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Vitamins and Supplements for Women

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How long does it take for vitamins and supplements for women to start working or be effective? It really depends on what supplement you are taking, the dosage, and your system (how your body processes the supplement). With certain supplements, such as multivitamins or fish oil, you may not necessarily feel any different, however taking these products helps correct deficiencies, ensures that your nutritional needs are met and may help to protect against certain chronic diseases. In comparison to pharmaceutical drugs, vitamins and supplements for women are typically very gentle on your system and as such require a longer period of consecutive use for optimal results. With herbal products that are taken therapeutically, such as Menopause Relief which contains Black cohosh, you may start to notice benefits (relief of menopause symptoms) in a few weeks. Since everyone is different and every herbal remedy is different there is no one answer to the amount of time a vitamin or herbal remedy will take for noticeable results.  With femMED products we recommend 3-4 weeks of consecutive use for best results. Sherry Torkos Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author, certified fitness instructor, and health enthusiast who enjoys sharing her passion with others. Sherry graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara area. Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Sherry has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care. As a leading health expert, Sherry has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. She is frequently interviewed on radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad. Sherry has authored fourteen books & booklets, including The Glycemic Index Made Simple and Breaking the Age Barrier. Her most recent book, The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine has become a national best-seller. For more information, visit:...

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It’s Worth The Time To Read The Label

It’s Worth The Time To Read The Label

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Most people never read a label.  Does it surprise me? No, not really.  We live in a society of complacency.  It’s easier to throw a product in a shopping cart than take the time to read the label, because after all, a prerequisite to reading a label would involve actually having some prior knowledge of what we’re reading — and who has time for that?!!   BIG MISTAKE!  The more I learn about what goes into the foods we put in our bodies, and the products we put on our bodies, the more incensed I get.  It is beyond my comprehension that government agencies condone these products for purchase.  But that won’t change anytime soon so it’s up to you to filter the good from the garbage.    If you don’t have time (or the inclination) to learn about the dangers of what lurks in your labels, here’s the best (quick) advice I can give you. 1. Do most of your shopping around the perimeter of grocery stores, rather that the inside aisles – this way you will buy fresh, and avoid all the processed stuff. 2.  Do read the labels — and if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, put the product back on the shelf. 3.  Buy organic whenever possible 4.  Watch out for these! Gelatin: made from animal hooves, bones and skin (mostly pigs and cows) Yes really! BHT:  The Environmental Working Group classifies BHT as a skin, liver and kidney toxicant. We store it in the liver and also in fat, which is why thin people are more at risk for damage. Studies show it promotes cancer and tumor growth. DYES! Especially, FD&C red no. 40: Shocking discovery – this dye is in the leading national brand of PRENATAL SUPPLEMENTS! It is a known carcinogen. In Europe, this dye is not recommended for consumption by children. It is banned in the UK, Denmark, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Sweden. Sodium benzoate: In combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate may form benzene, a known carcinogen. Check all pop cans in particular for this one! Titanium dioxide: Has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen.  You can find this in everything from vitamin supplements, to skin care, sunscreen, food, toothpaste….and far too many more! Shawna Page Shawna Page is the founder and CEO of femMED. Following a 20-year career in the investment banking industry, Shawna was ready to settle down and take on a new challenge: early retirement and being a full-time mother to her three children. Little did she realize she would be back in the saddle after only 3 weeks. Living a healthy lifestyle has always been a top priority, and over the years Shawna had gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in the natural health world, but more importantly, she became very aware of the...

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What do you do when you can’t get past your GP to a specialist?

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So I had my visit to my GP last week… it’s taken me a week to cool down enough to blog about it with somewhat less emotionally… A new doctor was there subbing for my usual one who is on mat leave. So I thought, “great! a new guy! maybe I’ll get somewhere”. I riffled off my perimenopausal symptoms and he immediately agreed that I was bang on the money in determining that I indeed am in perimenopause. Great. At least some acknowledgment. So, I asked him if he’d refer me to an endocrinologist (in Canada we can make a move without a referral. We can’t just call one up on our own, we have to go through the GP gatekeepers). Anyway, he said, no I’ll do your blood work first because they’ll ask me for that before they’ll even see you. He then went on to admit that my hormones levels would likely be in the normal range, but that at least we’d have a baseline to work with for the future. So I said, great, let’s do it. So we did. (I couldn’t even get my other GP to even do the hormone level tests, so this seems like major steps forward for me). One week later, surprise surprise, the hormone levels come back in the “normal” range. We expected that right? Right. So what does he do? He tells me, no I can’t refer you to an endocrinologist or a gyno because your levels have to be abnormal before they’ll take you. And from the GP level, he doesn’t think there’s anything he can do other than put me on the Pill or give me antidepressants. Fabulous choices! Pardon my French but WTF!!!. So if I can’t get past the gatekeeper, I can’t help or medically explore the perimenopausal symptoms I have now. I have to wait until I’m in full menopause before a doctor can help me. That’s ridiculous!!!!!!!! I am furious. So plan B… I made an appointment with a new GP. I’m hoping that she’ll have a more progressive approach to this. I can’t possibly be the only woman to experience early perimenopause. I know I’m not because I talk to you guys on Twitter and I know you feel my pain. A couple of blogs ago, I mentioned that I had an appointment with a naturopathic doctor. I had canceled that appointment because I had that blood work done with my GP and I didn’t want to confuse matters. But I guess I’ll rebook that as it seems to be one of my only options now. I’m annoyed by the system and it’s reactionary methods. I know what I have NOW and I want to deal with it NOW, not later when it’s worse. Is anyone else in this boat with me or am I rowing it alone? Sara Sara Purves Sara...

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Never make important decisions while you have PMS

Never make important decisions while you have PMS

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Top ten list of things never to do while you have PMS. Here we go: 10. Never decide to radically change your hair! (I did this yesterday… I could cry!) 9. Never prompt a discussion with your husband/boyfriend about ANYTHING relationship oriented. And for Gods sake if you feel like leaving him – wait a week and see if you feel the same way. 8. Never decide that it’s a good time to talk to your boss about your job. 7. Never go to a family function. 6. Never offer to babysit for anyone. (if you have kids already- you’ll hear me on that one). 5. Never get into a car accident. There will definitely be news coverage of the brawl too! 4. Never start a chocolate-free diet when you are PMSing. You’re just asking for failure. 3. Do not talk to your kid’s coach about why she sat on the bench all game and you drove an hour to the game to watch her sit. 2. Never go shopping with your spouse or significant other. 1. Never go shopping for a bathing suit when you have PMS! Depending on what’s puffy, probably not a good time to go shopping for anything Thanks to everyone who helped finish the list for me!!! Sara Purves Sara attended the Claude Watson School for the Arts, a prestigious Toronto based high school for gifted creative students. She then moved on to the Ontario College of Art and Design for 4 years where she majored in Environmental Design. After graduation in 1993, Sara pursued many creative arenas including: retail store design, fashion design, had gallery exhibitions of her paintings, and volunteered in many areas of the arts before settling into a career in graphic design. Sara was employed as art director and graphic designer at several well known advertising agencies and creative design shops where she worked with a variety of clients. Sara is also someone who’s unwillingly entered early perimenopause and muddles her way through frustrations and...

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When will peri-menopause be accepted as a regular stage of life?

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Besides the hormonal imbalance, the array of emotions and other side effects of peri-menopause, the one thing that I think bothers me most is the lack of acceptance and understanding of it as a legit condition. I have a fruit allergy…I’m allergic to “tree fruit”… so apples, peaches, pears etc. When I tell people that they automatically don’t want to believe this is possible. For the life of me, I don’t know why this is so hard to believe. It’s especially predominant in older generations. “In my day we ate what we were given and we liked it!” They proceed to try to feed me fruit because the allergy must be all in my head…. Whatever! Tell it to my Epi-Pen. Anyway, where am I going with this you say… the reaction of disbelief in my fruit allergy is the same one I get when I say that I am going through peri-menopause. Total disbelief, the assumption that I am making it up or looking for a reason for my symptoms. Why is this concept so hard to believe? Medical science backs it up. Doctors are aware of it. All the symptoms are there. So why the mental obstacle? Folks should take a minute to reflect back on their mothers between the ages of 40 and 60. Do you think she could have benefited from some hormone therapy or some doctor’s advice or any other help to get her sanely through that time? Come on, I bet if you thought hard about it, you’d notice that she may have been a little “off”. It’s also funny that we have to convince our own family doctors to explore this as a possibility. I’m slightly annoyed that I have to go to the doctor armed with print outs and books to back up my conviction in this. One day the stage of peri-menopause will be as common place as adolescence and menopause. It will just be a regular, accepted stage that we’re all aware of and we’re be ready for it rather than confused for years and years before finally sorting it out. Until next time. Sara Purves Sara attended the Claude Watson School for the Arts, a prestigious Toronto based high school for gifted creative students. She then moved on to the Ontario College of Art and Design for 4 years where she majored in Environmental Design. After graduation in 1993, Sara pursued many creative arenas including: retail store design, fashion design, had gallery exhibitions of her paintings, and volunteered in many areas of the arts before settling into a career in graphic design. Sara was employed as art director and graphic designer at several well known advertising agencies and creative design shops where she worked with a variety of clients. Sara is also someone who’s unwillingly entered early perimenopause and muddles her way through frustrations and...

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How do you expect it to work if you don’t take it?!

How do you expect it to work if you don’t take it?!

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Of course it makes sense… in order to get the benefit from taking supplements, you actually have to TAKE the supplements!  This may seem intuitive, but it’s not.  I know from personal experience how easy it is to fall off the wagon.  We all have busy lives, multi-tasking, juggling many balls… usually it’s us who we take care of last, so it’s not unusual that often times remembering to take our vitamins is no small feat.    I talk alot to women about “compliance”.   Being compliant means following directions and being consistent… it means adapting a program and sticking to it.  Easier said than done, I know. The key is to figure out what works best in your daily routine, and make sure it’s something you can commit to.  With over 20 years of supplement-popping experience, here’s what works for me: Tips: I take my vitamins in the morning and night I leave the bottles ON my bathroom counter in clear view – and I take my vitamins before I brush my teeth – it’s become part of my routine. I also find that taking vitamins with juice makes it easier for me to swallow – the taste of the juice masks the taste of the vitamins, and the more viscous (or thick) the liquid is, the easier it is to swallow the supplements. The other thing I do is sort out my supplements in one-week batches using pill containers (the kind you buy at a drug store with a different compartment for each day of the week).   I found that the more supplements I took, the more time consuming it became unscrewing bottle caps several times a day.   This way, I count out a one-week supply in advance, and it’s a huge time saver! Do you have any tips you can share? Until next time, Shawna Shawna Page Shawna Page is the founder and CEO of femMED. Following a 20-year career in the investment banking industry, Shawna was ready to settle down and take on a new challenge: early retirement and being a full-time mother to her three children. Little did she realize she would be back in the saddle after only 3 weeks. Living a healthy lifestyle has always been a top priority, and over the years Shawna had gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in the natural health world, but more importantly, she became very aware of the consumer pitfalls as well. Searching the store aisles for the right supplement was frustrating and confusing. There was no trusted brand just for women. That, combined with the lack of natural options available to women, gave birth to her desire to simplify things and she created femMED, the first ever consumer friendly all-natural solution to women’s most common health...

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