Dr. Carolyn Chambers Clark, Award-Winning Author and Wellness Nurse Practitioner

MENOPAUSE Book Interviewer Questions


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"At this moment millions of American women age 35+ are dealing with menopause issues. They're feeling alone and unsure about how to proceed (and so are their families) now that research studies have linked medical hormone replacement therapy with increased risk for cancers, heart disease, blood clots, osteoporosis, gallstones, asthma, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease," according to Dr. Carolyn Chambers Clark, Founder of The Wellness Institute, menopause expert, Walden University Faculty Member, and author of LIVING WELL WITH MENOPAUSE: WHAT YOUR DOCTOR DOESN'T TELL YOU THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW."

Many women in their thirties may not even realize that the mood changes, sleep problems and more what they're experiencing is part of the menopause process. "Menopause is the last taboo subject," according to Dr. Clark, "and menopause doesn't just happen to women in their 50s, it's a gradual process that starts much earlier.

Women can learn to make their lives more vibrant and energetic by using the procedures described in LIVING WELL WITH MENOPAUSE. What can women do to cope with the hot flashes, depression, anxiety, irritability, weight gain, sleep problems, muscle and bone aches, hair and skin problems, headaches, bladder issues, lack of energy, poor circulation, sexual changes and more that menopause can bring? Dr. Clark says, "There are so many nutritional, herbal, exercise, environmental, stress reduction, healing measures, and relationship self-care actions to help women make menopause a positive experience. LIVING WELL WITH MENOPAUSE describes them, most of which are researched based. I'm living proof a woman who uses them can be productive and stay youthful after menopause." Dr. Clark hasn't left out partners, friends and even families of women going through the natural process called menopause. Usually the people in the menopausal woman's life notice changes in their loved one, but are often clueless about what to do to help. LIVING WELL WITH MENOPAUSE: WHAT YOUR DOCTOR DOESN'T TELL YOU THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW provides simple, easy-to-follow directions for enlightening others about the menopause experience and shows how to work together to enhance the process. INTERVIEW QUESTIONS (AND ANSWERS) FOR LIVING WELL WITH MENOPAUSE:

1. Question: What are some of the myths our society holds about menopause?

Answer: One of the myths is that menopause happens at one point and after that it's all down hill. Many medical texts characterize menopause as ovary failure, as if it were a disease, but it's not, it's a natural human process. Our bodies are much more sophisticated than that. Even when ovaries stop producing a huge amount of estrogen, some is still produced in the ovaries as well as in other body organs. We don't need as much estrogen any more because we're not going to have children. In that way, our body is very wise and efficient. Menopause can even be a blessing. For many women, not having to worry about conception can bring about a rebirth, new interest in personal development and worry-free sexual activity.

2. Question: You say women should open up a dialogue with their partners, husbands and family about menopause. Isn't that a taboo subject?

Answer: There's no reason menopause should be taboo. It's a normal human response. There is even a male menopause, so we were born to go through this natural process. Now we have to learn how to talk about menopause with our partner, husbands, daughters, sons, and friends. That's why I devoted a whole chapter in LIVING WELL WITH MENOPAUSE to the topic. I provide examples of some words to say or things to do to include partners, husbands, and children in the process in a way that is helpful to both the woman and her family. Women need to learn how to sit down with husbands and daughters and other family members. Menopausal women need to know that it's okay to talk openly about what they're going through.

3. Question: If women start talking about menopause with their daughters, don't they just risk scaring them?

Answer: My research shows that almost 0% of the women I surveyed discussed menopause with their mothers. I know I didn't. I saw my mother change, but I had no idea what was happening, and neither did my father or brother. The whole topic was hushed up and my mother would leave the table many night crying or stay up late, unable to sleep. The unknown is always more scary than the known. If we know what is happening with someone else, that opens up the opportunity to share, to be helpful, to connect with another human being. Women today have an unprecedented opportunity. They can be pioneers, opening up the dialogue on menopause, receiving the love and support they need and deserve. If menopausal women don't talk to anyone but other menopausal women about what they're going through, it's like having the secret of fire and not sharing it.

4. Question: I understand many women don't really know what triggers their hot flashes or sleeplessness. Is there a way to find out?

Answer: I counsel my clients to keep a food/mood diary for at least a week. By plotting what they eat with how they feel, they can begin to isolate the triggers. It took me many months of sleeplessness to realize that the frozen yogurt I was eating before bedtime was triggering my hot flashes and sleeplessness. The sugar and caffeine were keeping me awake. Once I knew that and changed what I was eating, I slept better and had fewer intense hot flashes. Other women may have other triggers. They have to be like detectives, examining their behavior and finding out what brings on body changes.

5.Question: Isn't fatigue a common menopause challenge?

Answer: In researching LIVING WELL WITH MENOPAUSE, I found there are certain foods most likely to create fatigue. Many women also suffer from sleep problems and you can't be alert if you don't sleep well. Finding out sleeplessness triggers is also important for resolving fatigue.

6. Question: Hair thinning occurs around menopause. What can a woman do?

Answer: There are specific vitamins important to hair health. If you drink alcohol and caffeine, you are promoting the loss of these valuable vitamins and need to restrict their use. It's also important to eat specific foods that are rich in these nutrients and use henna if you want thick, lustrous hair.

7. Question: What simple environmental actions can women take to reduce the depression, nervousness, and irritability so characteristic of menopause?

Answer: Smoking or being around smokers, and taking steroids and antidepressants have all been associated with depression. Ways to fend off depression include time management methods and shortcuts and asking your family to share responsibilities. Volunteering to help others is a great research-backed method to reduce depression. If women are too depressed or anxious to take action, it's important for them to find a counselor who can help get them back on track with daily activities, and help make menopause the positive experience it can be.

8. Question: Many women fear that if they don't take hormones, they'll age quicker. What advice do you have?

Answer: There's no reason to look old after menopause. If you eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, stay away from fried and fast-foods and environmental toxins, take care of your skin and exercise, and use the stress reduction techniques found in LIVING WELL WITH MENOPAUSE women can look youthful and feel great for many years post-menopause.

9. Question: Headaches and other aches and pains are common during menopause. Besides taking pain medication, what can women do?

Answer: Many headaches and other aches are stress-related and/or due to circulation blocks.I discuss various methods for improving circulation from nutrition, to exercise, to acupressure methods in LIVING WELL WITH MENOPAUSE.

10. Question: Husbands and other family members often don't have a clue what a menopausal woman is going through and what to do about it. What's the best way for a women to tell her partner about her menopause experience and what to do to help her?

Answer: Start by giving your husband or partner a compliment detailing what's already helpful and negotiate additional reciprocal aid. I provide concrete examples of exactly what to say to get your partner's cooperation in helping you through a positive menopause.


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To order my latest book, LIVING WELL WITH MENOPAUSE: WHAT YOUR DOCTOR DOESN'T TELL YOU...THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW, click on http://home.earthlink.net/~cccwellness/id23.html

Learn how to Live Well with Menopause

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