The Change Before The Change: Everything You Need To Know To Stay Healthy In The Decade Before Menopause

Overview

You're in the prime of life. As far as you know, menopause could be years away. So why is your body sending you such weird messages? Women today can't afford to lose time and energy to the common, but often misdiagnosed, symptoms of perimenopause -- from mood swings and stubborn extra pounds to hot flashes and insomnia -- that precede menopause by as much as a decade. In this lively and solution-packed book, renowned ob/gyn Dr. Laura Corio provides all the information you need to take charge of your physical and ...
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The Change Before the Change: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Healthy in the Decade Before Menopause

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Overview

You're in the prime of life. As far as you know, menopause could be years away. So why is your body sending you such weird messages? Women today can't afford to lose time and energy to the common, but often misdiagnosed, symptoms of perimenopause -- from mood swings and stubborn extra pounds to hot flashes and insomnia -- that precede menopause by as much as a decade. In this lively and solution-packed book, renowned ob/gyn Dr. Laura Corio provides all the information you need to take charge of your physical and emotional well-being
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Many women have never heard of perimenopause, the big wind before the hurricane of menopause. OB/Gyn Laura Corio knows that the hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia aren't just indicators of something in a woman's future; they are profound and disturbing events in one's life. This upbeat and well-researched book tells you what to expect, from the first sign of menstrual irregularity to the onslaught of physiological and emotional changes. The appendices on herbs, phytoestrogens, and hormone therapy highlight this book's strength as a treatment guide.
Library Journal
When Corio, attending physician at Mount Sinai Hospital and cohost of the radio show Women for Women, was in medical school two decades ago, gender-specific medicine barely existed. Today, it is commonplace--a huge benefit to the 50 million women in America (a third of the female population) who are of perimenopausal or menopausal age. Notable for its clarity, comprehensiveness, and currency, this book describes the signs and effects of perimenopause and suggests treatment options, focusing on the use of vitamins, minerals, herbs, foods, phytoestrogrens, and hormone preparations, all largely of the "natural" variety. Dosages and caveats concerning the use of these products are given, and Corio emphasizes that her suggestions should not be implemented without consulting one's physician. But this is more than a book about perimenopause; its intent is optimization of overall health, and its discussion extends to bones, breasts, the heart, screening tests, etc. The narrative is peppered with interesting and pertinent case histories. This book should be helpful to women of a certain age and is highly recommended.--Linda M.G. Katz, Florence A. Moore Lib. of Medicine, MCP Hahnemann Univ., Philadelphia Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553108767
  • Publisher: Bantam Books
  • Publication date: 10/31/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.59 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura E. Corio, M.D., is a board-certified ob/gyn whose thriving New York City practice attracts women from across the country because of her unique blend of no-nonsense medical advice, extensive knowledge of alternative approaches, and close collaboration with patients. She is an attending physician at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan, where she also teaches medical students and residents. She has made numerous media appearances as an expert on women's health. She lives in New Jersey with her son and daughter.

Linda G. Kahn is a writer and editor specializing in health and psychology.

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Read an Excerpt

There was a huge snowstorm raging outside, and we'd been receiving cancellation calls all day. So I was surprised to open the door to one of our examining rooms and find Marian perched on the end of the table. Marian started seeing me twelve years ago, when she was single and living in the city. A husband and two children later, she now lived in the suburbs but still remained a loyal patient.

"Why didn't you reschedule?" I asked. "You took your life in your hands driving all the way in from Long Island."

"I couldn't wait another day, Dr. Corio," she replied.

"What's wrong?"

"What isn't? I feel like my whole body is falling apart—in fact, it doesn't even feel like my own body anymore!" Marian went on to list a host of symptoms: migraines, hot flashes, insomnia, dry itchy skin, urinary tract infections, irregular periods, and decreased libido. "Poor Skip," she continued, referring to her sweetheart of a husband. "My moods have been all over the place and I haven't let him touch me in weeks. He's been really understanding, but I know that for both our sakes I can't put off dealing with this any longer."

"Well, Marian—how old are you now?" I glanced down at her chart. "Forty-three? It sounds to me as if you may be in peri-menopause."

"You're kidding!" she responded. "But my mother didn't go through menopause until she was 50."

"And you may not, either. Perimenopause can begin up to a decade before menopause," I reminded her. "When was your last period?"

"About three weeks ago."

"And how was it? Longer or shorter than usual? Heavier or lighter?"

"A little heavier and longer than normal. And I had wickedPMS—my breasts were killing me and I had really bad cramps. I told Skip he should buy some stock in Motrin! It was like being a teenager all over again."

"Funny you should say that," I said, "because in some ways peri-menopause is the mirror image of puberty. One of the reasons you're experiencing irregular periods, mood swings, and PMS is that after twenty years of relative stability, your hormones are beginning to fluctuate all over the place. In your case, it's because your body is winding down its reproductive life; in a teenager's, it's because her body is winding up."

"Lovely," Marian said, rolling her eyes. "But if I'm reliving those happy teenage years, how come I have no sex drive?"

"Because perimenopause is like puberty in reverse. Although your estrogen levels are bouncing around, they're basically on their way down, whereas a teenager's are basically on their way up. Your skin is getting drier; a teenager's gets oilier."

"So is there anything I can do to feel like a human being again, or do I just have to wait this out?"

"Of course there are things you can. do—why should you suffer?" We went on to discuss a myriad of options, from vitamin and mineral supplements to herbs and foods she could try to relieve her various symptoms. "Before you leave today I'd like to write you a prescription for saliva testing to check your estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels," I added. "This is the perfect time because you're in the middle of the second half of your cycle. If these levels are no longer in the normal range and your symptoms aren't improving with just the complementary treatments, we can talk about the possibility of adding a low dose of hormones."

"I can't tell you how relieved I am to know I'm not completely falling apart!" Marian sighed as she leaned back on the table so I could begin her physical examination. "It was definitely worth braving the hazards of the Long Island Expressway to see you today."



CHECKLIST OF PERIMENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS

Every woman experiences perimenopause differently. Some have virtually no symptoms; others have every one in the book. Because the range of symptoms is so diverse, many women don't make the connection with perimenopause and either suffer in silence or run from one specialist to another looking for cures. If you are experiencing any of the following, ask your gynecologist if he or she thinks you may be in perimenopause.

o        irregular periods
o        PMS symptoms—bloating, cramps, breast tenderness
o        hot flashes and night sweats
o        insomnia and fatigue
o        heart palpitations
o        mood swings and irntability
o        migraine headaches
o        memory problems
o        fuzzy thinking or inability to concentrate
o        dry, itchy, irritated skin
o        dry or thinning hair
o        brittle nails
o        weight gain, especially around the middle
o        vaginal dryness or itchiness
o        pain with intercourse
o        loss of interest in sex
o        vaginal infections
o        urinary tract infections
o        frequent urination or stress incontinence
o        joint pain
o        irritable bowel syndrome
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Woman to Woman 1
Part 1 Before the Change
1 How Do I Know If I'm in Perimenopause? 9
2 The First Sign: Menstrual Irregularities 24
3 Can Somebody Open a Window? Hot Flashes, Insomnia, and Other Joys 44
4 I'm Losing My Mind! Estrogen and the Brain 67
5 Not Tonight, Honey: Sexual Changes and Other Embarrassments 95
6 Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall: Visible Signs of Perimenopause 123
7 My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Changes in Fertility 144
Part 2 Staying Healthy
8 Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk: Your Bones 181
9 Beating the Odds: Your Heart 209
10 Bosom Buddies: Your Breasts 242
11 Below the Belt: Your Uterus, Ovaries, Cervix, and Colon 282
12 Eve's Apple: Your Thyroid Gland 319
13 Dr. Corio's Presciption for a Healthy Perimenopause 334
Appendix A Herbs 359
Appendix B Phytoestrogens 364
Appendix C Hormones in Perimenopause 367
Appendix D Checklist of Screening Tests 387
References 389
Acknowledgments 421
About the Authors 423
Sources and Permissions 425
Index 427
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2001

    She's my doctor, too!

    I could never imagine going through perimenopause without Dr. Corio. All her diet plans, vitamin therapy and herbs really work and eliminated my mood swings, hot flashes, and insomnia.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2001

    Absolute Must Read for All Women

    Before reading this book, I thought I was going crazy!! Dr. Corio has put perimenopause (a word I never used before reading her book!) all into perspective for me and gave me guidelines to lifesyle changes that are grounded in her enormous literature reviews and are easy to follow. My whole family especially my husband and I thank her for this book and await what I hope will be her next book on Living Beyond The Change!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2009

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