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Shooting the Menopause Blues through Golf

Posted July. 04, 2004 22:23,   


--Attack of the Menopause Blues

All of sudden, Lee Kyung-jin experienced severe headache a few months ago. She thought it would go away soon, but the headache became more serious. Her eyes were hurting so much, too. Her stomach was turning and hot flashes in the face followed. Nerves were broken and finally she began suffering from depression.

“I felt very lonely even though I have so many people around me. I guess that is something called ‘solitude in a crowd.’ I never missed people so much in my life.”

These symptoms haunted her for 2-3 months. Because of this, she asked for and received a prescription for hormone therapy medication from a clinic. Fortunately, the symptoms disappeared. Recently, she encountered the symptoms again, but they were not as severe as before, and disappeared quickly.

She advises, “Please manage your body condition carefully. These menopausal symptoms don’t appear just because you worked too hard or are stressed. They gradually come to you when you are tired and exhausted.”

There are many forty-something women who experience menopause, but she isn’t worried about that yet.

If she were a typical full time homemaker, would it been a different story?

She reasons,”A full time homemaker might suffer from the thought that she is no longer a female, and that can elevate the symptoms’ intensity.

--I conquered it by working out

“When a machine stops, it gets rusty. Our body is also like that. We have to move our body to be healthy. I guess menopausal symptoms can be improved in the same way. I would like to tell people: ‘please work out.’”

She started golf about ten years ago. But it was only a hobby then. When the menopausal symptoms hit her, golf became her therapy and workout routine.

The result was very successful.

“Golf improved not only my physical condition, but also my mental health. There is no need to be sensitive about the score; I just tried to work out sensibly.”

She advises to find a sport which fits your personality or taste. For her, the sport is golf. She goes out to the golf course about twice a week. She is a pretty good golfer, shooting between 80 and 85.

She had a physical checkup not long ago.

The result was shocking to her. Her physical age was 10 years higher than her actual age.

Her Doctor said, “You have a slow pulse rate, low blood pressure and slow body reaction speed.”

She works out harder than ever nowadays upon hearing the daunting physical results. She hits balls for forty minutes in the morning at a driving range. After that, she spends 20 minutes in a sauna. She says she feels good after this routine.

--Have a fun middle age.

“Eat well and have fun. “ That is her menopausal symptom prevention strategy.

Even since she was young, she has eaten small portions. After experiencing two menopausal symptoms, she tried not to skip meals even when she is extremely busy. When she has nothing to eat, she at least drinks beer instead of a meal. She claims that malnutrition will bring back depression.

She gets nutrient-rich injections or takes various dietary supplements ranging from multivitamins, royal jellies, and milk with bacterial cultures to DHA. She only takes doctor approved items, of course.

She says even when someone is on a diet, nutrition must be taken into account. For instance, it`s fine not to drink soda but to avoid milk is not right.

She also adds if you would like to be a healthy middle-aged woman, you’d better pay attention to what your nutrition intakes are when you are 20 or 30 something. Then you won’t have any symptoms, and even if you do the symptoms will be less and lighter.

She says that if your spirit is healthy, your body is healthy too, and that’s why everyone should live in a bit of illusions. “Try to think what you are doing is fun.” and “pour yourself to it, let yourself be absorbed by it.” Then you will be satisfied and grow your confidence. That is her philosophy on health.

Sang Hoon Kim corekim@donga.com