This edition will focus on Menopause. I know guys, this may not interest you but you probably have women in your life greatly affected by this issue and this information may help you to help them.
Believe it or not, menopause does not create miserable symptoms like hot flashes and brain fog when you practice Dietary ExcellenceTM and optimal habits. Menopause is created by excess estrogen, not a deficiency in estrogen. I know, I know, this is the exact opposite of what is being reported out there in our sadly misinformed world! Here are the biological facts about menopause.
This is a stage all women go through and it signals the end of childbearing. It is technically defined as the final menstrual period. Perimenopause is a term used to define the transition period when menstrual periods become more irregular and scant as the production of some hormones are reduced. Menopause is a natural byproduct of aging, not a medical event, and in many cultures it is considered a liberating experience as contraception is not practiced everywhere and some cultures have unkind views of menstruating women. The fact is that there are many cultures that have few or no symptoms during menopause. This is due to low estrogen levels throughout their reproductive years and this continues during perimenopause and after menopause. Lifelong habits determine your menopause experience; yet it is never too late to make changes that can positively impact your current state.
Hormonal Changes of Menopause: The principle hormones are 3 types of estrogen, one type of progesterone, and several androgens (male hormones). Since fat cells produce hormones that convert to estrogen in the bloodstream, estrogen levels can remain high in menopausal women who are overweight; unopposed by progesterone. Weight loss will decrease hot flashes and night sweats. The ovary and adrenal glands synthesize male hormones which stimulate libido and help maintain vaginal tissues. Consistent testosterone levels result in many women enjoying sex more instead of less after menopause. Progesterone prepares the uterus for implantation of fertilized egg but production of progesterone drops at menopause. It is important to know that menopause is not an estrogen deficiency disease. In healthy women, estrogen levels fall just enough to stop reproductive capability but should remain high enough for optimal function. Abnormally high estrogen levels both before and after menopause actually create unpleasant symptoms and increase cancer risk. After menopause these high estrogen levels are “unopposed” by progesterone, which continues to cause unpleasant symptoms.
Symptoms of Menopause: hot flashes (over 75% of women), thinning of the vaginal tissues leading to pain with intercourse, nervousness, anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, night sweats, forgetfulness, weight gain and decrease in scalp and pubic hair. Western women are more likely to have unpleasant menopausal symptoms than Asian women. A population-based study of 1000 Chinese, Malay, and Indian women aged 45 to 60 years showed that only 7% of the women had noticeable symptoms of menopause. The Japanese diet is plant-based and includes soy foods. Most Japanese women have no symptoms during and after menopause.
Medicalizing Menopause: In 1943 Willard Allen at the University of Washington isolated estrogenic product from horse urine. The patent for “Premarin” was sold to Ayerst Laboratories and provided a rich endowment to the university. In the 1950’s doctors began defining menopause as an “estrogen deficiency” disease. Premarin was prescribed short-term for night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Feminine Forever, written by a NY gynecologist (Robert Wilson) sold 100,000 copies. This author claimed to have prescribed Premarin for thousands of women and he stated femininity was tied to estrogen. Women’s magazines printed articles promoting estrogen replacement therapy and by 1975 six million women were taking Premarin!
Better option: The bottom line is that menopause is a natural phase that offers both health protection and improved quality of life for women. It is not a disease that requires treatment and uncomfortable symptoms are a byproduct of unhealthy diets and lifestyles. Adopting a program of Dietary Excellence™ and optimal habits (including a commitment to lose weight and body fat) will reduce or resolve most symptoms without negative side effects. The human body was designed to produce all of the hormones needed for function for an entire lifespan.
A low-fat diet with more fruit, vegetables, and whole grains reduced hot flashes and night sweats. Women who adopted this diet were three times more likely to lose weight than controls. A study of Greek and Mayan women shows a sharp contrast in hot flash symptoms. Greek women who were subsistence farmers experienced menopause at 47 and 75% had hot flashes but not significant enough to warrant treatment. The Greek diet is high in vegetables and legumes, but also contains meat, fish, cheese, and milk. Mayan women, on the other hand, experienced menopause at 42 and no hot flashes were reported. They have no word for them, they are not mentioned in books on Mayan botanical medicine, and women, midwives and medical personnel reported that hot flashes do not occur. The Mayan Diet is corn, corn tortillas, beans, tomatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, radishes, and other vegetables with very little meat and no dairy products.
There are reams of information about Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), including Bio-identical (BHRT) and the negative health effects shown in studies. These issues are lengthy and involved and we will devote time and attention to them in a Women’s Health Facts & Fun Day Saturday, August 15. You will have the opportunity to learn valid, factual information regarding women’s issues; from puberty to menopause (including topics like osteoporosis, PMS, and more).
Discover how to eliminate pain, the need for medications and regain your health. Contact Eileen Kopsaftis or call 518-496-1265 for a comprehensive pain/health consultation.
You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!
HLW Recipe of the Month: Mango BBQ Beans
Plain old BBQ beans are nice and everything, but mango gives them another dimension—a tart, tropical sweetness that makes them a bit more special. Barbeque flavors really benefit from a nice, long cooking time. Let these simmer on the stove for at least 45 minutes so that the beans absorb more of the flavor and the mango cooks down and melds with the tomato sauce. Serve with greens and rice. If you want to try some great BBQ foods, attend the Advanced Nutrition Class in July!
Active time: 15 minutes. Total time: 1 hour
3 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 mango, seeded and chopped small
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup vegetable broth
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or ¼ teaspoon if you want it less spicy
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
1 (25-ounce) can red beans, (or kidney) drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 to 3 tablespoons agave nectar
Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic in the broth with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until translucent.
Add the mango, tomato sauce, broth, red pepper flakes, coriander, salt, and kidney beans. Turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot, leaving a little room for steam to escape, and let cook for about 45 minutes, stirring often. The sauce should thicken and the mangoes should cook down a great deal.
Turn off the heat, mix in the agave and liquid smoke, and let the beans sit for about 5 minutes. Taste for sweetness and add more agave if needed. Adjust the salt and seasonings, and serve.
HLW Tip of the Month: Success with Written & Spoken Goals!
Yes, written goals actually increase your success! Hosting the monthly advanced nutrition classes has taught me that some of you struggle to stay on track and I am dedicated to resolving this struggle because your success is very important to me.
Many of you have commented that I am not human because I show so much discipline in my daily life. The fact is that I actually write down my goals. I also say them out loud (when no one is around!) which helps me to stay focused. I refuse to allow myself to sabotage my goals by speaking the opposite of what I desire.
Let me explain. If you say “I will never lose weight” or “I always have pain” then you are right. Your brain hears everything you say and works diligently to bring those words to reality. Have you ever noticed when you are looking for a new car, you see the make and model you want everywhere? Your mind focuses on your spoken desires; whether they are good or bad. It doesn’t know the difference. There is actually science that proves this.
I want to provide you a step by step process that will enable you to achieve your dream of lifelong health and wellbeing. It will happen if you speak it! Your brain will work with you instead of against you.
Write down your goals. Be specific: “I want to weigh 130 pounds by September 30th.” OR “I will eliminate oils and dairy from my diet by July 1st.” OR “I will eliminate the need for medications by December 30th.” Set goals in multiple areas of life: health, work, education, relationships, and spiritual. They all matter! Don’t allow your mind to tell you it’s not possible. That is a lie from the pit of hell!
Record your goals on your cell phone. Read them out loud with conviction. You are the only one who will hear them, don’t be shy. Play your goals when you are alone (in your car, in the bathroom at work, etc.) and repeat along with them. Speaking your goals as you hear them increases success as your inner ear is active listening (more science).
You will be amazed how your brain directs your actions when you actually see and hear your goals on a daily basis. Your cravings will decrease. Your motivation will increase. There is nothing like the power of written (and spoken) goals!
If you need help determining appropriate goals, email me and I will be more than happy to help.
Set goals to Have LifeLong WellBeing!