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Just because you break a bone doesn't mean you have osteoporosis! Here's how your doctor will determine if you're among the 10 million with this disease.
Transcript: Today, ten million Americans have osteoporosis and another 34 million exhibit the early stages of the...
Today, ten million Americans have osteoporosis and another 34 million exhibit the early stages of the condition. How are these people diagnosed. Osteoporosis is a condition where a person has reduced bone density, which is the amount of bone present in the skeletal structure. Most methods of diagnosing the condition do so by measuring bone density. Bone density grows during childhood and adolescence, reaching its peak mass around age 25. At this point, density remains steady for about ten years. After age 35, bone density will gradually drop at the rate of .3 to .5 percent each year. This is a normal part of the aging process and not the same as osteoporosis. One way to diagnosis osteoporosis is with a routine x-ray, since the bones in someone with the condition appear much thinner than healthy bones. Unfortunately, because x-rays can only detect large changes in bone density, they are not effective for diagnosing early-stage osteoporosis. A better way to diagnose the condition is with a more advanced scan known as a DXA. This short procedure uses a very small amount of radiation to measure the bone density of the hip and spine. The bone density of the patient is then compared to that of average young adults of the same sex and race who have peak, healthy bone mass. This comparison is written as a negative number called a T-score. A T-score greater than negative 1 is normal, or the same as a patient who has ideal bone mass. A score between negative one and negative 2.5 is classified as osteopenia, or "pre-osteoporosis," while osteoporosis is a number less than negative 2.5. Because it is impractical to test everyone for osteoporosis, doctors only perform DXAs on people with specific risk factors. The biggest risk factor for developing osteoporosis is being female. About 80 percent of people with the disease are women, largely due to the decrease in estrogen that occurs post-menopause. Women also have smaller skeletons, and experience bone loss earlier in life than men do. Advanced age is a second major risk factor. This is because bone mass begins decreasing more rapidly after age 65. As with many diseases, genetics play a role, too. A family history of osteoporosis and broken bones increases risk by up to fifty percent. Certain medications, like corticosteroids and chemotherapy drugs, can also increase the risk of bone loss.More »
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Osteoporosis is a condition that affects millions of people in the US. Learn more about osteoporosis by watching this video.
Transcript: In America, 10 million people suffer from osteoporosis. They're our grandparents, teachers, and friends,...
In America, 10 million people suffer from osteoporosis. They're our grandparents, teachers, and friends, yet many of us don't even know what osteoporosis is! Osteoporosis is a disease that thins and weakens bones, making people more susceptible to fractures. To understand this condition, it helps to look at the role bones play in a healthy body. Bones are composed primarily of calcium. In fact, 99 percent of the calcium that's present in the body is found in bones. However, calcium is also necessary for other bodily functions, like blood vessel contractions. When sources in the blood run low, a normal process called resorption begins. Resorption "steals" calcium from bones to be recycled for use in other parts of the body. During resorption, scavenger cells with saw-toothed membranes, called osteoclasts, attach to bone surfaces. There, they tunnel into bone and regurgitate calcium into the bloodstream for use by other body parts. Resorption is complemented by a normal process called formation. During formation, construction cells, or osteoblasts, move into the tunnels left by osteoclasts and release strands of collagen into the holes, effectively filling them. So how does this relate to osteoporosis? It's simple: Bone weakening and loss occurs when the osteoblasts cannot keep up with the osteoclasts. Put another way, over time, the bone-breaking cells continue about their business while the bone-building cells slow down. The result is bones that are too weak to carry their load, increasing the risk of fractures. The most common form of the disease, primary osteoporosis, is a result of normal bodily changes, like menopause or aging. Type 1 primary osteoporosis occurs in women in the several years prior to, during, and following menopause. During this time, decline of estrogen levels contribute to type 1 osteoporosis. Type 2 primary osteoporosis results from the normal, cumulative effects of aging. This gradual loss of bone density doesn't usually show up until after the age of 75. The other form of osteoporosis, secondary osteoporosis, results from certain prescription medications or medical conditions. Medical conditions like anorexia, alcoholism and type 1 diabetes can all lead to the development of secondary osteoporosis. Meanwhile, medications like corticosteroids, thyroid hormones and chemotherapy drugs also increase the risk of this disease. Although osteoporosis can occur from a variety of factors, its effects are the same: Weakened bones that often break easily. If you have concerns about osteoporosis, please see your doctor,More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-12 | Tags »
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Millions of people suffer from osteoporosis without even realizing it, but the consequences of osteoporosis may even include permanent disability. Watch this video for more information.
Transcript: Although millions of people have osteoporosis, most are not aware how the complications of the disease...
Although millions of people have osteoporosis, most are not aware how the complications of the disease can affect them, often for life. People who have the weak, thin bones characteristic of osteoporosis often suffer at least one serious break, or bone fracture. While a broken bone may sound straightforward, the aftermath can be anything but! Because most people with osteoporosis are over the age of 50, healing from a broken bone is more difficult. In fact, two thirds of those who suffer fractures never regain full mobility. Osteoporosis-related fractures can occur anywhere, but the hips, wrists and vertebrae, or spine, are most often affected. The most common fracture suffered by people with osteoporosis is in the spinal area. Vertebrae fractures are usually not the result of a traumatic accident. Rather, the normal acts of everyday life, like coughing or bending over, often cause these breaks. Unlike other fractures, where a bone snaps, vertebral fractures usually manifest as a crumpling, or compression, of the spine. For this reason, they do not usually cause severe, or any, pain. Because discomfort is slight, or feels like normal back pain, spinal fractures are often not diagnosed until posture begins to stoop, and height is gradually lost. Fractures in the vertebrae can also cause a gradual rounding of the back, known as dowager's hump. Most people with vertebral fractures have more than one, and as the number increases, so do the problems. The abdominal muscles begin to sag, and the space between the ribs and the pelvis closes. This can lead to difficulty breathing, chronic heartburn and digestive problems. The most serious fractures generally occur in the hip. About one in five osteoporosis-related fractures are in this region. At best, a hip fracture can result in a temporary loss of mobility and confinement to a wheelchair or bed. More often, the effects are longer lasting. At least two thirds of people who suffer hip fractures have difficulty with everyday tasks, like standing up on their own or dressing themselves. Due to this decreased mobility, many people with a hip fracture end up needing home health care, or a move to an assisted living facility. Scarily, statistics show that almost 25 percent of osteoporosis patients who suffer hip fractures will die within a year of their injury, usually from complications like blood clots or pneumonia. Wrist fractures, which usually occur when a person tries to absorb the force of a fall, are the most common breaks. The most common wrist fracture, Colles' fracture, occurs when the force of impact snaps the end of the radius bone, which runs from the elbow to the thumb. After a wrist fracture, a cast or splint is applied and the bone is allowed to heal. Usually, broken wrists provide no further complications. Because osteoporosis has no symptoms, it is usually not diagnosed until after a fracture occurs. For this reason, it is particularly important to talk to your doctor about osteoporosis.More »
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Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis. In this video you can learn how medicine for Osteoporosis can help ease this condition.
Transcript: If you've been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you're not alone-10 million Americans have this condition....
If you've been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you're not alone-10 million Americans have this condition. Still, you're probably wondering: Now what? Currently, there are a number of medicinal therapies available to treat the bone weakening and loss characteristic of osteoporosis. A group of medications called bisphosphonates are often used to treat and prevent osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates includes aldendronate, which is marketed as Fosamax, and risendronate, sold under the name Actonel. Bisphosphonates work by entering the body and binding to the cement-like substance in bones, hydroxyapatite. In doing so, the medication interferes with the activity of bone-destroying osteoclasts. By blocking osteoclasts, bone-building cells known as osteoblasts have an opportunity to play catch-up, filling in more holes than are being made. Both aldendronate and risendronate are approved to treat AND prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and aldendronate can also be prescribed for men. Bisphosphonates can also treat osteoporosis that arises from taking corticosteroid medications. When prescribed by your doctor, these medications should be taken first thing in the morning, with a full glass of water on an empty stomach. Afterwards, remain upright for half an hour, avoiding food and beverages. Following these instructions carefully can prevent heartburn, nausea and trouble swallowing, which are common side-effects of bisphosphonates. Another option available only to women is a drug called raloxifene, which is marketed under the brand name Evista. Raloxifene is a member of a drug class called selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERMs. Raloxifene is approved to prevent and treat osteoporosis in women. It's also a good option for women with a high risk of breast cancer, as it can reduce cancer risk by up to 76 percent. Another drug that can treat (although not prevent), osteoporosis in both sexes is teriparatide, sold under the name Forteo. Teriparatide is the only treatment that can actually reverse bone loss. Teriparatide is a synthetic version of parathyroid hormone, or PTH, which is naturally produced by the body. It helps build new bone by increasing the number and activity of friendly osteoblasts. Teriparatide is available as a once-a-day injection and is only recommended for people who have osteoporosis AND a particularly high risk for fractures. Other medications, including hormone therapy and calcitonin, are also available to treat osteoporosis, although they are used less frequently. While taking osteoporosis medication, never underestimate the importance of prudent weight-bearing exercise, and the intake of calcium, in helping to prevent osteoporosis fractures. Remember: Not every medication is for everyone. It's important to discuss the pros and cons of every option with your doctor, and to follow your physician's instructions exactly.More »
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The symptoms of menopause can be subtle, or sometimes overwhelming. Learn how to recognize when you might be starting the process.
Transcript: As a woman grows older, her ovaries gradually produce less of the hormone estrogen. This time, called...
As a woman grows older, her ovaries gradually produce less of the hormone estrogen. This time, called perimenopause, continues until menstruation ceases altogether. When a woman doesn't menstruate for twelve consecutive months, she has officially entered menopause. This "change of life" usually occurs between 50 and 52, although some women experience menopause as early as their 40s, and a small percentage do so in their early 60s. Estrogen depletion is a gradual process, which means perimenopause can last anywhere from mere months to several years. Perimenopause usually begins with a gradual decline in fertility. Women trying to conceive after the age of 35 may notice this symptom in particular. Fluctuating hormones can also cause a woman's periods to become irregular. She may have no period one month, or a particularly heavy one the next. Once periods stop completely and menopause begins, many women experience more symptoms. The most common among these are hot flashes, also known as vasomotor symptoms. A hot flash is a sensation of heat or feverishness, mostly in the face, neck and upper chest, which is often accompanied by reddened skin. Hot flashes may last from several seconds to a few minutes. A minority of women report heart palpitations and feelings of anxiety while having flashes, but more commonly they have sweats and chills when the episode is over. Although no one is exactly sure why hot flashes accompany menopause, it is speculated that the dwindling of estrogen causes the brain's temperature control system, located in the hypothalamus, to reset itself at a higher temperature. Because decreased estrogen also causes the vaginal lining to thin, secretions can diminish. This often leads to another common menopausal symptom: vaginal dryness and irritation. These symptoms, in addition to decreasing testosterone levels, which are vital to libido, contribute to the lowered sexual interest experienced by so many menopausal women. In addition, some women suddenly have difficulty remembering information and concentrating on tasks, perhaps, again, due to hormonal shifts. Insomnia is another common complaint during this time. Some experts attribute this to nighttime hot flashes, while others suggest that changes in sleep patterns are just a common sign of aging. During both perimenopause and menopause, many women suffer from mood swings, anxiety and bouts of depression. Current wisdom, however, suggests that an upbeat view of menopause as a time of new possibilities not only eases symptoms, but enhances this transition as a positive life experience. If you're experiencing problematic symptoms of menopause, please make an appointment to speak with your doctor about treatments which can help!More »
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Would you know the signs of menopause if you began experiencing them? Find out more about what menopause is and what signs to look out for.
Transcript: Unfortunately, the only SURE sign that a woman has entered menopause is that she has gone twelve months...
Unfortunately, the only SURE sign that a woman has entered menopause is that she has gone twelve months without a menstrual period, with no underlying medical reason. Thus, a woman whose menstrual periods have become irregular should start tracking them on a calendar to share with her doctor. Yet many women want more concrete (and quicker) evidence that they are indeed undergoing menopause. There are several tests that may help offer conclusive evidence. During perimenopause, which precedes menopause, the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen, in turn causing the vaginal walls to thin. A simple Pap-like smear will allow a doctor to diagnose vaginal atrophy, which is the thinning and drying out of the vagina. The results, in conjunction with careful menstrual cycle records, may help your doctor to identify menopause. Another test which may help in diagnosing menopause checks levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH. FSH is a hormone released by the brain's pituitary gland to trigger estrogen production. During perimenopause, FSH levels will fluctuate widely, as estrogen production cycles up and down. But during menopause, FSH levels become elevated as the body attempts to stimulate the ovaries to produce more estrogen and maintain the menstrual cycle. A doctor can determine how much FSH a woman has with a blood or urine test. Levels above 50 units per liter are usually indicative of menopause, as compared to the 5 to 30 units found in a menstruating woman. Home menopause testing kits are sold in drugs stores. These require a urine sample which also tests FSH levels. No matter where an FSH test is done however, it's important to remember that the results are just one component of identifying the onset of menopause. This means they only show elevated levels of FSH in the body, and are NOT 100 percent indicative that menopause has begun. To make that diagnosis, a doctor will also need to perform a complete medical history and physical, as well as study a woman's menstrual records and lab results. As a doctor runs tests to determine menopausal onset, he or she should also look into a woman's bone density. This is because lack of estrogen contributes to bone-weakening characteristic of osteoporosis. Unfortunately, symptoms of osteoporosis may not develop until bone loss is fairly extensive. For this reason, many doctors will also take bone mineral density tests at the time when menopause is approaching. A bone mineral density test, or DEXA, can quickly measure the amount of calcium in bones, in turn showing a doctor how strong they are. This test can be performed by several methods, including an x-ray or an ultrasound. While menopause can be a challenging time for many women, enlisting the aid of a support system including medical professionals and other women can help. If you have concerns about menopause or its symptoms, please make an appointment with your doctor today.More »
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Is hormone therapy right for you? Find out the pros, cons and details of the hormone therapy debate in this video.
Transcript: From the 1960s to the late 1990s, hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, was the gold standard for treating...
From the 1960s to the late 1990s, hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, was the gold standard for treating the hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and other characteristic symptoms of menopause. Not only did HRT appear to alleviate menopausal symptoms, it was also found to help prevent the bone-weakening disease, osteoporosis, a particularly serious problem for post-menopausal women. Further research even suggested that estrogen therapy might lower the risk of heart disease. It was little wonder, therefore, that by 1990, the estrogen replacement drug Premarin, was the most frequently prescribed medication for menopause in the United States. Then, in 2002, a study by a group called the Women's Health Initiative, threw all the commonly held beliefs about hormone therapy into question. This study measured the long-term effects of estrogen-only hormone therapy, which was the treatment of choice for post-hysterectomy women, and the more commonly used combination therapy of estrogen plus progesterone. Surprisingly, both trials were called to a halt years before completion, because it appeared that the risks of hormone treatment significantly outweighed the benefits. The study found that in the group of 10,000 women taking combination hormone therapy, there were 18 more life-threatening blood clots, 8 breast cancer diagnoses, 7 more strokes, and 6 more heart attacks than in women taking placebos. At the same time, women using estrogen-only therapy did share the increased risk of strokes, but suffered none of the other negative consequences. The Women's Health Initiative study DID, however, have some positive findings. It showed that women utilizing combination therapy were indeed less likely to develop osteoporosis. They also had lower rates of colon cancer. But because the data were largely negative, an estimated 6 million women using hormones were urged to consult with their doctors, most of whom recommended hormone therapy cessation. Today, although HRT is no longer the mainstay for symptomatic menopause, for some women with severe menopausal symptoms, the benefits outweigh potential risks. For these patients, doctors seriously consider family history as well as personal risk factors, and then prescribe the smallest dose of hormone for the shortest possible time. Women with breast cancer or a history of blood clots, however, are strongly advised not to try HRT for menopausal symptoms. Using HRT is an individual decision for each woman. Many severely affected women are unwilling to forgo its benefits, while those with milder discomfort are reluctant to assume its risks. If YOU have troublesome menopausal symptoms, please discuss hormone replacement with your doctor. Together, consider your family history and personal risk factors, and assess the severity of your symptoms. And remember...there ARE alternative therapies that could be right for you!More »
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Hormone therapy can be effective in treating symptoms of menopause. Watch this video to learn about this treatment.
Transcript: Despite a few tough years in the media and in research studies, hormone replacement therapy remains the...
Despite a few tough years in the media and in research studies, hormone replacement therapy remains the most effective treatment for the hot flashes and vaginal discomfort which are characteristic of menopause. So how does it work? In the years prior to and during menopause, a woman's ovaries slowly begin decreasing production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Inadequate levels of these hormones are the cause of most menopausal symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, restores these hormonal levels, therefore causing a reduction in symptoms. There are two types of HRT. The first, estrogen-only therapy, is recommended ONLY for women who have undergone a hysterectomy, which is the surgical removal of the uterus. Although studies have found that estrogen-only therapy carries fewer risks of serious side effects, it should NOT be taken by women who have not had a hysterectomy. This is because the estrogen-only treatment can increase the risk of endometrial malignancy, or cancer of the uterine lining. Women with intact uteruses are advised to take combined hormone therapy, which adds the hormone progesterone to an estrogen regimen. The addition of progesterone to estrogen therapy is vital because this hormone promotes the sloughing of the uterine lining each month, thereby reducing the risk of endometrial cancer. Regardless of which type of HRT your doctor prescribes for you, you'll have many options for how the hormone is administered. The most common form is taken orally as a pill. Some tablets, like Prempro, combine estrogen and progesterone in a single pill, while others contain estrogen OR progesterone only. Women who prefer an alternative to pills may choose a transdermal patch, which delivers hormones gradually through the skin over several days. The patch can be placed on hidden areas such as the hips and buttocks, and the placement can be rotated with each change. Some estrogen therapy products, such as the vaginal ring, are inserted directly into the vagina and release hormones gradually for about three months before replacements are necessary. One brand of vaginal ring, called Estring, produces local effects only, meaning that it treats vaginal symptoms alone. Another form, Femring, alleviates hot flashes as well as vaginal discomfort. Creams and tablets are also inserted directly into the vagina to relieve localized symptoms. These contain estrogen alone, however, and thus are ineffective for relief of hot flashes. For this reason, women who have not undergone hysterectomy generally need to add a progesterone pill to complete their treatment. Whichever form of HRT you choose, it is vital to follow your doctor's instructions precisely, and to take the hormones only for the time prescribed. Hormone replacement therapy is a very individualized treatment. If you're experiencing symptoms of menopause and are interested in hormone supplementation, please speak with your doctor.More »
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Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D? Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a range of health conditions, including heart disease and cancer, but there is much confusion about how much we need and how to best add it to our diets. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: Vitamin D has made a lot of headlines lately, but there's still confusion over what's so special about...
Vitamin D has made a lot of headlines lately, but there's still confusion over what's so special about the sunshine vitamin and how much you really need to reap the benefits. The human body naturally produces vitamin D after exposing the skin to sunlight. Vitamin D is also available by eating foods like fish, eggs, fortified milk and juice, and cod liver oil. Currently the recommended daily intake for vitamin D is 200 international units for people younger than 50, and 400 IUs for 51 to 70 year olds. But these recommendations are out of date, with most new research suggesting the amount be increased to at least 1,000 IUs! Even at the current lower recommendation, 77% of people still aren't getting their daily dose of D, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That's particularly distressing because vitamin D regulates up to 2,000 different genes in the human body, or roughly 10-percent of our makeup! Plus, scientists have long known about D's ability to help the body absorb calcium. Without proper levels of vitamin D, children may develop soft bones, or rickets, while adults can experience porous bones, or osteoporosis.Recent research has also linked vitamin D deficiency to AT LEAST 17 varieties of cancer, plus other serious issues, like: heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and muscle wasting. Not having enough D can also lead to DAILY problems, like chronic pain, depression, and diabetes. Clearly, getting enough of the sunshine vitamin is vital. But how do you know if you're among the D-deficient majority? First, understand that it's extremely difficult to get ALL of the Vitamin D you need from food sources alone. To so do, you would need to drink a half quart of milk or consume two servings of fatty fish such as tuna or salmon EVERY day. The traditional and most efficient way to get plenty of vitamin D is from limited, safe sun exposure. For people with light skin, that's just 10-15 minutes of sunlight. Darker skinned individuals may need as many as 40 minutes. But be careful: It is possible to get too much of a good thing. Current recommendations for skin cancer prevention include sun-avoidance and wearing at least an SPF 15 sunblock on your face every day--both of which make sun exposure for Vitamin D health problematic, to say the least! Because there are so many factors at play in the quest for the nutrient, it's a good idea for EVERYONE to get their blood levels checked during their regular health exam. If you're D-deficient, taking a daily vitamin D supplement with at least 1,000 IUs of the nutrient is an easy way to help. All vitamin D supplementation should be supervised by your doctor, since it's possible to overdose on D when it's consumed rather than created. To learn more about vitamins and supplements, check out other videos on this site!More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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To determine if you have overactive bladder, your doctor needs to know your symptoms. The more detailed, the better the diagnosis.
Transcript: If you're plagued by the frequent urge to urinate, even when there's very little liquid in your bladder,...
If you're plagued by the frequent urge to urinate, even when there's very little liquid in your bladder, don't keep it to yourself. A few visits with a urologist will let you know just what's going on and what can be done about it. To determine if you have overactive bladder, which is caused by involuntary contractions of the bladder muscles, or some other urinary tract condition, let you doctor know: How often and when you urinate. If urinating causes you any pain or discomfort. Whether you ever experience any leakage. And if you're taking any medications or supplements. A physical exam focusing on the abdomen and lower back, and possibly an ultrasound may be used to help isolate the issue. Based on the information your doctor gathers, she may take a urine sample to test for: bacteria, indicating a urinary tract infection, blood or protein, indicating a kidney problem, and an elevated glucose level, indicating diabetes. If you DON'T have any of THOSE problems, then it may be time for a series of tests to pinpoint if you have OAB or some other form of incontinence. A bladder stress test will see if you can retain urine when your bladder is full. You may also need a post-void residual volume reading, in which a catheter is inserted through the urethra AFTER urinating to see if your bladder is emptying completely. Or you may have cystoscopy, in which a flexible tube equipped with a light and camera is inserted through the urethra to get a view of the inside of the bladder. For severe cases of overactive bladder, you may go through urodynamic testing. This is a series of tests gauging the amount of urine the bladder can hold and how well it can hold it. Based on your pattern of urination and the condition of your bladder, the doctor will determine if you have OAB or not. If you usually urinate more than 8 times a day, often feel you MUST GO NOW even when you DON'T have a full bladder, and get up several times at night to urinate, OAB may be likely. Fortunately treatment can do a lot to ease your symptoms. To find out about your OAB treatment options, check out other videos on this site.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-20 | Tags »
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Missed periods. Sporadic hot flashes. Sudden weight gain. Severe headaches. You've just entered perimenopause. Find out what this 2-8 year period is all about.
Transcript: Missed periods. Sporadic hot flashes. Sudden weight gain. Severe headaches. You're thinking, this is...
Missed periods. Sporadic hot flashes. Sudden weight gain. Severe headaches. You're thinking, this is menopause, ISN'T IT? Not so fast. Menopause is actually the permanent END of fertility. Meaning estrogen production levels have dropped and the ovaries are no longer releasing eggs. What you're experiencing is PERIMENOPAUSE -- the turbulent 2 to 8 year PREmenopause phase. It's during these years that reproductive hormone levels rise and fall, and you experience a variety of symptoms that affect your bodily functions and your mood. Here, we'll focus on the fluctuations in bodily functions that are common during perimenopause. Perimenopause can begin as early as your late 30s or as late as your mid-50s, but on average it makes its grand entrance at 42. During EARLY perimenopause, when there are often sudden surges of estrogen levels, you experience the first fluctuations in your menstrual cycle - they may become shorter or longer -- and some women get more frequent headaches. During LATE perimenopause, when estrogen levels plummet, other physical symptoms can begin. They include: Hot flashes and night sweats. They affect about 75 percent of women and often disrupt sleep. That leads us to the next symptom - fatigue. It can result from various symptoms, making it hard to fall or stay asleep - night after night after night. Other common symptoms are breast tenderness, urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness, thinning hair and skin, and weight gain. This so-called middle-age spread happens when fat cells in the body become the main producers of estrogen, and that adds extra pounds - and increases cholesterol levels. Other possible symptoms are: Muscle and joint aches and stiffness. They affect about 50% of women. And heart palpitations, which cause your heart to race or pound wildly. They are triggered by rising levels of follicle stimulating hormones as the body struggles to stimulate ovulation. To learn about the emotional ups and downs of the journey toward menopause, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-18 | Tags »
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When your period stops, there can be noticeable shifts in how your body functions – from your sexual response to your cardiovascular system.
Transcript: When your period stops and your ovaries no longer produce much estrogen, AND progesterone , there can...
When your period stops and your ovaries no longer produce much estrogen, AND progesterone , there can be noticeable shifts in how your body functions - from your sexual response to your cardiovascular system. And although the SYMPTOMS of menopause usually fade, the physiological changes they usher in DO NOT. So, whether menopause is in FRONT of you, you're in the throes of it, or you've already GONE THROUGH the transition--LIKE ME--you want to take steps today to make sure you are healthy, happy and strong. Here are 4 effective ways to minimize or avoid the most common POSTmenopause health challenges. 50% of postmenopausal women have heart disease. Not surprising, as 60 percent of women are overweight, half have high blood pressure and 40 percent have HIGH cholesterol. To reduce the risk factors for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and dementia, maintain a healthy weight; get regular physical activity 5 days a week; eat a diet low in saturated fats and high in veggies and whole grains, and reduce stress as much as possible. And IF YOU SMOKE: QUIT!. Osteoporosis, or brittle bone disease, affects around 15% of women 50 and older. Post-menopause, your bone mass decreases 1-2% annually. Young or old, you need high intensity exercise that is weight bearing, LIKE strength training, and adequate calcium and vitamin D3 . Protect your urinary and vaginal tissue. 50% of women suffer incontinence or increased risk of bladder infections, and pain during intercourse because of thinning vaginal skin. Do Kegels, get an estrogen ring or use estrogen cream TO IMPROVE DRYNESS AND LUBRICATION. Keep skin and hair healthy. The combination of age and lack of hormones contributes to thinning, wrinkling, collagen-deprived skin and thinning hair. Running, biking, and fitness programs can increase circulation, AND improve muscle tone,. And upgrade your diet to include only lean proteins, LOTS OF OLIVE OIL, and plenty of anti-oxidant-rich vegetables. That'll help pump life back into your skin and hair. For more information on managing menopausal symptoms, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-13 | Tags »
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Not a fan of hormones replacement therapy when it comes to managing menopause symptoms? Well, here are a few alternative treatments.
Transcript: Rosie O'Donnell's "hot flash haircut" may be one way to deal with night sweats. But if you're not up...
Rosie O'Donnell's "hot flash haircut" may be one way to deal with night sweats. But if you're not up for chopping off your hair, there are alternative remedies for managing menopause symptoms. Other hot flash remedies include: *Recognizing and avoiding hot flash triggers-such as spicy foods, too many layers of clothing, especially at night, or hair dryers set on high. *Losing just 10% of your body weight, if you're overweight, can help cool the flames. *And while you're at it, AVOID alcohol, and tobacco. As for the much touted black cohosh, soy products and wild yam therapy -- no reliable study has been able to confirm their benefits when taken to ease hot flashes or other symptoms of menopause. To even out your hormone-driven mood swings: *Opt for regular physical activity. Aim for 30 minutes most days of aerobic activity and mix in 2 to 3 days a week of strength training. As it improves your mood, it will help protect you from two serious postmenopausal health problems--loss of muscle mass and weight gain. *Practice stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga and tai chi. It makes it easier to deal with symptoms, lowers blood pressure and improves your overall health and wellbeing. Other health challenges that arrive POST menopause include heart disease, vaginal dryness, osteoporosis, weight gain, and dementia. Some of these challenges are related to lack of hormones, some are the result of health problems like obesity. But whatever the combination of triggers, you want to protect yourself from those problems. Focus on eating plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Make sure you get enough vitamin D, calcium, potassium and magnesium from food. That will give you whole-body vitality, protect your heart and mind and help you retain muscle tone. To ease vaginal dryness, try vitamin E oil as a topical lubricant, practice Kegel exercises to improve muscle tone and ENJOY masturbation to promote natural lubrication. For more information on menopause watch the other videos this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-18 | Tags »
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