We want to know about it but don’t want to talk about it.
So I’ve been seriously talking about it!
And let’s get it straight before we begin – it really is just that. A conversation. I’m not a doctor or a self appointed doctor like you see on the net sprouting what I feel is BS advice like ‘eat lots of greens and you’ll get over it’! I keep it real. So if you’d like simply some honest opinions and some sharing of experience read on.
The many and varied conversations about menopause I’ve had with women who’s ages have ranged from late 30’s to their 80’s have ranged from ‘I totally missed it’ to ‘ I was ready to kill someone’. There’s such a huge range of emotional and physical symptoms in between. Some will willingly grab HRT for sheer relief and others will have the totally holistic ‘ no way will I take that stuff’ attitude. It’s OK, whichever way you choose to go – but it’s good to have options.
Do what’s right for you. Listen to your body, it will tell you.
I have no judgement at all on which way you want to go because there was a time I would take anything to just feel better. Listen to your professionals but also take some heed regarding what your own gut tells you. If you think it’s not right, keep looking and keep the conversation going. ASK!! When you’re feeling so low and all you want is to be lifted out of the fog, what are we going to do? You grab hold of the relief in whatever form it comes.
Not everyone gets symptoms that send them to the pits, but for those who do, this post is for you.
When my brain was clear and my view of the world a little brighter, I could sort out the BS from the fact, and the holistic from the horrific, so if you need relief, go with what your physician says. But it’s worth having a little knowledge about it all. In my world of research about the subject, thought I’d share a few tips that might make your choice easier. In one of my earlier blog posts, I quoted a few of the doctors who’ve inspired me.
There’s lots of information out there for you to do your own research, but here’s what I learned.
HRT – Is it the scary monster it’s being made out to be??
Obviously the big fear around HRT is the reported increase in heart disease, breast cancer and stroke. After reading about studies conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative it appears a lot of the threat is related to the synthetic form of HRT. Bio-identical progesterone apparently is not associated with these conditions. There’s a heap of confusing data out there, but I also feel that a lot of media scare mongering has happened. And when the media gets a hold of a topic then confusion abounds. Am I advocating taking bio-identical HRT? Not unless you know your body needs it. And if it doesn’t, open your mind to another way. You do what your body needs to do, but this is what I did.
Don’t want to take the risk? Good – there is another option.
For a very short time I took bio identical progesterone and it helped me to feel SO MUCH BETTER. It really did. I was thankful to my practitioner for prescribing it and in fact I wanted to stay on it. To me, it seemed my symptoms were extreme. I wasn’t functioning. My hot flushes settled, my skin felt less dry and burning and I felt like I was calming down and returning to my normal self. But I took it for the shortest possible time – long enough to feel like I was on top of things. And that literally was only a couple of weeks. I was working at the time with a very cautious naturopath who advised me to go straight off it, as soon as I pulled myself out of my fog. I listened. So I asked myself these questions.
Q. What’s our biggest fear about taking something (druglike, unnatural substance) that promises to make us feel better?
A. The potential risk of degenerative disease. And maybe other strange side effects.
Q. What’s the most effective way to prevent that from happening?
A. Taking a full-spectrum, pharmaceutical grade vitamin, mineral and range of antioxidants that have been proven to work, along with a sensible diet that follows a low GI rule, mindset and movement. And working with your medical professional, holistic professional or coach. These lifestyle changes can slow the ageing process. I know it.
If you can get through your menopause and all that it brings as holistically as possible, then do what it takes to make that happen. Why? Because menopause is the beginning of the next phase of life. You want your vitality to keep up at it’s best into those ‘beyond’ years. You want to play with grandkids, travel comfortably, go for walks, see the world and do purposeful things. This will mean the body can no longer be taken for granted.
Our diet needs to be loaded with quality macro nutrients like quality protein, essential fatty acids, lots of greens, omega 3’s and carbs like fruit and veges. The micro nutrients are another story. It was the MICRO nutrients I found to be real life and sanity savers. For me Coenzyme Q10 cleared the fogginess I was going through and my heart palpitations, calcium magnesium worked on restless legs and improved sleep. Herbs like black cohosh, licorice, dong quai and some nasty herbal mix from my naturopath helped the flushes. Lots of fibre and a probiotic, namely a prebiotic and probiotic combo helped my fatty liver de-stress and the broad spectrum nutrition regime boosted energy and my interest in life, exercise, movement and just being. PM me to find out what I took.
Evening Primrose is a new discovery (for me). It has GLA in it, and so far, I like what it does. I can’t tell you this is what it’ll do for you but why not try?
Then there’s movement. The body was designed to move. It’s a piece of machinery. If we let machinery sit for too long it stops.
The debate about supplements is now starting to ease. Thankfully!
I’ve noticed less resistance these days about whether we need to take dietary supplements. My personal opinion based on experience and medical facts is – take good quality vitamins. But it’s not an excuse to eat badly. We hold toxins in our body, most of us don’t eat organic food, we’re stressed out, we’re constipated, we take over the counter drugs like panadol and antibiotics, we breath in car fumes, we work in air conditioning, we drink alcohol and we absorb chemicals from the air and from food. Lots of little things can slowly add up to a raging fire of inflammation. I found the micronutrients to be the dowsing of the fire!
In order to prevent the ageing affects of premature disease you need a good quality supplement.
There is no more debate.
And I love that.
And when the diagnosis DOES come?
Here’s another interesting article from a doctor I have a lot of faith in. I’m often asked as well if supplements are safe during chemotherapy. You can read about it here. Hear from a professional on that topic – I’m not here to advise you there.
And inflammation – which is what the symptoms of menopause are all about – responds well to turmeric. Here’s another article about turmeric being effective in cancer treatment. Click here to read.
I had an interesting conversation not so long ago and a lady who was seriously suffering the affects of midlife and all it can bring. She contacted me as she wanted to talk about how she could holistically deal with midlife and life in general better than she currently is. We talked diet, supplementation, movement, mindset and life in general. It went a bit like this…..
She: ‘ oh no, I don’t take vitamins, I don’t believe in them, I eat healthy. There has to be another way’
Me: ‘ That’s great you eat healthy and so you should. Let me ask you, do you have a preventative strategy in place? Have you thought about what you’ll do to prevent degenerative disease? I’m not saying you’re GOING to get anything, but the odds don’t exactly stack in our favour’.
She: ‘ I’ll just deal with that when it happens and right now I’m fine’.
Me: ‘ Hey, I’m glad you’re fine – but remember, you wanted to talk to me because lately you’ve not been feeling so fine’.
She: ‘ yes, but I don’t want to swallow vitamins’.
Me: ‘ ok, that’s fair enough. Nobody ‘enjoys’ swallowing them. I don’t – but I do it. So let’s imagine the worst case scenario. And this is purely hypothetical. Have you thought about this? You’ve received a diagnosis. If the doctor says you need to take this chemo or else – what will you do?’
She: ‘ No way, I’m not taking any chemo, I’ll deal with anything like that holistically.’
Me: ‘ And how do you think that would look? Good organic food, vitamins, mindful movement, working on mindset maybe??? Anything else you can think of?’
She: She hesitated while she thought about it. Then finally ‘ ok, I see what you mean…..’
Me: ‘ You don’t want to deal with it AFTER the diagnosis. A little unpleasant sensation of ‘swallowing’ some vitamins right now, dealing with your diet and having that talk about HRT with your doctor, in order to not hear those words is so worth it. ‘