[QUIZ] How Much Do You Know About Postmenopausal Vaginal Symptoms?

This post is sponsored by Pfizer Inc., the makers of Estring® (estradiol vaginal ring) 2 mg.  For more information on ESTRING®, please see Full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Patient Information. Please see below or click here for Important Safety Information. The health information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider. All decisions regarding patient care must be made with a healthcare provider, considering the unique characteristics of the patient.

“[After menopause] my vaginal symptoms were severe and I decided I needed to do something about it,” says 63-year-old Patricia Hensley, who experienced unexpected changes once she hit postmenopause, including painful sex. Patricia is among many women who experience postmenopausal vaginal atrophy. Curious about what the common symptoms are and what treatment options are available? Take our quiz and learn about one way women can alleviate these symptoms!

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8 Important Medical Tests For FOF Women

Most of us have self-consciously slipped our bare feet into the metal contraptions on the gynecologist’s examining table, year in and year out, for our annual PAP smears. At last, we don’t have to go through this female ritual quite so often. Read on to find out why, and to learn what other female-specific medical tests we need to do, and how often.

FabOverFifty got the lowdown from one of our favorite doctors, Alyssa Dweck, who specializes in treating menopausal and postmenopausal women.

1. PAP SMEARS

“This is all the rage right now in regards to changes in guidelines. The Pap smear can now be done as infrequently as every three to five years in women 30 and older who’ve had normal Pap smears for a while.  The test for Human Papillomavirus (HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical cancer) is performed simultaneously.  Most women over 65 years old no longer need Pap smears since the risk for cervical cancer is quite low for women in this demographic. (more…)

Dancing A “Tango” With Cancer

Apryl Allen and her husband Ken are sitting in the doctor’s office, anxiously expecting to hear the results of the pathology report following surgery for Apryl’s breast cancer.

After having her vital signs checked, Apryl learns the doctor is on vacation, and that the nurse practitioner will convey the results. As if this news isn’t disconcerting enough (Apryl assiduously made the appointment for the day of his return), Apryl and Ken wait for 30 minutes, and the nurse practitioner is nowhere in site.

“Ken, I’ll give it another 10 minutes. If no one shows up I’m going to get someone,” Apryl says.

“No, I will get someone,” Ken says, disgusted. “It felt as if we were captives awaiting our fate in this macabre cell while eternity passed,” Apryl writes in her riveting new book, A Tango With Cancer, My Perilous Dance with Healthcare & Healing.What follows is one of the most powerful scenes in the book, epitomizing the impersonal, imperious, often-callous treatment Apryl experiences throughout her ordeal with her potentially deadly disease. A Tango should be required reading, not only for any woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer, but for every woman.

This isn’t a how-to-survive-breast-cancer-guide. It isn’t a 300-page pep talk on having a positive attitude when you’re facing a serious illness (although that’s definitely part of it.) And it isn’t a tug-at-your-heartstrings tale.

It’s an intimate, chronological accounting of Apryl’s journey, starting the day she gets her revealing mammogram in mid-2013, through her challenging experiences with medical bills and insurance companies, countless doctors and their cohorts, surgery and drugs. And, even if her book’s stark realism isn’t uplifting, Apryl is downright skillful–and inspiring– in the way she maneuvers the dispassionate healthcare system to get the treatment and information she absolutely needs to defend herself during her battle.

“The fight against cancer isn’t necessarily limited to eradicating it from your body; too often it continues with the very system that’s supposed to heal us.” Apryl believes. Apryl’s unpretentious, yet beautifully descriptive, writing conveys her emotions every step of the way, from her intense fear as she enters the massive MRI machine, to her frustration when she can’t reach a medical professional on the phone, and her sheer joy when she learns she may not need traditional chemotherapy.

Apryl calls her breast cancer nodule Jorge and her one cancerous lymph node is Lymph-Along-Kid. She also cleverly names every doctor, rather than use their real names and titles. Her radiologist is Breast Investigator; her surgeon is Medicine Woman; her family physician is Dr. KnowItAll and her first oncologist is Mad Scientist. These wonderful names help bring to life all the players in her drama.

By the time I finished Tango, I felt as if Apryl was my friend, but I wanted to talk to her “in person” to ask her a few questions.

[FOOD GIVEAWAY] Eat Like A Woman® Yummy Snacks From Nessta Life™!

Have you ever snacked on treats designed specifically for women?

“Today we know that genetic, hormonal, and physiological differences affect our susceptibility to disease, and how we respond to dietary plans designed to prevent, reduce or treat disease,” says Staness Jonekos, bestselling author and menopause expert. That’s why she created Eat Like A Woman®, plant-based functional snacks that are free of gluten, soy, dairy, and eggs, and give women the nutrients we need to reach optimal health.

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[GIVEAWAY] Shape Up For Spring With Cal-EZ

Bye bye winter.

It’s almost time to get back to our favorite outdoor activities. With this in mind, FabOverFifty has partnered with Cal-EZ, a fast-absorbing calcium powder, to bring you a Spring Shape Up Giveaway. Keep reading about why it’s important to introduce calcium supplementation into your diet, and enter the giveaway below.

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How Zeaxanthin Protects And Improves Your Eye Health





If you’ve noticed changes in your eyesight during the last few years, you’re certainly not alone.

The normal aging process, plus hormonal fluctuations such as loss of estrogen, can result in conditions from occasional dry eye to worsening vision. But, only 38 percent of women in a FabOverFifty poll said they’re paying enough attention to their eye health. That makes it clear that we all need to know about nutrients called zeaxanthin and lutein that can help protect and improve the condition of our eyes.

Located in the macula of the eye (the small area at the center of the retina that’s responsible for what we see straight in front of us, at the center of our field of vision), zeaxanthin and lutein are antioxidants that filter harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light, and can help reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. These conditions affect millions of aging Americans, reports the website of the American Optometric Association. The amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin are measured as macular pigment optical density (MPOD), which has become a useful biomarker for predicting disease and visual function.

“It’s critical to maintain the quality and health of this area of retinal tissue in a modern society that depends upon using computer screens and driving automobiles, safely,” says Dr. Stuart Richer, Chicago optometrist.

Since the human body does not naturally make all the lutein and zeaxanthin it needs, it’s important to consume foods such as spinach, corn, broccoli and eggs.  Diet isn’t enough, however, so eye doctors recommend zeaxanthin supplementation through natural products, such as EyePromise, a brand supported by over 20 years of research. The manufacturer’s science-based product line is offered in a variety of formulas, allowing you to choose one that’s best for your needs.

EyePromise Vizual Edge softgels are packed with zeaxanthin, lutein, vitamins and fish oil to keep your eyes in tip-top shape! It’s also crucial to visit your ophthalmologist every year to check your eyes for changes in vision and signs of any eye diseases.

Make an investment in your long-term eye health with zeaxanthin and learn more about EyePromise today.

This post is sponsored by ZeaVision, the makers of EyePromise. Thanks for supporting FabOverFifty!

Why Your Heart Needs More Fiber

FabOverFifty is a sponsored Meta Influencer, but all opinions are its own. Please see additional disclosures, below.

February is American Heart Month, a time when all women should recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. More specifically, it’s responsible for one in every four deaths of women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s a figure no wise woman should ignore!

Metamucil is the #1 doctor recommended fiber brand. Its fiber supplement, made from psyllium husk, helps promote heart health by lowering cholesterol. Since less than 5 percent of Americans get enough fiber in the foods we eat, it’s high time to consider supplementing our diets with this important ingredient. The 4-in-1 MultiHealth Fiber comes in a sugar-free, powder that can be mixed into a cup of cool water or another cold beverage like iced tea.  

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8 Skin Conditions That Pop Up After You Turn 45

Named a 2016 top doctor by Castle Connolly, the esteemed publisher, Dr. Jessica J. Krant practices as a dermatologic surgeon at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. She is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and has provided medical and cosmetic dermatology for 13 years.

Dr. Krant is a fellow at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), and a member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) as well as the Women’s Dermatologic Society. (more…)

This Doctor Is Saving The Menopausal Women Of America!

When Dr. Pam Gaudry’s husband was dying of cancer, in 2005, she tried to continue practicing obstetrics while taking care of him and their eight-year-old twins.

“I had a huge practice, with about 150 obstetrics patients at a time, but it was very difficult to keep up with everything, especially because I often was gone at night. Something had to give,” explains the doctor who everyone calls “Dr. Pam.”

So Dr. Pam delivered her last baby at the end of 2006, and concentrated instead on operating, which allowed her to spend more time caring for her two children and ill husband. Although she originally thought she was going to be this “wonderful gynecologic surgeon,” excelling at hysterectomies and other important procedures that women might need, that’s not what happened.

“Patients were so happy when I stopped delivering babies, because it gave me more time to sit down and talk to them, especially women over 45 years old who wanted to discuss menopause and what they could do about their symptoms,” Dr. Pam said.  “And every time I was in the operating room, I missed helping women in my office,” she added. Those feelings prompted the doctor to stop operating in the fall of 2016,  so she could spend full time in her office in Tybee Island, one of the barrier islands near Savannah, Georgia.

Today, Dr. Pam exclusively counsels and treats women 45 plus on premenopausal and menopausal issues.

And, besides being a certified menopause practitioner, she has her certification in sex therapy, and jokingly calls herself a “gynechiatrist.“  Most sex therapists are psychologists only, she explains. Claiming she could work 50 hours a day and “still wouldn’t get to everyone who wants to talk about menopause,”  Dr. Pam thought about producing a series of 30-minute videos which would feature her discussing the most common things that women want to discuss.

Instead, she and the film production company wound up creating an 80-minute documentary, called Love, Sweat & Tears, designed to “de-stigmatize menopause, save the menopausal vaginas of America and start the Menopause Romance Revolution.” The film isn’t just brimming over with valuable information from incredible doctors and other health experts across the country; it features real women, couples, spiritual advisors and even comediennes talking about menopause, including Jenny McCarthy and Joan Rivers in her very last interview.  “We wanted to bring in some comic relief, and they really wanted to help us,” Dr. Pam says. “Everywhere we went, women were desperate to help.”

The powerful opening minutes of the film feature women, all modeled after Dr. Pam’s real patients, making emotional statements about their menopause, such as these:

“He doesn’t understand.  It has nothing to do with not loving him.  It just hurts”

“I’m afraid I’m going to lose him.  I’m afraid he’s going to find a younger woman.”

“Everything makes me anxious.  I have panic attacks all the time.”

“I can’t stop crying.”

“I am losing my mind. I feel like I have Alzheimer’s.”

“I don’t like the way I look. I can’t stand to see myself naked.”

“I’m mad at everyone around me.”

“Little 11-year olds go to school today with baby butt wipes, an extra set of panties, and their favorite pads. They are completely ready for puberty. But, we kind of let woman fall into menopause, and no one explains how we can prepare for these changes, and how we can keep ourselves healthy and active,” Dr. Pam emphasizes.

How To Get The Most From Calcium & Vitamin D Supplements

Staying on top of our bone health is important as we age, but not all calcium supplements are created equal. To help us understand how to properly include calcium in our diets, FabOverFifty recently sat down with Danielle Omar, integrative dietitian and healthy lifestyle coach. Danielle’s 21-day online program is structured to transform the way we eat after 50.

Why is it critical to supplement our diet with nutrients? What specifically do calcium and vitamin D do to support a woman’s long-term health?

Supplementation is beneficial for a woman today, even when she’s eating a clean diet or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. In this case, you might think you’re getting the nutrients you need – but that’s not always the care. Here’s why:

First, our food supply isn’t as nutrient dense as it used to be, when people were eating foods produced locally. Critical vitamins and minerals lose their potency when produce travels long distances.

We spend a lot more time indoors, which prevents our bodies from accessing sunlight, which is the main source of vitamin D.

Many medications we take also can inhibit the absorption of nutrients and affect our calcium levels, including blood pressure medications, bisphosphonates, antibiotics, iron, and some seizure medications.

Calcium, which needs vitamin D for maximum absorption, is essential in maintaining optimal bone health and to help prevent osteoporosis. The calcium stores you built up don’t change after age 30. After that, it’s a challenge to maintain your bone health.

Do certain types of women need calcium and vitamin D more than others, either because of their genetics or lifestyles?

Women’s calcium needs increase with age, and when they are pregnant or nursing.  They also change when a woman is very active or training for extended periods. If you’re preparing to run a marathon, for example, you may be losing calcium through your sweat.

If you’re are on a modified diet, you may need calcium that you otherwise would get from dairy, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Additionally, people with darker skin have a harder time absorbing vitamin D from the sun because of the pigment in their skin.

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