Medium 9781591200352

User's Guide to Women's Health Supplements

Views: 1007
Ratings: (0)

Explains how vitamins, minerals, and herbs can help women feel better and stay healthy.

List price: $2.99

Remix
Remove
 

7 Slices

Format Buy Remix

1. Menstruation and Menstrual Difficulties

ePub

CHAPTER 1

T

he onset of menstruation is a significant physiological and emotional event in a young girls life, and will likely be a monthly occurrence for approximately forty years. The subtle but powerful hormonal shifts that regulate the menstrual cycle can cause a variety of problems, ranging from cramps to endometriosis. In this chapter, youll learn the most important factors for supporting healthy reproductive function, and youll discover natural remedies for relieving common problems associated with menstruation.

In the United States, most girls generally begin menstruating at about the age of twelve. But its also perfectly normal if a girl begins to menstruate as early as age ten, or as late as age seventeen. The onset of menstruation seems to be dependent upon a girl having a sufficient amount of body fat, which is related to estrogen production. Girls who exercise regularly and strenuously, such as athletes or dancers, may begin menstruating later, as may those who diet excessively.

 

2. Pregnancy and Birth

ePub

CHAPTER 2

P

regnancy and birth are generally wonderful events in a womans life. At the same time, pregnancy brings challenges as a womans body undergoes the task of creating a life and preparing for birth. In this chapter, youll learn about diet, supplements, and lifestyle factors that will keep you and your growing baby healthy. Youll also find suggestions for the common problems that plague pregnant women, such as morning sickness and constipation.

Paying attention to your health is always important, but its doubly so when youre pregnant. If youre of childbearing age and considering having a child, its best to plan ahead for a healthy pregnancy. During your nine months of pregnancy, your body will go through many changes as the baby develops. Pregnancy places great demands on a womans body, and your baby is completely dependent upon you to provide what it needs to grow healthy and strong.

The first trimester is the most critical stage in your babys development, because this is the time that major organs are being formed. Your nutritional needs during pregnancy are different than usual, and its necessary to pay close attention to your diet to make sure you are supplying your baby with everything it needs. A healthy diet is also vital for your well-being, because the baby draws nutrients from you and can leave you depleted if your diet is inadequate. In addition to providing all the necessary nutrients for your baby, its essential to avoid all substances that can harm your baby, such as alcohol, drugs (other than those prescribed by your doctor), and smoking.

 

3. Menopause

ePub

CHAPTER 3

T

he menopausal years are a time of great change for a woman, and affect all levels of her physical and emotional well-being. Most women experience at least some of the symptoms that are commonly associated with menopause, such as forgetfulness, heart palpitations, hot flashes, joint pain, mood swings, sleep disturbances, urinary tract infections, and vaginal dryness. At this time in life, it becomes more important than ever before to pay attention to your health.

The hormonal changes that a woman experiences in the years surrounding menopause are powerful. The conventional medical approach to menopause is to prescribe hormone therapy (HRT), both for symptom relief and for preventing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. The combination of estrogen and progesterone is often effective for relieving depression, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, and it also has been thought to offer some protection from cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, although the benefit of HRT for heart disease has recently been called into question.

 

4. Preventing Osteoporosis

ePub

CHAPTER 4

O

ne out of every four postmenopausal women will be faced with a diagnosis of osteoporosis, and more than 45,000 women will die this year from injuries related to weakened bones, such as fractures of the hip and spine. Equally tragic is the crippling loss of mobility that occurs with osteoporosis. There are a number of specific risk factors that predispose a woman to osteoporosis, including heredity. But while you cant control your genetic heritage, you can control the other risk factors that contribute to bone loss.

Excessive alcohol or caffeine intake

High phosphorus intake

High protein or sodium diet

Lack of vitamin D

Low calcium intake

Menopause

Sedentary lifestyle

Smoking

Thin build, particularly for those of Northern European or Asian descent

Bones are dense, hard structures, but they are continually in the process of being broken down and recreated. Your bones are a storehouse for calcium in your body, a mineral that is vital for a variety of essential body processes. Calcium reserves are drawn upon to keep bones and teeth strong, to regulate heartbeat and muscle contractions, to transmit nerve impulses, and to aid in blood clotting.

 

5. Preventing Cancer

ePub

CHAPTER 5

A

ccording to the American Cancer Society, approximately one-third of all women will be striken with cancer at some time in life. Because there are at least 200 different types of cancer, its unlikely that there will ever be one single drug or vaccine that will offer protection from this dreaded disease. But even though cancer appears in so many forms and can be so challenging to treat, cancer cells have a lot in common with one anotherthey all begin when something in normal cell replication goes awry. And many of the reasons that cells replicate abnormally and become cancerous are within our control.

Researchers estimate that one-third of all cancer deaths in the U.S. are related to dietary factors, and another third are caused by cigarette smoking. Clearly, these are factors over which you have influence. Our bodies have marvelous built-in mechanisms for searching out and destroying cells that have gone astray. By supporting your bodys natural processes of healing, and by avoiding the toxins that contribute to the formation of mutant cells, you can do a great deal to protect yourself from cancer.

 

6. Preventing Heart Disease

ePub

CHAPTER 6

M

any people still have the misconception that heart disease is something that happens primarily to men. Its true that women are fortunate in having the natural heart-protective effects of estrogen prior to menopause. Estrogen helps to keep coronary arteries flexible, and also plays an important role in keeping cholesterol levels low. But during and after menopause, when estrogen levels naturally decline, the risk of heart disease for women increases dramatically. After menopause, women are more likely than men to be stricken with heart disease. In fact, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women, affecting one out of every three women over the age of sixty-five.

Recent studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy, which was long thought to provide cardiovascular protection for postmenopausal women, does not help to prevent heart disease, and is probably a bad idea for women who have a prior history of heart disease. A four-year study of 2,763 postmenopausal women with a history of heart disease, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998, revealed that hormone replacement therapy increased cardiac risk during the first year of use. As a result, the American Heart Association recently recommended against hormone replacement therapy for the prevention of heart disease by women with a history of cardiovascular disease. As for healthy postmenopausal women, the association says there is insufficient evidence to indicate that hormone replacement therapy prevents heart disease.

 

7. How to Buy and Use Nutritional Supplements

ePub

CHAPTER 7

I

t seems that new research appears almost daily regarding the benefits of dietary nutrients, supplements, and herbs and their role in maintaining health. Theres no question that dietary supplements make an important contribution to optimal well-being. But choosing between the vast array of products available can be confusing. In reading this book, youve learned about the supplements that are best suited to your particular needs. Now, you need information that will enable you to buy and use supplements with confidence.

First, its important to address the question of whether you need to take supplements at all. Unless you live in a pristine environment, eat a perfectly balanced organic diet, get just the right amount of exercise and rest, and are under no stress, then the answer is yessupplements are a good idea. We live in a world that has a greater number of chemical toxins than ever before in history, and the quality of our air, soil, and water has been seriously compromised. In general, the nutrient content of most foods is diminished because were not getting food fresh from the gardeninstead, its transported across the country, and sometimes across the world, losing nutrients in the process.

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Slices

Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Sku
B000000018840
Isbn
9781591200352
File size
1.08 MB
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata