health for your
By Karen Roush
MENOPAUSE. All women will
experience it, but when and
how is different for everyone.
A woman has reached
menopause when she goes
one full year without a period.
This usually happens around
the age of 50, but it can range from 40 to 60 years
of age. Perimenopause is the transitional time
when estrogen levels are declining, periods
become irregular, and menopausal symptoms,
such as hot ;ashes and night sweats, appear.
Perimenopause can cause a number of
symptoms, but hot ;ashes are probably the worst.
They affect about 70 percent of women and
range from being a mild inconvenience to being
extremely disruptive. A full-blown hot ;ash—rising
body heat, ;ushing, sweating, anxiety—leaves a
woman feeling sticky, exhausted and frustrated.
Here are some strategies to follow when
the heat rises:
✔ Avoid common triggers such as alcohol,
caffeine, hot drinks, spicy foods, stress and, of
✔ Dress in layers that are easily removed.
Lightweight cotton fabrics are best.
✔ Carry a collapsible fan in your purse and
keep it handy for the car, the of;ce or home.
✔ Exercise regularly.
✔ Develop a de-stressing routine: relaxing
music, candles, meditation, walking in the woods
or a park.
✔ Sleep in a cool room with layers of cotton
blankets you can remove as needed.
✔ Cool pillowcases in a plastic bag in
✔ Partially freeze water in a water bottle.
Keep one by your bed at night.
✔ Keep a bottle of body spray in a calming
fragrance, such as lavender or jasmine, in the
fridge and spritz yourself when a hot ;ash
✔ Rediscover frozen treats; buy or make
your own fruit juice ice pops.
✔ Consider acupuncture; evidence suggests
it is helpful for both hot ;ashes and night sweats.
If you continue having severe hot
;ashes, talk to your healthcare provider about
other options, including dietary supplements,
medications and hormone therapy. Some
medications, such as selective serotonin
reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and gabapentin,
have been found to be helpful in relieving hot
;ashes. Whether to use hormone therapy is an
individual decision each woman has to make
based on her symptoms and risk pro;le.
You will get through this. During those
times when it seems as if the hot ;ashes will
never end and you would trade everything you
own for a good night’s sleep, remember, there
is a whole new life ahead of you on the other
side of menopause. Many women ;nd post-menopause to be the best years: a time of
increased freedom and possibilities. C
Hot news flash
Costco Pharmacist / Houston, TX
Costco member Karen Roush, RN, is the author
of What Nurses Know ... Menopause (www.
demoshealth.com, search “menopause”).
BUILDING AWARENESS of the cancer that
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early detection through regular screening
can beat colorectal cancer—the second-lead-ing cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.,
behind lung cancer.
The Colon Cancer
Alliance kicks off the
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Blue Day on Friday,
March 2, to get people to talk about this preventable, treatable
and beatable disease, and take action
through fundraising efforts to work toward
a future without it.
Cholesterol and Heart Health formula†
Who is at risk for colorectal cancer?
• Men and women age 50 and older
• People who use tobacco, are obese or
• Those with a family history of colorectal
cancer, polyps or other types of bowel
How can you reduce risk?
• Don’t smoke.
• Don’t drink alcohol excessively.
• Be physically active and exercise regularly.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Eat a high-fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains.
• Consume calcium-rich foods such as
low-fat or skim milk.
• Limit red-meat consumption and avoid
Where can you get more information?
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†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug
Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat,
cure or prevent any disease.
WAREHOUSE/ COSTCO.COM | AVAILABLE NOW
MARCH 2012 ;e Costco Connection 41