As I lay in bed beside 4 year old Lizzie, both of us feasting on Throat Coolers and watching reel-to-reel programs on Nick Jr., hosted by repetitive intervals of Moose A. Moose rallying us to be thankful, it occurred to me that there was more to my particular malaise than met the watering eye (and streaming nose).
Singing along with Moose, I concurred that H1N1 was the fluiest and our noses were the gooiest, everywhere we go. But as I rolled over to feel Lizzie’s forehead, I was also feeling angry, resentful, depressed and sore. Obviously, there was a little more tooiet.
The day after Thanksgiving was my 49th birthday. I got to spend it making chicken noodle soup and dragging the kids—whining and screaming under fever-induced protest—off for yet another visit to the pediatrician.
When I got home, Frank became nurse and marched me off to my room for some quiet enjoyment of my abject misery. I took a shower and stood there wondering if I should even bother with the moisturizing body lotion.
These days, it seems to me that I could trowel a gallon of lard and spread it all over my body, but my skin would still feel as dry as bacon fried so hard you’d need a pickaxe to remove the carcinogens.
And then enlightenment dawned. I was forty-nine. I felt like I had been on permanent PMS all week. When, exactly, did I think the perimenopause boom was going to drop? In my seventies?
I had just written a piece on another FPM subscriber who had walked the same thorny path of perimenopause while trying to raise her little girl—after feeling sick all the time, Leonora went out and found the cure. I decided to follow the bread-crumb trail through the woods of my misery and get in touch with her doctor.
Dr Vernon Redd, Chiropractor, Neurologist and Clinical Nutritionist who treats women for perimenopause and menopause has indicated that depression, weight gain, loss of libido and memory and emotional problems, muscle pain and an increased cancer risk can be related to hormone imbalances during “the change”.
Redd states: “Your ratio of progesterone to estrogen should be 30 to 1, that is 30 times progesterone to 1 part estrogen. Most women are in a state of estrogen dominance in that they either have too much estrogen or too little progesterone or both.”
As we age and begin entering menopause, our adrenals have to take over making the progesterone. But most women are suffering degree of adrenal exhaustion so they don’t make enough progesterone. Pack in some child care into the equation and you can see how it might become a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.
Redd points out that, although menopause can make child rearing more challenging, it doesn’t have to.
“I had one patient in particular” he explains, who was in her early 90’s who was a real-estate agent and was still working 40 hours a week. Getting older doesn’t mean you have to fall apart.”
There’s more to the adverse effects of menopause than estrogen/progesterone imbalance. Dr Redd goes on to explain that excess insulin and cortisol (caused by eating too many refined sugars and starch such as bread, rice, and other grains) ages us too. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that breaks down tissue when in excess and regulates blood sugar levels.
Love your kids? I do, and I think it’s time to start fooling Mother Nature into knowing how young you really are.