Take heart.

stonyriverDecember 18, 2007

This from NY Times columnist Tara Parker-Pope in her blog, "Well", 10/5/07.


Are grandmothers an evolutionary necessity? The contributions of older women to society have long been debated by anthropologists. In the animal world, females often donÂt live much past their reproductive years. But in our world, women live into their 80s and beyond  a fact that may be explained, in part, by evolutionary forces.

"ItÂs the norm in human population that women are vigorous and productive long past their fertility,ÂÂ noted Kristen Hawkes, an anthropologist at the University of Utah. She spoke yesterday at the North American Menopause Society meeting in Dallas.

Today many women feel marginalized once they reach menopause. But research suggests that far from being a burden to societies, grandmothers have played an important role in the evolution of human longevity. Studies of modern hunter-gatherers in Tanzania, Venezuela and Eastern Paraguay  societies that offer insights into how humans evolved  consistently show that Grandma is doing much of the work.

Researchers have even measured the muscle strength of men and women in these communities and weighed the baskets and bundles carted around by them. Often, the scientists find, women in their 60s are as strong as women in their 20s. "ItÂs the women over 40 who are carrying the heavy loads,ÂÂ said Dr. Hawkes.

The research is the basis for the grandmother hypothesis that may help explain why menopause occurs. The basic idea is that an end to a womanÂs reproductive years allows her to channel her energy and resources into caring for her children and grandchildren, thereby providing her descendants with a survival advantage.

Until recently, many researchers argued that menopause isnÂt natural and that modern medicines simply have increased life expectancy well beyond what nature intended. But while itÂs true that the average life expectancy for women was just 40 years only a century ago, recent studies have found the number was skewed by high infant mortality rates at the time. Plenty of women were living well past age 40, Dr. Hawkes said. Even the Bible recognized that women can live well beyond their fertile years, NAMS executive director Dr. Wulf Utian noted.

In hunter-gatherer cultures today, said Dr. Hawkes, "women are strong and economically productive into their 60sÂ.Women are not being helped along by others. The flow of help is going into the other direction."

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I don't doubt the validity of that. I am physically strong for my age and my size, and can outwork many young men half my age. My mother was the same way. When I was a kid, I can remember marveling at how physically strong my mother was. Maybe it was all the whops I got on the butt that reinforced that belief, lol. At age 45, my husband and I built our own house (actually built it physically, not just contracted). The emotional stress nearly wiped me out, but the physical part of it was not a problem.
Mrs H

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 6:13AM
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I agree- I find that at 47, I'm having a hard time not thinking the way that I thought when I was 27 (minus the goofy mistakes I made, hopefully-lol)---and just for kicks: my husband and I are planning next year on buying a few acres and building our own log home- ourselves- no kit, just us and lotttts of books and 'how to's'- I guess I'd better start lifting weights in preparation- lol---but you know, the really nice thing about situations like that-doing things that we probably wouldn't have thought of 20 years ago? Is the idea that we know we can do it, and we're not afraid to get out there and make loons out of ourselves by trying~ (this is what everyone thinks we are, but hey- with age comes the realization that we don't really CARE what everyone else thinks!) ;-)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 11:59AM
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There is a quality herbal company called MicroNutra Health who sell a 100% natural products. I have in the last few months ordered my wife Menopol to help relieve her menopause symptoms and help my life be a little easier. She is feeling better by the day & so am I.

Here is a link that might be useful: menopol.com

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 7:25PM
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I do not think they allow SPAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM here.....Bennyboob

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 11:14PM
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Heh. Oh, bennybob. Were you thinking that the women at the menopause forum were concerned with your feelings?

Sweetheart. Run, dear. Run as fast as you can.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 8:40PM
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Sorry ladies your right I am out here. Just trying to help you out.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 3:02PM
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benny, you don't need to run or leave, just don't try selling stuff here. Suggestions can and may be helpful, but apparent pushing of a product is a no-no. Male input from time to time may even be appreciated at times. Now, I'll take a step back in case there are any flamethrowers headed my way, lol. I do appreciate your trying to help, though.
Mrs H

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 7:53PM
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Oh no, it's not the man part that is objectionable, it is the salesman part. This forum is a place where women and occasionally men seek and find honest opinions, experience and advice about some very personal and often troubling symptoms. To come here and try to sell something is offensive. If I jumped to a wrong conclusion, and Bennybob is not selling a product but rather is a man who finds himself reading a menopause forum for whatever his reasons and simply wants to suggest what helped his wife, why, I offer my sincere apology.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 1:17PM
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