Your Perfectly Pampered Menopause

WebMD Live Events Transcript

Colette Bouchez, author of "Your Perfectly Pampered Menopause," says menopause doesn't have to be difficult. From hormones to hair care, skin care solutions to putting the pizzazz back in your sex life, she offered up health, beauty, and lifestyle tips to help you make these the best years of your life when she joined us on June 1, 2005.

The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

MODERATOR:
Welcome to WebMD Live Colette. Thank you for joining us. Please tell us why you think of menopause as "the best years of your life."

BOUCHEZ:
Well I think that it can be the best years if you know how to take care of yourself. You are more focused about yourself and your life; you know who you are, what you want and what you can do. You have a better sense of yourself. That all adds up to some pretty good years.

MODERATOR:
It sounds great -- as long as you don't get sidetracked by "symptoms" of something that is a natural part of aging, not a disease. How do you maintain a positive attitude and keep everything in perspective?

BOUCHEZ:
I think a lot of it has to do with having knowledge -- knowledge about what happens during this time of your life, knowledge about your own body and what to expect. Because the truth is that menopause is something different for every woman. I think the key is the knowledge; if you know what to expect and you know what you can do to counter some of the effects, it won't take you by surprise.

It's the element of surprise and confusion that can affect our ability to cope. One of the main reasons I wrote Your Perfectly Pampered Menopause is so that there are no menopause surprises. A woman will know what to expect from this time of life and from her own body, and that can go a long way in helping you cope and keeping you from getting sidetracked, as you say, by symptoms.

MEMBER QUESTION:
Do all menopausal women get hot flashes?

BOUCHEZ:
Well, hot flashes are not an absolute part of menopause but it certainly is the case for the vast majority of women. Since hot flashes are really the physiological result of falling estrogen levels, and every woman who goes through menopause experiences falling estrogen levels, it's kind of hard not to experience hot flashes. But the big difference is some women are affected by them more than others. It is just like some women can be in a hot crowded room and feel OK, while others may not. It's all according to how your body reacts and every woman's body is different.

"Write down every time you have a hot flash, and write down what you were wearing, eating and drinking right before. In about a week or so you may see a pattern starting to emerge and you'll know what your personal hot flash triggers are."

MODERATOR:
So what tips do you have for those who are having a rough time with hot flashes?

BOUCHEZ:
Believe it or not one of the main things that most women don't think about is the clothes they wear. And I'm not just talking about dressing in layers, because that's what everybody tells you. What I'm talking about is the fabrics you choose to wear. Many times fabrics made of nylon and particularly spandex, which I know is very popular right now, can hold the heat in and make that flash feel as if it's never going to end. So in this respect paying some attention to the kind of fabrics you are wearing, looking for fabrics that breathe and are open and airy can go a long way in keeping those flashes under some control.