Blog Announcement

The blog will be on hiatus until May 8th. I am workng behind the scenes to bring you better content, and answer the questions you have about menopause and how it affects your life. I ‘ll have some guest posts, so you can hear from others who are going through the same struggles you’re facing.

Thank you to all my loyal readers, and I have appreciated your participation and feedback. If there is anything you would like to see discussed on the blog, please let me know. My contact information is on the website.

 

Is Your Retirement a BIG FAT BORE?

Folllow These Tips To Quickly Turn Things Around!

The day I retired was one of the happiest days of my life. No more long commutes, office politics, and putting up with annoying bosses.

However, not everyone is happy being retired. If you were looking forward to traveling, it can be mighty expensive to take that cruise or dream vacation that you’ve been looking forward to. Since you’re trying to get by on less money, you may find yourself searching out free things to do, or just staying home.

Other retirees may not have money problems, but you miss that interaction with co-workers and feeling like you were making an important contribution to your company. If one spouse is used to being home alone, having the other spouse there all day can really set your nerves on edge.

The good news is that if you would like to reenter the workforce, there is always something you can do.

It’s natural to want to go back to the place you retired from, but that isn’t always possible. Asking yourself some important questions will help you zero in on your dream job. What kind of work would you like to do? How much money would you like to make?

Do you want to work full-time or part-time? Are you willing to train for a job or would you like to own your own business? Do you prefer a job greeting the public or do you prefer to work alone?

If you like to travel, consider joining a tour company as a guide. Cruise ships are often hiring and you could be an activities director or work in the gift shop. That way you get to see some beautiful country and make money at the same time.

If you like to camp, working as a campground host not only allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery year-round, but you will also meet different campers from all over the United States.

Do you enjoy swimming and being out in the sun? Apply for a lifeguard job, and you’ll meet a lot of interesting people to swap stories with. You’ll also have time to work on your tan.

If money is not a problem, consider volunteering at an animal shelter. There are always dogs that need to be fed, walked, and just shown some affection. If you are a dog owner, you may be able to use him as a therapy dog and visit nursing homes and hospital patients.

What kind of work would you like to do in retirement?

Is Your Arthritis Pain Making You Miserable?

It Only Takes Ten Minutes a Day to Feel Better!

 

When you suffer from arthritis, it can feel like every area of your body hurts. You may feel like just curling up on the couch with a heating pad, or binge watching your favorite television shows. Pain can make it difficult to clean the house, get dressed, or chase after your kids.

That’s why starting an exercise program is so important. It’s often less painful to keep your joints in a bent position. This may work temporarily, but if it becomes a habit, you may experience permanent loss of mobility. According to Doreen M. Stiskal, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at Seton Hall University, “exercise eases inflammation, improves energy, and promotes the flow of pain-relieving chemicals like endorphins.”

Range of motion exercises gently stretch the muscles as far as they will comfortably go, and with each passing day, your joints feel less painful. Warm up with these exercises before you engage in any physical activity.

Start slowly and aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day. You can also break it down into three ten-minute sessions. If you aren’t comfortable working out at the gym, try an exercise CD at home such as the Arthritis Foundation’s “Take Control with Exercise.”

Give yourself credit for small changes such as taking the stairs, parking further away from your destination, or walking 20 minutes without a break.

Invest in a comfortable pair of shoes with arch supports. A walking or running store can ensure you get a proper fit. When you’re trying on shoes, wear your workout socks, and walk around in them for at least ten minutes.

Since you’re just starting out, check out indoor malls, gyms, or the YWCA that have an indoor walking track. You can exercise without too many interruptions, and you won’t have to worry about being outside during bad weather.

Don’t forget to do some resistance training. It may seem like lifting weights will be more painful, but that is not the case. A physical therapist or personal trainer can show you the proper form, and match the weights you lift with your current strength level.

 

 

 

Don’t Suffer with Aching Teeth and Gums

4 Home Remedies That Won't Break the Bank!

 

If you have regular dental check-ups and cleaning, you know that a good part of the time the dentist finds something more serious that needs to be taken care of A.S.A.P. I got the unwelcome news that I needed a root canal followed by a crown. Of course, insurance won’t pay both, so I am going to have to break open the old piggy bank to make up the difference.

You may be experiencing pain in your teeth or gums, and dental treatment is expensive. Since the dentist won’t take an IOU, you’ll have to wait for dental treatment until your bank account is replenished.

Thankfully, there are home remedies you can try in the meantime. Here are four home remedies for aching teeth and gums:

Garlic

Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes since 3000 B.C. The allicin in garlic contains antibiotics, and other medicinal properties. Crush a garlic clove with some table or black salt, and apply it directly to the painful tooth. If you have strong taste buds, you can chew up one or two cloves of garlic. Repeat the treatment for a few days.

Onions

Onions are an inexpensive way to kill harmful germs in the mouth. As soon as you feel a toothache coming on, chew a raw onion for a few minutes, and the pain should subside. If you’re like me and don’t care for the taste of onions, you can apply a piece of raw onion to the affected tooth or gum.

Warm Salt Water

If I had a dollar for every time my mom told me to gargle with warm salt water, I would be a rich woman. Pour hot water into a glass and mix in a spoonful of table salt. Swish thoroughly for a few minutes.  Salt is also helpful for reducing swelling and inflammation, and fights bacteria that can lead to an infection.

Pepper and Salt

I had never heard of this remedy, but if it takes away tooth pain, I’ll gladly use it. Make a paste by combining equal parts pepper and salt with a few drops of water.  Apply to the affected teeth or gums, and let it set for a few minutes.

How do you treat a toothache?

The Great Cholesterol Debate

How Many Eggs Can You Safely Eat in a Week?

 

It’s challenging enough to cope with menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain, and high blood pressure, without having to worry about high cholesterol levels. This is meant to be an enjoyable time in your life, and that includes eating your favorite foods.

If you go to a breakfast buffet, you’ll see a long line at the omelet station. Most people wouldn’t even think of eating breakfast without eggs, and a made-to-order omelet with all the meat and cheese you want is an egg lovers dream.

There has been a debate in the medical community for years over how many eggs you can eat without raising your cholesterol levels. Now, there is good news for egg lovers. According to a 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it’s safe to eat twelve eggs a week. The trick is to find healthier ways to prepare eggs, so you don’t have to feel deprived.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one large egg has about 180mg cholesterol and it’s all in the yolk.  I like hardboiled eggs, which are high in potassium, zinc, iron, vitamin E, and folate. At only 80 calories, I can have a nutritious breakfast or snack without breaking the calorie bank.

Poached eggs are easy to prepare. Add a splash of vinegar to a pan of simmering water, tip in the egg, and leave for three minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon and you’re ready to chow down.

Eggs are not usually prepared as a stand-alone dish, and are often accompanied by bacon, sausage, ham, or hash browns, and the saturated fat or oil you’re using to prepare these side dishes can increase your risk of a heart attack.

If you like a more substantial breakfast, take a whole-grain tortilla, and stuff it with scrambled eggs, lean turkey sausage, and diced tomato. You can bake low-fat eggs in a bread bowl for a special weekend breakfast or brunch.

Stay away from high-calorie toppings such as sour cream or cheese. Invest in a non-stick skillet so you don’t have to use oil when you fry your eggs. You can top eggs with salsa, or use herbs such as parsley, tarragon, or chives.

Prepare a whole-grain cereal to go with your eggs so you cover all the nutritional bases, or if you want to serve eggs for dinner pair with your favorite vegetables.

 

 

Are You In So Much Pain You Can’t Sleep?

Get Relief By Sleeping on a Water Pillow

I couldn’t get to sleep last night because my neck was killing me. Since I use a support pillow, that shouldn’t be an issue, but I kept turning over, and alternately punching and fluffing the pillow to try to get comfortable.

I have had chronic back pain for 20 years and when I turned 58, I experienced neck pain all day and night. I am always on the hunt for a product that will ease the pain, and now I have discovered a water pillow that may help me get a better night’s sleep.

A water pillow maintains its shape so you don’t have to waste time you could be sleeping trying to get comfortable. It not only keep your head and neck in alignment, it provides support for your whole body.

It’s normal to toss and turn while you sleep, and your regular pillow can end up anywhere on the bed. A water-filled pillow will stay wherever you put it and won’t move around.

Depending on your sleep position, you can adjust the amount of water you put into the pillow. Some people prefer a firmer pillow while others sleep better with a soft pillow.

There are few things more frustrating that needing to get some rest, and the pain of a stiff neck and head is keeping you awake. Keeping you head and neck in alignment may help you sleep through the night and you can’t put a price on that.

“Poor sleep can lead to increased stress hormones that increase the severity of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis,” according to Jessica Krant, MD, MPH, who is an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Proper sleep means you have more energy, and you may want to start tackling those home projects you have been putting off, or you may feel like going for a run or walk, which will give you even more energy.

How do you get a good night’s sleep?

Kick Menopause Symptoms to the Curb

Join a Support Group for a New Lease on Life!

In the early 1990s I worked in the office at a local rest home. One of my fellow workers was experiencing terrible hot flashes and would sit in front of the fan, peel off layers of clothes, and remind the rest of us she was burning up. As a last resort, she decided to turn on the air conditioning, which would have been fine if it hadn’t been the dead of winter. The rest of the office huddled together like frozen fish sticks until she finally turned it off.

The rest of the world doesn’t seem very sympathetic to a woman in the throes of menopause, and have their own problems to deal with. However, it is helpful to be able to confide in someone who knows what you are going through.

Hot flashes, muscle aches, loss of energy, and weight gain are just a few of the symptoms that you may feel you need extra support to deal with.

That’s where joining a menopause support group can be life changing. These groups are springing up everywhere so there’s a good chance you can join in your hometown. It provides a safe environment where you can tell it like it is without someone telling you to shut up and deal with it.

Every woman deals with menopause in her own way, and a support group brings women together who are facing similar issues. You can pick up some good tips that you’ve never tried before, and maybe that is just what you need to take care of your symptoms.

It’s very satisfying to know that you have made a difference in someone else’s life and you can develop lifelong friendships. Helping other people always takes your mind off your own problems, even if it’s just for a short time.

If there is no support group nearby, you can choose to connect on the internet or by telephone. You can choose a professional group leader, such as a nurse, social worker, or psychologist or just appoint someone from within the group.

When you can openly express your feelings, you  feel less stressed, and better able to cope when troublesome menopause symptoms arise because you know you can always turn to the group for support.

Ask your doctor about finding a menopause support group, or contact a church, library, or community center.  The internet may help you find what you’re looking for, or if you really want to step outside your comfort zone, start your own support group.

5 Tips to Minimize Bone Loss in Menopause

It's Never Too Early to Start!

You lose more bone mass in menopause because your body is producing less estrogen. This increases your risk of bone fractures due to osteoporosis.

You don’t have to suffer in silence. Making wise choices, changing some bad habits, and consulting with your doctor can minimize bone loss, and improve your quality of life.

Here are five tips to minimize bone loss in menopause:

Enjoy the Sunshine

The conventional wisdom is that you shouldn’t go out in the sun without sunscreen. However, enjoying the sun for 15-20 minutes a few times a week, allows you to soak up Vitamin D3. This feel-good vitamin not only helps you build bone mass, it also brightens your mood.

Quit Smoking

Smoking may relax you, but it reduces the amount of calcium in your bones, and interferes with Vitamin D production. There are many over the counter products to help you quit smoking, or you can  join a smoking cessation group.

Weight Bearing Exercise

Walking, jogging, or strength training helps keep bones strong. If you have arthritis or osteoporosis, ask your doctor which exercises would be appropriate for you. If you’re a member of a gym, many personal trainers will give you at least a complimentary session, so take advantage of that.

Foods High in Calcium

Fish with bones such as salmon, sardines, or whitebait, are rich in calcium, and can be served as a main dish, added to a casserole, or used as a tasty protein over salad greens. Other good sources of calcium include almonds, broccoli, collard greens, dried figs, soy milk, and fortified tofu.

Calcium Supplements

It may not be possible to get all the calcium you need from your diet. Unless you take hormone therapy, you need between 1000-1500 mg a day. Take two to three times a day, because the body only absorbs about 500mg at a time.

 

Are You Sick and Tired of Bad News?

One Positive Thing That Will Have You Smiling!

 

I’ve decided my days of being a news junkie are over. I’m tired of hearing about the senseless things people say and do, and the current administration in Washington leaves a lot to be desired.

What I have been doing more of is seeking out positive news stories. There is still a lot of good in the world, you just have to look for it. Surprisingly, we often overlook the blessings we have already experienced.

I was reading an article this morning about the benefits of having a blessings bowl. You may be thinking what in the world is a blessings bowl? As you go through your day, think about all the things you are grateful for. Write these things down on a small slip of paper or Post-It note and put it in your blessings bowl.  At the end of the year, read each slip of paper, and you’ll be surprised at how much is going right in your life.

If you want to get fancy about it, you can order a beautiful blessings bowl online. There are sets that have the blessing bowl, a pen and paper, ribbon, and instructions on how to use it.  However, if your wallet is flatter than a pancake, use any bowl you have on hand, a pot, or even a hat.

A blessings bowl makes a nice gift for a friend or family member. Instead of writing what you’re grateful for, think of all the helpful things this person has done for you and write them down. Once the bowl is full, you have a nice gift that will be cherished forever.

It’s easy to get lost in our crazy world, and counting your blessings keeps your emotions in check, and you realize that you are still making a difference in your own life, and in the lives of others.

What are you grateful for today?

 

 

 

Do You Feel Like A Walking Zombie?

Tips and Tricks to Reduce Sleep Apnea

 

Insomnia is one of the most common symptoms of menopause.  The culprit may be hormonal changes, but you may also suffer from sleep apnea. This is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when your breathing repeatedly stops during sleep. Your brain and the rest of your body may be starved of oxygen.

You may be more likely to suffer from sleep apnea if you’re overweight, over the age of 40, diabetic, or have high blood pressure or heart problems. A large neck, tonsils,or tongue may also cause sleep apnea.

You can’t perform at your best if you’re not well rested and you may feel sleepy during the day, which can affect your job performance. It’s especially dangerous if you get sleepy while driving.

Your doctor may order a sleep study to confirm that you are suffering from sleep apnea. You report to the sleep center, and the technician takes a brief medical history. Then over 20 wire electrodes are applied to your head, face, and body, and this measures brain waves, eye movements, heart, respiration, oxygen levels, snoring, and muscle tone while you’re sleeping.

Depending on your sleep study results, you may be advised to use  continuous positive airway pressure, which is commonly referred to as a CPAP. You wear a mask over your nose and mouth and air flow helps keep  your airway open and you breath easier.  Check with your insurance to see if a CPAP is covered, because some insurances will pick up the whole tab.

There are also lifestyle changes you can make that may improve your sleep apnea. Losing weight is one of the most important. Excess weight may cause the throat and tongue muscles to become too relaxed, and that blocks your airway.

If you sleep on your back, try switching to your side for at least part of the night. You won’t snore as loudly, and it’s easier to breathe.

This one should be a no-brainer, but smoking can increase the swelling in the upper airway, so enroll in a stop-smoking class or purchase a product that gradually weans you off cigarettes. Your whole body will thank you.

What has been your experience with a CPAP?