How One Woman Stood Up To Her Uncomfortable Postmenopausal Vaginal Symptoms

This post is sponsored by Pfizer, the makers of ESTRING (estradiol vaginal ring) 2mg. For more information on ESTRING, please see Full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Patient Information. Scroll down or click here for Important Safety Information.

Patricia Hensley, a former national-class distance runner, always lived a healthy, active lifestyle. A dental hygienist for decades, this 63-year-old lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, who is nine years younger.

“We had a good sex life until I had problems,” related this candid woman, whose experience after menopause made sex painful.

When Patricia finally decided she had enough suffering as a result of her postmenopausal vaginal symptoms she decided to speak with her doctor. Together they decide to try Estring, a treatment option that helps alleviate moderate to severe symptoms of postmenopausal vaginal atrophy. Her tale is a good lesson for any woman who needs help for postmenopause symptoms that just won’t quit. Geri Brin, founder of FabOverFifty.com, chatted with Patricia to see how she turned things around after menopause.

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An Easy Way To Protect Your Eye Health As You Age

If you’re over 40 years old, you’ve probably started to realize that your vision just isn’t as sharp as it used to be, even if you’re wearing prescription glasses.

That’s why FabOverFifty has partnered with ZeaVision, the makers of EyePromise Vizual EDGE, to bring you valuable information on how to support your long-term eye health and feel more comfortable driving at night.

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Illustration by Simone Brin

Why your vision deteriorates after 40

Changes to our eyes occur gradually, over decades, until we suddenly recognize changes in our vision. As we age, our pupils shrink and dilate less in the dark, which reduces the amount of light entering our eyes. This can even make it seem as if we’re wearing dark sunglasses at night.

We’re also at greater risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the deterioration (or thinning) of the macula, a critical part of your eye responsible for your central vision. In some cases of AMD, blood vessels can form under the retina and leak blood and fluid into the eye. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over 55.

Zeaxanthin and lutein are powerful nutrients which can help protect our eyes against further deterioration and support the natural functions of your eye. The nutrients also help protect against harsh light from glare and oncoming traffic, improve clarity and decrease eye stress.

“Zeaxanthin and lutein protect the most important retinal real estate of the eye–-the macula–which allows us to see detail. It is therefore 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,” said Dr. Stuart Richer, doctor of optometry.

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While leafy greens, certain fish, and other foods contain trace amounts of these nutrients, the amount we need to protect and improve our eye health can be found only in a supplement like EyePromise Vizual EDGE.

Learn more and give your eyes the
nutrients it needs.

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Are YOU uncomfortable driving at night?
Tell us in the comments section below.

How To Avoid Indigestion This Holiday Season

The Thanksgiving feast may mark the start of the joyous holiday season, but like all excesses, too much celebrating can lead to some pretty yucky feelings, from your stomach clear up to your esophagus.

If you’ve eaten too much, too fast, (especially spicy, fatty and greasy foods), not to mention imbibed a tad more than you should, you just may develop indigestion, says Dr. David L. Greenwald, a gastroenterologist associated with the esteemed Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

“An uncomfortable, intensely full feeling in the upper abdomen, indigestion is not a medical condition, but a manifestation of something else, perhaps an ulcer or gallbladder disease,” Dr. Greenwald explains. “The fullness and bloating can be caused by food or liquid alone, or a combination.” Something spicy might trigger the symptoms of discomfort in one person, something greasy in another. Caffeine might act as a stimulus, or carbonated soda could be the culprit. “It’s trial and error from person to person,” the doctor adds.

If you’re really unlucky, you may experience heartburn along with indigestion.

pain“Heartburn is a burning feeling, or regurgitation, that arises in the lower part of the chest or the upper part of the abdomen, or it can be a combo of both, and the feeling can radiate towards the neck,” notes Dr. Greenwald.

Not actually related to the heart, heartburn is a result of stomach acids rising into the esophagus, which is the passageway from our mouth to our stomach. “Acid is made in our stomach all the time, which is then supposed to go through the stomach and into the small intestine to help with digestion,” Dr. Greenwald explains.  But, some acid in absolutely everyone refluxes back into the esophagus many times each minute, when the sphincter muscle at the end of the esophagus (like a valve) opens for us to eat, or when we swallow the saliva we’re constantly creating in our mouth.

“Everyone has different ways of clearing the acid entering the esophagus,” according to Dr. Greenwald, “gravity being the most common.” We also have muscles in the esophagus that contract and move what’s in it back to the stomach. How much acid comes up; how well you clear it,  and how sensitive you are to the acid will determine whether you experience heartburn.  

Over 60 million Americans get heartburn at least once a month, according to the American College of Gastroenterology, and almost everyone experiences indigestion from time to time. Indigestion is your body’s way of telling you something you already know — you ate too much of the wrong foods, and you ate them too quickly.

Of course, the smart thing to do is listen to your body, make healthy food choices, and don’t eat like you’re participating in Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. But since it’s mighty difficult to be an exemplary eater during the most festive time of year, you can be prepared for indigestion with an all-natural remedy. Our favorite is Maty’s All-Natural Acid Indigestion Relief, created by Carolyn Harrington, a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and creator of Maty’s Healthy Products.

“Many drugs that remedy acid indigestion have been associated with serious health complications such as kidney failure,” says Carolyn. Choosing a natural solution can be beneficial to your long-term health. Maty’s tasty relief formula includes organic honey to soothe the throat, apple cider vinegar to give “healthy acid” to the digestive tract, as well as cloves and turmeric for anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits.

buckwheat-honeyThe formula is safe for everyone, and it has no side effects or drug interactions, Carolyn affirms. Learn more about Maty’s Healthy Products today!

Want to try Maty’s Healthy Products?
Enter here for a chance to win one of their healing kits!

P.S. Don’t forget to follow Maty’s Healthy Products on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

This post is sponsored by Maty’s Healthy Products. Thanks for supporting FabOverFifty! Dr. Greenwald is not associated with the brand. FabOverFifty greatly appreciates the opportunity to present his invaluable knowledge.   

How To Care For Your Skin In The Winter

Besides winter’s reputation as cold and flu season, the colder and drier weather can wreak havoc on your skin– making it dry, itchy, and downright uncomfortable. Furthermore, you lose sweat and oil glands as you age, says the Cleveland Clinic, which can cause your skin to dry out even more.

FabOverFifty has partnered with CVS Pharmacy to bring you valuable tips to help keep your skin healthy, hydrated and smooth throughout the winter!

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FACE

Your facial skin is directly exposed to the harsh elements, so it absolutely needs extra TLC in the winter months. Make sure to apply a moisturizer right after drying off in the shower, to help keep it feeling hydrated throughout the day and night. And, don’t forget to use sunscreen every day in the winter, as well. The winter sun and glare from the snow can still damage your skin. Some moisturizers have sunscreen right in them.

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LIPS

The skin on your lips is especially thin, which easily can make them chapped, dry and even flakey in the winter. Apply a lip cream or balm, like this one from CVS Health with SPF 20, before heading out in the cold (and wind!) to protect and hydrate them. While you’re outside, it’s always a good idea to cover your lips (and bottom part of your face) with a scarf for added protection. And never, ever, lick your lips! “Saliva evaporates quickly, leaving lips drier than before you licked them,” says Dr. Lawrence Gibson at the Mayo Clinic.

HANDS

Your hand skin also is thin and needs good care throughout the winter months, so you can never apply too much hand cream. You don’t need to spend a fortune on one, either. This alpha hydroxy hand cream, under $5, should help revive dry, cracked skin in just one use. And, remember to wear gloves when you go out in the cold. This anti-itch lotion for sensitive skin works wonders!

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What Your Worst Menopause Symptom Says About You

Menopause can be a downright depressing time for even the most optimistic women. Hot flashes, a dry vagina, and a vile mood aren’t the ingredients for happiness. But, please know that you DO NOT have to suffer. You can learn all you need to know about menopause, and about the completely safe remedies that are available for practically all of your symptoms.

If you’ve not yet entered the menopausal transition, read about the experiences of 20 FOFs here. If you’re lucky–like Paulette, Sally C, Rosa, and Jan–you’ll get off scot free. But don’t wait to find out. Arm yourself now with the knowledge you’ll need to avoid a horrible time later.

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Combat Your Cough With Honey

Sometimes during the winter, lots of us get colds and start coughing, and coughing, and coughing, until our throats become unbearably irritated.

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Known as tissus in the medical community, “a cough is a sudden reflex humans and many animals have to clear the throat and breathing passage of foreign particles, microbes, irritants, fluids and mucus, a rapid expulsion of air from the lungs,” according to medicalnewstoday.com. We’ll run to a drugstore, and try to determine which of the countless syrups, lozenges, sprays and pills will help give us relief, without making us either hyperactive from the added sugar and high fructose corn syrup, or completely groggy.  


Stop pondering and make a beeline for honey, a completely natural remedy that has been used for centuries to reduce or relieve symptoms of the common cold. Human use of honey has been traced to about 8,000 years ago, when it was depicted in Stone Age paintings. Reported to have an inhibitory effect on about “60 species of bacteria, some species of fungi and viruses, honey is a by-product of flower nectar and the upper aero-digestive tract of the honey bee, which is concentrated through a dehydration process inside the beehive,” according to the National Institutes of Health. Often called “nature’s cough medicine,” honey has the ability to sweetly coat dry, irritated throats and suppress coughs. (more…)

What You Should Know About Dementia and Alzheimer’s, But Were Afraid To Ask!

I met Dr. Michael Serby about 35 years ago, when our toddler boys played together at the local playground. He did research in Alzheimer’s and had a practice in geriatric psychiatry, but those subjects were not uppermost in my mind at the time. Now they are, so I decided to ask Dr. Serby if he’d be willing to do an interview with me about his life’s work. I’m delighted he accepted my invitation, because so many of us have seen Alzheimer’s wreak a horrific toll on family and friends, and are frightened it will hit us, too.
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FabOverFifty: What happens to our minds as we age?

Dr. Serby: Some people have long-standing psychiatric problems that started when they were young, or younger, and have become more of a problem. Maybe the frequency of their problems increases. Maybe they don’t have the family they once had to help them.

“Many people have diminishing cognitive function as they get older, that may begin as early as their 50s, but I know one woman who is 106 and is as sharp as can be; not a sign of diminishing cognitive function. So it’s not age, per se, that’s responsible for the development of cognitive change. It’s just more common as you get older.”

How do you define many and what happens what exactly is diminishing cognitive function?

“The majority of people over 50, certainly over 60, will experience some change in their cognitive functioning. They can’t find the right word, for example. They’ll say ‘it’s on the tip of my tongue,’ this kind of thing. That’s considered normal.

Your bones may change with age. Your joints may change with age. Your skin may change with age. Everything changes with age, but if there’s nothing pathological in those areas I mentioned, that’s great. Your memory for words also may show some change, but it’s not significant if it doesn’t affect your daily life, your functioning. You can continue to work as a lawyer or a writer. But some people panic as soon as they can’t think of a word. They’re looking for that first clue that they’re going to get Alzheimer’s. People are being evaluated in dementia centers all the time who are considered ‘normal.’”

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How do you know when your ‘diminishing cognitive function’ is out of a range considered ‘normal’?

“You might have trouble planning, with language, with spatial skills.* It’s pretty noticeable, and gets in the way of your daily ability to function, but it hasn’t gotten to the point of dementia When this happens we call it Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).”

* Visual-spatial skills are critical for success in solving many tasks in everyday life, such as using a map to guide you through an unfamiliar city (pre-GPS); merging into high-speed traffic, and orienting yourself in your environment, as when you’re learning your way around a new office. Some tasks that require visual-spatial ability include packing for a trip (deciding if a certain box is large enough for the objects you want to put into it) and using mirror images (as when you comb your hair while looking into a mirror).

If you’re diagnosed with MCI, will you automatically get Alzheimer’s?

“About half of patients with MCI will go on to dementia, but many seem to hang there and continue (with MCI), maybe forever.”

Let’s say you and your husband have driven the same route to the mall, hundreds of times over the last 35 years, but one day he forgets which way to turn when you’re at the exit. Is this cause to worry?

“You shouldn’t hang your hat on one episode like that, because there are many possibilities that have nothing to do with dementia. Perhaps the husband didn’t sleep well the night before, and he had an isolated memory lapse; maybe a TIA is beginning, which is common in older people. (Note: A transient ischemic attack is a brief interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain that can result in confusion, temporary memory loss, sudden fatigue, difficulty speaking, vision changes, and poor balance. High blood pressure is a major cause of TIAs, but they also can be caused by issues including diabetes and high cholesterol, according to popular website healthline.com)
couple“If this happens, and the person gets more confused that day, it would suggest that he be seen by a doctor. They might need to get cardiac and neurological exams.

“Alzheimer’s is very slow, but a wife who experiences an incident like you described might say to me: ‘I can tell you exactly when the Alzheimer’s started.’ That’s not true. It’s just when she noticed something because it was so clear cut. You can associate a stroke with a specific event, but not Alzheimer’s. Don’t make any assumptions without an evaluation.”

Keep Reading…

How To Take Control Of Your Long-Term Health

This post is sponsored by Humana.

Wouldn’t it be better to prevent chronic medical conditions than spending decades treating them?

Maintaining your health is the most important gift you can give yourself, and it’s never too late to begin. Making smart lifestyle choices today, whether you’re 35 or 65, will surely contribute to your health and well being in the decades to come.

vertical-leadThat’s why FabOverFifty is honored to partner with Humana health insurance to promote its #StartWithHealthy initiative. What better time than during the crisp fall to start your program to stay in tip-top shape. When you look at statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you’ll grasp right away how many millions of Americans are affected by long-term conditions, and how critical it is that each and every one of us take steps to reduce that number in the future. Take a look at these four common conditions, and what you can do to make sure you’re supporting your health from this day forward.

“Our parents didn’t have the health knowledge we have today, or the tools to keep themselves in the best shape possible. But we do, and there is no excuse for not taking full charge of your mind and your body, so you can spend every day with joy,” said Geri Brin, founder of FabOverFifty.com. (more…)

How To Stay On Top Of Your Health This Fall And Winter

Cold and flu season is approaching, and it’s better to plan ahead than to wait until you’re already sick! We’ve partnered with CVS Pharmacy to make sure you know the best ways to keep you and your family healthy in the coming months.

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Introducing MonaLisa Touch: A Beautiful New Way To Treat The Painful Symptoms Of Menopause And Help Make You Smile Again

This post is sponsored by Cynosure, the distributors of MonaLisa Touch.

“We’ve broken the taboo of saying the word ‘vagina,’ and it’s about time!” says Geri Brin, founder of FabOverFifty.“I’m delighted that conversation about sexual health is out in the open, when women no longer are embarrassed to discuss intimate issues.” 

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