My Therapy’s Hypertension App

This is a guest post by My Therapy who together with Blood Pressure UK have created an infographic which brings together the key statistics and information about hypertension to increase awareness of the serious consequences of untreated high blood pressure. High blood pressure is often considered to be a men’s health problem, but that’s a myth. Women are equally as likely to have high blood pressure, or hypertension as men, and in fact become more likely to develop hypertension than men after they’ve reached the age of 65. Even if you’ve had normal blood pressure most of your life, your chances of developing hypertension increase considerably after menopause. Blood pressure is the force or pressure of blood pushing against the side of blood vessels, and is measured with two numbers. The first number is your systolic blood pressure, it is the highest level your heart pressure reaches when your heart beats, and the second number is your diastolic blood pressure, the lowest level your blood pressure reaches between heart beats. Persistently high blood pressure (140/90mmHg and above) can damage the blood vessels and increase risk of blood clots. While the cause of hypertension is unclear, there are certain risk factors: having a family history of high blood pressure, being overweight, or having a diet high in salt and with a lack of enough fresh fruit and vegetables. Untreated hypertension can lead to increases in the chances of several serious diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, and vascular dementia, in addition to potentially lethal heart attacks and strokes. The best way to prevent hypertension is to see your doctor...
Rediscover Your Desire Naturally

Rediscover Your Desire Naturally

For many years a woman’s sexual life was taken for granted. Women’s magazines described in detail how to achieve new heights of pleasure, how to be the perfect lover and, more importantly, how all this was really up to women themselves. Considering that not many women like to share details of their sex life with friends, there was little opportunity to question whether these expectations were unachievable and the many women falling short of these standards felt quietly inadequate for years. Sexual satisfaction is the result of many different factors, including psychological ones and the quality of the relationship. Stress can be a major passion killer for both men and women and libido is too often a casualty of too many worries and juggling numerous commitments. The increased use of antidepressants and the contraceptive pill can also negatively affect desire and interest in sex. A time that sees many women losing interest in sex is the menopause. Some women find that their libido seems to dissipate overnight. In some cases it comes back a few months, for some women it never seems quite to get back to the way it used to be, although some women find that, rather than leading to sexual activity, desire seems to grow once they engage in sex. A survey about desire run by Pharma Nord [1] highlights that libido and sexual enjoyment are a problem for a significant amount of women. Nearly 58% of women who took part in the survey revealed that they rarely felt desire and over half felt very dissatisfied with their sex life as a whole. Not surprisingly, half...
Omega 7 SBA24 for the Relief of Dryness during and after Menopause

Omega 7 SBA24 for the Relief of Dryness during and after Menopause

This is a guest post by Pharma Nord manufacturer and supplier of pharmaceutical grade dietary supplements. One of Pharma Nord’s products is Omega 7 SBA24, a supplement which helps to relieve symptoms of dryness during menopause including intimate dryness, dry eyes, dry mouth and dry skin. Unfortunately, symptoms of dryness can stay with you into postmenopause.   You have reached menopause when you have not had a period for a full 12 months following which you are postmenopausal. The time leading up to this is perimenopause. Many women are familiar with hot flushes and night sweats, a constant sense of tiredness and mood swings but loss of oestrogen also brings on a series of symptoms associated with dryness of mucous membranes in general. Intimate Dryness Intimate dryness is a condition which affects around 50% of all women and inevitably leads to painful sex which can have a detrimental effect on relationships and a woman’s confidence and sexual response. Prior to perimenopause, your body naturally lubricates the vaginal walls with a thin layer of moisture but as your oestrogen levels decline your vaginal walls become thinner, dryer and less elastic. Dry Eyes Dry eyes occur due to declining hormone levels which can affect the ocular tissues and tear composition made by your eyes. Symptoms of dry eyes include: dry/watery/streaming/sandy/burning and gritty eyes. These symptoms can be compounded by prolonged use of computers or hand-held devices (tablets, smart phones etc.) environmental conditions, certain medications and extensive use of contact lenses. Although it is important to visit your optometrist or optician to assess the condition, eye drops are typically recommended with various...

Is there a connection between hot flashes and heart disease?

A small study looking at the connection between hot flashes and heart disease has just been published in the online journal Menopause. According to the findings of the study conducted by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) frequent hot flushes during menopause could be a sign of increased risk of heart disease. The study examined 272 women between the ages of 40 and 60 who reported having hot flashes either daily or not at all. The women did not smoke and had no history of CVD (cardiovascular disease). Although the study is small it is an important one with a serious message. Hot flashes/flushes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause. New data has indicated that hot flashes can start much earlier than previously thought, beginning during the late reproductive years. They can continue for ten years and longer, vary in severity and can have an impact on health and quality of life. The study shows younger midlife women (age 40-53 years) having frequent hot flashes may also signal emerging vascular dysfunction that can lead to heart disease. This is due to the hot flashes impacting on the ability of blood vessels to dilate among younger women. Women aged between 54 and 60 do not seem to have this issue which would indicate that when hot flashes occur earlier they could have an effect on a women’s heart disease risk. The study looks at the association between hot flashes and endothelial function. The endothelium is a layer of cells that line the inside of the blood vessels. The assessment of endothelial function is considered a key factor in predicting atherosclerosis...

The Evidence Base for HRT: what can we believe?

Professor Robert D Langer’s paper, ‘The evidence base for HRT: what can we believe?’ is a review of the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) clinical trial of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The study and its findings, you may recall, emphasised the risks of HRT causing worldwide concern and led to many women refusing or stopping treatment. Professor Langer’s paper highlights the serious errors that were made during the WHI study including:- Publication of results with very little involvement from the key investigators. Reported conclusions that did not accurately reflect the scientific findings Although the study was designed to test the effects of HRT in older women – the conclusions applied the exaggerated risk to all women. As a consequence many women who needed HRT have avoided it and subsequently suffered unnecessarily. Since then many clinicians have been trying to disprove the findings of the report. Professor Langer says “in the years since the first WHI report, we have learned much about the characteristics of women who are likely to benefit from HRT. The range of HRT regimens has also increased. Not all women have indications for HRT, but for those who do and who initiate within 10 years of menopause, benefits are both short-term (vasomotor, dyspareunia), and long-term (bone health, coronary risk reduction).”   Things have indeed moved on a great deal since this study. In November 2015, NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) UK, issued the first guideline on diagnosis and management. You can find the guideline for professionals and a simplified version for women patients here.   See Professor Robert D Langer’s paper: ‘The evidence...