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About Lisa Fielding

Lisa Fielding is the VP Marketing of femMED. For the past 25 years, Lisa has enjoyed various roles within the marketing and advertising industry, culminating in her role with femMED. A busy mom with 2 young children, 2 dogs and a cat named George, Lisa, like all working moms, strives to find the right balance between all things work and play. A firm believer in taking charge of your own destiny, Lisa is passionate about women's health and encourages women to become their own health advocates.

Am I Losing My Mind or is it Menopause?

This month we will be discussing all things menopausal, from determining what stage of life you are currently in, to some of the common and less known symptoms of menopause. Along the way, we will be sharing tips and tricks for keeping your health and sanity intact.

We invite our followers to share their insights and stories, and especially those funny “Meno Moments” we have all had.

Now let’s begin our crash course in all things menopause.

The menopausal process occurs in four stages: pre-menopause, perimenopause, menopause and post menopause.

Pre-menopause refers your fertile period, which ranges from your first menstrual period to your last menstrual period.

Perimenopause encompasses the years preceding menopause, and it’s during this stage that your hormone levels change and levels of estrogen decline. Perimenopause typically takes place between 45- and 60- years-of-age and can span a 2- to 6-year period of time. Early signs of perimenopause usually occur in your mid 40s.

Menopause is the permanent termination of menstruation and fertility. This stage begins when you have last period. Menopause can be defined by more than 12 consecutive period-free months. At this stage, your ovaries are no longer producing eggs as hormone production stops, and common changes become noticeable – including vaginal dryness and loss of sex drive.

Post menopause is determined after a woman’s menstrual period hasn’t reoccurred within a period of 12-months. The two most serious health concerns in post-menopausal women are heart disease and osteoporosis.

SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE

The symptoms and signs of menopause are not cut and dry, don’t appear in a logical order, and they are different for each woman. As our ovarian production decreases, the follicle stimulating hormone (or FSH) increases, triggering symptoms like hot flashes, headaches, memory problems, acne and mood swings. Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it?

MENOPAUSE RELIEF

Menopause causes hormonal imbalances that can trigger dozens of uncomfortable symptoms in a woman’s reproductive life. These changes occur due to the female hormone estrogen, suddenly decreasing during this time. How we can deal with these symptoms, and keep a sense of humour throughout, will be discussed in future posts.

The A-Z of Menopause

  • Aching Joints
  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Bloating
  • Breast Tenderness
  • Burning Tongue
  • Changes in Odor
  • Depression
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Digestive Problems
  • Dizziness
  • Electric Shocks
  • Fatigue
  • Fingernails Gum Problems
  • Hair Loss
  • Hot Flashes
  • Incontinence
  • Irregular Periods
  • Irritability
  • Itchy Skin
  • Loss of Libido
  • Memory Lapses Migraines
  • Mood Swings
  • Muscle Tensions
  • Night Sweats
  • Osteoporosis
  • Panic Disorder
  • Racing Heart Beat
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Tingling Extremities
  • Vaginal Dryness Weight Gain
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All vegetable oils may not be created equal when it comes to heart health

Health Canada has recently approved new claims for vegetable oil companies. The approved claim allows companies to state that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats including omega-6 vegetable oils will help lower cholesterol.

Many nutritional experts say these claims are  incorrect.

The findings from a recent analysis of the Sydney Diet Heart Study have promoted experts to caution Canadians that not all polyunsaturated vegetable oils are the same.

Since the 1960s, consumers have been advised to avoid saturated fats like butter and to opt instead for vegetable oils with their cholesterol-lowering benefits.

Turns out, this advise may have been flawed.

“People just ran with the ball that polyunsaturates are good for you, so therefore each individual one must be good for you. That turns out not to be true,” nutrition professor Richard Bazinet, who studies fatty acids at the University of Toronto said. Bazinet adds that the recent study in the British Medical Journal that suggests omega-6s may actually increase heart attack risk, should prompt a re-evaluation of Health Canada’s approved claims.

So where does this leave consumers the next time they are in the grocery aisle?

According to  Dr. Artemis Simopoulos, president of the Centre for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington,  “we should lower the intake of omega-6 rich oils such as corn oil, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed oil, including soybean, and increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in our diet, which can be obtained from oils that are rich in omega-3s such as flaxseed oil, canola oil.”

Consumers shouldn’t be left with the message from a health claim that omega-6 fatty acids lower the risk of heart disease, Simopoulos stressed in calling the approval of the health claim in Canada a mistake.

Health Canada is said to be reviewing these findings.

Stay tuned.

 

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Part 3-Hormones: The Key To Vibrant Health And Sexuality For Women

 

Camille Lawson RN, BA, MEd (specializing in Hormones, Nutrition, Sexuality & Relationships)

In parts one and two I discussed the role hormones play in almost every aspect of your health and the role of bio-identical hormone therapy for balancing your hormones during the years leading up to and including menopause. In this third and final blog post, I will be discussing the how your hormones can affect your libido.

SEXUALITY

Women of all ages complain of sexual problems, however, hormonal imbalances and deficiencies can really contribute to sexual issues and exacerbate previously existing ones.  In one national survey, about a third of women 18 to 59 said they had experienced loss of desire for at least a few months in the previous year. In fact, sexual desire is driven by more than hormones — the quality of your relationship, your upbringing, how you feel about your body, the amount of stress in your life and even how well you sleep can all factor in.  NOTE, however, that our hormones also affect many of these factors.  It is true that sex changes at menopause. You may need more time and more stimulation to get aroused (that’s also true for men at midlife). Dryness can be particularly problematic, but a good lubricant (try Silk) can help with that.

That legendary menopausal crankiness, which does not help with getting in the mood, is often caused by hot flashes and sleep problems. Try femMED Sleep to help restore deep and restful sleeps. Stress also affects mood. At midlife, many women are coping with teenagers, elderly parents or keeping a job in this tough economy — or some combination.   Moods are particularly sensitive to hormonal changes.

Some health benefits of regular sex include:

Less STRESS  (thank you Oxytocin, the hormone of love!), more youthful appearance,  longer life, stronger muscles,  clearer thinking,  stronger relationships,  stronger immunity,  improved heart health….just to name a few!

              A few ideas to help get back into the mood for love:

  • Try yoga and other sports to increase body awareness
  • Experiment with your sex life.  Different rooms, lotions (CHECK OUT NURU OIL – WOW!), sex toys, spice it up, dance, mingle, flirt, embrace sexuality!
  • Lubricants can be fun!
  • Be sexy, loving to yourself and partner
  • Sexy environment
  • Touch and affection
  • Intimacy
  • Counselling
  • Try a libido supplement like femMED Libido

Put yourself into the driver’s seat of your own health!  Be empowered and knowledgeable to make your own, informed decisions about your body, mind and spirit. You matter.

To learn more from Camille Lawson and Susan Sly about Hormones, Sexuality, Nutrition, Exercise and so much more please join us at The Power Body Weekend held October 19-21, 2012 in Toronto.  www.stepintoyourpower.com for more information

More Resources….

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Part 2-Hormones: The Key To Vibrant Health And Sexuality For Women

Camille Lawson RN, BA, MEd (specializing in Hormones, Nutrition, Sexuality & Relationships)

As we enter into perimenopause our hormones fluctuate and eventually decline with menopause and  as you can see from the lists in Part One of the possible symptoms with low hormone levels, getting our hormones balanced can really assist us in feeling like ourselves once again!  There are a few options available to those who chose to treat low hormone levels.  I do NOT ever recommend using synthetic hormones (HRT) such as Premarin and Provera, however, I DO recommend both natural supplements and Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement (BHRT).

I personally use and recommend the femMED  line of natural, quality supplements.  In particular, many of my clients find Breast Health, Hormonal Balance and Menopause Relief  have really improved the quality of their lives and helped balance their hormones while reducing the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.

I also use and recommend BHRT for those who would like to restore their hormone levels, naturally, working collaboratively with an Integrative Physician.

Bio-identical Hormone Therapy

  • Definition: Exact replica of the hormones made in our bodies, molecularly “natural” hormones.
  • No toxification of the liver and no adverse side effects if the doses are correct
  • Suzanne Somers popularized them in her book, “The Sexy Years”; they were not used much in North America because of our reliance on pharmaceuticals
  • All Bioidentical hormones originate from either soy or diosgenin (wild yam) plant sterols that are put through steps in a lab to become a hormone that is identical to the hormones manufactured by the body
  • Compounding pharmacies are key to correct formulation after a thorough hormone panel is done
  • Expect and insist on a collaborative relationship with your health provider!!! It is YOUR body.  Be Your Own Advocate
  • Be patient:  it will take time to determine the exact right doses for YOU
  • The goal is OPTIMUM health and vitality- nutrition, supplements, and exercise play important roles
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Hormones: The Key To Vibrant Health And Sexuality For Women-Part One

Guest author: Camille Lawson RN, BA, MEd (specializing in Hormones, Nutrition, Sexuality & Relationships)

There is SO much for us to learn about our hormones!  This is part one in a brief overview about their importance in our daily lives, how to keep them balanced and at the same time improve our sexual lives. Stayed tuned for parts 2 and 3. 

Part One

There are over 50 known hormones in our body and they regulate cell function, influence cellular activity and are chemical messengers.  They do this best when they are “balanced”. When hormones are NOT balanced, things happen in small or BIG ways. Imbalances occur due to internal and external factors.

Estrogens

  • Made in ovaries, adrenal glands and some fat cells
  • 3 types: Estrone, Estradiol, Estriol
  • Formation of female secondary characteristics, stimulates endometrial growth
  •  Maintains skin and blood vessels,  increases bone formation, involved with protein synthesis, coagulation, lipid (fats) function, sodium and water balance and gastrointestinal function
  • Link between increased Cortisol levels (stress hormone) and increased fat cells which increases levels of Estrogens (can cause Estrogen Dominance)

Low Estrogen may cause:   Any of these sound familiar?

  • Brain fog
  • Painful intercourse
  • Recurring urinary tract infections
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Thinning of vaginal wall
  • Low Libido

Progesterone…is a very critical hormone, often underestimated in importance!

  • Produced mostly by the ovaries and adrenal glands
  • Regulates menstrual cycle and maintains a pregnancy
  • Assists in thyroid function, bone building, relaxes smooth muscle, anti- inflammatory, regulates immune response, reduces gallbladder activity, normalizes blood clotting, zinc and copper levels use of fat stores for energy, helps promote quality sleep!
  • Regulates effects of estrogen

Low progesterone may cause:

  • Anxiety & Sleep problems
  • Difficulty handling stress
  • Elevated Cortisol levels
  • Estrogen dominant conditions
  • Headaches
  • Heavy periods
  • Low bone density
  • Miscarriages
  • Water retention
  • Abdominal weight gain

DHEA

  • Makes testosterone and estrogen
  • Peaks in our late 20’s then decreases steadily
  • Increased Cortisol levels (stress)cause a decrease in DHEA
  • Considered to be anti- aging in some studies

Testosterone

  • Essential to sex drive, maintains muscle, bones, skin, and the heart in women
  • Produced mainly in the ovaries and much of it is converted to estradiol
  • BCP decreases testosterone
Low testosterone/DHEA may cause:   Yikes – check out this list!
  • High Cortisol
  • Loss of strength, stamina
  • Low or NO sex drive
  • Memory decline
  • Muscle wasting and weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sleep problems
  • Vaginal dryness
In my next post, I will discuss bio-identical hormone therapy and the role it can play during perimenopause and  menopause.
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