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A Message For You Strong Woman

Saturday, May 19, 2012
Today I am wrapping up National Women's Health Week! May 13-19, 2012. It has been a great ride. I want to leave you with this message:

You are a woman of strength. Sometimes it hurts, but you find the beauty.

You are a strong woman. Sometimes life stinks, but smell the flowers.

You are a strong woman. Sometimes you will fall, but you never fail.

You are a strong woman. Sometimes sickness finds you, but don't let it be you!

It has been an honor and pleasure sharing my thoughts about women's health this week and I've enjoyed reading your comments. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.




A Visit a Day, Keeps Illness at Bay

Friday, May 18, 2012

As National Women's Health Week winds down I want to talk about visiting your health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings.

Women, especially menopausal women are at risk for many health problems and need to have regular, yearly check-ups and preventive screenings.

I want you to be aware, be prepared and be scared...

Be aware of the health risks of being a menopausal woman.

Be prepared to talk to your doctor about your menopausal health risks.

Be scared enough to talk about your health issues with your doctor. 

If you are aware of the health risks involved with menopause, then you can be prepared to talk with your health care provider and if you are prepared enough then you should be scared enough to get yearly preventive screenings.

It's your health, don't be a wallflower....






Put On Purple Day for Lupus Awareness

Risque Business

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Today for National Women's Health Week I wanted to talk about avoiding risky behaviors.

I'm not the morality police or your mama, but as an adult woman you know the difference between wrong and right. Risky behaviors are wrong and unhealthy. I want to focus on  risky behaviors that All women,not just some women may encounter during their lives.

Unprotected sex: You already know unprotected sex can lead to unwanted pregnancies, diseases and in some instances death. One the the major groups at risk is the prostitute. We has women who don't participate in this type of risky behavior must take charge and help those women who do. During National Women's Health Week make an effort to help a woman who may be at risk. It's up to you to make a difference.

Drugs and Alcohol: This is a  major problem affecting a lot of women. There are several causes associated with drug and alcohol abuse among women, but it is a problem that can be solved if you're willing to get involved and help. If you are a victim, don't hesitate to seek professional help. It's your life and what you do with it is really up to you...but remember you not only hurt yourself you hurt those around you.


Abusive relationships: You're probably thinking how is an abusive relationship akin to risky behavior? The answer is not simple, but a complex structure that begins with environment. I believe a woman's environment plays a big part in whether she chooses to be in an abusive relationship. Some women say "well, I don't have no other choice." That's not true, I said the same thing and it took me years to realize I did have a choice. I didn't have to live in the hell of being abused and neither do you. If you are being abused or know an abused woman please seek help immediately! DON'T BE A VICTIM...BE A VICTOR!


I don't want you to think I am just blowing smoke about these risky behaviors. I've been there. At one point in my life I lived a risky lifestyle. I didn't care if I hurt myself. You don't have to be like I was. It's never too late to stop living a risque lifestyle...

Weight Watchers endorsed Green Giant Boxed Vegetables Coupon and Ocean Spray® Fruit Flavored Snacks Coupon

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Weight Watchers endorsed Green Giant Boxed Vegetables. 

You can visit http://bit.ly/greengiantcoupon to download a printable *coupon for $0.60 off the purchase of two boxes of Weight WatchersŽ endorsed Green Giant Boxed Vegetables.




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Disclosure:I  received this information and the coupon offer from Green Giant and Weight Watchers through MyBlogSpark. I received this information and the coupon offer from Ocean Spray® through MyBlogSpark. 

Menopause, Mental Health and Me


Join me for the Mental Health Month Blog Party

Follow @apahelpcenter on Twitter for updates about the blog party and mind/body health. If you want us to easily find your blog or tweet, use the hashtag #mhblogday

Post an “I’m Blogging for Mental Health” 2012 badge on your blog and help proudly spread the word about the importance of mental health. Just copy and paste the badge code below into your post on May 16 (or even before or after the blog party day)

Today I am blogging for mental health, so I thought I would talk about menopause, mental health and me. 

When I begin to inch forward into the land unknown, I really didn't know what to expect. I grew up in a time when women didn't talk about menopause or mental health. I knew what it was and how it affected the women around me and I didn't want any part of it!

When I thought about menopause I knew about the hot flashes and moodiness that I would experience, but I had no idea mental health would become a major issue associated with menopause.

I've been menopausal for a couple of years and have had my fair share of mood swings, but it has become much more than an occasional thing. I've been bombarded with the onset of depression and anxiety. I don't like the new me. I don't like depression or anxiety. I don't LIKE menopause. 

There are now a lot of days when I can't function, when I want to stay hidden away under the covers. Life is no longer fun with this new me. I try to deal, but still...I feel lost among a sea of mental health issues I can't resolve.

If you are menopausal and feel depressed or anxious (or any other mental health issue) don't hesitate to get help. You're not alone...









Tips To Help Combat Night Sweats For a Restful Night’s Sleep

Census information tells us that there are 2 million women turning 50 every year…yes prime menopause
age.The average age of menopause is 51 and 85% of all women going through menopause report having hot
flashes and night sweats.With over 75 million baby boomers and more than half of them women, that’s a lot of heat to go around.

Unfortunately night sweats in men and women makes sleeping difficult for many baby boomers. There
are many reasons for night sweats …chemotherapy, certain medications, thyroid condition, diabetes,
obesity, Andropause( male menopause) and anxiety, but the primary reason for night sweats in women
are the hormonal fluctuations which occur just before menopause and during menopause. Night sweats
are not dangerous, but they can certainly be annoying.

To help provide cooling relief to female baby boomers below is a list of top twenty safe and natural things
to do to help combat night sweats and hot flashes. Most of the tips can help man as well.

1).Be consistent with your bedtime each night. This will get your body conditioned to understand when it
is time to sleep and when it is time to wake

2). Get at least eight hours of sleep. Even if you think you can exist on 3-4 hours, you might be surprised
at how much more energy you have a consistent
8 hours each night. That way if you do have a night sweat episode, you won’t feel as sleep deprived the
next day if you’ve allowed yourself 8 full hours of sleep.

3). Avoid alcohol at bedtime because it can cause hormone levels to spike and drop suddenly, thus
leading to hot flashes.

4). Keep a glass of cool water on your night stand at all times.

5). Avoid spicy food. Spicy foods generate heat, thus triggering hot flashes and night sweats.

6). Cut caffeine before bedtime because it is can trigger night sweats by raising heart rate and blood
pressure

7). Steer clear of sweets before bedtime because sugar increases your metabolism and in turn generates
heat.

8). Keep your bedroom at a cool temperature or sleep with an open window or a fan to increase air
circulation.

9). Change your sheets once or twice a week so that you feel fresh and clean when you get into bed.

10). Take a cool shower or cool bath before bedtime.

11). Avoid hot tubs and Jacuzzi’s before bedtime.

12). Review your prescription and over the counter medications with your doctor because some
medications can cause nighttime sweating.

13). Keep dry towels next to your bed to dry off if night sweats are severe.

14). Try black cohash or vitamin E supplements. Some researchers tell us that these supplements could
lessen the severity of hot flashes and night sweats.

15). Increase your consumption of soybean products. Researchers have found that women who eat 35-
40 milligrams of plant estrogen a day
in the form of tofu, soymilk and other soy products seem to experience fewer hot flashes and night sweat
episodes.

16). If you are overweight, losing body fat has been shown to dramatically reduce the severity of night
sweats

17). Try a cooling meditation before bedtime to relax. Cool-jams Wicking Sleepwear offers a
complimentary download for a wonderful cooling meditation http://www.cool-jams.com/cooling-sleep.html

18). Wear micro-fiber pajamas or nightgowns with wicking and quick drying properties. Wicking
pajamas pull the moisture away from your skin, through the fabric and then dry rapidly to keep you cool
and dry. Wicking pajamas can be found online at www.cool-jams.com .

Disclaimer: This article is the opinion of the author and Cool-Jams and may or may not reflect the personal opinion of this blog.

Don't Be a Couch Potato

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Today's National Women's Health Week post is all about physical activity. When you are a menopausal woman it's way too easy to become a couch potato. I know, I've been one and it's not fun!

You become lazy, over weight and out of shape. It's time to take your body back and say NO to vegging out in front of the T.V. You don't want to become a couch potato.

Today as part of National Women's Health Week  Join the 2012 WOMAN Challenge!

Get up off that couch and kick butt!

Here are some great tips to help you get up, get active and get healthy...

Menopause, Weight Gain, and Exercise Tips
How to Whittle Your Middle -- Even After Menopause
Menopause weight gain: Stop the middle age spread

There are a lot of great resources available out there, but it's up to you whether you spend your days sitting on the couch or getting up and getting out!

Migraines, Me and Menopause

Monday, May 14, 2012

I want to talk about migraines, me and menopause. I suffer from migraines which became worse after I reached menopause. I don't like migraines. There are days when I feel like my brain has been ran over my a freight train. Menopausal women need to be aware of migraine disease and how to make a difference.

Migraine is a disorder characterized by chronic, severe headaches of intense throbbing or pulsating pain that can last from four hours to several days. Other migraine symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from migraine, which is more common in women than in men.

First, it is hard to function when you have a migraine, add to that menopause and it's almost impossible. But like most women I have obligations. I have work and family I have to take care of. How do I survive through it? By being on top the game called awareness.

Little things you can do to make a difference and share awareness:

Did you know? An estimated 30% of women experience migraine headaches before menopause, and that percentage only increases during the time of menopause. Read on to learn more about migraine headaches, their types and their symptoms to be better equipped to identify them, aiding in their treatment.

Be aware migraines can get worse during menopause. Check out this resource for more information.

To read and research to is be aware. To search and share is making a difference. I blog about different health issues, but migraines and menopause not only affects me, but you as well. Take time to be aware and make a difference by sharing your story or your insights. It isn't easy living with migraines when you have obligations, but with helpful knowledge it can be done.

A great resource is Menopause and Migraine written by Lynne O. Geweke, MD.

















Eat, Drink and Be Fit!


This is National Women’s Health Week. The topic I want to share with you today is nutrition. Healthy eating is very important to a menopausal woman. If you eat willy-nilly you'll become a roly-poly.


Don't get me wrong, it's O.K. to be a big, beautiful woman....but not over-weight and out-of-shape. I know, because I'm a roly-poly.

Before I turned 40, I threw caution to the wind. I didn't care about my body or being healthy. I wanted to eat and drink what I wanted, not what my body needed. Now my 50+ body is paying the price of years of being a willy-nilly eater.

Proper nutrition is important for a woman of any age, but especially for older, menopausal woman. As our bodies get older and we lose key nutrients we need to stay on top of the food pyramid. It's important to eat a balanced diet and get plenty of exercise.

I have to admit I've let myself go during my menopausal state, but it really isn't an excuse NOT TO BE HEALTHY!

Remember, healthy is as healthy does and if you want to be healthy then you have to do healthy.

Think of menopause as your friend and not your enemy on the road to a healthy lifestyle.

Move to the groove
Eat to be fit, not fat
Never say never
Overweight is overburdened
Play with your grandkids
After eating exercise
Understand your body
Salt-free
Enjoy the new you



I understand, a lot of women can not lose the weight because of certain health conditions...this is geared toward the menopausal woman who want to lose weight and get fit and healthy.



National Women's Checkup Day:May 14, 2012


Today is National Women's Checkup Day!

Take the pledge!

The tenth annual National Women's Checkup Day will be held on Monday, May 14, 2012, during National Women's Health Week. The day is dedicated to encourage women to visit their health care professionals to receive or schedule checkups, and to promote regular checkups as vital to the early detection of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health illnesses, sexually transmitted infections, and other conditions.

As a participant in National Women's Checkup Day, I will:

  • Visit my current health care professional to receive a checkup or call to schedule a checkup.
  • Discuss with my health care professional which screenings and tests are right for me, when I should have them, and how often.
  • Schedule at least one preventive health screening during May 2012.

National Women's Health Week! May 13-19, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012
National Women's Health Week - May 13-19, 2012 - It's Your Time!


The week of May 13th-19th is National Women's Health Week.  The theme for 2012 is “It’s Your Time.”


It's only fitting that MWHW begins on Mother's Day. I'm a wife, mom and grandmother, but first I AM A WOMAN! It's time to take care of YOU...

For the next five days May 14th-18th I will be posting on the five key National Women’s Health Week messages (nutrition, physical activity, mental health, avoiding risky behaviors, and visiting healthcare professionals),wrapping up on Saturday May 19th with an important health message for ALL women.

For more about National Women's Health check out FB and Twitter.

If you want to get involved be sure to use hashtag #NWHW12 in your posts.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY and NATIONAL WOMEN'S HEALTH WEEK!

Recapping National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week

Saturday, May 12, 2012
On the last day of National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week  I want to recap anxiety and depression awareness. It's important and vital to your health as a woman to be aware of the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression.


I wanted to also focus on how you can help yourself be aware:

  • It's important to know the facts.
  • It's O.K. to admit you need help.
  • It's not all in your head.
  • It's not by choice or chance.
  • It's NOT YOU!

May is BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) Awareness Month.

Friday, May 11, 2012

As National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week  winds down with only one day left I wanted to talk about Borderline personality disorder.

What is BPD?
Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people have long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions, such as feelings about themselves and others. These inner experiences often cause them to take impulsive actions and have chaotic relationships.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The causes of borderline personality disorder (BPD) are unknown. Genetic, family, and social factors are thought to play roles.

Risk factors for BPD include:

Abandonment in childhood or adolescence

Disrupted family life

Poor communication in the family

Sexual abuse

This personality disorder tends to occur more often in women and among hospitalized psychiatric patients.
Symptoms

People with BPD are often uncertain about their identity. As a result, their interests and values may change rapidly.

People with BPD also tend to see things in terms of extremes, such as either all good or all bad. Their views of other people may change quickly. A person who is looked up to one day may be looked down on the next day. These suddenly shifting feelings often lead to intense and unstable relationships.

Other symptoms of BPD include:

Fear of being abandoned

Feelings of emptiness and boredom

Frequent displays of inappropriate anger

Impulsiveness with money, substance abuse, sexual relationships, binge eating, or shoplifting

Intolerance of being alone

Repeated crises and acts of self-injury, such as wrist cutting or overdosing

Signs and tests

Like other personality disorders, BPD is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms.
Treatment

Many types of individual talk therapy, such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), can successfully treat BPD. In addition, group therapy can help change self-destructive behaviors.

In some cases, medications can help level mood swings and treat depression or other disorders that may occur with this condition.
Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook depends on how severe the condition is and whether the person is willing to accept help. With long-term talk therapy, the person will often gradually improve.



Sources: Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 39.

Important Considerations about Borderline Personality Disorder
source: National Alliance on Mental Health

1. The five of nine criteria needed to diagnose the disorder may be present in a large number of different combinations. This results in the fact that the disorder often presents quite differently from one person to another, thus making accurate diagnosis somewhat confusing to a clinician not skilled in the area.

2. BPD rarely stands alone. There is high co-occurrence with other disorders.

3. BPD affects between 1 - 2 percent of the population. The highest estimation, 2 percent, approximates the number of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

4. Estimates are 10 percent of outpatients and 20 percent of inpatients who present for treatment have BPD

5. More females are diagnosed with BPD than males by a ratio of about 3-to-1, though some clinicians suspect that males are underdiagnosed.

6. 75 percent of patients self-injure.

7. Approximately 10 percent of individuals with BPD complete suicide attempts.

8. A chronic disorder that is resistant to change, we now know that BPD has a good prognosis when treated properly. Such treatment usually consists of medications, psychotherapy and educational and support groups.

9. In many patients with BPD, medications have been shown to be very helpful in reducing the severity of symptoms and enabling effective psychotherapy to occur. Medications are also often essential in the proper treatment of disorders that commonly co-occur with BPD.

10. There are a growing number of psychotherapeutic approaches specifically developed for people with BPD. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a relatively recent treatment, developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. To date, DBT is the best-studied intervention for BPD. Find out more about DBT in NAMI's Borderline Personality Disorder Brochure.

11. These and other treatments have been shown to be effective in the treatment of BPD, and MANY PATIENTS DO GET BETTER!

One of the complications is depression among other serious complications.  

BPD is something that is close to me. Both my daughter's suffer from BPD. It's important to be aware of this disorder and get help for yourself or someone you love if you think you  or they may suffer from BPD.





World Lupus Day

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Today is World Lupus Day. Help me support the Lupus Foundation of America and give $10 by texting LUPUS to 80888.

An estimated five million people worldwide and 1.5 million Americans are living with lupus, an unpredictable and sometime fatal disease. May 10th is World Lupus Day. Band Together with the Lupus Foundation of America to help fight lupus and support those who suffer from it.

Band together with the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) and organizations from around the world to help raise awareness of lupus and support those who suffer from it. Join Julian Lennon, Global Ambassador for the Lupus Foundation of America, pledge your support, and learn about the lupus awareness efforts occurring around the world at www.WorldLupusDay.org.

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.

Every day, more than 5 million people worldwide struggle with the often debilitating health consequences of lupus, a potentially fatal autoimmune disease capable of damaging virtually any part of the body, including the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain.

About World Lupus Day

World Lupus Day began with a Proclamation 8 years ago by an international steering committee representing lupus organizations from 13 different nations when they met in Eaton, United Kingdom to organize the first observance of World Lupus Day. The Proclamation is a call to action for governments around the world to increase their financial support for lupus research, awareness and patient services.

The Proclamation reflects the emerging issues that people with lupus around the world must face every day. The Proclamation serves to give a single voice to all individuals affected by this devastating and debilitating chronic disease.






Blog for Mental Health 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Because I am blogging about mental health this month I happened across this great project that was founded by Tallulah "Lulu" Stark at As the Pendulum Swings. Although I was not nominated I think this is a great idea and I wanted to promote it on my blog.

So, here are the rules.

1.) Take the pledge by copy and pasting the following into a post featuring “Blog for Mental Health 2012″.

I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2012 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.

2.) Link back to the person who pledged you.

3.) Write a short biography of your mental health, and what this means to you.
      
     With mental health issues comes a stigma that a person is insane. In my defense I have to disagree. I have mental health issues. I'm not crazy or insane. I happen to be a fifty-something stressed out woman  who has problems with mental health. It started when I was a child. I can remember I must have been about 9 or 10 and the family doctor prescribed "nerve pills." I didn't know why, I just took them like a good girl. As I got older the thoughts I had became stronger, but I refused to medicate myself. I don't like pills of any kind. When I feel about ready to explode I look for the only release that helps me wander back. I write!

I feel human again when I write. I can be alone without the worries of the world.


4.) Pledge five others.
     1. Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars
     4. BIPOLARMUSE
     5. Quit the Cure


If you happen upon this without being pledged, I still pledge you. Feel free to take the pledge! Promote awareness!

May Marks Celiac Awareness Month


May marks Celiac Awareness Month. 

When you have celiac disease, you must eliminate gluten from your diet. It may seem hard at first, but foods containing wheat, rye or barley can be replaced with safe, gluten-free alternatives. However, since many processed foods contain gluten in a variety of forms, some detective work is needed to avoid problem foods and find the ones you like.

For people with celiac disease and others who avoid gluten, it's a daunting task to find nutritious and delicious foods every day. Fortunately, almonds are naturally gluten-free and can be used in a wide variety of ways. Visit AlmondBoard.com/glutenfree for nutrition information, helpful tips for living gluten-free and more than 100 delicious gluten-free recipes 

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. What does this mean? Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac consumes gluten.

Celiac disease is triggered by consumption of the protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the finger-like villi of the small intestine. When the villi become damaged, the body is unable to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can lead to malnourishment.

Left untreated, people with celiac disease can develop further complications such as other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and cancer.

To find out more about celiac disease visit National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.


Almond Board of California
Gluten-Free California Almond Stuffed Dates
created by: Chef John Cskor for Almond Board of California
description:
This tasty appetizer combines the rich flavors of goat cheese, dates and bacon with toasted almonds for an ideal appetizer. Serve with Almond Romesco Sauce for an even richer variation!
servings 12
ingredients
1/2 cup almond paste
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and slightly crushed
12 large Medjool dates, pitted
4 strips premium bacon, center cut, well chilled
12 toothpicks

preparation

Preheat the oven to 450°F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together almond paste, goat cheese and toasted crushed almonds. Let mixture sit at room temperature.

Fill a small pastry bag with a small circle tip with the almond mixture and forcefully press almond cheese filling into the whole pitted dates.

Cut bacon, sliced into thirds, creating 12 small even strips. Wrap each slice of bacon around each of the almond filled dates and secure with a toothpick. Place bacon-wrapped dates on a baking sheet with raised edge and bake for 10 minutes until crisp and brown, turning each date at 8 minutes or so.

Serve on a nice platter with optional Romesco dipping sauce.

Nutritional Information
Nutritional analysis per serving.
Calories 293.5 Fiber 4.8 g
Fat 11.4 g Cholesterol 9.2 mg
Sat Fat 2.4 g Sodium 2.4 mg
Mono Fat 6.4 g Calcium 104.4 mg
Poly Fat 1.9 g Magnesium 70.1 mg
Protein 6.4 g Potassium 458.5 mg
Carb 46.4 g Vitamin E Vitamin E: 4.1 mg*
* total alpha-tocopherol equivalents

Stress


O.K. we all know stress is no laughing matter. It can lead to depression and anxiety. This is National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week and today I want to talk to you about stress.

Do you know the symptoms of stress?

The symptoms of stress can show up mentally, physically, emotionally or behaviorally, and within each category they cover a wide range of symptoms. There is no one list of symptoms that describes stress because the symptoms themselves are highly subjective and as varied as we are.

For me it was all of the above. Stress almost killed me...it's important to know what you're dealing with and the available resources to help you.


What's stress got to do with it?

Everything when you are a menopausal woman...

One of the first things you need to do is stress proof your menopause.


Thirdly, be aware of the anxiety and stress symptoms of menopause.

And last, but not least learn to manage stress during menopause.

I can't tell you not to be stressed out. There are days when I want to scream or pull my hair out. What I can give you is the right directions and resources to help you cope. Whatever menopausal stage you're going through you are going to be stressed out. Don't let your stress turn into anxiety or depression. 

USE YOUR RESOURCES.....







Are You Anxious or Depressed? How Can You Tell?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Are You Anxious or Depressed? How Can You Tell?

This week is National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week and I want to share a few resources with you.

Did you know?
Each year more than 40 million Americans will suffer with an anxiety disorder and over 20 million will suffer from some type of depressive illness. The cost to the economy of these terrible diseases is billions of dollars each year; the cost in human suffering is immeasurable.  

Great resources:

These are just a few resources, but there are many available out there. If you think you may be suffering from anxiety or depression please consult your doctor.



Depression and Menopause

Monday, May 7, 2012


I thought for day two of National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week I would discuss depression and menopause.


If you Peri-menopausal, menopausal or post-menopausal chances are you suffer from depression.   Depression can kill you!


What is depression? This is a hard question to really answer. Most women at some time in their life feel depressed, but over time these feelings can over shadow their daily lives.

For the menopausal woman depression can become a staple in her life and she can no longer function. There are many kinds of depression. After the birth of my third child I experienced post postpartum depression. I had a severe case, but it didn't take me over the edge like menopausal depression has.

You see, I suffer from not only anxiety disorder but depression as well. It was mild at first until the onset of menopause. There are days when I cannot function.

There are of course good days and worse days. There are days when I cannot function or my body doesn't get along with my mind. There are days when I am walking around in a fog. There are days when the pain is so overwhelming I want to scream.

The hardest part about menopausal depression for me is surviving the work force . I now have a full time (working 9 hours a day)job when I get so exhausted I want to call it quits. I know I can't. I know I have to function and try to get passed the hurdles associated with menopausal depression. It's a daily uphill battle. Maybe I'll win or maybe I won't...

There are a lot of great resources available on the subject of depression and menopause. Take advantage of them. Depression hurts no only you, but those around you...

One good source is Women and Depression: Discovering Hope.




Anxiety Disorders

Sunday, May 6, 2012
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive worry about 2 or more life circumstances for a period of 6 months or longer. Biological and genetic factors may combine with stress to produce psychological symptoms.


As part of National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week I want to talk to you about anxiety disorders. This is something that affects me personally. A lot of society wants to sweep it under the rug, but it is a serious issue and needs to be addressed.

What are anxiety disorders?


Anxiety, worry, and stress are all a part of most people's life today. But simply experiencing anxiety or stress in and of itself does not mean you need to get professional help or you have an anxiety disorder. In fact, anxiety is a necessary warning signal of a dangerous or difficult situation. Without anxiety, we would have no way of anticipating difficulties ahead and preparing for them.

Anxiety becomes a disorder when the symptoms become chronic and interfere with our daily lives and our ability to function. People suffering from chronic anxiety often report the following symptoms:
Muscle tension
Physical weakness
Poor memory
Sweaty hands
Fear or confusion
Inability to relax
Constant worry
Shortness of breath
Palpitations
Upset stomach
Poor concentration

These symptoms are severe and upsetting enough to make individuals feel extremely uncomfortable, out of control and helpless.

Anxiety disorders fall into a set of separate diagnoses, depending upon the symptoms and severity of the anxiety the person experiences. The anxiety disorders discussed in this series on anxiety are:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Panic Disorder (including panic attacks)
Social phobia (also known as social anxiety disorder)
Specific phobias (also known as simple phobias)

Although obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are considered anxiety disorders, they are covered elsewhere independently on Psych Central.

Info from Psych Central.

You can learn more by going to Anxiety Disorders.

Anxiety Disorder and Menopause:

This is the category I fall into. As a menopausal women I suffer from anxiety disorder. Because I am unable to medicate I have to live with it. My anxiety disorder is social phobia. I have a difficult time being around people in general. I tend to pick situations where I am not around a lot of people(even in the work place).

Here's an important fact from Psych Central: Research indicates that women outnumber men three to two among those with symptoms of social phobia. Men, however, have been more likely to seek treatment.

It is a sad fact, but I think women want to sweep it under the rug. They don't want to admit anything is wrong with them. I know I didn't!

I've suffered from social phobia most of my life(as far back as I can remember). Life for me hasn't been easy. It wasn't a picnic(it was the ants). It wasn't a bed of roses(it was the thrones).

When I became menopausal it became worse. I felt as if my world was crashing in. I couldn't breath. It felt like a boulder was sitting on my chest. Over the past year my anxiety has quelled somewhat, but I still have my days when life becomes overwhelming and I want to stay in bed with the covers over my head. Some days I still have thoughts I shouldn't have, but I have learned to deal with it. It's something they may or may not subside. Anxiety disorder is part of my life now. It's taken root and it lives and breaths inside of me...


More about anxiety disorder and menopause:

Sex hormones, menopause, and anxiety. Women are more than twice as likely as men to feel anxiety, especially during PMS, perimenopause, and menopause. Anxiety is often the first sign of perimenopause — for example, women with moderate anxiety are three to five times more likely to experience hot flashes. Many women also experience rampant anxiety symptoms when transitioning off HRT.

Progesterone has a particularly soothing effect on your system similar to, and interdependent with, serotonin. When levels begin to drop as a woman approach menopause, this can leave her susceptible to anxiety-related problems, including insomnia. As women approach menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels often fluctuate widely, amplifying any existing anxiety symptoms. In my experience, relief from menopausal anxiety and panic attacks can only be gained once hormonal balance is restored.


To learn more about Menopause and Mood Disorders click here.


Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The fews expressed in this post are my own.

Kreativ Blogger Award

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My blog has been honored with yet another award. This time it's the coveted Kreativ Blogger Award. I received the award from Truly Simply Pink.  Thank you ever so much!

The rules are simple:

1. Thank and link back to the giver.
2. Answer the questions below.
3. Share 10 random facts/thoughts about yourself
4. Nominate at least 7 other blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award

What is?
Favorite song: Feels So Right by Alabama 
Favorite dessert: Spumoni
What ticks me off: Hypocrites.
When I'm upset I: rant
Favorite pet: Lassie,my childhood dog
Black or White: Black
Biggest fear: heights
Everyday attitude: mostly snappy
What is perfection?Jesus Christ
My guilty pleasures: writing

10 facts
1. Left handed
2.Telemarketer
3. Twice married
4. Grandmother
5. Caffeine Junkie
6. Shower Singer 
7. Southern
8. Irish
9. Only shave my legs in the summer
10.Can't whistle

So...on to the 7...in no particular order...
1.  Carole's Chatter 
3.  Baby Makes Four
4.  Are we there yet?
5.  Growing Old with Grace
6.  Southern Belle
7.  What the &*@# was I thinking?





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Join Dr. Lisa Larkin for a Live Twitter Chat on May 16th.

Join Dr.Lisa Larkin for a Live Twitter Chat on May 16th. Dr. Larkin is an internal medicine physician and nationally Certified Menopause Provider (certified by the North American Menopause Society, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, focusing on mid-life women's health issues.

Starting in May, she will host a monthly Twitter Chat about a women's health topic. Her first topic, Menopause, will be on May 16 from noon - 1 pm EST.
@LisaLarkinMD
#LarkinChats


Bee Natural...Beecology

Recently I won a Beecology spa gift basket and couldn't wait to receive my goodies. I am all into natural products and I absolutely love honey.

I got my goodies in the mail and couldn't wait to try them. 

Each basket contains:
One Honey and Botanical Sulfate-Free Shampoo
One Repair Your Hair Naturally Conditioner
One Original Honey Hand and Body Cream
Three natural body and hand soaps
Two Buzz Balm lip balms
One jar of original Bee Organic Honey.

The honey is yummy. The shampoo and conditioner made my hair feel silky smooth. The lip balm made my lips feel soft again. I loved the 3 different varieties of all-natural soaps. I felt transported to a "real" spa. The hand and body cream was just the thing I needed for my dry skin.

What I really like about Beecology is they are into all natural which is an A+ in my book...

Be sure to follow Beecology on FB and Twitter.


Disclaimer: The opinions in this post are my own and I received no compensation for my personal review.

National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week May 6th-12th


The first week of May happens to be National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week. For the next 7 days I want to focus on the mental health of women. Each day I will post about a different subject. May also happens to be  National Mental Health Month.


Women especially menopausal women can have issues with anxiety and depression. It's important to know what you are dealing with. I promise not to be too depressing(no pun intended) because these mental health issues are very serious. They affect me as well and I want to share my insight each day for the next 7 days.

May is Vasculitis Awareness Month

Friday, May 4, 2012

It was not my intention to leave out any autoimmune disease awareness information this month. It was brought to my attention by one of my readers that May is also Vasculitis Awareness Month.

What is vasculitis?


Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels in the body. In vasculitis, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own blood vessels, causing them to become inflamed. Inflammation can damage the blood vessels and lead to a number of serious complications.

Vasculitis can affect any of the body's blood vessels. These include arteries, veins, and capillaries. Arteries are vessels that carry blood from the heart to the body's organs, veins are the vessels that carry blood back to the heart, and capillaries are the tiny blood vessels that connect the small arteries and veins.



 




Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month

Let your voice be heard; spread the word; Fibromyalgia affects Everyone. Photo credit: By Kindreds Page/Flickr


What it is? It promotes education and awareness of the dangers of fibromyalgia, which is also known as fibromyalgia syndrome, fibrositis or chronic muscle pain syndrome. 

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder usually characterized by chronic widespread pain, multiple tender points, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbances, fatigue and often psychological distress. It’s most common among women aged 20 to 50 although studies are indicating more teens and males are affected.  Fibromyalgia affects more than 12 million American women. 

What can you do?

Get involved with the Autoimmunity Research Foundation.

Because my blog's main focus is menopause it's important to know the facts about fibromyalgia and menopause.


I am a sufferer of fibromyalgia. Some days are better than others. It is something I've come to learn to live with. You can make a difference by becoming involved in spreading the word about fibromyalgia. Join the cause!





Day 3: Yoplait's Two Week Tuneup

Thursday, May 3, 2012

O.K. today was not a good day for me. I started my morning by eating the required meal of the plan, but somewhere between snack and lunch I got sick and got off kilter. I don't know if this plan will work for me, but I will try to stick to at least the breakfast part, maybe lunch. I just have to play it by ear now.

Where I got off track: dinner
I ate a piece of meatloaf, mash potatoes and purple hull peas and had a sweet lemon tea.

Arthritis Awareness Month

May is Arthritis Awareness Month.  My mother suffered from RA. It is a very debilitating disease.  I can remember how she and my aunt would joke about "Arthur" coming for a visit, but it's no laughing matter.

These are just a few ways you can become involved. to support arthritis month:

Walk for Arthritis

Give Hope Through Heroes



To learn more about menopause and arthritis check out "menopausal arthritis"

This year the Arthritis National Research Foundation is asking America to “Go Blue for Arthritis,” in an effort to get people talking about arthritis and the need for more arthritis research.

Today I am wearing blue, what about you?




Lupus Awareness Month

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


May is Lupus Awareness Month. Lupus is an autoimmune disease for which there is no cure.

What is lupus?
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.
  • Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better). Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.
  • Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot "catch" lupus from someone or "give" lupus to someone.
  • Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, as described above.
  • Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive.
  • Research estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus.
  • It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.
  • Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too.
  • Women of color are 2-3 times more likely to develop lupus.
  • People of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus.
  • More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country.

Learn more here.


For those women(like me) who are going through menopause or post- menopausal you should be aware of how lupus can affect you. Lupus and Menopause.

Day 2: Yoplait's Two Week Tuneup


Well, I made it through day two of the Yoplait Two Week Tune Up. It wasn't east because I was stressed and tempted by other's around me but I stuck it out and didn't waiver.

I drank water with lemon juice only and had my three extra servings of dairy. I also walked 30 minutes. I have to say I am proud of myself. It hasn't been easy but I know I can do it

Breakfast: around 8 a.m.
1 cup Special K Red Berried with 1 cup skim milk. 3/4 cup blackberries and a 6 oz. cup Yoplait Lite blueberry yogurt.

Snack: 10:50 a.m.
1/2 cup cooked mushrooms and 1/2 cup cooked zuc. in 1 tsp marg with Mrs. Dash seasoning.

Lunch: 2 p.m.
L.C. Lemon Chicken and 6 oz. cup Yoplait Lite Lemon Cream Pie yogurt.

Snack: 4:50 p.m.
finished 10:50 a.m. snack

Dinner: around 8:45 p.m.
1 cup Multi grain Cheerios with 1 cup skim milk. 3/4 cup strawberries and 6 oz cup Yoplait lite key lime pie.


This is a journey I hope I will be able to finish....