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Take the Challenge: Change one Thing
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18th Jun, 2009 | Source : Newsweek Showcase

There's nothing I appreciate more than a tiny change in perspective that can recolor my entire outlook. That is exactly what happened when I began to look outside the traditional methods of antidepressants and hormone therapy to treat symptoms of hormone imbalance. When I was first introduced to herbal medicine I felt desperate, and had desperate faith. To my surprise, herbal medicine and alternative modalities turned into an unexpected does of inspiration. At the time, my only goal was to regain my mental focus and get back to feeling like myself again. However, I received so much more: I developed a brand new outlook on life, and a journey that began nearly twenty years ago.

Circumventing hormone imbalances comes down to a matter of choice in lifestyle and remedies. Some choices are safer then others, some build better health for the long term, and others just do not.

Everyday, we make decisions about food, exercise, and nutrition. These choices are things that we can, at any time, change. Symptoms of menopause can be naturally occurring or the result of surgery or medication, and how to manage them is a decision most woman will make in their lifetime.

My inspiration to write comes from the many women who contact me looking for answers apart from standard conventional treatments. Every woman has her own unique experience, but most are not enthusiastic about using medications they feel they don’t need, such as an antidepressant. An unprecedented number of women sit on the fence about using any form of prescription Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) including the very misleading ‘natural’ bioidentical hormones. HRT has been proven to cause life threatening illnesses. Fear and caution are reasonable ways to feel about treatment options that over the past few years have become wedged between disenchantment and a catch 22.

The federally funded 2002 clinical study on HRT found an increased risk for breast cancer, heart attack, stroke and blood clots and had millions of women tossing their HRT. Most recently HRT has been proven to increases the risk of lung cancer with the increased likelihood of death.

The FDA warns women who choose to use hormones to take them at the lowest dose possible and only for a short time. Bioidentical hormones mixed at pharmacies are not FDA approved or standardized and warns consumers that there is no scientific data to say they are any safer then traditional HRT.

Solutions for Women has a unique focus on menopause, because frankly, menopause itself is not the problem. Our focus is on the years surrounding menopause so you and your body will be better prepared for hormonal changes. The healthier you are in body and mind the fewer symptoms you will experience, and they will be less intense. Monthly hormone fluctuations, perimenopause and menopause should be manageable without medication. Our choices make the difference, and it is up to us to be nutritionally, physically, mentally and emotionally prepared.

The Buddhists call them “turn around days” – days when thing begin to change. Solutions for Women invites you to join us here at monthly to Take the Challenge. Change One Thing. Live a little differently everyday as a way to control symptoms, develop better habits make them part of your daily routine.

Experts on brain health have demonstrated that what we believe to be true effects our health and behaviors. Somewhere in our learning process it became acceptable to blame menopause for bad hair days and every disease imaginable. How many of your thoughts about menopause are actually your own? Celebrities, pharmacist and even some doctors have turned menopause into a jaw-clenching, nail-biting transition. Some health concerns can overlap with menopause, but menopause is not the root cause of deteriorating health and wellness. Menopause simply means the end of menstrual cycles. Yes indeed, its accompanying changes can be annoyances. But they can be better viewed as wake-up calls.

Dr. Andrew Weil once said, “We should be doing everything humanly possible to prevent the onset of discomfort, illness and age related disease.” As simple as it may sound, a few tweaks and changes can stop negative turns in health, and help your body get back on track.

Now is as good a time as any to get started.
Change needn’t be a challenge, I just thought it was a catchy title. This is also not a race to the finish line. Remember the turtle and rabbit story: it is the slow and steady pace that is likely to triumph.

Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause. While the exact cause is unknown, it is generally understood that a sudden change in hormone levels confuses a woman’s internal thermostat, causing the body to send a message to blood vessels, the heart, and the nervous system to work harder. These mixed signals result in the telltale bursts of heat.

So what’s the fix?
Drink plenty of water and limit caffeine and alcohol. Take a good multivitamin and an herbal supplement that is formulated to support the hormonal system. Eat a balanced diet: incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, and grains, avoid spicy foods, and curb your sweet tooth. If you smoke, stop. If you need help with nicotine or alcohol addiction, speak with your doctor, reach out and ask for help.

During the day, dress in layers. Carry a small Chinese portable fan for a quick breeze of fresh air. Another easy quick cool-down trick is to run cold water over the inside of your wrists. At night, wear something lightweight and loose fitting. Dress your bed in layers so you can easily take blankets off if needed. Turn the heat down and open a window.

A simple strategy to reduce stress, calm your mind and ease a flash is to take a few slow deep breaths. Controlled breathing can prevent or diminish the severity of a hot flash, and as well, the anxiety and heart palpations that sometimes come along with it. Focus on your breath by thinking about it. Take a long, slow deep breath, filling your lungs with air. Count to 7, hold for 4, and slowly release counting to 7. There are several different breathing exercises—they all work and they’re all free.

Herbal Treatment for Symptom Relief
Herbs are therapeutic agents that provide relief and have the ability to prevent symptoms from getting worse. When used properly, many herbs proactively generate and maintain wellness. Herbs are used in lieu of conventional medicine and some practitioners use them as adjunct therapy in support of certain conventional pharmaceutical therapies.
The quality of herbs and nutritional supplements will make a difference in how effective they are. Quality is evident in both ingredient purity and excellence in manufacturing. Read the “other ingredients” list at the bottom of the label. Surrounding a good ingredient with binders, fillers, color, and flavor enchanters diminish absorption and bioavailability and will increase the occurrence of gastric upset.

Femmerol® is a clinically tested Solutions for Women product that is made from a combination of pharmaceutical grade herbal extracts. The clinical study demonstrated noticeable and in many cases, substantial improvements in reducing several symptoms, including hot flashes, moodiness and insomnia. To read the clinical study results, click here.
My hope is that you will begin to rethink menopause. You can live the changes in your health and your life that you desire. I promise it will be worth your effort. Live smart and be well.

Write to Me
There are approximately 60,000,000 women in menopause with another 100,000 entering perimenopause and menopause each month, and so many of you have valuable things to say about the journey. Please pass along your stories and your wisdom. Your experiences will bring love and support to others. Were there words you read or heard, something someone said that gave you new awareness or courage or helped you through a difficult experience? I would love to hear your story. Email me at .

Sabina Eve Fasano is the founder and CEO of Solutions for Women, a company that develops and manufactures alternative healthcare products for women. The company’s flagship product, Femmerol®, is a clinically tested, micronized herbal formulation used to address hormonal imbalance due to menopause, perimenopause, and monthly hormonal fluctuations. Femmerol is manufactured by the Capsugel division of Warner Lambert.



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