Monday, 9 June 2014

PMS Not Linked to Hot Flashes Later, Study Finds

Women who experience premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, won't necessarily suffer from hot flashes when they go through menopause, according to a new study.

However, women who have PMS are more likely to report other common menopause complaints, such as memory and concentration problems, the researchers found.

"We were not able to detect any clear association between menopausal hot flashes and previous PMS," said study researcher Dr. Tomi Mikkola, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland.

"However, women with PMS are more likely to experience impaired quality of life when entering menopause," he said.

His study was published recently in the journal Menopause.

PMS refers to a group of symptoms linked to the monthly menstrual cycle. It occurs about one to two weeks before the period starts. Symptoms of PMS include mood changes, headache, breast tenderness, bloating, fatigue, sleep changes and food cravings, according to background information in the study.

Estimates of how many women suffer from PMS vary greatly. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates about 85 percent of women report at least one PMS symptom.

For the study, Mikkola and his colleagues included information from 120 healthy postmenopausal women who answered questions about symptoms they had experienced when they still had periods. They also answered questions about their current health and symptoms. The women were between 48 and 55 years old. None had taken hormone replacement therapy.

About 90 percent of the women said they had premenstrual symptoms earlier in their lives. About half said the symptoms hampered their ability to work well or hurt their social relations.

If the women had experienced premenstrual symptoms, at menopause, they were more likely to report problems with memory and concentration, a depressive mood, sleep problems and feeling less attractive, the study authors found.

"We do not know why PMS is linked with memory and concentration problems at menopause," Mikkola said. "However, it is possible that some women are more prone to experience both PMS and menopause symptoms more disturbing than others." That, in turn, could be related to personality, coping style, self-esteem and other factors, he said.

Dr. Margery Gass, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, reviewed the findings. "I've always thought many of the things bothering perimenopausal women are very similar to the symptoms of PMS." Perimenopause, which means "around menopause," refers to the years when a woman's body is making the transition from a regular monthly period to none.

"The study is very interesting and could help women and their [health care] providers better understand all the symptoms of menopause,'' Gass said.

Her advice for women? "Not to be surprised by these symptoms and to realize they are not going to last the rest of their lives," Gass said. "The symptoms will fade away as women get further away from their last period."

To improve PMS symptoms, experts suggest lifestyle measures such as getting regular exercise, eating a diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and getting enough sleep. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help symptoms such as breast tenderness. Taking birth control pills may help reduce symptoms, too.


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Report On Mental Health Suggests 'Robust' Approach To Treatment

A year in the making, a new state report recommends more funding for mental-health services, a system for tracking the availability of psychiatric beds and broadening the guidelines for forcing people into psychiatric care -- but it doesn't go as far as the legislator behind the study had hoped.

The Joint State Government Commission, the Legislature's research service, conducted the study after state Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks County, pushed through a resolution last May requesting it.

Mr. Caltagirone, who is minority chairman of the Judiciary Committee and concerned about the growing number of people with mental illness showing up in jails and prisons, hoped the commission would recommend re-establishing some of the state hospital beds closed in recent decades as part of a national push for community-based treatment.

The commission echoed his concern about incarceration of the mentally ill, saying "it is particularly ironic" that three shuttered state hospitals ultimately were turned into prisons. However, while the commission made recommendations for keeping people with mental illness out of the justice system -- such as developing a better-funded, more robust system of community mental-health services -- it did not recommend more hospital beds.

In an email, Glenn J. Pasewicz, the commission's executive director, said "a state hospital bed is supposed to be a last resort."

"The whole notion of a robust community mental health services system is to prevent persons with mental illness from becoming so ill that institutionalization is necessary," he said.

Mr. Caltagirone said the report was a starting point but not the dynamic road map for change he had sought.

"It's not the alpha and the omega," he said. "It's just the alpha."

Mr. Caltagirone said he would consider convening workshops or hearings with some of the mental-health experts interviewed for the study to hear directly what ideas they have for improving the mental health system and ultimately will introduce legislation to move forward the initiatives he considers most relevant.

"You have to be bold and dynamic," he said, predicting that reopening hospital beds -- and diverting money from the corrections system to fund them -- is the "biggest hurdle to overcome."

Allegheny County Judge John Zottola, chairman of the state's Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee, said the report represented a needed review of policies that are as much as 50 years old.

Deb Shoemaker, executive director of Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society, a group representing psychiatrists, said she was pleased with the report.

"The funding is the biggest issue, and it's paramount," she said.

In recommending more funding for community treatment, the commission echoed the sentiments of county officials, service providers and advocates, all of whom have lamented service cuts that followed a 10 percent reduction in state funding for mental-health services in 2012-13. It said support for community care only makes sense.

"The average cost per person in a state mental hospital in Pennsylvania is $144,072. The average cost per inmate in the state corrections institutions is $36,300," compared with an average annual cost of $2,322 for community treatment, it said.

The report did not give an opinion about how much more money is needed for community treatment.

"We did find that providers/counties would like to receive, at a minimum, restoration of the 10 percent cut from the 2013 budget, although they realize that the 10 percent would be a drop in the bucket," Mr. Pasewicz said in the email. "Also, while new money is needed, more efficient use of existing money is necessary."

The report provided additional support for some initiatives already in progress.

For example, it recommended a system for tracking availability of psychiatric beds at community hospitals. The Pennsylvania Medical Society last year called for such a system, saying patients with mental-health needs may spend hours, if not days, in emergency departments, because psychiatric beds are difficult to locate.

The study also recommended modifications to the state law regulating involuntary commitments for psychiatric care, saying the current standard for forcing a person into care is not broad enough.

State Sen. Patricia Vance, R-Cumberland County, introduced legislation in April 2013 to liberalize the standard, but the bill remains in committee. Judge Zottola said his committee has expressed interest in changes to the involuntary commitment law, but he questioned the study's proposal to include damaging property as a behavior that could force someone into care.

To give inmates stability when they leave a county jail, the commission recommended giving them up to a 30-day supply of psychiatric medications at the time of their releases. It said the state already provides departing prisoners with such a supply.

Allegheny County once provided a month's supply but cut back -- it now provides up to two weeks worth of medication and a prescription for a refill -- because of concern that medications would be sold on the street or otherwise fall into the wrong hands, said Sue Martone, the county's assistant deputy director for behavioral-health services.

The report also recommended the Legislature establish a student-loan-forgiveness program to lure more people into the mental-health field and keep them there. The federal government already offers such programs for psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other professionals.

Without identifying specific positions, Mr. Pasewicz said he envisions a state program for "front-line caseworkers/social workers, who comprise the bulk of personnel caught in the revolving door in human services staffing. People working in these positions are usually fresh out of college and are paid only slightly more than minimum wage."


Monday, 12 May 2014

How to Deal with Night Sweats, Headaches and Other Symptoms of Menopause?

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dealing with menopause symptoms can feel like a full-time job. Most women experience at least a few of the 45 known menopause symptoms, as identified by Dr. Shoreh Ershadi. Some suffer from debilitating symptoms that affect their day-to-day functioning. Menopause incontinence as well as hot flashes and night sweats and menopause are among the most common symptoms of menopause. Women may also experience menopause dry eyes, vaginal atrophy, and headaches and menopause. Natural products and lifestyle changes are often highly effective during this natural life transition.

Many women are interested in natural supplements such as DON'T PAUSE. These supplements offer relief from a variety of menopause symptoms without unwanted side effects. Studies have been performed on many natural ingredients, and the results are largely positive. Some herbs have been found to decrease the incidence and severity of hot flashes and night sweats while other natural ingredients can combat moodiness, irritability and dry or itchy skin. Powerful antioxidant ingredients can help restore healthier functioning overall and combat common signs of aging and menopause symptoms.

Lifestyle chances can also offer powerful relief. Menopausal women may need to keep a diary of their symptoms, which can help them identify triggers for night sweats and headaches. Avoiding these triggers can help alleviate symptoms. Women who are struggling with dry eyes menopause may benefit from moisturizing eye drops and frequent breaks from reading or screen time. Increased exercise and a nutritious diet is important for all people but especially important during menopause, when abdominal weight gain can become more common and may increase the risk of disease. Every woman is an individual and may experience variations in her symptoms. Taking a comprehensive approach that includes natural supplements and lifestyle changes is often effective against a broad range of symptoms.

The AntiAging Institute of California offers a wide selection of natural nutritional supplements, including DON'T PAUSE, which has been designed to specifically alleviate menopause symptoms. Dr. Shoreh Ershadi's research has led to the identification of 45 symptoms of menopause and the development of DON'T PAUSE, which uses a unique multi-ingredient formula that addresses both individual symptoms and the underlying cause of these symptoms.

SOURCE: The AntiAging Institute of California


Friday, 2 May 2014

Panel At Cherokee High School Addresses Bullying, Suicide

CANTON — Two or three students in every middle and high school classroom on average have attempted suicide in the past 12 months, said Sheri McGuinness, Georgia Suicide Prevention Action Network president and CEO.

Cherokee High School welcomed experts and community members Wednesday night for a panel discussion on teen suicide and bullying, featuring internationally acclaimed author Jay Asher.

About 50 people attended the discussion at Cherokee High School, including as many as 35 students, who heard from counselors, psychologists, crisis intervention specialists and local law enforcement about how to handle situations of bullying and threats of suicide.

McGuinness said 20 percent of students surveyed said they had thought about or planned their own suicide.

“That’s a lot of kids,” she said. “I say this, not to scare you, but so you can realize that this isn’t an isolated situation we’re discussing. And we have to really work hard at changing the culture of our schools and building resiliency, and teach our kids how to talk.”

McGuinness said 80 percent of people who attempt suicide told someone they were thinking about doing it, but they died anyway.

“What does that mean? That we didn’t hear them or we didn’t believe them? Or we didn’t take it seriously or we thought they were trying to get attention?” McGuinness asked. “We have to understand that unless you’re a clinician … someone else needs to make that assessment. We have to take every threat seriously.”

Asher, author of the New York Times and international bestselling book “Thirteen Reasons Why,” spoke to students at the school earlier Wednesday, returning for the community panel at 6 p.m.

His book tells the fictional story of a teen girl who ended her life, but decided to record her story on cassette tapes before she died.

“I never thought I’d write a book like this,” Asher told the audience.

But when Asher’s teenaged relative attempted suicide, he said, the issue became an important topic to address as an author of books for teens.

“She and I talked a lot about what got her to that place, and she was dealing with a lot,” Asher explained. “I felt I really understood how she got there … and now she’s doing really well.”

Asher said many people have told him the book helped them get through their own struggles, and said suicide needs to be a topic students can talk about in a safe space.

He stressed people who commit suicide don’t fit a stereotype. Asher said teens can look like they’re doing great and still be suffering with depression, which is why discussion is so important.

Asher said being able to talk about suicide can help prevent many tragedies. He said “it’s worth it … it’s important,” and adults should not be afraid to talk about suicide.

Sgt. Charles Westbrook, coordinator of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Intervention Team, said people who suffer from depression or other issues, which may lead them to believe suicide is the only escape, don’t realize their suffering is temporary.

“When you’ve got the flu and you’re really sick, and other people are around you, sometimes they don’t know exactly how you’re feeling,” he said. “That’s the way it is with depression. That’s the way it is when you start to feel suicidal.”

But Westbrook said, “Like the flu, it will get better.” He said suicide is a permanent decision for a temporary illness.

“If you reach out, you’ll find there will be people who will listen. Professionals and friends,” he said.

For many young people, pressure to be perfect can cause sadness or depression, the panel discussed.

Panel members agreed that the alternative to perfection is not failure, it’s authenticity.

Read more: Cherokee Tribune - Panel at Cherokee High School addresses bullying suicide


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Pioneer hoopsters to play on Saturday - Women reunite for charity basketball game

BLUEFIELD — A group of women who played high school basketball in the “pioneer days” of the sport in McDowell County is getting together on Saturday evening to raise money for a local effort to assist homeless people — and to relive their “glorious past.”

The women are now in their 40s and 50s, leading to the team’s name, the Hot Flashes, according to team member Paula Newbill Mlynczak.

The game is set to tip off at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Bluefield Recreation Center on Stadium Drive.

Ticket proceeds will help Open Heart Ministries, a Christian-based, non-profit alliance that assists temporarily homeless people. The effort helps people re-direct and re-establish their lives, Mlynczak said.

The Hot Flashes roster includes alumni of now-defunct Northfork, Welch and Big Creek high schools from McDowell County, as well as Mount View High. Some members of the Northfork Blue Demons 1979 state championship team have committed to play, Mlynczak said.

The oldest player is 56 years old, she said. The majority of the team is still living in southern West Virginia. “We have four or five from North Carolina,” she said.

The Hot Flashes will play a group of middle-school age girls from Bluefield who have chosen the collective name of Team Dominant.

Team Dominant includes “upper-tier middle school players,” several of whom are in AAU programs, said Mlynczak’s husband Larry, who works with his wife in Open Heart Ministries.

Paula Mlynczak said she got the idea for the game while watching a 2013 movie, “The Hot Flashes,” which starred Brooke Shields, Wanda Sykes and Daryl Hannah.

When Mlynczak started talking with area players from the past, their comment was, “Let’s do it,” she said. “They’re a very competitive bunch of girls.”

The practices have been productive, she said. “We had the fundamentals way back. We had great teachers. So when you hit the court, it’s time to get busy,” she said.

“The fundamentals started in junior high for us,” she said. Among their mentors at that age were Gladine Barner and Coach Turner at Welch. At Northfork, the girls program that won several state championships in the 1970s was inspired by Ron Tote, Henry Winkfield and Jennings Boyd, she said.

The Hot Flashes include former collegiate players.

Kimberley Newbill, who is Paula Mlynczak’s sister, and Sheila Huckleberry went on to play for Bluefield State. Cassandra Myers, a Northfork High alumna, played for West Virginia State College (now University). Leila Huckleberry also played college ball after graduating from Northfork.

The Hot Flashes are organizing another game next month at Kimball Elementary School. They are looking at playing additional games, with the goal of raising funds for local community betterment.


Monday, 14 April 2014

Menopause and perimenopause: Whats the difference?

The second 40 years and beyond can be the prime of a womans life. While physical changes for a woman are inevitable, a positive outlook, a healthy lifestyle and good communication with her gynecologist can keep her feeling young.

The natural shift in hormones brings on the symptoms of perimenopause the time prior to menopause. During this time, the body transitions toward the end of the reproductive years and ovulation becomes less frequent, but true menopause does not occur until there have been 12 consecutive months with no period. Once that milestone occurs, subsequent years are known as post-menopause.

When should a woman begin planning for menopause?

According to the National Institute on Aging, the average age of menopause in this country is 51. Typically experienced between ages 40 and 50, symptoms of perimenopause can last for a few months or several years. Each woman is different; some experience severe symptoms while others have none at all. Estrogen is used by many parts of the body, so a drop in the level of this hormone causes various changes. The most common symptoms of perimenopause are changes in ones period, hot flashes, problems with the vagina and bladder, trouble getting a full nights sleep, mood changes and weight gain.

Women experiencing bothersome symptoms should talk to their gynecologist for help deciding how to best manage perimenopause. The doctor should know the medical history of the patient and her family, and should discuss with the patient the risk for heart disease, osteoporosis and breast cancer. Because symptoms and needs may change over time, patients should review them with the doctor during annual checkups.

Staying healthy after menopause

Staying healthy after menopause may involve some lifestyle changes. Barnabas Health and the National Institute on Aging recommend that women:

- Empower themselves to get informed.

- Dont smoke. Tobacco users, remember that it is never too late to quit.

- Learn what your healthy weight is, and try to stay there.

- Eat a healthy diet, low in fat, high in fiber and with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods.

- Make sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D in the diet or with supplements.

- Do weight-bearing exercise such as walking, jogging or dancing at least three days a week for healthy bones. Also, try to be physically active in other ways for general health.

- Take doctor-prescribed medicines. Many serious health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and osteoporosis cannot be seen or felt.

- Get regular pelvic and breast exams, Pap tests and mammograms.


Friday, 30 August 2013

The Pros and Cons of Using Menopause Supplements

After dealing with the incessant menstrual cramps and gulping down innumerable pain relieving drugs, the stage of menopause might come as a relief for most of the women. However, that is not the case; menopause comes with its own baggage of discomforts and unforeseen feelings. You might initially not recognize the overwhelming symptoms and may discard them as something caused by “old age”. As your menstruation cycle ceases and you move from fertile times to infertility, you might feel disoriented and extremely weak in the start.

Things you might experience

When you are about to hit menopause you will find it hard to get a hold on your moods, hot flashes and burning sensations will become frequent occurrences, you might go into depression, lose sleep, face irregular cycles and flow and may experience dizziness. Your lifestyle will face a major change. This all can become quite overwhelming, but luckily for you, there is a treatment available for all these symptoms.

These treatments include natural cure procedures to clinical hormone replacement surgery. Hormone replacement surgery is targeted at artificially enhancing the estrogen reduction process in the body and hence easing the process menopause. Once the levels are under control, the symptoms eventually subside and your body shifts back to normal functioning. However, doctors usually don’t recommend this therapy as it has possible side effects including risk for heart diseases, liver damage, blood clotting and developing breast and uterine cancer.

Menopause Supplements

Another of these medical alternatives for curing menopausal symptoms includes the use of menopause supplements. These are one of the most recent inventions in the drug industry and have become a hot topic among discussion between physicians, paramedics and doctors. Moreover, they have also captured the attention of various online drug critics and a number of online menopause supplements reviews are available on the internet for different products such as amberen and estroven. These online menopause supplements reviews play a major role in spreading awareness regarding the side effects of these supplements.

How Menopause Supplements Work?

As evident through menopause supplement reviews, these supplements can be bought from any of the reliable drugstores without a prescription. Basically, they work in the similar way as hormone replacement therapy; they work by reducing the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the blood and easing the transition from fertility to infertility, but the good point is that they cause fewer or almost no side effects as compared to the therapy. Moreover, some of these medications contain antidepressants, which can help alleviate symptoms of mood swings and distortions.

Are They Really Effective?

You can find out by reading different menopause supplement reviews that these pills are effective for some women. Supplements like Amberen have generated great menopause supplement reviews. Amberen menopause supplement has been found to be very effective in relieving women of their symptoms, such as hot sweats and mood swings; it has even helped some women lose unnecessary weight as well. However, according to some reviews, the user did not feel any difference after taking Amberen. Therefore, it needs to be kept in mind that every drug works differently for different people. Metabolism rates for women differ and therefore, the effectiveness might vary from one user to another.

There are many women who prefer natural ingredients to chemically altered alternatives. Vitamin E, black cohosh, dong quai, ginseng, soy and red clover are particularly effective in curing menopausal symptoms. Amberen too is one of the supplements with natural ingredients containing black cohosh and Chasteberry in sufficient amounts. Research has revealed that black cohosh is effective in dealing with night sweats however, if not used appropriately it can lead to liver damage. Therefore, before going out straight to get a menopause supplement, it is recommended that you do a detailed research on the ingredients and the constituency of the product. Look through the menopause supplement reviews for a better understanding.

Different menopause supplement reviews reveal both pros and cons. These pros and cons largely depend on the kind of ingredients a supplement uses.


They ensure the smooth transition by reducing the hormonal levels appropriately.

In some cases, they help to cure complementary conditions such as weight gain and mood distortions.

Menopause supplements are one of the most affordable alternatives available in the market for curing menopause symptoms. They are much cheaper than different prescribed hormonal medications and hormone replacement therapy.

They are extremely convenient to use. One pill has to be taken on a regular basis and it will provide cures for a wide range of menopausal symptoms.

Other studies have shown that the best supplements such as Amberen, Estroven and menoquil menopause supplement are also effective in strengthening the immune system.

However, before taking any of these supplements, it is recommended that you ensure that you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients present in these drugs.


If you are already on some kind of medication, never start taking these pills without consulting your doctor, it may react badly.

If you have any health condition such as thyroid issues, hypertension or some hormonal disorder, it is suggested that you don’t take these drugs; they might aggravate your condition further.

Seeking relief from menopause symptoms is natural, but you need to consult a doctor before you start taking anything or any supplement for them. Your body might accept or reject certain ingredients present in these supplements, so it is best to take them under supervision.

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