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That 1970s margarine commercial (see link below) came back to haunt me last week during Thanksgiving when the wrath of Mother Nature descended upon our house with a virtual cornucopia of disease and malaise—enough to satisfy even the most plague-obsessed sensationalist historian.
As I lay in bed beside 4 year old Lizzie, both of us feasting on Throat Coolers (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/B0015NL52S?ie=UTF8&tag=flopowmom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0015NL52S) and watching reel-to-reel programs on Nick Jr. (http://www NULL.nickjr NULL.com/), hosted by repetitive intervals of Moose A. Moose rallying us to be thankful, it occurred to me that there was more to my particular malaise than met the watering eye (and streaming nose).
Singing along with Moose (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=abUhT2zeCKU), I concurred that H1N1 was the fluiest and our noses were the gooiest, everywhere we go. But as I rolled over to feel Lizzie’s forehead, I was also feeling angry, resentful, depressed and sore. Obviously, there was a little more tooiet.
The day after Thanksgiving was my 49th birthday. I got to spend it making chicken noodle soup and dragging the kids—whining and screaming under fever-induced protest—off for yet another visit to the pediatrician.
My throat was sore, but I felt like screaming and wrapping my hands around that flu-administering pig and strangling it until bacon bits sprayed from its eyes like popcorn chicken.
When I got home, Frank became nurse and marched me off to my room for some quiet enjoyment of my abject misery. I took a shower and stood there wondering if I should even bother with the moisturizing body lotion.
These days, it seems to me that I could trowel a gallon of lard and spread it all over my body, but my skin would still feel as dry as bacon fried so hard you’d need a pickaxe to remove the carcinogens.
And then enlightenment dawned. I was forty-nine. I felt like I had been on permanent PMS all week. When, exactly, did I think the perimenopause boom was going to drop? In my seventies?
I had just written a piece on another FPM subscriber (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/pages/newsletter NULL.html) who had walked the same thorny path of perimenopause while trying to raise her little girl—after feeling sick all the time, Leonora went out and found the cure. I decided to follow the bread-crumb trail through the woods of my misery and get in touch with her doctor.
Dr Vernon Redd (http://www NULL.docredd NULL.com/), Chiropractor, Neurologist and Clinical Nutritionist who treats women for perimenopause and menopause has indicated that depression, weight gain, loss of libido and memory and emotional problems, muscle pain and an increased cancer risk can be related to hormone imbalances during “the change”.
Redd states: “Your ratio of progesterone to estrogen should be 30 to 1, that is 30 times progesterone to 1 part estrogen. Most women are in a state of estrogen dominance in that they either have too much estrogen or too little progesterone or both.”
As we age and begin entering menopause, our adrenals have to take over making the progesterone. But most women are suffering degree of adrenal exhaustion so they don’t make enough progesterone. Pack in some child care into the equation and you can see how it might become a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.
Redd points out that, although menopause can make child rearing more challenging, it doesn’t have to.
“I had one patient in particular” he explains, who was in her early 90’s who was a real-estate agent and was still working 40 hours a week. Getting older doesn’t mean you have to fall apart.”
There’s more to the adverse effects of menopause than estrogen/progesterone imbalance. Dr Redd goes on to explain that excess insulin and cortisol (caused by eating too many refined sugars and starch such as bread, rice, and other grains) ages us too. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that breaks down tissue when in excess and regulates blood sugar levels.
So, what can you do to ease the pain?
Aside from the obvious “consult your doctor”, Redd recommends Suzanne Somers’ books on aging, although he does disagree with her recommendation of using bioidentical hormone creams. (You’ve Hit Menopause—Now What? (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/Youve-Hit-Menopause-What-Second/dp/0973296216); Ageless: The Naked Truth About BIoidentical Hormones (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/0307237257/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0973296216&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1SNC2FB6NZK63NJW1XCV).)
Instead, he prefers first trying to get a woman’s body to make its own hormones—if that process proves inadequate, he recommends sublingual bioidentical hormone replacement to his patients. He warns that hormone creams build up in the fat under the skin and will lead to toxicity and imbalance problems. Controlling insulin and cortisol is critical too.
“The best way to measure estrogen and progesterone is by saliva, not by blood analysis” Redd argues.
He also recommends exercise and a good blood sugar regulating diet such as Melvin Page’s (http://www NULL.ifnh NULL.org/Library%20Page%20 NULL.htm), Phase 2 Diet (http://www NULL.ifnh NULL.org/Page%20Food%20Plan NULL.PDF) or The Carbohydrate Specific Diet, (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/0969276818?ie=UTF8&tag=flopowmom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0969276818) as well as eating more raw foods.
Love your kids? I do, and I think it’s time to start fooling Mother Nature into knowing how young you really are.
Notes for this blog:
Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/) (www.flowerpowermom.com (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/)), a regular blog featuring news, commentary, real mom stories and expert advice about motherhood after 40.
The 1970’s margarine commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLrTPrp-fW8 (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=LLrTPrp-fW8)
Note to readers: Dr. Redd may be contacted at the Nutrition and Health Centre (http://www NULL.docredd NULL.com/about_dr_redd NULL.htm)in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
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CNN Mother's Day: "Mature Moms" (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)(http://youtu NULL.be/atScMih4_d0) (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
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