For the first time in twenty years, I enjoyed having my period. It is quite unbelievable I can say this, because for so long, all I have known is agony with my monthly friend. Typically, I experience extremely heavy second and third days, headaches from tampons such as Tampax Pearl, torrents of blood gushing when I stand, faintness at times when moving around, and intervals of aggravation. The only good thing about my cycle is that I’ve been free of cramps most of the time.
All the bad changed this month from a conversation I had with a sister-friend. We were talking about menopause and periods over a birthday brunch, and I shared how terrible my period experience is. She told me about an organic brand of pads and tampons I could try to have a better experience.
They are the L. Organic Cotton and Chlorine Free Pads and Tampons.
I wore both the pads and tampons, and they have changed my life.
The one thing I disliked about the L. Organic Chlorine tampons is they were harder to insert. I threw out one clean tampon because it was difficult to push out the applicator. It took me a few minutes longer than normal to get the others out, too. This was frustrating since I am used to the Tampax Pearl tampons coming right out.
Overall: Outside of this one struggle, my experience was exceptional. I am never going back to my old products. Also, I will be encouraging other women to try these out for their own health purposes and benefit.
L. Organic Chlorine Free Pads and Tampons are located at all major drug retailers.
*L. Organic didn’t pay Ykeal Deborrie; this is an honest review of a product she has used.
Ishna Hagan writes biographies, website pages, and strategic promotional copy for entrepreneurs and small business owners. She also writes song reviews for music artists, constructively and intentionally using positive language. She is a published author—most notably for her chapter in the anthology, Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships, and for her WUSA 9 online news reports. Ishna has one beautiful daughter and is a proud Howard University graduate.
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When I initially started using Irish Sea Moss gel, I was looking for a natural way to alleviate my sinus congestion and seasonal allergies, but oh boy, I got so much more! The seasonal allergies seemed to have been triggered at the start of my menopause. I never had any issues with seasonal allergies until I turned fifty, along with hot flashes, irritability, fatigue, and weight gain. To say Irish Sea Moss is a superfood sounds outrageous, but it literally is. Sea Moss gel addresses nearly every side effect of menopause, and with consistent use, it not only alleviates, but also virtually gets rid of symptoms. I believe in the power of sea moss because I’m familiar with the research and science behind it, and I know first hand what it has done for me.
Menopausal women often experience weight gain due to the imbalance of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Sea moss is one of the best natural sources of iodine. Iodine plays an important role in regulating one’s metabolism, decreasing weight gain, and balancing hormones, or as I like to call them horror-moans. Sea moss is also a great source of natural iron, actually containing 9mg of iron per 100g, meaning it has nine times more iron than chicken. This is especially useful since I also follow a plant-based diet. Since incorporating sea moss into my daily diet, my energy levels and metabolism has increased to the point where I have finally been able to lose those stubborn menopausal pounds. In addition, it is an excellent source of natural dietary fiber which fills me up quicker and has allowed me to keep those menopausal extra pounds off and maintain my goal weight.
Sea moss is also a great source of natural iron, actually containing 9mg of iron per 100g, meaning it has nine times more iron than chicken.Isis Taylor (The Gel Goddess)
The most well-known side effect of menopause are the hot flashes; they come at any time of day and/or night. The magnesium and vitamin B6 found in sea moss help provide a natural remedy for hot flashes. After a month of consistent use of sea moss, I noticed that my hot flashes had decreased—from multiple hot flashes practically every hour each day to maybe one per hour—and now my hot flashes are virtually gone. In fact, now I’m the one in the household asking if it’s cold in here.
Menopausal women also suffer from irritability and mood swings. Being a superfood, sea moss is packed with potassium, tryptophan, vitamin B6, and selenium—all of which have been known to reduce cortisol levels which improve mental health and mood. My stress and irritability, once greatly aggravated by my menopause, are much more manageable.
Unfortunately, menopause also wreaks havoc on our bones; this is mostly due to the loss of estrogen. Irish Sea Moss contains vitamin D, calcium, manganese, and zinc which helps bone and joint health by decreasing swelling around the joints, allowing for increased mobility.
Menopausal women also have a higher risk of heart disease. Omega fatty acids, folic acid potassium, vitamin D, and magnesium are all natural nutrients that sea moss contains that help to improve circulation and lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in the blood, which can improve overall heart health and function.
Menopause is an inevitable stage of life that all women will experience. The horror-moans don’t have to lead to a nightmarish existence. While there are many different ways of managing menopause, I prefer a more natural, holistic approach. That is why I advocate for using Sea Moss gel. The Earth provides us with a natural way to combat or alleviate most all menopausal symptoms through a simple plant that is found in the ocean.
Isis Taylor is an RN with over twenty-five years of experience. As a BSN graduate of Georgia College and State University, she has worked as a critical care nurse in level 1 trauma centers in Atlanta and Middle Georgia and is currently a Transplant Nurse Case Manager. She has recently begun an experiment in multigenerational living to help care for her eighty-three-year-old mother, who is a retired nurse recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She currently resides in the Metro-Atlanta area with her husband, Elijah Taylor Jr., her mother, Bobbie Brown, and her two adult daughters, Jessica and Monica.
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Contact Isis through email: TheGelGoddess@gmail.com
After my February period, I decided to stop using the progesterone cream altogether. Instead, I began listening to many of the suggestions I’d been reading and had been offered by people in the health and wellness field:
#1: Stop Having a Smoothie Every Morning. I began drinking berry smoothies with a scoop of Vega One protein and kefir at least a decade ago. Every single morning, with the exception of the weekends (weekends are for waffles), I’d had this smoothie combination. The issue with this is strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries are high in phytoestrogen. And without having any bloodwork done, I found out symptoms of excess estrogen include the following: heavy bleeding, depression/sadness, moodiness, and brain fog. Instead of having a berry smoothie, I now alternate with a bowl of oat bran or a mango-based smoothie.
#2 Include a Few Plant-Based Meals. Because my youngest daughter doesn’t eat meat, our family had already begun incorporating vegetarian meals for dinner. However, after I spoke with Karen Cerezo, she reinforced the idea that some meals should be plant-based. Consequently, I became more intentional about making dishes like vegan coconut curry. Plant-based meals are helpful if you suffer from the bloating that accompanies low progesterone levels.
#3 Drink Less Alcohol. Full disclosure…I used to have four drinks on Friday and four drinks on Saturday. These mostly included those tasty fruit-infused vodka drinks, along with some Simply Made fruit juice. A few years ago, I replaced them with a sugar-free vodka or an organic one (my favorites are Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint and Prairie Organic, Apple, Pear, & Ginger). I also swap out the juice for seltzer water. I imagine this decreases sugar, which also decreases inflammation, which then decreases symptoms, such as hot flashes and insomnia. And I definitely don’t drink wine. Wine is all sugar and no bueno for my menopausal self. Why Alcohol Affects Women More in Menopause does a great job of explaining why women should drink less at this age.
#4 Eat a Variety of Foods. I don’t know about you, but it’s very easy to get into a cooking rut. My husband knows I’m making salmon and some type of curry meal each week. I know he’s gonna grace us with some spaghetti, and if he’s feeling fancy, black bean burgers. Lish Danielle, over at LegitFit LLC suggested women over forty vary their meals. In order to do that, I buy a food magazine. One is 400-Calorie Meals; another is Better Homes & Gardens Mediterranean Diet Recipes. Flipping through (healthy) magazines and trying out a new meal is a great way to introduce different foods into your diet, and most of them are either low-cal, low-carb, or plant-based, so it’s a win-win.
So far, these four shifts have helped tremendously. I’m sleeping soundly at night. I haven’t had any night sweats or hot flashes, and I’ve stopped gaining weight.
April 8, 2021
by Madeline Y Sutton, MD, MPH (Dr. Madeline, MD)
We’ve all heard our mothers, aunties, friends, and grandmothers speak of “the change.” Then, we reach this period of transition, and we’re still like, “What in the world is happening?” No matter what we think we know, it still catches us off-guard. That’s how the conversation starts with many of my patients, and that’s certainly how I felt when I started to notice that something felt different with me. But what I have learned and shared with all my patients is that there is a joy in understanding and embracing the change…
“The change,” or menopause, happens for most women by the age of fifty-one. For many, the change does not happen abruptly, but gradually over time. To be fully menopausal, a woman has to not have a menstrual cycle for twelve months. However, menopausal symptoms can last from four to as long as ten years, especially for some Black/African American women (whew—ten years is a long time!). Symptoms can include hot flashes, night sweats, memory changes, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness, feeling less sexually aroused, irregular periods which are often very heavy before the very last period, mood changes, and/or weight gain; these symptoms are all due to our ovaries shifting to deliver less estrogen than ever before in our lives.
And we’re learning more about how the menopause transition process is different for many Black women and Latinas. Several research studies show that Black women and Latinas often begin perimenopause earlier, experience menopause symptoms more intensely, and have longer transition periods. One national, longitudinal study of women and menopause, the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), has found that Black women and Latinas reach menopause two years earlier (age forty-nine) than the median age of fifty-one years. Earlier menopause has implications for increased risk of heart disease, stroke, bone fractures, altered sexual experiences, and decreased life expectancy. For women of color in the United States, data suggest that long-term, cumulative effects of systemic racism and long-term stress are negatively affecting our overall health, including an earlier median age at menopause. That’s a lot to take in, Sisters…
Several research studies show that Black women and Latinas often begin perimenopause earlier, experience menopause symptoms more intensely, and have longer transition periods.Tweet
So, here’s how we navigate and embrace this change.
First, if you don’t already have one, find a healthcare provider who listens to you, I mean really HEARS you and your concerns. You need to be able to have a real talk with them.
Second, write down your questions and include a description of any symptoms you might be feeling or have felt recently. This will help you remember those things you may want to discuss with your doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant, and these details will help your healthcare provider determine which options to consider and discuss with you.
Third, if your healthcare coverage options limit your ability to select a preferred provider, then engage an advocate (someone who can help you get your concerns addressed and questions answered) during your health visits. This advocate can be a friend, family member, a hospital employee who is there to help patients, or even a paid professional.
Fourth, be open to discussions that may include low-dose hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Ask questions to be sure you understand what are myths and what are facts regarding HRT. For many patients, starting a low-dose HRT regimen, even for a short-term, is extremely helpful for symptom relief.
Fifth, let’s be open to lifestyle changes—if you smoke cigarettes, find help to stop; if you haven’t had much body movement, find a walking path or take the stairs; if your food is often heavy with cholesterol, replace a few meals with more baked foods and vegetables. If you’ve never had therapy, go talk to someone; processing long-term stress and systemic racism is real, and we need to deal with that. All of these affect how we go through menopause.
And ladies, embracing the change also means maintaining your sexy. I want you to always hold onto the part of you that is sexual; she doesn’t go away just because you’ve gone through the change. So, whether that means new lingerie, a fancy pair of shoes, a self-care adventure for you, a new sex partner or new games with a current sex partner, make sure that you are not sacrificing something that you may desire. Talk with your health care provider, get what you need, and continue living your best life while embracing the change.
You might find that life after the change is even better than what came before it…
Dr. Madeline Sutton (Dr. Madeline) is a board-certified gynecologist with over two decades of clinical research and patient care experience. She uses her social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram @ DrMadelineMD) to highlight women’s health topics and answer women’s questions. She has published over 150 scientific articles and a book about sexual health. She is living her best menopausal life and enjoys helping other women do the same.