As the autumn air grows colder and my body continues to age, I find myself drier and drier these days. The air conditioner is in the off position and the heater is turned on, but that’s not the only reason my body is drying up from top to bottom.
A “Your eyes are very dry,” said my ophthalmologist, Dr. V, during my last visit. “It comes with age, as do the floaters that you are experiencing in your left eye.” Thankfully, my retina was not detached and my floaters are much better, but my eyes are still dry, dry, dry.
According to WebMD, dry eye is a natural part of aging, especially after menopause. (There we go, the “m” word. I knew it.) “Computer use can also contribute to dry eye.Â I suggest you use eye drops three times a day,” said Dr. V.Â She recommended I buyÂ Systane, which are artificial tears. I put a few drops in each eyeâ€”morning, noon and nighttime. Ah, I can see clearly now.
A “Your face needs a good vitamin C replenishing mask,” said my esthetician, as she examined my dry skin. My face was glowing after my facial, just glowing. I bought Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Masque to use at home can’t wait to try it. I also like the new RoC Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Daily Moisturizer that I received from the Johnson & Johnson PR account executive. (Psst I think the breakthrough Hexinol technology is breaking through my face and providing added moisture back into my skin. Such incredible technology! Now if it could quickly get rid of all my wrinkles, that would be a good thing too.)
A “My hair is very dry from the hair dryer,” I said to my hairdresser. She suggested I use Moroccan oil after I wash my hair. I bought the Moroccan oil and recently tried Redken Diamond Oil as well. I usually put a few drops of oil on my fingertips and rub the oil all over my hair and scalp. Don’t use too much oil or you will have bed head”flat, flat, flat.
A “Your vagina is very dry,” said my gynecologist as she examined me during my yearly checkup. WebMD says that vaginal dryness is another common symptom of menopause and close to one out of every three women experiences it while going through “the change.” It becomes even more common after menopause. (There we go again the “m” word. I knew it.)
“You won a free bottle of new Trojan Lubricants Continuous Silkiness,” said the PR representative at the BlogHer Conference. I hid it in my suitcase because I feared it might not make it through airport carry-on security didn’t want any guard shouting, “Menopausal woman here! Menopausal woman here, with lubricant in her suitcase.” (No, no, no. My lubricant was going home with me and my dry vagina.)
My Legs and Feet:
A Dry and flaky, dry and flaky. The Perimenopause Blog says, “A little moisture goes a long way. Particularly if you’re inclined, to take really hot showers. The heat extracts moisture and makes a bad case of the itches even worse.”
So dear autumn, bring on the chill. I’m ready for the change of seasons. I have tons of good moisturizers to choose from. Menopause may have dried up my body, but it’s far from brittle. Like the brilliant colors of the changing leaves, I plan on keeping my body (and my mind and spirit) as vibrant as ever during my life after 50.
At first the association between having a dry mouth and the menopause is not at all apparent. In this page, our menopause expert Eileen Durward talks about how oestrogen is responsible for keeping our mouth moisturised, and how this symptom can be relieved using natural alternatives and self-help tips.
A dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist, or saliva is present but less effective at its job. This can make it difficult to speak, eat and swallow.
In itself, a dry mouth can be very uncomfortable or troublesome. However, dental problems may develop such as bacterial infections and tooth decay. For this reason, it is important to try to find a solution to your condition.
When women go through the menopause, they experience significant hormonal changes. In simple terms, as oestrogen drops, this reduces moisture in the mucous membranes. This is why many women who experience a dry mouth can also experience dry eyes.
Additionally, salivary cortisol rises. Before the menopause, this is regulated throughout the day by oestrogen. However, with dropping oestrogen, this limiting factor weakens, resulting in dryness and a burning sensation in the mouth.
HRT may temporarily help with symptoms of the menopause but it can cause side-effects. When the hormone progesterone is taken, symptoms of dryness in the mouth can actually worsen. When coming off HRT such symptoms may also occur.
Home remedies for this sympom focus on trying to increase salivary production. When we eat something, this stimulates the salivary glands to produce saliva. While one option is to keep eating, this is perhaps not the healthiest or best solution.
Certain food types dry out your mouth. The list includes spicy food, crusty bread or dry biscuits and crackers. Caffeine and alcohol also have a dehydrating effect, so try to limit consumption of such drinks, and instead drink plenty of water. You may find that you need a bottle of water with you all the time, to keep your mouth moist, and while this may seem a bit of a nuisance, your kidneys will love you.
It is important to brush your teeth regularly to prevent any infections from setting in. Your dentist may also be able to recommend toothpaste or mouthwash to help with troublesome dry mouth symptoms.
Ginger may add some flavour to a curry, but it can also be used in the treatment of a dry mouth. Sucking pieces of ginger can stimulate salivary production.
Sea buckthorn oil may also be effective. This is made from a type of berry which is rich in omega-7 which is important for supporting healthy mucous membranes.
If your dry mouth has been caused by the menopause, then a herbal remedy such as Menosan Menopause Support may be effective. This tackles all stages of the menopause, as it contains soy isoflavones which naturally mimic the effect of oestrogen in the body.
It is always worth getting your symptoms checked by a doctor, as a dry mouth may be caused by an underlying health condition such as an autoimmune disorder. Additionally, a dry mouth can be a side-effect of a number of drugs, and so if you are taking medication, check with your doctor that this is not causing your dry mouth, and ask if there is an alternative treatment.
A doctor may prescribe mouth sprays and gel which act as lubricants or artificial saliva. There are also certain drugs known as sialogogues which can be prescribed to treat this symptom.
Do you feel like your menopause symptoms seem to appear or get worse at night? This week I explain why this is a common problem for many menopausal women and take a look at why things you do during the day can make you feel worse at night.
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