Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What to DO About Female Hair Loss

Very few people WANT their hair to fall out, but it happens, and women often take it even harder than men, leaving women with thinning hair wondering what to do about female hair loss.

You basically have three choices:
  1. Prescriptions for Thinning Hair: Minoxidil is the main prescription solution for both male and female alocpecia, though a visit with your physician might provide some alternatives under other company-specific names.
  2. Herbal Hair Loss Remedies: A quick Internet search will yield a wide variety of herbal hair loss remedies, including tea tree oil and evening primrose oil. These herbal solution come in shampoos, creams, or consumable caplets, so, depending on your preferences, you can choose the one that is most convenient for you.
  3. Cover Up Hair Loss Solutions: This is not intended to in any way make light of an uncomfortable issue, but if the other alternatives are not working for you or are not working fast enough for your taste (It takes a LONG time to regrow lost hair.) you can always add a fashionable hat or style your remaining hair in a way that makes it look fuller. (Think shorter,curly perm in a muted color.)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fight Oral Disease to Protect Your Heart and Toes

How on earth can teeth have an impact on your heart health and your toes? It sounds a bit far-fetched doesn't it? Over ten years of research has linked oral disease to more than 90 percent of the systemic diseases that affect all parts of the human body. The list of systemic diseases includes diabetes (which can lead to toe and limb amputations) and cardiovascular disease, as well as cancer and thyroid disease. That list of serious diseases seems like a pretty good reason to pay close attention to what's going on in your mouth and to take excellent care of your teeth.

How to Fight Oral Disease

Regular visits to the dentist for cleaning and exams are one of the most important things you can do to improve your oral health, because a dentist can catch problems before they become serious and cause systemic disease to develop. You can try a few effective things on your own, too.
  • Brush: Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day with a toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Make sure to brush each tooth, from all angles to make sure you get rid of plaque and bacteria.
  • Floss: Grab the floss or a dental pick with floss in it, and clean between teeth. Be gentle so you don't hurt your gums, but make sure to run the strand of floss firmly against each tooth, in every gap.
  • Rinse: Rinse teeth and your tongue with an antimicrobial rinse, preferably one with added fluoride, to kill even more bacteria than you already removed by brushing and to help fight tooth decay.
  • Eat healthy: Eat lots of calcium-rich foods as well as fresh, crunchy fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugary foods that stick to your teeth, and when you do eat sugary foods, brush and floss right away.
  • Be kind to teeth: Avoid acidic foods, such as lemons. Don't clench your jaw, open things with your teeth, or bite ice cubes. If you bite your fingernails, try to find a way to stop. All of these things damage teeth and lead to bigger problems.
The things you do to brighten your smile also help improve oral health, and your heart and toes will thank you for your efforts. As an added benefit, you get a bright, shiny smile as your reward for the extra care you give your teeth.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rare Menopause Symptoms

Most adults know about common menopause symptoms, but the rare ones can take menopausal women, plus their support systems, by surprise.

Some of the rare symptoms are pretty benign, but others can indicate serious medical conditions, including cancer.

If interested in learning more about some rare menopausal symptoms, check out my latest Everyday Health Menopausal Musings article, Rare Change of Life Symptoms.

Pop back here to leave a comment or ask a question, if you like, or feel free to share your thoughts and concerns in the comment area at the end of the article.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Toda, I trul, trul, feel fat and crank and blah.  Plus, m    ke is sticking.

Darn it.

On the bright side...

I'll get back to ou.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kelp Pizza Crust Recipe

As a complement to my most recent Everyday Health article, Kelp: A Natural Remedy for Hot Flashes, I decided to share this Kelp Pizza Crust recipe. The recipe uses kelp powder instead of fresh kelp to make it simpler for landlocked pizza lovers to try it out.

What You'll Need:
  • 2 Tablespoons yeast (or 2 packets)
  • 1+1/2 cups warm water (about 120 degrees)
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons of butter or margarine
  • 4-5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons kelp powder
Now Foods Kelp
Kelp Powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the warm water, sugar, yeast, and butter in a mixing bowl.
  3. Stir until the butter melts.
  4. Sprinkle in the kelp powder.
  5. Stir.
  6. Add four cups of flour. The texture of the dough should be stretchy and a bit sticky. Add more flour if needed.
  7. Cover the dough and set it in a warm place.
  8. Prepare the baking sheets with a layer of butter of shortening.
  9. Divide the dough in half.
  10. Coat your hands in flour and spread the dough on the baking sheets.
  11. Add your favorite toppings and bake for about 20 minutes.
Tip: If you like Alfredo sauce and you're not a vegetarian, this crust turns out very nice with Alfredo sauce and diced chicken.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Natural HRT: Bioidentical Estrogen


If you are looking for a "mostly natural" hormone replacement therapy option to relieve menopausal symptoms, consider an option such as Bioidentical Estrogen: Natural HRT From the Lab.

There are a number of benefits of this type of HRT, as well as a couple of drawbacks. You can find more information in my most recently published Everyday Health article (link above).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stir Fry with Soy for Hot Flashes

Since my most recently published Everyday Health article is about the benefits of using soy to relieve the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, I decided to share one of my favorite recipes that include soy, a savory tofu Stir Fry. I use frozen vegetables to cut the prep time.

What You'll Need:
  • 12 ounces firm tofu, diced
  • 12 ounces broccoli pieces
  • 12 ounces carrot slices
  • 3 or 4 ounces water chestnut slices or almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • A wok or large skillet

  1. Coat the inside of the wok with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat.
  2. Toss the broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts and finally the tofu bits in the hot wok.
  3. Stir the ingredients gently for just about five minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the sugar and corn starch on top of the partially cooked veggies and tofu.
  5. Pour the soy sauce on top of the sugar and stir for about three more minutes ot until the vegetables reach the desired level of tenderness and the sauce thickens just a bit.
  6. Eat the stir fry by itself or serve over rice or ramen noodles.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Menopause Cramps: How to Relieve Cramps

Menopause brings a lot of changes to a woman's life, and one of those changes can be menopause cramps.This type of cramping can present as a stomach cramp, in your uterus, or even in your back.  Even if you don't - or didn't previously - normally have light to severe menstrual cramping, hormonal fluctuations during menopause can make your body go haywire.

How to Relieve Cramps

(Just a few ways that might help...)
  • Localized warmth: Place a heating pad or thermal patch directly above the achy area. As the heat soaks into the cramped area, the pain normally lets up, but not always completely.
  • Pain medication: Ibuprofen and herbal pain relief compounds offer fairly quick relief, but if your stomach is sensitive they can cause more discomfort. One of my favorite solutions is a single ibuprofen taken in combination with a localized warmth/heating pad session. When the pain is really severe, it puts me to sleep, but I usually wake up pain-free.
  • All-over warmth: Soaking in a tub of warm water offers all-over relief for stomach cramps caused by menstruation during menopause.
If none of these at-home solutions relieve your pain effectively, it might be time to visit a doctor for some help with cramp relief.

Monday, July 9, 2012

New FDA Approved Overactive Bladder Medicine

Overactive Bladder Help

An overactive bladder leaves you feeling anything but healthy or attractive, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new drug to help. Mirabegron, sold under the name Myrbetriq, helps with uncontrollable bladder muscles, according to a press release.

How Myrbetric Works

Myrbetric works by improving the bladder's storage capacity and relaxing the bladder muscle while filling. This halts uncontrollable and unexpected squeezing. The test group of over 4,000 patients provided information about Mybetric's effectiveness in cutting the number of wetting accidents and the number of daily trips to the restroom.

Here is what this means to patients taking this newly approved bladder control medication:
  • Reduced urinary frequency: This means you won't need to run to the restroom as often. It also means you get a good night's sleep, leaving you looking refreshed and healthy because your bladder will not wake you up every couple of hours.
  • Reduced urinary urgency: This means you get a bit more warning before you have to go to the restroom.
  • Less chance of urinary leakage: This means you do not have to spend as much money on incontinence pads or as much time dealing with unexpected leaks.
If you have an overactive bladder, do not feel alone. In America alone, about 33 million people suffer from this condition. At best, dealing with bladder issues leaves individuals frustrated. At worst, the condition becomes debilitating.

The pre-approval study did find a few side effects associated with taking Myrbetric including:
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Common cold-like symptoms, called nasopharyngitis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Elevated heart rate, called tachycardia
  • Abdominal pain
Not all overactive bladder patients can take Myrbetriq. According to the FDA, patients with severe, uncontrolled high blood pressure, end stage kidney disease, and severe liver impairment should avoid this medication.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hey Hubbies: Dealing With Menopause Fat and Cranky Style

Dealing With Menopause

I named this blog Fat and Cranky sort of as an example of what I believe the reverse of menopause has to be. In other words, my point is, it can make you feel fat and cranky, but it doesn't have to.

When the people who are supposed to be your support system fail you, though, they probably shouldn't be too shocked when the cranky part kicks in. (Did ya hear that hubbies?)

Here's the deal. Maybe, just maybe, the menopausal woman in your life isn't just getting cranky for the fun of it. Maybe it's not that she's a b!tch like you like to call her. Maybe she's just getting tired of you.

In fact, if you are the kind of person who has EVER called her or ANY woman a b!tch, then you probably deserve to be on the blunt end of a b!tch-fit.

A menopausal woman is not cranky and is not a b!tch. She is a grown up who does not need to be saddled with a person who does not understand the difference between a physical condition and b!tchiness.

Deal with that, you failed support systems!

(I in no way mean to imply that the man in the image is a failed support system and I'm sure he has never called a woman nay of the things mentioned above. I just loved this MorgueFile picture of a frustrated man.)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Keeping Cool When Temperatures Soar and you Are Having Hot Flashes

HyperKewl Evaporative Cooling Neck Band - Pink - 3 Piece Pack
Hyper-Kewl Evaporative Cooling Neck Band

I found an inexpensive product I really love that helps cool me off quickly, and I want to share. This is a non-medicine solution, and it works almost instantly.

I picked up a cooling neckerchief, bandana type thing at the dollar store (You can get them on Amazon, too if you don't feel like driving around looking for one at the dollar store.). That's right, learning about this fast relief for hot flashes tip cost me a whole $1.07 (tax included of course.)

These things have a few tiny beads stitched into them, but then you soak them and the beads swell up to fill the entire neck area..

I soak the neckerchief in cold water and wrap it around my neck. It actually gives off a cold relief for a couple hours before it needs to be resoaked.

Here is my favorite little tip, other than the one about using this inexpensive method to cool hot flashes, I put the cooling bandana in a zipper seal baggie with a couple tablespoons of cold water when I'm in a hurry.

Then I let the crystals in the bandana soak up all the excess water and wrap the neckerchief around my neck when it's ready.

I don't think I would like this solution for night sweats, though. It seems as if it would get the pillow all wet, so I have only tried this for daytime and evening use.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wine as Skin-Protecting Sunblock?

With the official start of summer last week, a lot of the news this week focuses on protecting skin from the sun's harmful rays. Wine lovers, and grape lovers in general, still have a new reason to celebrate. In addition to vino's already known ability to help fight Alzheimer's disease, prostate cancer and cavities, according to an article last year on MSNBC's Body Odd, this grape-based alcoholic beverage also helps protect skin from sunburn.
How Does it Work?

Normally, the sun's ultra-violet rays hit the skin and activate enzymes that kill skin cells. Grapes contain a compound, commonly called flavonoids, that stops this sun damage caused by a chemical reaction within skin cells. These flavonoids are found in wines made from grapes and other grape products.

Sources of Sunburn Blocking Flavonoids
  • A glass of vino: Make sure you drink vino made from grapes and not some other fruit if you are sipping it for its sun-blocking benefit. For the best effect on your overall health, consume only moderate amounts.
  • Spiked punch: If the taste of vino is a little strong for you, mix a glass of your favorite grape wine with your favorite fruit juice for a lighter flavor.
  • Grape juice: For an non-alcoholic alternative, enjoy a glass of grape juice either plain or mixed with soda water for a sparking beverage.
  • Mixed into foods: If you want to stick with vino, but do not care to ingest the alcohol content, consider recipes involve cooking with wine. Cooking removes the alcohol content but leaves the flavonoids behind.
So, enjoy your favorite vino in moderation, or opt for non-alcoholic alternatives, but go ahead and slather on your favorite high SPF sunblock anyway.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Cusp of Young and Old

I stand here on the cusp of young and old,
Not quite timid,
Not quite bold.

Always so angry.
Always so sad.
Always so lost.

Always walking the line.
Wishing I had trusted myself,
While I still had time.

It's not too late,
But maybe it is.
Just keep working, and wait.

Monday, May 14, 2012

One of THOSE Days?

Did you ever have one of THOSE days when you just don't feel good and really don't much like anyone?

Me too!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hi All

Squirter Fish image courtesy of Maena and MorgueFile.

Just a quick, hello. Just an open invitation here, if you don't see what you are looking for, (and there is not a lot of information here, yet, but I do have access to a lot of data) feel free to leave a comment.

If you are looking for any particular menopause-related information that you need or want, I can most likely hook you up with the data you're looking for, just let me know what it is you need.

For now, either leave a comment or drop me an email at laurej@consultant.com.  I'll get a contact form placed on the site soon.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Welcome to Fat and Cranky

Fan image courtesy of Clarita and Morguefile.

With the legalese out of the way in my first post, I would like to introduce my new blog, Fat and Cranky.

Fat and Cranky is dedicated to all the women getting ready to enter menopause, currently menopausal women, and post-menopausal women.

Have you ever noticed no one ever talks about how great menopause is? I picked the name Fat and Cranky because the list of ways menopause can affect the female body pretty much leave a lady feeling either fat or cranky, sometimes both.

I'm going to keep this introduction short, but want to share a brief outline of my current plans for this blog.

What is Coming to the Fat and Cranky Menopause Blog?
  • Links to menopause information sites plus links articles I have permission to share will be over on the right side of the page.
  • A navigation bar will eventually be either on the left or across the top, under the Fat and Cranky header bar.
  • Articles and posts that I or guest posters create will be featured here in the center of this page.
  • When I have more content, I'll create pages for different topics, such as pre-menopause, post-menopause, menopausal weight gain, Cancer risk during menopause, menopause headaches, hormone imbalance, spotting, and pretty much any other part of menopause that can affect a woman's, or her family's life.
Feel free to let me know what you think, or if you are looking for specific information that you do not see. I have a ton of resources about menopausal health, and it will take a while for me to get this site looking right because it is kind of a side project for me right now. (I recently began writing about menopause for Everyday Health, Voices of Experience, so this blog is a natural extension of a topic I am already passionabout sharing.)
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By accessing this web site, you are agreeing to be bound by these
web site Terms and Conditions of Use, all applicable laws and regulations,
and agree that you are responsible for compliance with any applicable local
laws. If you do not agree with any of these terms, you are prohibited from
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  1. Permission is granted to temporarily download one copy of the materials
    (information or software) on Fat and Cranky's web site for personal,
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In no event shall Fat and Cranky or its suppliers be liable for any damages (including, without limitation, damages for loss of data or profit, or due to business interruption,) arising out of the use or inability to use the materials on Fat and Cranky's Internet site, even if Fat and Cranky or a Fat and Cranky authorized representative has been notified orally or in writing of the possibility of such damage. Because some jurisdictions do not allow limitations on implied warranties, or limitations of liability for consequential or incidental damages, these limitations may not apply to you.

5. Revisions and Errata

The materials appearing on Fat and Cranky's web site could include technical, typographical, or photographic errors. Fat and Cranky does not warrant that any of the materials on its web site are accurate, complete, or current. Fat and Cranky may make changes to the materials contained on its web site at any time without notice. Fat and Cranky does not, however, make any commitment to update the materials.

6. Links

Fat and Cranky has not reviewed all of the sites linked to its Internet web site and is not responsible for the contents of any such linked site. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by Fat and Cranky of the site. Use of any such linked web site is at the user's own risk.

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Fat and Cranky may revise these terms of use for its web site at any time without notice. By using this web site you are agreeing to be bound by the then current version of these Terms and Conditions of Use.

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Any claim relating to Fat and Cranky's web site shall be governed by the laws of the State of Ohio without regard to its conflict of law provisions.

General Terms and Conditions applicable to Use of a Web Site.

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Your privacy is very important to us. Accordingly, we have developed this Policy in order for you to understand how we collect, use, communicate and disclose and make use of personal information. The following outlines our privacy policy.

  • Before or at the time of collecting personal information, we will identify the purposes for which information is being collected.

  • We will collect and use of personal information solely with the objective of fulfilling those purposes specified by us and for other compatible purposes, unless we obtain the consent of the individual concerned or as required by law.

  • We will only retain personal information as long as necessary for the fulfillment of those purposes.

  • We will collect personal information by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the knowledge or consent of the individual concerned.

  • Personal data should be relevant to the purposes for which it is to be used, and, to the extent necessary for those purposes, should be accurate, complete, and up-to-date.

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We are committed to conducting our business in accordance with these principles in order to ensure that the confidentiality of personal information is protected and maintained.

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy created Ben Nadel's privacy policy generator.

No information provided by Fat and Cranky should be construed as medical advice. Information provided here is provided as a research starting point and as a source of emotional support for other women experiencing the effects of perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause.

For more information or to express concerns, send email requests to LaureJ@consultant.com.