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Natural Menopause Relief Secrets » 2007 » March

Archive for March, 2007

Biofeedback vs Menopause- Is it really effective?

Posted in Menopause on March 29th, 2007

Chiropractor treatment is an alternative remedy that can be effective at providing relief from physical symptoms suffered during menopause. Although many women have success with this treatment, others have found success with another drug-free therapy known as biofeedback.

What is biofeedback?  Biofeedback is a technique that teaches an individual to consciously control their body’s involuntary responses including blood pressure, temperature, muscle contractions, heart rate and brain waves.  A person receiving biofeedback is hooked up electronically to machines so their physiological process can be monitored and relayed back to the person as a tactical, auditory, or visual signal.

How can biofeedback help women during menopause?  During menopause, women suffer from a variety of physical and emotional symptoms which are typically cased by a deficiency of estrogen and progesterone.  The following are the symptoms that biofeedback has been known to effectively help menopausal women find relief from:

• Migraines and/or headaches
• Hot flashes
• A low libido related to anxiety
• A loss of appetite related to anxiety
• High blood pressure caused by stress
• Specific types of pain and depression

How is biofeedback performed?  Patients are treated individually, so a menopausal woman will first be asked about her health and the symptoms she is experiencing.  She will then be treated based on the decision of the practitioner.

Most biofeedback sessions begin with the patient sitting in a chair.  A band that has three wired metal sensors attached to it is placed on the head and the patient is given headphones.  The headphones produce audio that sounds like static.  Each static click means that alpha waves are being emitted by the brain.  These waves are a sign of relaxation.  The quicker the static clicks, the more a patient is relaxing.

The practitioner will then analyze the patient’s level of relaxation and measure the temperature, heart rate, and muscle tension for a few minutes.  The patient will then be asked to perform a mental task that presents a challenge which will lower the temperature in the hands and raise blood pressure.  The patient will then be taken back to the original relaxation stage where they will rest for a moment before they are then asked about their emotional issues.

This is how a typical session of biofeedback is conducted, but treatment varies based on the menopausal symptom.  For instance, a number of studies have found that biofeedback has been effective at improving bladder control in some women.  During menopause, women may suffer from stress incontinence (bladder leakage).  This condition is believed to be caused from lack of estrogen.  Estrogen helps to keep the lining of the urethra and bladder strong and healthy.  Thus, lack of estrogen can weaken the bladder and reduce muscle control, resulting in a leakage of urine when the body receives pressure from coughing, sneezing or laughing.    

Biofeedback can relieve stress incontinence by helping a woman strengthen her pelvic floor muscles.  To show the woman how she needs to effectively contract her pelvic muscle to make them stronger, one end of a transvaginal sensor is inserted into the vagina and the other end is hooked up to a computer to monitor and measure muscular activity.  The computer provides instant information on which muscles require more strengthening.

How long are sessions?  Most people begin with ten sessions under the supervision of a trained practitioner.  Each session lasts one hour in length.  However, the purpose of biofeedback is to teach an individual how to control their vital functions on their own so they can effectively treat themselves to control and prevent symptoms.  Of course, knowing how to perform biofeedback takes plenty of know-how and practice.  Therefore, it is mandatory that you are taught by a professional.

If you would like to try biofeedback to treat your menopause symptoms, consult your health care provider to learn more.

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Can a Chiropractor Relieve Your Menopause Symptoms?

Posted in Menopause on March 22nd, 2007

Anxiety isn’t the only menopause symptom.  Menopause can also cause a slew of other emotional and physical symptoms including back pain and discomfort.   The good news is that menopausal women who suffer from back problems are finding relief through chiropractic medicine.

What is chiropractic medicine?  It is a treatment that assists in restoring balance, healing and energy throughout the body.  When our bodies lack balance, the hormonal and stress response system are affected.  Thus, chiropractic medicine works by alleviating pressure on the nerve roots of the spine, helping to relieve discomfort.  It detects dislocation (subluxation) and promotes correction by encouraging the function, repair, coordination and communication of the nervous system.   Chiropractic medicine is a non-invasive drug-free treatment that is performed by a chiropractor. 

How is it performed?  First of all, chiropractor treatment will vary for each patient, as different techniques may be used to help alleviate certain symptoms or health conditions.  Therefore, a chiropractor will want to know the medical history of the patient and their current health problems.  Once this information has been processed, treatment will then be provided.

Most chiropractors will use their hands to perform treatment; however, they may also use other treatment methods such as light, heat, ultrasound, electrotherapy and other special adjusting instruments.  You will also likely be provided with information regarding a personalized exercise program, nutrition and lifestyle changes that can help improve your symptoms.

Is treatment painful?  No.  Most people find chiropractic medicine to be quite relaxing.  What may be unnerving to some patients are popping sounds that joints make when they are adjusted.  This popping noise is the sound that occurs when a gas bubble between the joints pop.  It’s the same sound and feeling that happens when you crack your knuckles. 

How can a chiropractor help during menopause?  Chiropractic medicine can relieve a variety of painful and uncomfortable menopause symptoms related to estrogen deficiency including:
• Back pain
• Headaches and/or migraines
• Stress and tension
• Neck problems

Chiropractor treatment is also considered beneficial for treating the beginning stages of osteoporosis.  It is incredibly effective at restoring flexibility to joints and decreasing muscular tension and pressure on nerves.

Chiropractic treatment can provide relief fast, which is often why it is one of the most celebrated alternative remedies.  That being said, you will need more than one chiropractic treatment.  The average patient has eight annual visits, but this number will vary depending on the health concern.

Are there any risks?  It is extremely rare for complications to occur during chiropractic treatment, especially if performed by an experienced and qualified chiropractor.  Therefore, it is a low risk, non invasive therapy that is virtually safe for everyone.

How do I find a chiropractor?  Although you don’t need to be referred to a chiropractor by your doctor, it is a good idea to first consult your health care provider to find out if he/she has any recommendations.  You should also speak to others who have had chiropractor treatment to learn about their experiences and ask them about their chiropractors. 

You can find chiropractors to help treat your menopause symptoms by checking your local yellow pages, phoning your local hospital, or doing an online search with your city and “chiropractor” as the main keywords.

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Coping with Anxiety During Menopause

Posted in Menopause on March 15th, 2007

Although pregnancy isn’t a major concern for most menopausal women, anxiety can be.  In fact, anxiety is one of the most common perimenopausal and menopausal symptom.  Anxiety is something that everyone experiences during different periods in their life.  It is normal to feel anxious, nervous or worried at times, but these are feelings that should not be felt constantly or make one feel overwhelmed or trapped. 

What causes anxiety during menopause?  Menopausal women are more susceptible to anxiety due to the fact that their hormones are in a constant state of fluctuation as their body prepares to shut down its ability to reproduce.  During this time, many women suffer from depression and high stress levels.  It is believed that feelings of depression are a result of insufficient estrogen, and anxiety is often a symptom of depression.

In addition, research has found that the hormone progesterone, which also depletes during menopause, has been known to have a calming and relaxing effect on the body.  Thus, the lack of hormones are unsettling and allow for emotions that were once overlooked or produced minor anxiety, to be blown out of proportion.

Anxiety can cause emotional and physical symptoms including:
• Trembling or shaking
• Fast heartbeat
• Breathlessness
• Tight or full feeling in the chest and/or throat
• Profuse sweating, or cold and clammy hands
• Muscle tension and/or soreness
• Dizziness
• Nausea
• Fatigue
• Constant worry and feeling sad
• Lack of concentration
• Irritable
• Restless sleep

The above symptoms may be felt independently during different times, or many of them can occur suddenly, last for a period of time, and then disappear.  This sudden onslaught of anxiety is known as an anxiety attack or panic attack.  Women who experience such attacks are likely suffering from an anxiety disorder.

The severity of anxiety women experience will vary, and is usually at its worst during perimenopause.  Symptoms of anxiety tend to taper off after menopause is complete.  However, despite how anxiety may affect you, it is important to seek treatment if the anxiety you feel is debilitating or interrupting your lifestyle.

The following are 5 ways in which you can help relieve the anxiety you feel:

1. Identify and reduce the stressors in your life – Carefully analyze your life and think about what triggers your anxiety or causes you high stress.  Is it your job, your home life, or the people you work with?  Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to get things done?  Once you identify stress, you need to find ways to alleviate it.  This may mean changing jobs, getting help at home, and finding ways to free up more of your time.

2. Take time to enjoy yourself – You need to make time to relax and do things you enjoy.  Everyone needs a break.  If you don’t relax, your stress with catch up with you.  

3. Eat well – Avoid crash diets, skipping meals and eating before bed.  These eating programs are sure ways to increase your anxiety level and cause restless sleep.  Make sure you stay well hydrated, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, and stay clear of high fatty, processed foods.  Be good to your body!

4. Exercise – Yoga, Tai Chi, walking, swimming, jogging or playing sports are all excellent ways to increase energy, clear your mind, boost your metabolism, strengthen your body and improve circulation.

5. Seek the advice of your doctor – If you are experiencing physical symptoms that are incapacitating or seriously interfering with your daily and social life, you should seek medical attention.  Severe anxiety is a sign that what you are suffering from is a disorder.  You may need antidepressants to help you cope with your situation, or you may find that what you are suffering from is not anxiety, but another condition.

Remember, anxiety is not something that should be ignored.  Take care of yourself by eating well, relaxing and tell others about the way you feel.

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Pregnancy During Menopause- Can it happen?

Posted in Menopause on March 8th, 2007

Menopause is the time in a women’s life when her reproductive system shuts down and her reproducing days are over…or are they?  For some women, pregnancy is still a concern during menopause.  How is this possible?  There may be more than one factor that plays a role in the possibility.  For this reason, the best way to understand how pregnancy can occur in menopause is to understand what happens to a women’s body during this change of life.

For starters, menopause occurs when a women has gone 12 consecutive months without a period cycle.  The lack of menses is a sign that estrogen and progesterone production have stopped.  The ceasing of these hormones means that the ovaries will no longer produce eggs.  However, sometimes, even though a woman is menopausal, she may still produce enough estrogen for an egg to be implanted within the uterus lining.

The reason why hormone production can still occur is due to the fact that menopause is not characterized by a single event.  It is better described as a process that takes place over a few years.  Therefore, it is not unheard of for a woman to have fluctuating hormones for as many as five years after she becomes menopausal.  At any time during this five year period when hormones are unpredictable, it’s possible for a woman to become pregnant during menopause. 

Thus, if there is no other reason why a woman cannot become pregnant (I.E. previous hysterectomy or medical condition), she may want to consider talking to her doctor about birth control during menopause if pregnancy is a concern.

Women cannot become pregnant naturally when they are post menopausal (after they have completed menopause).  This is because they no longer produce the hormones that are required for menses to take place.  Women who believe they have become pregnant after menopause actually became pregnant during menopause because it is not possible to become pregnant without medical intervention after menopause.  It is simply impossible, because pregnancy can only occur if estrogen and progesterone are being produced.

Women who have experienced an early menopause (usually before the age of 45) and who had difficulty becoming pregnant or wished to start a family later on in life, can still become pregnant with hormone therapy during menopause and through an egg donation procedure after menopause.  However, it is important for women who are of an older reproducing age (I.E. 35 and up) to understand that there are certain risks involved in becoming pregnant. 

Women who become pregnant during menopause are at a greater risk for miscarriage, infection, hemorrhaging, embolisms, gastrointestinal diabetes and developing hypertension disorders.  In addition, strokes, seizures and eclampsia are also risk factors for older pregnant women.  Furthermore, medical research has discovered that 40 year old women put themselves at high risk of developing these health conditions if they become pregnant, and the risk grows even higher with each passing year after 40.

As you can see, although it is rare for a woman to become pregnant during menopause, it is plausible.  That being said, pregnant menopausal women need to be kept under the watchful eye of their doctor to protect the health of the expectant mother and the heath of her unborn fetus.

Keep in mind that while a women can become pregnant during menopause this is a rare occurrence.  Therefore, despite what you may read in magazine articles or online, if you have concerns about becoming pregnant, or suspect that you are pregnant the best person to speak with for advice is your doctor or gynecologist.

Sign up for the free newsletter and discover more interesting insights about menopause and how to banish unpleasant menopause  symptoms fast. You’ll learn ways to put an end to hot flashes and which natural menopause treatments will bring results.

 

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