Monthly Archives: May 2011

Perimenopausal Depression

Wendy Klein MD150Are you suffering from hopelessness, apprehension, and deep sadness for prolonged periods? If so, you may be suffering from depression. During my menopause transition I felt blue for no reason at all. I could not snap out of it, and my friends and family were mystified.

Most perimenopausal women do not experience major depression, but many have symptoms of feeling depressed, stressed, and anxious.

If you are experiencing menopausal symptoms such as severe hot flashes and lack of sleep from night sweats, it may be causing you to feel depressed. Are you in a depressed mood and feeling sad, or are you suffering from clinical depression resulting from a chemical imbalance in the brain?

I recently teamed up with leading menopause expert and co-author of The Menopause Makeover, Dr. Wendy Klein, to get the latest scientific information on perimenopausal depression.

Perimenopause Depression Interview

Staness: What are the most common signs of depression?

Dr. Klein: The most common signs of depression are feeling sad, feeling worthless and losing interest in the things that normally engage you. Having no “get up and go,” you would rather sit on the couch doing nothing than get up and do something that would normally engage you. Other symptoms include the loss of libido, changes in appetite – too much or too little – feeling very sleepy and tired and fatigued, or having insomnia, not being able to sleep. A common sign of depression is a change in your normal habits.

A more serious symptom of depression is sustained loss of interest in things that you just can’t seem to break out of, which is called dysthymia. Things seem really bleak and you just can’t quite punch your way out of this paper bag of darkness and it lingers. If it lingers or if you have thoughts that are scary, such as wanting to give up or wanting to hurt yourself or even suicidal thoughts, you must talk to your clinician because there are things that can be done to help you.

Staness: What can cause these feelings of depression during menopause?

Dr. Klein: Depression is multi-factorial. There are many factors that can cause an increased risk for depression. If you have depression in your family, a prior history of depression, and even some medications can cause an increased risk of depression. Certain endocrine disorders, such as hypothyroidism, or other illnesses, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, are also associated with depression.

Depression is an illness that can be triggered by the chemicals in your brain. Serotonin regulates your moods. It is the “feel good” hormone. When serotonin levels drop you can experience extreme episodes of depression.

You also want to look at lifestyle stressors – a change in relationship, finances, loss of a loved one, caring for parents – and consider the many modalities of treatment that are available to help you.

You approach depression in menopause the same way that you would approach depression at any other time: you first want to rule out other medical causes, or other medications that might be contributing.

Staness: Many women live with daily stress and then throw in menopause and a few medications, and it is no surprise menopausal women may suffer from depression. What depression treatment options are available?

Dr. Klein: A number of options are available, including psychotherapy, and antidepressants and can assist you if you are suffering from depression.

There are degrees of depression. Mild depression, feeling blue or sad, can be dealt with cognitive therapy, psychotherapy, meditation, yoga, eating healthfully, and exercise. We know that exercise does boost your endorphins and can lift your mood. Also, engaging in new activities may help, such as making yourself take classes, making yourself get out and do things, and enlisting the support of your family and friends.

If you have lingering or worsening symptoms, you may need medication, because we know that depression can be a malfunction of your neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin, which is the feel good neurotransmitter. Medicines can be enormously helpful, although you will want to incorporate lifestyle changes as well.

In short, if someone is experiencing the signs or symptoms of depression, there are number of things you can do. Eating healthfully, exercising regularly, and seeking support from family and friends may help. Also, you can engage in any activity that gives you a sense of achievement. It may be taking a class, taking up something new such as yoga, or trying the drawing class that you always wanted to take, or volunteering and getting outside yourself. All of these things are very useful.

If you are still feeling very stuck and sad, talk to your clinician so you can get a referral to a good psychotherapist. If you need medication, in the broader context of menopausal symptoms, there is some evidence that hormone therapy can augment treatment and help people who are on anti-depressants feel even better. That is a decision for you and your clinician.

If you suffer from depression or someone you love is depressed, get support, visit your health care provider and discuss your options for treating depression.

  • Share/Bookmark
Posted in ask the expert

Is drinking coffee making you fat?

Used over the long term, caffiene actually reduces your metabolism. You come to need increasing amounts of caffiene just to stay alert. The slower metabolism actually causes you to gain weight on less food.

It raises cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that is responsible for fat storage in the body.

It causes your blood sugar to spike. Then after the caffeine begins to wear off your blood sugar plummets. This causes you to crave sugar. In other words you think your hungry when you’re really not. This is obviously counterproductive to your weight loss goal. Have you ever noticed you crave carbohydrates after a cup of coffee. This is why. Your body is tring to get you to eat some carbohydrates to get your blood sugar back to where it should be.

The end result of caffeine is really fatigue. After caffeine wears off you are tired. Then you have more caffeine. Then you are tired. By the end of the day most people who drink coffee are exhausted and they dont know why. This fatigue makes it difficult to exercise which is a one of the most important ways we should be getting our energy.

Coffee not only is proven in women to add fat to the body, it has also been proven in studies that people who drink coffee sleep much less.

Also, many of us use creamers and/or sugar = more calories.

Coffee will dehydrate you. Depending on your intake of coffee, you may be ruining all that extra water you have been drinking to reduce your body storing water.

People who drink too much coffee may have some stomach problems. The caffeine irrates the lining of the stomach as it has a heavy acidic content.

Caffeine may also cause the body to lose calcium, and that can lead to bone loss over time.

Drink one cup or less of caffeine a day and enjoy lots of fresh water!

  • Share/Bookmark
Posted in nutrition

May Giveaway

Catherine Kichler from Indiana won this fabulous $500 giveaway – Congrats!

Celebrate YOU

with this giveaway worth over $500!

Pamper yourself and win this fabulous giveaway!

It’s easy, just leave a comment on our Facebook page, subscribe to the Hot Flash Newsletter or follow me on twitter.

Open Yellow Box

The Ultimate Makeover! Win a FREE copy of The Menopause Makeover!

The Menopause Makeover: The Ultimate Guide To Taking Control of Your Health and Beauty During Menopause.

Celebrate the NEW YOU in 8 easy steps in just 12 weeks!

Welcome NiteSweatz to our monthly giveaway!

NiteSweatz innovative, thermo-regulating apparel makes a distinctive fashion statement while comforting the body and spirit during life changing conditions that contribute to increased perspiration, hot flashes and night sweats.

Created by an Exercise Physiologist that understands technology fabrics from years working out in it has coupled the functional moisture wicking benefits (actually pulls moisture away from the body allowing it to evaporate faster leaving you cool and dry) with fashionable.  The result is light-weight, cool slinky outfits that feel wonderful! We love NiteSweatz – very comfy!

Our favorite Handmade SWEETS

by Pat Shepard, Two Sisters and The Other One

Love the new healthy happy YOU!  Pat and her sisters did it again!  Another fabulous gift loaded with HEALTHY treats that are handmade and beautiful! This bundle of goodies will get you off to a good start.  This fabulous gift box selection with a sweet but healthy twist includes:

-Honey Ganola

-Trail Mix

-Signature Caramels

-“Skinny” fig bars

-“Bee Queen” harvest honey

I have personally enjoyed this basket of healthy treats – yum yum!  I have to fight my husband for the honey granola in the morning, and I hide the fig bars for my afternoon treat.  You will love this healthy collection of hand-made treats!

Welcome WalletBe to our monthly giveaway!

The WalletBe™ Purple Cellphone Accordion Wallet is made from Italian hand-finished croco-embossed leather and is a high-fashion accessory, practically designed for women on the go. This designer Cellphone Wallet holds your iPhone, Blackberry, PDA, small digital camera or MP3 Player!

Check out all these functional features!

  • Comfortable Designed for the iPhone, Blackberry, PDA’s and MP3 Players
  • 9 Card Accordion I.D. Wallet- A WalletBe Design Exclusive
  • Convenient Outer I.D. has Exclusive Card Curtain to Hide I.D.
  • Inside Coin Purse and Elastic Money Band
  • Outside Elastic Lipstick Tube Holder
  • Detachable Wristlet and Shoulder Strap
  • Handmade 100% Italian Leather Wallet
  • Actual Size: 4-7/8″ x 3-1/4″ x 1-3/4″

Hot Flash Havoc DVD – be one of the FIRST to own Hot Flash Havoc!

Hot Flash Havoc is the most provocative and revealing film ever made about menopause.

HOT FLASH HAVOC is enlightening, entertaining, humorous, profound, and is a crash-course in what you need to know about menopause. It has the power to be a life-changing experience for every woman in your life. Every woman over 30 needs to have this information. If you are in the Los Angeles area, see Hot Flash Havoc in person May 23rd, click here for tickets.

Healthy gift compliments of our friend, Debi Talbert!

Appetizer Diet 12 Pack Cookie Combo: A convenient snack or meal that provides the nutrition, energy and tastiness you crave in this fast-paced world. AND Crave Energy Drink Mini 10-pack:  Simply mix one packet into approximately 16oz of pure water or whatever other beverage you prefer and drink slowly. You will love the taste and in just a few minutes you will feel the most incredible energy come over you. The energy will help you bring your workout to the next level or help you get past the mid day slump at work. It last about 4-6 hours on average.

Create a sanctuary for YOUR spirit at Ganesha Center

Ganesha Soul products are introduced by Ganesha Center, Sanctuary for the Spirit in Las Vegas. These fabulous feather earrings were exquisitely created with today’s new thought, new expression and self realization seekers in mind – you!  Set your spirit free with these beautiful feather hand-crafted earrings just for YOU!

Say YES to Yes

Yes® is a sensuous and original gift idea for you to share with your partner that will inspire and enhance your lovemaking – an intimate gift that you can discover together.  This award winning natural lubricant range is the only certified organic range of intimacy products in the world and promises pleasure, purity and performance! Limited intimate lubrication is a common problem for many menopausal women. Yes Pure Intimacy has the perfect solution – a sensuous, natural, discreet intimate lubricant range that is plant based, free from chemicals, glycerine and hormone mimics. Its purity is guaranteed as it is the only certified organic intimate lubricant in the world, combining the performance of an outstanding lubricant with that of a vaginal moisturizer.

Perimenopause Relief Kit

St Muireann recommends a genuine freshwater pearl necklace, a gourmet chocolate bar, and a good sexy novel to alleviate those pesky symptoms of menopause.  The beautiful, nearly-round 7mm genuine freshwater pearls are separated by tiny glass beads. Unlike pearls knoted on a string, this maintenance-free necklace will never need to be reknotted! Ladies, sit down with a glass of wine and a bar of good chocolate and take a break from those hot flashes and tears with this little gem, it’s a treat!

Hurry and enter today!

For a chance to win this fabulous collection of gifts:

Tell us on our Facebook page that you want to win this giveaway!
Follow us on Twitter
Tell a friend
Subscribe to our monthly Hot Flash Newsletter
If you already subscribe and follow us on Facebook and Twitter you are automatically entered to win, but we would love to hear from you on Facebook again!

Share this contest with YOUR social media community. Scroll to bottom of the page to share.

Contest Rules

Contest closes midnight May 31, 2011!

June 1st  one GRAND winner will be selected to win this pampering giveaway.

ONE grand prize winner to be announced by June 15, 2011.

Winner to provide a mailing address so the vendors can mail your prize.

Eligibility: Open only to permanent legal U.S. residents physically residing in the fifty (50) United States of America.

By registering, you will be agreeing that your registration and any other information collected in connection with the Contest may be used by Sponsor and may be shared with Sponsor’s affiliated business entities, and that you automatically opt-in to receive email, text messages or other communications from Sponsor. You may subsequently opt-out of the receipt of such email or communications by following the directions in the email, communications or by contacting Sponsor directly.

All registrations must include entrant’s valid email address. The email address provided by online entrants will be the identity of the entrant and, if selected for a prize, the identity of the winner. We expressly reserve the right to disqualify any entries that we believe in good faith are generated by an automated program or via scripts. By participating, all entrants agree to abide by these Official Contest Rules.

Decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding with respect to all matters related to the Contest. All prizes will be awarded. In no event shall the Sponsor be obligated to award more prizes than the number of prizes stated in these Official Contest Rules. All prizes won by minors will be awarded to their parents or legal guardians on their behalf. Please allow 6-8 weeks for prize delivery.

  • Share/Bookmark
Posted in Contests