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Old 03-18-2012, 05:55 AM   #21
 
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I can absolutely relate, Cyanbobcat. I, too, have an extra 10 lbs that crept on over the past 18 months. Depending on what I wear, I can have the dreaded muffin top. Yuck. It's definitely harder to lose weight now.

As for the mental acceptance that I'm aging... Logically I know I am. Somedays my body certainly feels older - achy knees and back - but in my mind, I still feel the same that I always have. I can be totally surprised when I catch a glimpse of myself in a storefront window or - especially - when I see what my neck looks like when the mirror is looking up at it. When and how did THAT happen?? I still, and I hope always will, make some attempt to look good when I get dressed in the morning. Like you said, I don't want to just give up. But I also don't want to look like I'm trying too hard either. It's a balance. I'm trying to find that touch of grace so I can grow older gracefully.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:30 AM   #22
 
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I feel mostly the same way I always have but the world is reacting to me differently. That's hard to accept also. Clothing is a whole other issue.

I know what you mean about catching glimpses in mirrors and being taken by surprise... all over again.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:28 PM   #23
 
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Default menopause update

About the "can't lose weight" aspect of menopause and beyond, there are several factors that come into this, but before anyone gets totally depressed, there are ways which I'll get to in a minute here.
One main factor, especially while the body is transitioning into the post-menopausal state, is that one's hormones are shifting. The estrogen that used to be pumped out by the ovaries is now being replaced by a different form of estrogen that is generated by fat cells that are increasing during the transition. Plus the fact that weight does shift to the middle of the body, exactly where we shouldn't have it at this time of life because then that leaves us vulnerable to diabetes, high cholesterol, and several different types of cancers, as well as heart disease. So there's real motivation right there to get the fat off the mid-section. Work, I know! Also, the adrenals are picking up some of the hormonal production, and as a result of this stress, are pumping out more cortisol, which is notorious for packing on the belly fat in particular, as well as making one feel "wired and tired" all at the same time. Another factor is that the digestion of starchy carbohydrates in general changes at this time such that one absorbs more calories and we are also much more vulnerable to blood sugar issues like insulin resistance at this time, even we'd never had any previously! Higher cholesterol readings often accompany this state of affairs.
What worked when we were way pre-menopausal does NOT work now. Menopause message boards are full of people with similar woes, as in putting on varying degrees of weight that seems to almost impossible to take off, especially while transitioning which actually takes place over a number of years, not BOOM and one is suddenly menopausal. Even after menopause(the time of absolutely last period)it can take a good ten, even 15 years for everything to settle down depending on one's body chemistry, lifestyle, and the amount of stress one has in one's life. That latter is a huge one - many women report difficult menopause experiences in general the more stressed, as well as the fact that the unhealthy habits of a lifetime come home to roost.
Generally speaking, dieting alone doesn't work - it takes both diet AND a good bit more solid exercise than one thinks to take it off, and more time too. Many women do better cutting back on starchy carbohydrates, especially refined ones for the digestive reason stated above, and shifting to more vegetable carbs along with sufficient healthy protein and healthy fats. Now is NOT the time to go "low-fat" like everyone did during the 80s. During that time people did indeed go low-fat, but they replaced perfectly healthy fats like raw nuts, virgin oils, avocados, natural fats in seafood with stuff like bagels and pasta etc(both refined carbs)and got fatter instead. Also, DON'T believe the so-called official government food pyramid with it's 6-11 servings of grain products per day etc. It's the exact same pyramid that is used to fatten up cattle and that's exactly what happened to a lot of people. Menopausal women are especially vulnerable!
On the exercise front, it really does take 3 days a week of solid weight-training, and a bare minimum of 4 days week(5-6 days is better)of cardio. By the latter, I don't mean just 20 minutes(although if that's all one can do in the beginning that's a great start)dawdling along - it has to be sweaty, breathing deep cardio, working up to 45 minutes to an hour. These sessions can be broken up with the newer high-intensity-training techniques that alternate hard-fast with slower-easier rhythms on the cardio machine of your choice, or outdoors running if one does that. The weight-training is important at any age, but crucial for aging people, because unless one does it meaningfully, then the age-related muscle loss is very real. This is a situation where one gradually loses muscle, which is then replace by fat tissue, which is much less metabolically-active and takes up much more space than muscle. This is why someone who is very fit who has built up a fair degree of muscle can be physically smaller and trimmer than someone else who hasn't, even with the same height, weight and starting body structure. Depressingly enough, even with all this info out there about how beneficial the right exercise is for menopausal women, statistics show that post-menopausal women are the least-likely group to exercise meaningfully. I know this just from my own observation - I see extremely few women of my age(64) at the gym but plenty of older guys.
Don't be one of these statistics - your body and your health will thank you for it! Sorry this was so long, but I had to pass some of what I know along - hope it helps someone out there.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:19 PM   #24
 
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Caramix:


I understand and agree with everything you said. I would freakin' LOVE to exercise like you described. However, I have chronic low back pain; mild to moderate arthritis between L4 and L5, but I dont think that is so much the problem, as what happened to my back when I was recovering from a torn meniscus in '09, living alone at the time, in a townhouse with 4 flights of stairs. I think the reason that so few women our age exercise, is because, like me, they have some physical limitations. With back pain, it is very tricky; I can do something one day and be fine, next day same thing - and have pain. Its a viscious cycle. I know that carrying excess weight is not helping the back pain, but I cannot exercise enough, and vigorously enough, to make a real difference. If you have any suggestions regarding these issues, I will love to hear them. I walk as much as I can. That is my solution for the time being.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:03 PM   #25
 
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@Myrna - I'm so sorry to hear that! I know that must be painful and limiting! I've had my own challenges along the way with injuries myself but fortunately I was able to get past them with good help. If one has lived long enough unless one has truly led a charmed life one has some old(or even more recent injury or other challenge to deal with).
Have you tried acupuncture for both the back pain and arthritis? Also arthritis can be helped by dietary changes as often arthritis is caused by acidic crystals that build up in the joints. Often a more alkaline diet(google that) is suggested, along with gently rhythmic movements - those last to get beneficial fluids going on in the joints to lubricate them and make them feel better. A lot of times, arthritic patients are afraid to exercise for fear it will make it worse or hurt, but some sort of exercise is the very best thing one can do. You're on the mark for walking as much as you can - keep that up! That's a perfect example of the type of rhythmic exercise I was talking about for this. Also Tai Chi or Qi Gong - many people have been helped by these. Best of luck!
As far as what I do myself, I do the weight training I recommended, 4-5 days of some form of cardio( the elliptical as that is low-impact - I never liked the pounding that even beginning running did to me, even when I was younger and tried it), hoop dancing at least a couple or more times a week, and Pilates mat class a couple of times a week. The cross-training seems to agree with me plus I have a lot of nervous energy that is best worked off by plenty of exercise, still at 64. My diet is largely vegetarian with an emphasis on fresh raw produce(but certainly not all - healthy cooked is in there too as I need it), lower amounts of whole-grain starches, and just a couple of the lighter proteins like seafood and eggs. I don't do well at all on heavy red meats or too much dairy.
Hope this helps some, and again, best of luck!
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:30 PM   #26
 
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caramix3a - Let me just say that I appreciate the thoughtful and detailed posts you write! I always enjoy reading them when I come across them..... Great insight and suggestions!
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:52 PM   #27
 
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I found pretty good success in Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. I did a lot of research on it before starting it and it is supposed to give you all the good stuff your body needs with out the side effects of synthetic hormones. I had a hysterectomy at 26yrs old and REALLY couldn't stand not having any hormones, mentally and physically I just can't seem to cope; but I take the very minimum amount that I need to function.
I also have to really try and accept that I won't ever feel or look like I did prior to menopause, which some days is more depressing then others; but not always
Also, the Estradiol, which is a bio-identical form of estrogen, really helps keep my weight down.
*hugs to you all going through this*
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:31 PM   #28
 
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angelalynnc - do you see a doctor or practitioner of some kind to help with diagnostics and dosing?

I am currently looking into this but it is all out of pocket and I'm sure it's probably costly.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:32 AM   #29
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyanbobcat View Post
angelalynnc - do you see a doctor or practitioner of some kind to help with diagnostics and dosing?

I am currently looking into this but it is all out of pocket and I'm sure it's probably costly.
Yes I see a Dr.; Bio-Identical Hormones have to be written with a prescription by a Dr. just like typical synthetic hormones are. I don't typically have insurance so I don't have to deal with that part of it to much; but cost is a factor for sure. Usually I would imagine the Dr. would be covered unless it was considered a 'specialist' but I hear that many of the prescriptions are not covered (my mom takes them as well), but I think some plans pay a portion of some of them. The Estradiol is only $4 Walmart, but that is the only one that is particularly cheap. I have had luck with finding that more and more of 'regular' OBGYN's are starting to have experience prescribing them and also I have found many of the actual compounding pharmacies where you would fill most of the prescriptions, often offer (sometimes free) consultation services where they will help determine what medicines are best suited for you and make the recommendation to your OBGYN if your Dr. is not experienced and you don't want to switch Dr's....
--Sorry this is a long post! ha I'm defiantly not trying to convince anyone, one way or another; just saying what has worked for me and my family. Several members have all gone into menopause young so I am constantly searching for info!!
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:19 PM   #30
 
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Hi I'm 56 & had hysterectomy last June. Yes, same situation. I have both ovaries too without uterus my doc said in about 1 yr. you'll be done even though nothing happens. It's like I'm done now. I mean no other bothersome symptoms
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:30 PM   #31
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
Have y'all read this book? It's stinkin' hilarious.
Got this today! I'm only a few chapters in but so far it is super entertaining and fun!
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:22 PM   #32
 
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Gelatinized Maca works!!!

macamagic.com
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:28 PM   #33
 
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I'm so excited! I have an appointment on Thursday to see a doc who specializes in BioIdentical Hormone Replacement. Woohoo!
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:13 AM   #34
 
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Let us know how that goes, Cyanbobcat! I'm curious....
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:58 AM   #35
 
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Glad to hear you're liking it, Jeep. Funny, isn't it? It should be required reading for all women turning 50 and their husbands and children.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:20 PM   #36
 
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Appointment was a bust. My appointment was for 3:00 but they asked me arrive at 2:30... ok. At 3:55 I was still waiting to see the doctor. Maybe I'm pms'ing but I was getting a bit steamed. My out of pocket cost for the day would have been in the $600 - $800 price range. I'm not going to hand over that kind of money to someone who doesn't value my time any more than that.

To top it all off, even the nurse seemed a bit disapproving about the doctor being late. She was supposed to be a very good doc but since bioidentical hormone replacement is not an exact science I would be just as well off with another doctor. Back to the drawing board.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:50 PM   #37
 
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Default Foods rich in estrogen

Over at helium.com they have an article about foods that are rich in estrogen. Eating those, (while avoiding the ones that reduce estrogen) has been helpful to some women during menopause. I know yams were popular for that reason
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:34 AM   #38
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyanbobcat View Post
Appointment was a bust. My appointment was for 3:00 but they asked me arrive at 2:30... ok. At 3:55 I was still waiting to see the doctor. Maybe I'm pms'ing but I was getting a bit steamed. My out of pocket cost for the day would have been in the $600 - $800 price range. I'm not going to hand over that kind of money to someone who doesn't value my time any more than that.

To top it all off, even the nurse seemed a bit disapproving about the doctor being late. She was supposed to be a very good doc but since bioidentical hormone replacement is not an exact science I would be just as well off with another doctor. Back to the drawing board.

Wow - how frustrating and disappointing!! (Doesn't that seem like the perfect menopause emoticon?!!)

I hope you're able to find someone to help you....
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:16 AM   #39
 
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Thx... yes that is the perfect emoticon. I'm finding out that these docs are very popular. It's hard to get in. There is another one in my town that you can't get in to see until February 2013. A new nurse practitioner is starting up here in April. I'm hoping to get in to see her. I have to wait for a call back. Hopefully she won't be as expensive. Insurance won't cover.


I'm over it now
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:52 PM   #40
 
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Default Perimenopause Vs. Menopause

This is my first time reading the "Over 40" board. I'm usually in the "2" board. There is lots of interesting stuff to read here. One thing I am noticing is there seems to be some confusion in some of the posts as to what "perimenopause" and "menopause" are.
Perimenopause is the period (can last up to 10 years) before the end of your monthly menstruation. It is the slow decline in your estrogen level. This usually begins in your 40's but can start earlier.
Some woman have loads of symptoms, many mentioned here.....hot flashes, weight gain, irritability, insomnia etc. Some women barely have any symptoms at all. Some women experience changes for many years, others for a few.
Menopause is the stage when you begin the having no monthly periods. When you have had no periods for 12 consecutive months you are considered through menopause or postmenopausal. Although you may skip months...this doesn't count.
It is highly unlikely that woman in their 50's aren't perimenopausal. They just may not realize it because they aren't experiencing the common symptoms they have heard about. They should consider themselves lucky!
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