Estrogen is an essential hormone that has over 400 actions on a woman’s body. It’s what defines a woman. It’s been in your body since you were born and increases greatly at the time of puberty. It’s easy to take it for granted when everything is working automatically. When a young woman’s menstrual periods become irregular, painful or accompanied by severe mood swings, anxiety, depression or acne, that’s an indication of a system that’s gone awry. Birth control periods or Depo-Provera are a bad, ugly way to treat these problems. When prescribed, they do little to correct the underlying problem. These signs and symptoms are the way the body communicates to you that it needs help. A better approach is to determine the root cause that’s driving the problem. [click to continue…]
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
½ cup honey
1/3 cup creamy roasted almond butter (unsweetened)
1 medium ripe avocado, pitted
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 TBSP coconut sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch-by-8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. In a small pot over very low heat, combine the chocolate, honey, and almond butter. Stir constantly until melted and smooth. Transfer to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Scoop the avocado flesh into the food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Process until creamy and very smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer the batter to the parchment-lined pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool completely, then refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting into 16 squares. Store the brownies in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container.
When I was first starting my medical practice, menopausal problems were not taken very seriously. Hot flashes and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) were the source of a lot of jokes. Well, it isn’t funny when you feel awful and your life is falling apart. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had women apologize for “wasting my time” with their complaints or tell me, “Thank you for listening to me.” I would always assure them that hearing their symptoms is essential for my finding the correct solution for their problem.
A very few lucky women sail through menopause with minimal symptoms. They have usually been very healthy prior to menopause. However, they are the exception. Most women will have at least some symptoms. These can range from a mild sensation of feeling warm, to a beet red face and drenching sweats that leave the sufferer with wet hair and clothes soaked in sweat. As you can imagine, this can be especially disconcerting to a woman who’s in the middle of a business meeting.
Giving patients hope is an important aspect of the doctor-patient relationship that contributes to good outcomes. Early on in my career as a new Endocrinologist, I saw Alice, a 35-year-old woman with Type 1 diabetes and mild diabetic kidney damage. I started her on a protein restricted diet and medication to slow the progression of diabetic kidney disease. Eager to not be missing any other new therapy that might be helpful, I referred her to a kidney specialist. Alice came back to see me two weeks later, and burst into tears as soon as I entered the exam room. Alarmed at her distress, I asked what had happened. Through her tears, she sobbed,