I have received numerous emails and phone calls lately asking me if I can recommend a supplement for anxiety and panic attacks. The number of requests has increased recently, and as you can guess, it is partially due to the stress associated with being in a pandemic as well as the social unrest related to recent events.
Some of you have lost your job. Some have lost a loved one. You are limiting social get-togethers. You hesitate to travel. You are uncertain about your future, the future of your loved ones, society, and this world. All of these factors can create more anxiety.
Stress can significantly impact your quality of life and can manifest itself in many different ways.
Physical signs of stress
Increased or decreased appetite
Muscle pain or tension (neck or back)
Change in libido
Emotional and mental signs of stress
Lack of focus
Lack of motivation
Sadness or depression
Every individual deals with stress differently. Some people resort to food and start overeating. Others consume alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs. It is essential to have the right tools to deal with stressful circumstances in a healthy way. Here are some suggestions:
The bottom line is that stress can take a toll on you physically and mentally. It is important to utilize different strategies to help manage your stress. In addition to lifestyle changes, consuming certain nutrients, supplements and herbal products can be beneficial in helping you relax.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like me to help you choose the appropriate supplement.
September is Menopause Awareness Month. There are an estimated 64 million postmenopausal women in the United States (US), and as many as 32 million women may suffer from symptoms including pain during sexual intercourse, vaginal dryness, and vaginal irritation. This number is increasing as approximately 6000 women enter menopause each day in the US. I have worked with thousands of menopausal women for the past 20 years and a good majority of them have confided in me about their discomfort and how it affects their intimate relationships.
Let’s first take a quick look at the root cause of the problem in menopausal women. During the childbearing years, a thin layer of clear fluid covers the walls of the vagina. This thin layer keeps the lining of your vagina elastic, thick and healthy. As you approach menopause, there is usually a drop in your estrogen (female hormone) level which reduces the amount of lubrication available. This can lead to vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy as well as dryness of the external female genitals (vulva). Vaginal dryness may cause fragile vulvovaginal tissues. The tissues may then become more susceptible to irritation, pain during intercourse or dyspareunia (dis-puh-ROO-nee-uh) and sometimes bleeding which is the result of injury and tearing of the vaginal tissue and vulva. Sometimes, even women who are not sexually active are bothered by vaginal dryness and the irritation that may accompany it.
In addition to natural menopause, there may be other factors causing vaginal dryness such as:
Fortunately, there are many options out there to help women suffering from vaginal dryness. They may include hormones, lubricants, oils or vaginal moisturizers (creams that are used to restore moisture in the vagina). Here is a comparison chart:
|Hormone Free||Free of Harsh Chemicals||Long-Lasting Effect||Natural|
|Estrogen Vaginal Cream|| ||No||No||Yes||Maybe|
|Oil Based |
Lubricant (VitE, Olive Oil,
An example of an all-natural vaginal moisturizer is FabuVag® (www.naturalvaginalsolutions.com), which is an herbal cream. When looking for such a product, it is important to find a moisturizer that is free of harsh chemicals such as parabens, perfumes, synthetic dyes and coloring, glycerin, Petrolatum, phthalates, and propylene glycol.
Pay attention to the labels and read them carefully since you apply the preparations to the most intimate area of your body and may absorb a good portion of it. when in doubt, ask an expert. For more information or to ask questions, feel free to contact me. I will be happy to help you navigate through the menopause maze.
Dr. Sharzad Green, Pharm.D. is a graduate of the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and specializes in bio-identical hormone therapy and natural alternatives for men and women. You may contact her at (480) 264-7600, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year 1.3 million women reach menopause in the United States. Although most women transition to menopause without experiencing psychiatric problems, it is estimated that 20% have depression at some point during menopause.
Studies have generally shown an increased risk of depression throughout perimenopause, however, there is a decrease in risk of depression during postmenopausal years.
So, is there a connection between your hormones and depression. Studies have indicated that changes in estrogen levels, may be related to depressive symptoms in the menopausal transition of some women.
Estrogen has a close relationship with the brain and can affect the chemical messengers of the nervous system. Serotonin and norepinephrine are thought to be the chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) of the brain that are related to the physiologic cause of depression.
Although the precise mechanisms are yet unknown, as estrogen levels decline, regulation of serotonin and norepinephrine may change which may contribute to depression.
As most women can attest, depression is significantly linked to times of hormonal changes in females. Observations and data suggest that depression in women begins at puberty. Hormonal changes are thought to contribute to pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD, PMS), as well as mood changes after giving birth and in perimenopause.
Scientists have discovered that women with a history of mood disorders or of premenstrual and postpartum mood-related symptoms are more likely to experience depression during menopause when hormones start declining.
In addition to hormonal changes, women with particular types of stressors seem to be at increased risk for perimenopausal depression. Such stressors or factors include the following:
It is never easy to experience depression or to see your loved one be depressed. In my practice, I oftentimes observe a positive improvement in the mood after a woman’s or man’s hormones are balanced. Sometimes the depression is so severe that the patient’s loved ones seek help for the patient. It is important to note that depression is a very complicated physiological and psychological disorder and hormones may be an important piece of this puzzle.
If you or your loved one suffer from mood disorders, a simple blood test to check your hormone levels and a hormone consultation may be an important step in seeking help and getting closer to recovery. For more information call me at 480-264-7600