Hey gals: Do you want to have a good menopause? This may not be the most burning question for all of my readers, but for those of us contemplating it, please, can we talk? I was just saying to the critical care nurse practitioner/nutritionist who has become my reproductive health caretaker that I really want to have a good menopause–that doesn’t seem too much to ask–but everything I’m hearing in the news has made a woman’s later years sound confusing and awful.

Fear not, this herb-and-vitamin dispensing medical professional (who comes from a food-loving Italian family) told me: There is hope, there is time, and many gazillions of pioneering women have gone before me. Apparently, the roots of a good menopause are embedded in the adrenal glands. These cute adrenaline-producing little fellas sit on top of the kidneys, releasing hormones. And as a woman ages, her “mission control” shifts from the ovaries to the adrenals. That’s why dehydrated women who drink coffee heavily, shout directives at coworkers, and locate stress in every disappointment, might have a harder time with hot flashes than women who eat wisely, stay hydrated, and get their C- and B-vitamins ingested between yoga sessions. I know, my explanation of this is not phrased in the language of an expert. But the bottom line is that if the adrenal glands are stressed going into menopause, then menopause can become the hardship that breaks the adrenal’s back, as it were.

Let me refer you to good online sources that describe this phenomenon properly (here and here and here) and echo what my nurse just told me. Additionally, I have discovered a website on menopause that I’d like to share. Write in if you have “good menopause” stories!

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