaries, which produce a all the eggs a female is born with, are the main production sources of estrogen from your body.

Your adrenal glands, (located at the top of each kidney), make small amounts of this hormone, some estrogen is also produced by fatty tissues.

Estrogen moves through your blood and acts everywhere in your body.

How Does Estrogen Work?

Your ovaries, which produce a all the eggs a female is born with, are the main production sources of estrogen from your body.

Your adrenal glands, (located at the top of each kidney), make small amounts of this hormone, some estrogen is also produced by fatty tissues.

Estrogen moves through your blood and acts everywhere in your body.

Estrogen & Your Menstrual Cycle

Your estrogen levels varies throughout each month. They are highest in the middle of your menstrual cycle and lowest during your period. Estrogen levels drop at menopause.

How do you know what your estrogen level is? You will need to have a blood or a urine test done.

Fluctuating Estrogen Levels

As a result of varying reasons, your body can produce too little or too much estrogen.

Your body makes three main types of estrogen:

Estradiol (E2): the most common type in women of childbearing age

Estriol (E3): the main estrogen during pregnancy

Estrone (E1): the only estrogen your body makes after menopause (when menstrual periods stop)

Low Levels of Estrogen

Women. The most common reason for low estrogen in women is menopause or surgical removal of the ovaries. Some symptoms of low estrogen levels are:

  • Menstrual periods that are less frequent or that stop
  • Hot flashes (suddenly feeling very warm) and/or night sweats
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dryness and thinning of the vagina
  • Low sexual desire
  • Mood swings
  • Dry skin

Some women get menstrual migraine, a bad headache right before their menstrual period, because of the drop in estrogen.

Low estrogen in men can cause excess belly fat and low sexual desire.

High Levels of Estrogen 

Women. Excess estrogen can lead to these problems, among others:

  • Weight gain, mainly in your waist, hips, and thighs
  • Menstrual problems, such as light or heavy bleeding
  • Worsening of premenstrual syndrome
  • Fibrocystic breasts (non-cancerous breast lumps)
  • Fibroids (noncancerous tumors) in the uterus
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Feeling depressed or anxious

Men: High Estrogen in Men Can Cause:

Estrogen & Men

Males also possess estrogen receptors and it has been noted that estrogen levels in the male blood are higher than post-menopausal women.

Estradiol has been found to be responsible for initiating spermatogenesis (genesis -beginning of sperm) and maturation of sperms in men. It helps with bone strength, sexual maturation and the metabolism of cholesterol in both men and women.

Menopause: Your New Normal

During menopause, women experience lower levels of the hormone estrogen. One of the effects of lowered estrogen levels is a decrease in blood supply to the vagina, which causes vaginal dryness. This can result in painful or uncomfortable intercourse.

Another effect of hormonal changes is a change in libido, or sex drive. This may improve or worsen, but it is important to remember that other factors besides menopause can affect libido.

Finally, although fertility ends at menopause, women of all ages are still susceptible to STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).

Low Estrogen, Hot Flashes & Menopause!!

The exact cause of hot flashes is unknown, but they are most likely linked to the hormonal and biochemical changes brought on by decreasing estrogen levels.

Hot flashes, to me at least, begins as a “fire” in the solar plexus and rises to the surface, i.e. the upper torso and face. They can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, and they may commence before you know you are perimenopausal and often even before you have begin to have menstrual irregularities.

By the time the hot flash reaches its’ climax, you are sweating profusely … and I mean  pro-fus-ely.

Hot flashes may last up to 10 years, but 80% of women will not have any hot flashes after five years, I pray I am one of those women!! Ughh!

If you are of the lighter skinned persuasion you will be repeatedly asked, “are you ok?”

Women can help reduce the symptoms of hot flashes by dressing in light layers, exercising regularly, using a fan, managing stress, and avoiding spicy foods, (none of these helped me).

Ways Treat Vaginal Dryness

One of the ways we can treat vaginal dryness and painful intercourse is;

  1. Water-soluble lubricants can help overcome this problem. If lubricants are not effective, contact your doctor.
  2. Vaginal creams and suppositories can be prescribed to ease vaginal dryness.
  3. Stress, sleep disturbances, medications, and anxiety can all affect sex drive. Your doctor can help you find ways to manage the changes in your sex drive if they occur.
  4. STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases) are no laughing matter — exercise caution and practice safe sex.

Herbal Supplements to Ease Menopause Symptoms

  • Phytoestrogens
  • Black cohosh
  • Dong quai
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Ginseng
  • Kava
  • Red clover
  • Vitamin E
  • Wild yam

If you decide to try these remedies, or other herbal products, be sure to discuss this with your doctor. Some botanical or herbal supplements can interact with prescription drugs.

Sources Cited:

Mayo clinic

http://online.lexi.com/lco/action/home

https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/puberty

Hormone Health Network.”Estrogen | Endocrine Society.” Hormone.org, Endocrine Society, 10 February 2020, https://www.hormone.org/your-health-and-hormones/glands-and-hormones-a-to-z/hormones/estrogen

Posted on 31 Comments

Rites of Passage…1

A giraffe in a pothole!
portfoliocollection.com
This pic depicts my life as I am propelled toward the future but am looking back at my past. Stuck in between two phases, youth on the left and God forbid, old age on the other side.

Today I decided to branch off on a more delicate topic. Currently or maybe since the dawn of time, aging, especially that of women have not been a favorite, anticipatory or much-discussed topic.

But this has been on my mind and I have been cerebrating on this for some time.

I am constanly being prompted to write about menopause, and I thought of creating a separate blog dedicated to the joys, pains and ultimately the blessings of aging.

Let me preface this by saying, I am certainly grateful to be alive and wish to live to a ripe old age, matter of fact I have spoken over my life that I will have a long healthy life in Jesus name and bow out in a due season.

This series will be based on my “humanness” so bear with me as I try to approach this phase with some laughter as well as tears. I have decided to be very vulnerable in this series, so be a little gentle with me.

The other alternative to aging is not one we chomp-at-the-bit to reflect upon. As the connotations are not welcomed by the masses.

I Have Seen Younger Days

I would like to take this time to reflect on and be grateful for things past, but we must trudge onward no matter the tide.

Now that I have reached the middle of the road and have recently been placed on this path, I feel compelled to say a few things on the issue I wish I had been privy to.

I thank God for every moment of this journey thus far, and per His direction each intersection was pre-planned and a necessary requirement of the trip, lol.

The road to growing old is filled with what appears to be, at least from my vantage point, lots of bumps and even a few potholes along the way.

Image result for free images of potholes in the road
pic; cleanpng.com

Many, no most days I feel like the image here, not sure when or how this came to be? Why am I in this hole from which I am unable to emerge?

When I look in the mirror there is this person with whom I ‘m not familiar looking back at me.

The Changing Tides

Where is Pene’ I ask, who is this creature with a vague resemblace to her that I see here, surely this cannnot be her?

I often feel the urge to lay on the floor and have a tantrum as I am in unchartered waters and feel like I am barely threading to stay afloat. And to add insult to injury I cannot swim.

I remember when I was young my mother would be fanning herself, standing in front of the refrigerator and doing all these things that I thought were so odd.

I had asked her several times, what on earth is the matter, why are you doing these things, but she never really gave me an answer.

Image result for free images of older women hot from menopause
Pic: mirror.co.uk

Back in Guyana, we have an old adage that says; ‘piglet asked, “mommy why is your mouth so long? The mother just smiled and said, oh son your time is coming’.

So here we are, a few years ago I was sitting at work one day and I felt this ‘furnace’ rise from within. I dismissed it as I had alwas been a person who is always hot and usually dripping sweat during the summer months.

The same scenario repeated itself a few times beore the lightbulb went off! Oh dear God! could this be? No, surely not! I’m still too young my mind wailed!

Image of crying emojis
Image result for free images of older women hot from menopause
pic: mesupport.co.uk

This picture is exactly what that fire feels like, you are burning up from the inside out.

Acceptance…Or Something Like It

And so it came to be that I had begun the next phase of my journey, albeit without any input from me at all (sigh).

I was being taken along for the ride and could not get off the train as it barrelled toward the unwanted destination.

Now Your Input Please

Please engage, those who are about to enter, have entered, at the end of and survived with sanity. Let us not remain silent so that other women do not enter into this phase of life with a little more practical information.