Meeting the change half way

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The constellation of a woman's body. Photo: VintagePrintable.com

I’ve said before that I look toward my own aging process with openness. After all, each year I do grow older, and, I hope, wiser. So it only seems natural to welcome each new age as a friend. I’m even planning an excursion to India with friends to embrace my fiftieth year with a sense of both joy and adventure.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges, too.

The unexpected

With aging, we naturally face changes.

Sometimes we grow more set in our ways, and sometimes we’re determined to do the opposite — trying everything we can to affirm life, in some cases feeling that these are our best years.

Sometimes we meet our wrinkles and graying hair with revulsion, imagining ourselves as less of who we are. Yet sometimes we see these physical markers as signs of an even deeper beauty, perhaps finding ourselves more pleasing than ever as we accept our flaws, forgive our faults, let go of the little stuff and grow in self love.

The most complex issue in aging for a woman may be moving with the array of internal changes prompted by perimenopause and menopause, as our bodies respond in myriad ways to hormonal fluctuations that we hadn’t felt before.

Interestingly some 30-40 symptoms are cited as related to the menopause arc, some of which can be quite disconcerting.

Dizziness and heart palpitations are frightening. Chronic insomnia can make the days exhausting and the nights interminable. Hot flashes can feel explosive and even embarrassing. And mood swings are no fun either.

I could go on. But suffice it to say that, while many women have felt that there is nothing that they can do, or, conversely, that it takes conventional hormone replacement therapy to cope, there are other answers.

New options

Today some doctors and caregivers advise us to approach health management as a whole— what you eat, how much exercise you get, and the necessity of rest and stress relief — while encouraging us to remain open to alternative approaches to menopause, such as bioidentical hormone replacement.

This Saturday I’ll be talking with Dr. Marina Johnson about what women experience in going through the different stages of menopause. We’ll also look at what we can do to transition more easily.

Cutting through a cluster of confusing information about the risks and benefits of different therapies, Dr. Johnson will also offer insight into bioidentical hormone replacement and the different ways this is administered.

If, like me, you want to take the gentlest, least invasive and least risky approach to your changing health needs, this is a show you’ll want to hear.

–Jennifer Till, Real Life Radio

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