Pre-menopausal women who have both of their ovaries surgically removed become menopausal immediately. This abrupt transition is known as surgical menopause. Contrary to popular belief, surgical removal of the uterus, or hysterectomy, does not in itself cause menopause to occur.
However, the ovaries may be removed at the same time as the uterus, so some women who undergo hysterectomy also go through surgical menopause. In addition, menopausal changes may occur even in women whose ovaries are left in place if the blood supply and nerves to the ovaries are damaged during an operation.
Natural menopause usually leads to a slow, gradual decline in estrogen production, while surgical menopause is abrupt. As a result, problems such as hot flashes are particularly intense. The risk of heart disease and osteoporosis also is higher than it is for women who have gone through natural menopause. The earlier a woman experiences surgical menopause, the more important it may be for her to consider hormone replacement therapy.
Menopause is still widely misunderstood and unfairly maligned. Yet more and more women are beginning to talk openly about their experiences, both positive and negative. In addition, carefully controlled studies on menopausal changes are finally being done. As we learn more about this stage of life, many of the most destructive myths are being dispelled. Instead of seeing the menopausal woman as one who is “over the hill,” we now see her as a woman who has a third of her life left to live - and is saving the best for last.
Insomnia - What to do….
What are the things that I can do that will help me sleep better?
* Go to bed at the same time each day.
* Get up at the same time each day.
* Maintain a comfortable temperature in your bedroom.
* Keep the bedroom quiet when sleeping.
* Keep the bedroom dark enough. Use dark blinds or wear an eye mask if needed.
* Use your bed only for sleep and romance.
* When you go to bed, relax your muscles, beginning with your feet and working your way up to your head.
* Exercise daily.
* Don’t exercise just before going to bed.
* Don’t engage in stimulating activity just before bed.
* Don’t expose your eyes to bright light after sundown, i.e., computer monitors, tv, etc…
* Avoid caffeine. Remember that caffeine is present in chocolate, as well as regular coffee or tea, and most sodas.
* Don’t watch television in bed.
* Don’t erroneously believe that alcohol will help you acheive quality sleep.
* Don’t lie in bed awake for more than half an hour. Instead, get up, do some quiet activity, then return to bed when you are sleepy. Do this as many times in a night as you need.
* You will acheive best results if you the above principles over a period of time. Usually, two to four weeks for best results.
* Don’t take sleeping pills.
What about sleeping pills?
Sleeping pills main render you unconscious, but do not promote deep, restful, delta rhythm sleep. They are mainly used to treat the short term insomnia that may occur as a result of temporary stress. Sleeping pills that you can buy at the store are usually not effective. If you are older, taking over-the-counter sleeping pills may be risky, because they can cause confusion.
If your doctor decides to prescribe a sleeping pill and you decide to take it, use it only as directed. Taking more pills than prescribed will not make you sleep better. Under most conditions, sleeping pills should not be taken for more than two weeks, as they will probably make insomnia worse.
Are there any precautions I should take when using sleeping pills?
Sleeping pills cause drowsiness and poor balance, so be careful about driving or doing other activities that may be dangerous. Don’t drink alcohol when taking sleeping pills.
If you’re older, you’re more likely to fall if you are taking sleeping pills. If you have to get up at night to go to the bathroom, get up slowly, sit on the side of the bed for a minute, and then walk carefully to the bathroom. Use good light. Either turn on the lights or use a bright flashlight.
What Natural Supplements Promote Deep, Restful Sleep?
* Whole Psyllium Seed Husks - This sticky form of fiber absorbs toxins in the gut that would otherwise interfere with brain chemistry and normal sleep patterns.
* Carlson’s Super Omega III Fish Oils - During sleep the blood tends to become thick and sludge-like due to cleansing by the liver. These essential keep the blood thin and also furnish choline for brain chemistry
* Natural Vitamin E (400i.u.)- Also keeps blood thin.
* 5-HTP (100 mg.)- Contains safe hydroxy-trytophan which is used by the brain to make correct levels of the sleep hormone (melatonin)
You may also find the information here to help you re-capture deep, restful sleep.
Revision date: July 3, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD