Alternative & Complementary Treatments

Post image for Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid For Chronic Pain

If you are a woman in menopause and suffer with generalized achy muscles, bones and joints, unless you’ve been diagnosed with some sort of arthritis, or perhaps even Lupus or MS, chances are the likely culprit is chronic inflammation in the body.

Yes, it is true that arthritis, Lupus, and MS cause inflammation. But, there are other issues which can cause chronic inflammation which are not related to any of those conditions.

A diet too high in refined carbohydrates (i.e. white things) and sugars, and too low in omega-3 essential fatty acids for example, can cause inflammation in the body. Low estrogen levels, very common for women in menopause, and which usually correspond with low serotonin levels (an important neurotransmitter which regulates mood and pain receptors), can also contribute to generalized aches and pains.

Long-term stress can contribute to chronic inflammation due to high cortisol levels, a hormone released by the adrenal gland in response to stress. Women going through perimenopause often suffer with adrenal fatigue, and consequently, also have very high levels of cortisol in their bodies.

No matter the cause, chronic pain is debilitating. And if you are like me, and not comfortable with taking narcotics to treat the pain, it can be especially difficult. Earlier this year, I blogged about a book which I think has some excellent points and tips on dealing with chronic pain, The Mind-Body Mood Solution: The Breakthrough Drug Free Program for Lasting Relief from Depressionby Dr. Jeffrey Rossman, PhD.

Yes, it is a book on depression. But chronic pain and depression are closely linked, and depression among women in menopause is common as well. The book has excellent information on light exposure, exercise, and food choices to treat depression, which in turn helps treat chronic pain.  I’m also a strong proponent of yoga to help deal with aches and pains, and to reduce stress. I’ve blogged about Viniyoga techniques hereas well. I cannot recommend it enough for women in menopause.

And I recently ran across the anti-inflammatory food pyramid designed by one of my personal heroes, Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D.  I love it because it is reasonable and measured. I’m not a fan of extreme diets or health crazes which are heavy on one type of food, and negligent in others. I just cannot see how they work for any length of time. In my opinion, balance and moderation is the real key to health.

You can read here about the anti-inflammatory diet, why it works, and why we should all strive to eat that way. However, if like me, you have suffered with chronic pain for any length of time, I suspect you won’t need much convincing.  Especially if you’re not interested in taking drugs.

I definitely plan to incorporate it into my own life along with the Viniyoga I currently do, and the practices and tips I’ve learned from Dr. Rossman’s book this year as well. If you’ve heard of the anti-inflammatory food pyramid, or if you currently use it, I would love to hear your thoughts. Has it worked for you? Was it difficult to follow? Has it helped your chronic pain issues? Let me know!


Menopause is a Fact of Life, Treatment Options are a Choice

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It doesn’t matter where a woman lives. It doesn’t matter what language she speaks or how she spends her day. Menopause is a fact of her life. Every day, in the U.S. alone 6,000 women begin this mid-life adventure with hot flashes, a sudden mood swings, painful vaginal dryness, night sweats, and restless sleeping patterns. [...]

April 7, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Find Menopause Relief Through Lifestyle Changes

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One thing is certain–menopause is not a disease.  It’s a perfectly natural process that affects every woman once they reach a certain age. However, sometimes it can feel like a disease.  This is because menopause is the proverbial last straw; things add up unnoticed for years until menopause comes along and tips the balance over. [...]

December 17, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Politics, Healthcare & Women’s Health: Where Do We Go From Here?

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One of the hardest parts of this job is that I don’t have easy, fast, slam-dunk answers for women who are struggling with perimenopause symptoms. Hands down, the question I hear the most is: “How can I get my doctor to listen to me?”  And I just don’t have an easy answer to that question.  [...]

November 19, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

We Have Winners!

I drew the names for five winners in the HPA Balance giveaway.  You can find Dr. Rawls’ post and description of the product here.  To find out the winners are watch the video below, and if you are one of the winners please contact me asap so I can provide your name and shipping details to [...]

October 17, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Natural Therapies for Menopause & Product Giveaway!

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Today’s post is a guest post from Dr. Rawls, co-founder of the company Vital Plan and the non-hormone product HPA Balance® to treat perimenopause and menopause symptoms.  To participate in the giveaway either leave a comment on this post in the comment section, or join us at Facebook.  Either “Like” the post, or leave a [...]

October 14, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Find Natural Relief of Menopause Symptoms

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Guest Post by Rebecca Hulem, a certified menopause clinician and widely known as “The Menopause Expert” When menopause starts, there are a variety of options for easing the common symptoms of menopause. While each woman can offer advice on relief, I’ve found that different treatments work for different women. One thing many women agree on [...]

October 1, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Estroven: “Menopause Awareness: The Good, the Bad, and the Sweaty”

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Greetings, Menopause Mavens! As you all know, September is “Menopause Awareness Month.” And as I announced on Facebook last week, I am teaming up again with one of my favorite sponsors, Estroven, to promote menopause awareness and to tell you about one of their new products, Estroven Weight Management and a giveaway! I know a lot of you ladies [...]

September 15, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Viniyoga for Anxiety in Perimenopause: The Jury is In

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Anxiety in perimenopause is a “biggie” for women. Probably the most complained about symptom of perimenopause.  Right up there with “I think I’m going crazy.” Trying to address these issues and help women with the symptoms is always a balancing act for me. On the one hand, I’ve come to believe that hormone therapy can really help [...]

September 5, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Viniyoga for Anxiety & Depression in Perimenopause

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This past weekend we had a lively discussion on Facebook on the topic of anxiety and depression in perimenopause. There’s a reason for that, too. It’s a huge problem for women in perimenopause. Right up there next to the, “I think I’m going crazy” symptom of perimenopause. Which is probably why the only solutions the medical community seems to have [...]

August 28, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Combat Menopause: Exercise for a Better Life!

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It is inevitable. Every woman at some point in her life will face the reality of perimenopause and menopause and there is no way to avoid it. Media teaches us that we will become insane creatures and that life will be miserable, but it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to control the effects [...]