Memorial Day Tribute to Female Vertans

In this week’s show, Nancy and Laura talk about women veterans and their health choices for those that served now that they are experiencing health issues related to menopause and other aging health issues.  We greatly appreciate the sacrifices these women and their families have made to serve our country.

 

Menopause and Dryness – Hand in Hand

Menopause Treatment for Dryness

Expert’s Name: Carrie Pierce

It’s well documented that a natural ‘drying out’ process occurs in a woman’s body as she moves through the peri menopause and Menopause process.

Fluctuating hormone levels have a role to play in this issue- and the essential fatty acids assist the body in the manufacture and distribution of crucial sex hormones, carrying molecular messages between the cells and serving to provide prostaglandin balance.

Prostaglandins are hormone-like in their nature and are understood to serve as messengers and regulators within the body cells and tissues.

So, just what the heck does all this scientific mumbo jumbo mean to Y-O-U?!

Simply put, this:

  • Peri menopause begins around the age of 35 in most women.
  • During this time of hormonal shift, skin, hair and nails begin to suffer and other worrisome and bothersome symptoms set up shop. A woman may begin to experience ongoing -and worsening- dryness issues.
    Her skin might become sensitive-with itching and flaking occurring regularly where there was no problem before.
  • Chronic dry skin stems from 2 basic causes: deficiencies in key nutrients and ongoing, uncorrected hormone imbalances.

The Essential Fatty Acids we discussed in Part One of this article series work to combat both these root causes, by feeding the skin at a cellular level, allowing skin cells to nourish and rejuvenate themselves.

Keeping your diet free from excessive sugars by eating low glycemic foods and trans fats also works to have a positive impact on overall skin health by stopping the formation of AGE’s (Advanced Glycation End products) otherwise recognized as the telltale crosshatching affect of older skin.

So how does one go about ensuring that they consume enough of the EFA’s to positively impact both skin AND hormone health?

Omegas 3 and 6 can be obtained from food sources and supplements.

Excellent sources of Omega 3s are:
Seafood/Flax seeds/raw nuts-especially walnuts/eggs and canola oil.

Excellent sources of Omega 6 are:
Borage Oil/Evening Primrose Oil- aka as : ‘the King’s Cure-all’, ( yet given its many uses for easing menstruation, hot flashes and other rather severe female-hormone- related issues, perhaps it should be known as the Queen’s Cure-all instead…) Sunflower, canola and safflower oils/eggs and soybeans.

Now that we’ve discussed why these EFAs are crucial to health and beauty-especially during Menopause- let’s look at the proper ratios:

  • Studies show a healthy balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is crucial.
  • The typical American diet has a ratio of 1:20 (Omega 3 to Omega 6), and it’s now thought this ratio should be closer to 5:1 or less.
  • Omega 6s are known to be possible inflammation-producers and as such need to be properly balanced with Omega 3’s which are shown to reduce inflammation within human tissues.
  • When Omega 6 predominates in a diet, such as a diet rich in animal fats and corn derived products, skin and hormonal issues appear to be made worse.

The bottom-line to all of this is- simply put: good skin starts with good nutrition. PERIOD.

Vaginal dryness, dry eye, joint pain and/or thinning hair, skin and brittle nails are all signs of EFA deficiency- in most cases- and should be discussed with your health care provider.

Adding the right ‘Beauty Fats’ to your diet can make all the difference- and your entire body –from head to toe will thank you!

The Menopausal Hot Flash

What is a Hot Flash and Hot Flash Treatments

Expert’s Name: Robin Pruitt

Hot flashes can range from a mild inconvenience to a miserably uncomfortable burden. They’re annoying, inconvenient and can deprive you of sleep. I’ve heard it said that some women actually enjoy the warm sensation, but I’ve never met a woman who felt that way! I personally don’t enjoy them at all.

But sometimes I choose to have one.

The physiology of a hot flash isn’t entirely clear, but it is the result of the body’s efforts to deal with hormonal fluctuations and imbalance. We can do some things to aid the hormonal balance, but short of taking prescription drugs or hormone replacement therapies we can’t change the fact that menopause is a time of intense hormonal fluctuation.

On the other hand, although we may not always realize it, we have total control over the food we eat—after all; nothing goes in our mouths unless we raise the fork or glass to our own lips. And it turns out that this can make a huge difference in how we feel going through menopause.

Our bodies are very responsive to what we feed ourselves. When we consume the Standard American Diet filled with hormone-laden beef and dairy products, conventionally grown produce grown in depleted soils and sprayed with toxic pesticides, and processed foods containing an assortment of chemical additives and preservatives, then wash all that down with sodas sweetened with the unnatural sweetener high fructose corn syrup or chemical artificial sweeteners, our bodies must work overtime to sift the available nutrients out of the substances we eat and filter out and dispose of all the chemicals.

And that’s before adding a flood of excess hormones to the system. During menopause, a changing variety of hormonal substances courses through our bodies, taxing an already challenged eliminatory system. Like Lucy on the chocolate candy assembly line, sometimes there’s just more “coming along” than the system is set up to handle. A hot flash is like an overflow signal.

Hot Flash Triggers
During this physically challenging time we can ease the chemical burden on our bodies by limiting our intake of processed foods, choosing organic foods whenever possible, and drinking lots of filtered water. It also helps to pay attention to possible relationships between particular foods or situations and the occurrence of hot flashes. Common trigger foods include caffeine, spicy foods and alcohol. Heat, stress and smoking are common non-food triggers. However, we are all individuals, and you may have individualized triggers. For instance, one woman I know can count on having a hot flash if she eats potatoes.

So, why would I choose to have a hot flash? Well, one of my triggers is coffee, but occasionally I enjoy a really good cup of coffee. It often comes with a hot flash chaser, but because I know that, I can decide when the delicious pleasure of a good cup of coffee outweighs the discomfort of a hot flash.

The point is that if you take steps to reduce the quantity of chemical additives that your system has to deal with and develop an awareness of the foods most likely to overwhelm your system, you can have a choice about how you feel.

And that can make you feel better about everything.