We have learned a lot from our interviews!
Here's some of that info, for your reference! *
(*please note that all of the below information and everything we learn from our guests are part of an exploration of menopause issues and treatments.
SLIH does not necessarily endorse the use of any of the below.)
1. Episode with Dr. Antoaneta Mueller,
OBGYN at Complete Women Care in Manhattan Beach / Long Beach CA
WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?
Menopause is the end of women's monthly cycles, signaling the end of fertility, average age to get menopause is 51. Menopause is defined as 12 months without a period. Perimenopause happens before menopause, and can be for up to 4 years prior. Hormonal fluctuations are common during this time, and it is the withdrawal of hormones that commonly gives women the common symptoms, which are: hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, absent or irregular cycles, recurrent UTI's, leakage of urine, dry skin, depression, fatigue, poor memory, heavier cycles, increased PMS symptoms, fibroids, increased abdominal fat, increased irritability and anxiety, insomnia, aggression, decreased libido, painful intercourse, reduced muscle strength, joint pain, cardiovascular changes and bone loss.
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT): The use of synthetic or bio-identical hormones to treat menopausal symptoms. Can be effective and safe in the right circumstances, and can protect against heart disease and osteoporosis. There are 2 main studies detailing the benefits and risks of HRT:
1. 2002 Women's HI Report on Hormone Replacement Therapy: Reported an increased risk of breast cancer as a result of HRT, and caused a great drop in the use of HRT to treat menopause. This study was later contradicted in a 2019 study which later found that HRT itself did not cause increased cancer.
2. 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium: Vindicated the use of estrogen to treat menopause. San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium found that estrogen actually reduced the risk of breast cancer. It was the oral progesterone (synthetic) that caused a higher risk of cancer.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SYNTHETIC V BIO-IDENTICAL HORMONES:
1. SYNTHETIC HORMONES - don't mimic what the body produces (for example, the estrogen and progesterone in birth control pills) - binds to your receptors for up to 6 months. Can be toxic when metabolized, so may cause cancer.
2. BIO-IDENTICAL HORMONES - made from yams and mimics your body's production of chemicals - binds to your estrogen and progesterone receptors for 90 days and less likely to cause cancer.
VAGINAL DRYNESS - can be treated with estrogen cream - see a doctor and ask about it
Different types of Estrogen: E1(Estrone) , E2 (Estradiol - most common), E3 ( Estriol - protective - highest during pregnancy, low in menopause)
E3 protects against breast cancer, and protects vaginal mucosa - not made synthetically but you can get bio-identical estriol compounded into a cream.
HAIR LOSS - multi factorial - can be caused by decrease in progesterone, could be thyroid, low biotin, vitamin D or iron levels, or stress-related from up to 3 months before. Should try to heal your body.
ANXIETY - can be caused by poor sleep (non-restorative) - you need to reduce your cortisol - through meditation, exercise, etc. Sleep can be helped with Ashwagandha, L-Theanine, or Progesterone bio-identical pills.
XENOESTROGENS - to reduce menopause symptoms, you should try to reduce exposure to xenoestrogens - xenoestrogens are chemicals in products that act like estrogen and stay on our receptors for a long time and can do damage- they are found in pesticides and plastics, can lead to disruption into hormone balance and can intensify your symptoms.
DR MUELLER'S WEBSITE: www.completewomencare.com
2. Episode with Dr. Kristi Funk,
Breast Cancer Surgeon at Pink Lotus, Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Funk is a celebrated BREAST CANCER SURGEON AND PHYSICIAN, Author of “BREASTS: THE OWNERS MANUAL”, and Founder and Head of PINK LOTUS FOUNDATION.
She talks about her (very bumpy) journey into creating her premiere Womens Breast Center in Los Angeles, Pink Lotus, which has:
1. POWER UP - a community support center
2. ELEMENT - a supplement and products store
3. BREAST CENTER - a breast cancer patient center for making appointments and speaking to experts
4. PINK LOTUS FOUNDATION - a foundation that offers support for underserved women.
She talks about the famed 2002 study and its effects, her views on HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY and BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY and what can help women.
Importantly she gives many tips for CANCER PREVENTION, including what you can eat and do to stay healthy (plant based soy-rich diet!), and finally, she gives us her outlook for the future of women’s health.
DR FUNK'S WEBSITE: www.pinklotus.com
3. Episode with Danielle Hering,
Breathwork Healer, Licensed Marriage and FamilyTherapist in Los Angeles, CA
Danielle explains how BREATHWORK works and how in just 40 minutes, it can help you RELEASE pent-up EMOTIONS and THOUGHTS, CLEAR YOUR HEAD and help you CONNECT TO YOUR TRUE SELF.
Especially during menopause, when the body's emotional floodgates are opened.
Then, Franca and Tammy go to a Breathwork workshop and talk about their experiences.
DANIELLE HERING'S WEBSITE: www.thrutheheart.com
4. Episode with Chrissy Roth,
Nutritionist, Wellness Guru, Los Angeles, CA
Chrissy Roth talks about her own menopause experience at age 40 and her and her family's journey into a fully plant-based diet.
She then talks about how DIET can make you FEEL BETTER overall, LESSEN your MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS and help you LOSE WEIGHT, while trying not to crave your habitual foods (like cheese!)
Chrissy also gives us some practical GROCERY-BUYING, COOKING EQUIPMENT and RECIPE TIPS to help you keep your nutrition going!
SAMPLE PLANT-BASED MEALS FOR THE DAY:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit, oatmilk, salt
Lunch: Sandwich with gluten free bread, tofu, avocado, artichokes,, red peppers and sprouts
Dinner: Vegan "Poke" bowl, brown rice with Tofu, peppers, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, seaweed, edamame
She also gets a little bit into SUPPLEMENTS and EXERCISE.
CHRISSY ROTH'S WEBSITE: www.plantbasedluv.com
5. Episode with Karen Martel,
Certified Hormone Specialist, Transformational Nutrition Coach, Weight Loss Expert, Vancouver, BC
Karen Martel is a hormone and weight loss coach from Vancouver, who also hosts a podcast called.
Karen talks to us about her journey during her 30's after having a baby, when no matter how much she worked out, or what diet she tried she was still suffering from weight gain, stomach bloating, skin rashes, food sensitivies, migraines and severe insomnia. She had her hormones checked and found that her hormones were all out of the normal range. After finding hormone replacement solutions for her problems, she now changed her diet, does a little yoga and walking, and managed to get herself to her perfect weight.
Karen talks to us about everything hormones - the history of HORMONE THERAPY, the roles hormones play in your body, XENOESTROGENS, PHYTOESTROGENS (Plant-derived hormones), BIOIDENTICALS and the risks (or not) of taking hormones.
She explains what she, as a hormone coach, does for her clients, explains COMPOUNDING PHARMACIES and HORMONE DELIVERY METHODS (patch, oral, cream, spray, suppository).
KAREN MARTEL'S WEBSITE: www.karenmartel.com
6. Episode with Natalie Padveen,
Physical Therapist, Founder of PELACORE, Los Angeles, CA
Natalie Padveen, a physical therapist, tells us all about our PELVIC FLOOR - which is a set of internal muscles in our pelvis that support our organs, which when they don't work properly can cause us to become INCONTINENT or suffer from PELVIC FLOOR PROLAPSE, the descending or drooping of our inner organs, which can include the bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel and rectum.
Pelvic floor strength can keep us from becoming incontinent in our old age, and nobody wants that! When we age and lose estrogen, the natural support for our organs depletes, so we need to stay vigilant and strengthen our floor.
She and Franca discuss the use of a PESSARY - a soft flexible device that you insert into your vagina, which can help you keep your organs in place.
She also explains why we should not stop our pee flow, and why we also should not only be drinking more water and peeing more, we should still not take that "last pee before I leave the house."
Finally, Natale teaches us an important PELVIC FLOOR STRENGTHENING EXERCISE (similar to kegels) we can do while sitting at our desk or at home, to strengthen our pelvic floor.
NATALIE PADVEEN'S WEBSITE: www.pelacore.com
7. Episode with Kris Ahmed,
Public Heath Educator with Kaiser Permanente, Berkeley, CA
As a clinical health educator, a big part of Kris' job is helping women understand and get through menopause.
She teaches an online and in-person class that provides resources and support for women with HOT FLASHES, SLEEP DISORDERS, VAGINAL DRYNESS, PAINFUL SEX, LOW LIBIDO, WEIGHT GAIN.
She talks about what happens during menopause and how it can hit you any time in your 30's-50's, and how EXERCISE, DIET, MEDITATION and QUITTING SMOKING can help alleviate symptoms. Also changing your perspective on sex - keep a sense of HUMOR, communicating with your partner and maybe scheduling sex with your partner. We talk about the importance of SOCIAL CONNECTION - of women COMMUNICATING with each other, offering SUPPORT, EDUCATING themselves, ADVOCATING for themselves.
She also gives us some SEX TIPS during this time. With the life changes that comes to many women during this time in our lives, menopause can be a great time of renewed freedom, adventure and confidence, especially in bed! Kris talks SEX TOYS, FOREPLAY, LUBRICATION, and the importance of keeping your vagina in working condition. Use it or lose it!
8. Episode with 5 Real Women with Real Menopausal problems, and Kris Ahmed (Health Educator)
LORI (Age 58) - Suffered from NIGHT SWEATS brought on by alcohol, and suffered from DRY ALLIGATOR SKIN, WEIGHT GAIN and FEMALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS
-Kris recommends looking into STRESS REDUCTION, to pay attention to NUTRITION for the hair loss (writing down what you eat), and to look at other MEDICATIONS you might be taking that might be affecting your hair
IRENE (Age 53) - Suffered from NIGHT SWEATS and EXTREME VAGINA DRYNESS in her 40's. Was prescribed hormones but was nervous due to a family history of cancer. Later tried a procedure called the MONA LISA (a probing procedure that creates micro tears along your vaginal walls meant to increase blood flow), which did not help. Sex became extremely painful and every day activities like walking and tennis were becoming unbearable for her. She later switched gynecologists, got a prescription for an ESTROGEN CREAM that changed her life!
-Kris recommends looking into the fabrics we wear, how often we change, do we use fabric softeners, soaps or other products. Also stresses the importance of keeping your vagina active and feeling good about yourself.
SUSAN (Age 56) - Started menopause at 47, lost her father and fell into a depression and had severe hot flashes. Started a medication called PEROXITINE (an SSRI) at age 48. The medication has saved her from suffering a lot of symptoms from menopause, including alleviated her anxiety and depression. But is now worried that she's been on this drug for nearly 10 years and is it time to get off?
-Kris says SSRI's are great for symptom alleviation but warns that they do have side effects. She recommends speaking in depth to her doctor about it, but if she's feeling like she wants to get off it, she should.
Also discusses the usage of depression MEDICATION vs. BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE THERAPY.
MINA (Age 52) - Started menopause in her 40's, suffered from IRRITABILITY, WEIGHT GAIN, HAIR THINNING, DRY SKIN AND NAILS, BLOATING, LACK OF SLEEP and HOT FLASHES. Her mother claims to have not been affected by menopause. Mina is looking for a natural solution, taking SUPPLEMENTS. Struggling with HORMONE THERAPY - should she do it or not?
-Kris says symptoms will lessen shortly after menopause, and now we have wisdom. Happiness is just around the corner for women just after menopause.
TAMMY (Age 54) - Suffers from IRRITABILITY, HOT FLASHES, WEIGHT GAIN AROUND THE MIDDLE. Knows she should eat healthier and cut out caffeine and alcohol. Has been taking herbal SUPPLEMENTS and is wondering about Kris' thoughts on that vs. BIOIDENTICALS.
-Kris says it's good to try SUPPLEMENTS - they can be great. Everyone in menopause should be taking CALCIUM and VITAMIN D. Also ACUPUNCTURE , YOGA, MEDITATION, EXERCISE can really help with symptoms.
KRIS AHMED'S WEBSITE: https://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/ncal/providers/kristinaahmed.com / https://www.linkedin.com/in/kris-p-ahmed/
9. Episode with Ahnjel Ali,
Licensed Medical Herbalist, Acupuncturist, Certified Sports Nutritionist, Culver City, CA
Ahnjel and her husband Magid Ali have been practicing Eastern medicine for over 20 years - they see patients - they test each person with their testing system and figure out the herbs that will best treat their problems. Then they mix a formula of dry, processed herbs into one bottle that you can take with liquid for all of your issues. You no longer have to take a shelf full of different supplements! In fact, she recommends you do not go to a pharmacy and buy a bunch of herbs you heard about. She stresses the importance of seeing a professional. Although the herbs are NATURAL and SAFE, you want to make sure the correct herbs are affecting you in the right ways and attacking the right symptoms.
For menopause, her herbs can help with HOT FLASHES, NIGHT SWEATS, MIGRAINES, THROAT DRYNESS, HEART RACING and more.
ACUPUNCTURE can help BALANCE systems in your body (central nervous sytem, endocrine system, immune systems) and for that reason can help bring balance when you're out of balance due to hormonal depletion.
Although their focus is Chinese medicine, Ahnjel and Majid stay up on Western medicine advancements, in order to bridge Eastern and Western.
AHNJEL ALI'S WEBSITE: https://alioptimalwellness.com
10. Episode with 3 Menopause Entrepreneurs
Louise Nicholson, Fifty One Apparel (www.fiftyoneapparel.com), London UK
Rochelle Weitzner, Pause Well Aging (www.pausewellaging.com), New York, NY
Leslie Myers, Hot Girls Pearls (www.hotgirlspearls.com), New York, NY
LOUISE NICHOLSON - FIFTY ONE APPAREL
Garments designed to cool your body. Louise tells us what prompted her to start the company which began in the UK and now selling in the US! Her line features chic, classic daywear with an innovative temperature cooling and stabilizing technology developed by NASA. Light and comfy! SJ approved!
ROCHELLE WEITZNER - PAUSE WELL AGING
Rochelle started Pause Well after serving as CEO and heads of some of the most recognizable cosmetic lines out there. Pause Well Aging creates innovative skin care products designed for women in their menopausal years. Their products fight LOSS OF COLLAGE , LOSS OF ELASTICITY and DRYNESS that affects many women later in life, using SCIENTIFIC METHODS that can wake up your skin. Available in Nordstrom, Amazon and many other places!
LESLIE MYERS - HOT GIRLS PEARLS
Hot Girls Pearls are a line of cute, chic jewelry made from re-freezable lightweight materials. When you wear them, you grab them out of the freezer, and you are able to immediately cool your hot flashes, while looking fabulous, and there’s no need for anyone to know that your jewelry is performing double duty!
Fifty One Apparel (https://fiftyoneapparel.com)
Pause Well Aging (https://pausewellaging.com)
Hot Girls Pearls (https://www.hotgirlspearls.com