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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
SW: HealthNews Channel
Reported February 1, 2012

8 Steps Towards A Menopause Makeover

LOS ANGELES (Ivanhoe Newswire) --It’s one of the most Googled words on the internet today. Do you know what it is? Here’s a hint. It starts without warning, it only happens to women and at some point, it will happen to every woman. We’ll tell you what it is, and reveal a new plan to help you survive it.

Right now 50 million women are dealing with it.

“I had hot flashes sometimes,” one woman told Ivanhoe.

One day you’re fine, the next …

"Night flutters, night sweats," another added.

And overnight….

"Crabby.  I was nasty,” one woman said.

Menopause is no laughing matter for most women, but as Staness  Jonekos found out - you can come out the other side new and improved.

“I feel good about myself. I’m healthy. I feel sexy. I married a younger man,” Staness Jonekos, Author of Menopause Makeover told Ivanhoe.

But her walk down the aisle had a few stumbles ahead of time.  Two months after being engaged, the 46 year old underwent a major change.

“Six months before my wedding I gained 30 pounds, hot flashes, I was in no mood for a honeymoon,” Jonekos said.  

But ironically it was planning her wedding that got her thinking about planning her menopause.

“I created a plan inspired by my wedding planner that changed my life,” Jonekos said.

She created the Menopause Makeover. It’s a guide that answers questions, gives the pros and cons of treatment options, tracks eating habits, weight loss, and exercise plans.

“There’s a lot of myths that come with it and a lot of mistakes women make when it comes to menopause,” Chrisandra Shufelt, M.D., a certified menopause practitioner at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center told Ivanhoe.

Dr. Shufelt says one of the biggest mistakes is believing everything you read. There are 4.4 million links to human growth hormone on the internet –some women believe it gives them more energy, helps them sleep and relieves hot flashes….but it doesn’t work for all.
Studies show there is no proof human growth hormones help.  In fact, studies prove HGH can make medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease worse!
Another mistake Dr. Shufelt cringes at is paying $120 for salivary hormone tests to prove you’re in menopause.

 “There’s no scientific data to show that those hormones are stable,” Dr. Shufelt said.

Only one blood test is proven: the FSH or follicle stimulating hormone test.  Once diagnosed, changing what you eat can help control the severity of hot flashes. Caffeine, sugar, spicy foods, and cinnamon are triggers. 

Staness worked with doctors to create a menopause food pyramid which includes eating 25 percent of calories from healthy fats—like avocados and tuna, 35 percent of calories from low-fat, lean protein  like salmon and chicken and 40 percent of calories from low to medium glycemic carbs, such as brown rice and oatmeal. 

“Just simply switching from white bread to brown bread, white pasta to whole grain pasta, from potatoes to yams was huge,” Jonekos said.

Another change? Exercising five days a week 30 to 60 minutes a time. Staness swims, spins, weight lifts and loves her crunches.

“I’ve witnessed women who have wiped out their symptoms by exercising and cutting out sugar,” Dr. Shufelt said.

“I’m way healthier today than when I was in my 20’s and I look better in a swimsuit!” Jonekos added.

Staness lost 25 pounds in 12 weeks, fit into her wedding gown. Today, she thanks menopause for it all.

“Well it wasn’t the best thing, it was a drag. I had some ugly days but it forced me to get where I am today and I’ve never been happier," Jonekos concluded. 

Another mistake women make … the only hormone they check is their estrogen.  Many menopausal women also have trouble with their thyroid. Low thyroid is also associated with low energy and weight gain.

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