November 5, 2009

10 Natural Perimenopause Solutions - Recap

Here’s a quick recap of 10 natural solutions covered. Refer back to the posting on each solution for more information. This list is my top 10 solutions to keep you looking and feeling your best as you journey through perimenopause.

1. Consult your medical professional annually.
2. Exercise.
3. Eat a healthy, nutritious diet.
4. Soy protein.
5. Stress Management.
6. Omega 3 fatty acids.
7. Natural Supplements.
8. A good night’s sleep.
9. Hot Flash relief.
10. Natural Skin Care.

Now that mom’s feeling better, we can take a look at our hormonal teens!

November 4, 2009

#10 Caring for you Skin

Aging is a natural part of life. It can be hard to see our skin showing signs of aging – dullness, uneven pigmentation, dryness and wrinkles. Taking proper care of our skin, from the inside and out, can help keep skin healthy. Premature aging of our skin is related to free radicals. Free radicals are produced when sunlight hits the skin, and toxins in our environment like cigarette smoke and air pollutants. The result for our skin is a loss of elastin and collagen. When collagen breaks down, our skin wrinkles and sags. Our skin is a reflection of the health of our insides, so what we put in our bodies is as important as how we care for the exterior skin.

Our bodies have a defense system to combat free radicals. Antioxidants, like vitamins C & E, prevent damage by free radicals by attaching to them, preventing them from damaging our tissue and cells. Our bodies are overwhelmed by free radical damage, known as oxidative stress. Hundreds of research studies suggest that we can keep oxidative stress to a minimum by ingesting antioxidants, avoiding environmental toxins, and maintaining emotional equilibrium.

External Skin Care Tips:
  • Cleanse skin regularly, and don’t forget the neck. Look for a product that is PH balanced. Be sure to remove makeup nightly.
  • Close pores after cleansing. Use a toner or cool water to close pores.
  • Renew skin. Use an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells, and apply a topical antioxidant (vitamin C & E are particularly helpful in repairing free radical skin damage). Avoid products with alcohol, or harsh chemical ingredients. Look for natural products free of parabens, phthalates, SLS, 1,4 dioxane or propylene glycol.
  • Sunscreen. Use a sunscreen everyday on your face, neck and hands. Many anti-aging skin moisturizers contain SPF 15, making it simple to protect your face and neck from further sun damage.
  • Moisturize. Keeping moisture in your skin cells keeps them plumped up and healthy.

Internal Skin Care Tips:

  • Fiber. Make sure you’re getting enough fiber. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber and anti-oxidants. Eating ¼ cup ground flaxseed each day provides 11 grams of fiber, and skin beautifying omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Fish. Salmon, sardines and swordfish are rich in omega-3 fats which help build healthy cell membrane throughout the body.
  • Soy. 100 – 160 mg of soy isoflavones daily can improve skin tone, hair and nails. Soy’s phytoestrogen strengthens collagen everywhere in the body.
  • Skin Aiding Supplements. Antioxidants are particularly important for your skin (coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C, Vitamin E).

Here’s to a beautiful you – inside and out!

November 2, 2009

#9 Hot Flash Cool Down

Not every women travelling towards menopause will experience hot flashes, but if you’re experiencing hot flashes, you know how uncomfortable they can be. Hot flashes are triggered by falling estrogen and rising FSH levels.

We’ve already addressed the addition of soy to cool the heat (see solution #4). Here are a few other solutions to consider:

  • Food triggers: certain foods can trigger hot flashes. Try eliminating spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine and alcohol to see if they are impacting your temperature. Reducing sugar and refined carbohydrates can also be helpful.

  • Vigorous exercise for 30 minutes 3 times/week has been shown to reduce hot flashes.

  • Relaxation and meditation can help minimize hot flashes.

  • Herbs, including black cohosh, dong quai, and licorice root have been used for centuries and are very effective at preventing hot flashes when taken regularly.

  • Dress in layers and natural fibers for greater comfort if a hot flash strikes unexpectedly!