What you wanted to know before menopause

If you haven’t yet been through menopause, some of your FOF sisters reveal what they wish they knew before they had! Kellie explains it perfectly.

“I wish I knew that all the hype was for nothing. Like I told my doctor: It was like I was waiting for this big, huge game-changing parade and then nothing happened. Not that I was disappointed. Just that it taught me to understand that we are all individuals. What happens to one likely won’t be the same for another. Go with the flow. Sometimes we get overwhelmed by the anxiety and build up. I now treat life like that; go with the flow; it’s my journey.”

Kellie Suzanne

“Waking up feeling more tired than when I went to bed due to the waking up every two hours. The crazy weight gain that came even though I eat half of what I used to. Just have zero energy!”

Debbie Mast-Albright

“I had no idea how great it is to not get your period!”

Shelly Gail

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Is the internet making you sick?

If you’re like me, and most every woman I know, you race to Google every ache, pain or unusual physical symptom that pops up.

BIG BIG MISTAKE!

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Why I love my estrogen patch

More than six months ago–Wednesday, April 20th, to be precise–I put on my first Estradiol patch, which dispenses 1 mg of estrogen a day through my skin.

I started taking estrogen again after bidding it adieu seven years earlier, because I could no longer stand what was happening to my body without it. Weight gain.  Thinning hair. Lipid levels out of whack. Skin sagging on my face, not to mention elsewhere. Bones weakening.

It was especially disturbing when the cardiologist I was seeing started pushing statins to lower my cholesterol, and I mean pushing. My good and bad cholesterol numbers had always been impressive (a doctor once joked that I could get infusions of bad cholesterol and still have great numbers!) but they started creeping up, post estrogen, and it took me years to connect the two. The cardiologist, a woman in her fifties, didn’t have a clue about the benefits of estrogen for our lipid levels, or heart health, but she sure sounded like she was a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical companies that sell statins, one of the most prescribed drugs in the US.

love-formula

I recently had a full blood workup and a fasting 24-hour urine test and, lo and behold, my cholesterol numbers markedly improved. Here’s how they look.

Although my overall cholesterol, at 206,  is still a bit high, the numbers that are far more significant are the 20 percent  improvement in LDL (bad) cholesterol and a 19 percent improvement in non-HDL cholesterol.  

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Why estrogen therapy IS good for you

Dr. Tara Allmen is a “51-year-old girl” who realized she “really had a passion for midlife women’s health, for the above 40 crowd,”  when she was a practicing obgyn in her early 30s.

I think I delivered about a million babies at that point, and while I loved the practice of obstetrics (the care of reproductive aged women), there was something very special for me about taking care of women after their reproductive period was over.  I felt a passion and a mission to start educating women, because once you’re done making babies you’re sort of tossed aside for the next group of women coming up the pike, and nobody educates you about what’s next for you.

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Did smoking ‘blind’ her?

unnamedMarlene Klein sensed something was wrong with her vision, about 20 years ago, after her bathroom was renovated.

“When my husband came home, I told him we weren’t going to pay the guy who put down the tiles because they all zigzagged. ‘No,’ he answered. ‘They’re perfectly straight.’” Marlene remembered.  When John and I went into Manhattan, the right side of all the billboards looked like wisps of clouds.  I couldn’t make out the whole billboard.”
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Nutrition as a focus of cancer treatment

When Lillian Ferraro was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, her loving family of three children and five grandchildren sprung into action to get her the best medical treatment possible. Besides the surgery and continual therapies over nine years, Mamma Ferraro had therapy of another kind: Nourishing and tasteful meals, specially created for her by her chef son, Michael, that “spoke to” the many horrible symptoms of  her disease, including fat intolerance, indigestion, nausea and vomiting, severe gas and bloating, and periodic diarrhea. Happily, this allowed her to continue to enjoy meals with her wonderful family. “We wanted to serve food we would all love to eat so my mother didn’t feel left out,” Michael said.

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What doctors are afraid to tell you about Alzheimer’s

Let’s say you’re 55 and learned today that you’d definitely live to be at least 85.

That would be pretty good news, right? But what if you learned, at the same time, that you’d positively be in the 47 percent of the population over 85 that gets Alzheimer’s disease. Not such good news, you say.

Guess what? Chances are, as an American woman, you will live to be close to 85, according to life expectancy statistics from the World Health Organization. Sadly, there’s that ominous fact that in the living population, 85 and older, 50 percent have a chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease. Simply put, the longer we live, the greater our chance of getting this horrific disease that causes our brains to waste away. Since there’s no cure yet, this is a frightening fact, even if the grim prospect of affliction is decades away for you.

Happily, a breakthrough, non-invasive eye test may soon tell us, years before symptoms actually show up, whether we’ll likely get Alzheimer’s. Hopefully, it also will help the medical community to create a drug that can stop the progression of the disease once an early diagnosis is made.

I had the privilege recently to interview the man who led the team that invented this test, Dr. Keith L. Black, Chairman and Professor of the Department of Neurosurgery, Director of Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and Director of Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Brain Tumor Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. I urge you to read every word. Besides giving you a straightforward, no-nonsense understanding of Alzheimer’s, the doctor explains if there’s anything we can do to attack the disease before it irreversibly attacks us and whether our little memory lapses are as innocent as our friends, relatives, and doctors say they are.

The interview unsettled me, but it gave me essential knowledge about a disease that has taken many of our loved ones for generations, is now taking many of our parents and is painfully close to taking many of us. It’s knowledge I think we all need to know. I hope you agree.

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“Yes, you have cancer.”

By Pauline Durban

December, 2006

2006… what a year! I reunited with my dad, from whom I had been estranged for 35 years (another story for another time), and I discovered a lump in my left breast! I was 50 years old.

I did a self-examination at least once a month, but this time I found a lump. People often ask me how I knew it was a ‘bad’ lump, since our breasts are full of lumps. Believe me, you can tell the difference.

It was December, and I was getting ready for a trip to England to spend Christmas with my family. What to do? I guess I will put it on hold, I thought, and revisit it when I get back. After all, it’s only a small lump, and I’m sure it’s nothing.

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What you should know about dentures

Almost 38 million of us are expected to be wearing dentures by 2020…

…according to the results of a study that appeared in the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, making this method of replacing teeth one of the most common dental procedures performed in the United States.

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