“Pap Smears, Bone and Heart Health” – Season 3 – Episode 7

Good Menopause to you! Sarah and Julia talk about their low-tech microphone set up and how they want to upgrade soon! We talk about Julia’s daughter’s birthday party, when Julia hired a terrific balloon guy. He made a Snow White and a Diamond Ring. And Julia’s birthday is coming up – she’s about to turn 52. 52 with a 7-year-old. And Sarah is 56 with a 16 and 19-year old.

Sarah talks about how she’s engineered a simpler holiday season for herself. Doing fewer things, and more fun things than obligation things. It also involved Planning. Sarah actually went to the beach over the weekend, which was super fun! During the holidays! Unheard of in her past life.

Dr Tara Allmen Menopause Confidential

Bible Study – “Menopause Confidential by Dr. Tara Allmen” – Chapter 13 – “The Latest Rap About the Pap” (affiliate link) This is another slightly confusing subject – like the issue of mammograms – because the guidelines have changed regarding Pap Smears. Turns out you may not need to have the screening done every year anymore. It might be every other year or even once every 3 years. Sarah worries this is confusing and that she won’t remember whether this is her pap year or not? Julia thinks Sarah’s doctors should have the records and that she doesn’t need to worry about remembering. Good point. Anyway, check with your own medical professional. And there was some very interesting info about HPV, which is the cause of cervical cancer. Fascinating to read! Also – fascinating factoid: “in the early 1900’s Cervical Cancer was the number one killer of American women! But no more.”

Chapter 14 – “Sticks and Stones Can Break Your Bones” Not such a News Flash, but “Menopausal women are at high risk for osteoporosis” – woo-hoo aren’t we lucky????? (Not) Why? Because of Estrogen and the lack thereof… Good old estrogen! The bad news is you can’t reverse bone loss or density, but you can maintain what you have as you enter menopause, according to this chapter. We note the dancer/gymnast conundrum that they are so slender and strong, but because they may not menstruate for those years and the lack of estrogen will come back to harm them. Eat your calcium-rich foods, like KALE. And some obvious and possibly silly advice – Don’t Fall. Falling can be a death sentence for some people, because they may never recover. Sarah felt this chapter really made her sit up (straight) and take notice.

Chapter 15 – “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” This is all about Heart Health – a staggering number of American women will die every year from heart disease – 400,000! We note that the Dr. puts us all into one of three categories of risk. All of us. Meaning everyone has some level of risk, which is frightening. Either the “Ideal Risk” category, the “At Risk” category, and the “High Risk” category. Being overweight is one of the risk factors, which both Sarah and Julia deal with. Sarah also has high-ish cholesterol. We know we’ll feel better with better fitness, so it’s an important goal for us. We can make changes in some of our risk factors, people! No more excuses! And the Dr. notes “the American Heart Association has certain target numbers we need to hit for exercise. As well as the dietary guidelines, of course!” Consult your physician regarding the use of aspirin. And regarding the use of Hormone Replacement Therapy for heart disease prevention. It sounds tricky to know whether it would help you or not and you’ll need to have that conversation. And every woman is different.

NO HOT FLASHES for us this week.

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