Avera Medical Minute: Midlife Care for Women - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Midlife Care for Women

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Norma Wise at work minus the hot flashes. Norma Wise at work minus the hot flashes.

As we age our body changes. For some that means gray hair, less hair and sometimes pulling your hair out. But for some women, wanting to pull out other people's hair can be directly related to menopause.  Avera McKennan specializes in improving the quality of life for women in their 40's and 50's.

57 year old Norma Wise is enjoying her life as the Avera Cancer Registrar Supervisor. She wouldn't have said that 10 years ago. She started going through menopause in her late 40's and for her that meant miserable hot flashes.

Normal says, "You'd be drenched and that would last, well not real long, but once you were drenched you'd get cold because you were wet and this could go on numerous timed during the day. It's really hard to function when you are having these symptoms."

That's when Norma sought the help of Avera Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Gail Headrick. She says the average age of menopause in this country is 51, but the symptoms can start 10 years prior.

Besides hot flashes and night sweats, you can also have emotional and mental fatigue, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating and mood swings because of the fluctuation of hormones.

Headrick says, "If hormones are needed the ones we prescribe are the bio-identical hormones because they are just like he ones are body makes. "

She also suggests taking a multivitamin even if you are taking hormones and a calcium tablet with vitamin D to help relieve or eliminate the symptoms. "The most important thing to do is stay healthy, " Headrick emphasizes.

That includes eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and protein and exercising. It's working for Norma.

She says, "Things are in balance now. I'm on a hormone regiment that is in the lowest possible dose that works for me. It takes care of my symptoms. I'm happy. Those I work with and live with are happy. It's good. I strongly recommend other women going through menopause seek help. Your midlife years don't have to be miserable."

The symptoms of menopause can last anywhere from 2 to 10 years, but with medication and lifestyle changes you can alleviate them.

Eliminating stress, spicy food and caffeine will also help.

For more information of Avera's Midlife Care for Women go to www.avera.org


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