When Geri Brin founded FabOverFifty.com in 2010, many women wouldn’t talk about their health even behind closed doors and especially not on the internet. But times have changed. Now millions of baby boomer women are striving to stay physically, emotionally and mentally fit every year of their lives. Women are even starting to openly discuss their bodies!
As a former newspaper and magazine publisher and editor, Geri built her website on the premise that the women of her generation are the greatest in history, who intend to live with gusto every single day. Her new venture with Yale University, One-Day Medical School, will help them do just that.
Geri spoke with the Tru Niagen team about what to expect from this event and offered some advice for women looking to take control of their health.
How have the conversations around women’s health changed since you launched FabOverFifty.com?
The medical community, from healthcare providers to supplement and pharmaceutical brands, are starting to publicly encourage women to more openly discuss their health issues so they can find effective ways to deal with them. Plus, so many wonderful treatment options are available today, as more companies are focusing on the dynamic boomer generation.
Women have traditionally been embarrassed to talk about subjects including sexual health, incontinence and mood changes, even with their partners and doctors. But now they’re determined to live their best lives possible, for as long as possible, and are beginning to understand the value of honest and open dialogue about their bodies.
What do women often view as their biggest struggle during the peri-to-post menopause years?
Women struggle with the fast, often furious, and frustrating changes in their bodies that can interfere with their ability to do the things they’ve always loved. Whether it’s waning energy or less flexibility, increasing weight or decreasing libido, physical and emotional changes can take control of a woman’s life unless she learns how to take control of her body.
How can a woman start to take control of her body?
Our mothers and grandmothers rarely asked their doctors questions, so they accepted their aging bodies. But today we know that knowledge is empowering, so ask away! If you understand what your body is going through, and why, you’ll be in a better position to deal with it. Please be cautious, however, about how you research health subjects on the internet. There is way too much erroneous and misleading information that can needlessly confound and upset us.
What’s the story behind One-Day Medical School (ODMS)?
One fine morning, when I was in my early fifties, I grabbed a blouse from my closet, slipped my arms into the sleeves and began to button it, but the blouse suddenly felt tight! Overnight, literally overnight, my always slender midriff had expanded. And that was just the beginning of my double-crossing body. My sleep started suffering, my bladder began leaking, my bones started weakening, my hair began thinning, my vagina started drying, my breasts began drooping. I was falling apart before my very eyes and I hadn’t the foggiest idea why.
Turns out, millions of women every year are as clueless about their changing bodies as I was about mine. We may be darn smart about lots of subjects, but we’re pretty ignorant about one subject: Our bodies as we age. We’re ignorant because many of our OB/GYNs aren’t as educated as they could be on a woman’s body once she’s past her child-bearing years. Internists also don’t know much about what happens to our heart, bones, bladder and vagina when our estrogen supply runs low.
Since ignorance is definitely not bliss when it comes to our health and well-being, I wanted to come up with a way for my generation of women, and generations after mine, to become informed about the critical health issues they'll be facing during the transitional years after 45, and how to successfully and confidently deal with them.
How did you recruit the speakers for ODMS?
I asked an esteemed group of doctors at Yale Medical School if they’d be interested in launching a One-Day Medical School for women. They jumped at the idea, and on October 25, 2018, One-Day Medical School launched before a live audience on the Yale University Campus. And of course, TRU NIAGEN®, was in the gift bags! It’s now available to stream on demand.
“Yale faculty will empower women with crucial knowledge and honest dialogue about bone, breast, heart and bladder health, and guide them on their often-arduous journey from peri-to-post-menopause."
– Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale University School of Medicine
5 ESSENTIAL ONE-DAY MEDICAL SCHOOL LECTURES FOR WOMEN
From Yale Physicians
KEEPING ABREAST: DEMYSTIFYING BREAST CANCER TESTING AND TREATMENTS
Dr. Erin Wysong Hofstatter, Co-Director, Yale Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, speaks about breast health, including risk assessment, genetic testing, and screening regimens.
AT THE HEART OF THE MATTER: HOW TO ATTACK WOMEN’S PUBLIC ENEMY #1
Dr. Jeffrey R. Bender, Director, Yale Cardiovascular Research Center, talks about heart health, including preventive and screening strategies, and effects of menopause and estrogen therapy on heart disease.
STAYING IN CONTROL: MASTERING THE MATTER OF THE BLADDER
Dr. Oz Harmanli, Chief, Yale Urogynecology & Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, addresses bladder issues, including incontinence and pelvic floor health.
BONING UP: TAKING YOUR SKELETON OUT OF THE CLOSET
Dr. Elizabeth H. Holt, Co-Director, Yale Endocrine Neoplasia Disease Team, discusses bone and thyroid health and weight and metabolic issues.
HOLY HORMONES! THE JOURNEY THROUGH MENOPAUSE, PERI TO POST
Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, Yale Clinical Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, with Dr. Rose Tamura and Dr. Julia Edelman, North American Menopause Society Certified Menopause Practitioners, provide diverse views of menopause and treatment strategies.
Sign up to stream One-Day Medical School here.