If you needed an organ transplant, would you hesitate? If your insulin levels were malfunctioning and you were diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, would you ignore the recommended treatment?
Remedies for most things these days come hand in hand with lifestyle changes. My question was is this action enough to restore an acceptable quality of life?
This was my dilemma, diagnosed with osteopaenia (forerunner to osteoporosis – brittle bone disease) ~ and going onto hormone supplements was recommended. I’d used HRT going through menopause and into post-menopause, til I was 56, no longer experiencing those hellish symptoms I’d lived with over the previous 10 years, including the total breakdown of my marriage, depression and thoughts of suicide (all very common I might add), I’d undergone a complete lifestyle change during that time, better nutrition, healthier food, more activity, lost 2 stone. The only supplement I took from then on was Juice Plus (26 fruits/veg and berries in capsule form). My hair, nails and energy all improved.
I was doing everything right, wasn’t I?
Well, according to Prof John Studd (www.studd.co.uk), I was missing the point! This also reminded me that I’d become side-tracked by the naysayers and all those women who were now frightened of HRT because of a study published over ten years ago and sensationalised in the press, announcing that women were getting breast cancer because of HRT. Well nothing could be further from the truth! Using a cohort of post-menopausal women, who incidentally fall into the bracket of most likely to get breast cancer because of their age, nothing to do with any supplements they were taking, were used for this study. The study has now been dis….. and new evidence reinstates the benefits of protecting women from osteoporosis, cardio-vascular disease, etc. etc. It also reduces hair loss, improves nails and collagen levels.
This protection was previously provided by our own hormones (oestrogen/estrogen, progesterone and testosterone). When the body is lacking certain vitamins and minerals we add supplements into our daily regime. Well now these very valuable hormones that have kept our organs functioning for the last 40 years are migrating. Why not supplement them, too? Sounds so logical to me.
I regularly hear horror stories from women I meet when I take my presentation to the workplace. Let me tell you of one I hear so much of: Hot flushes, day and night excessive sweating; working shifts. Doctor prescribed anti-depressants. She repeatedly arrived late on duty (changing bed linen, showering, changing clothes far too often to be normal). Seeking help from HR and Occupational Health they unanimously responded with “bring a change of clothes into work”. Talk about stating the obvious! They didn’t understand the emotional turmoil she was going through, how this was affecting personal and work relationships, how she so wanted to be ‘normal’ again. She had tears streaming down her face as she told her story.
My first recommendation was to get a referral to a menopause expert . Not just a gynaecologist but someone who specialises in menopause. Ask for two or three names and Google them, see if they have published papers on the subject and if they haven’t, give them a wide birth. Choose which one appeals to you and ask for an appointment to be made.
Bio-identical Hormones: It may surprise you to learn that in the UK these can be readily prescribed by your GP and are “cheap as chips” according to Prof John Studd. So what’s in mny ‘kit’:
- 17B Estradiol – in a pump pack gel format – Apply 2 measures daily (total 2.5g daily). A natural element of oestrogen/estrogen
- Utrogestan 100mg capsules – a natural progesterone – one taken daily every day for first 7 sevenn days of month (not necessary if you no longer have a uterus (womb))
- Testim Testosterone gel. This comes in a 50mg gel tube and I am instructed to use ¼ tube every other day
So there we are, replacing what my body used to regularly produce without prompting.
How did I get on?
This was quite funny as I had delayed getting my prescription filled for almost a month. My fault, kept forgetting!
The real ‘ha ha’ moment came when I had to wrestle the testosterone from my husband (who knows he needs a boost but can’t be bothered to go to the doctor). I told him in no uncertain terms to get his own!
This happened in the evening when I sat down to read all the directions/instructions in the packets and realized that
(a) The Utrogestan 100 should be taken at bed time. Progesterone has a soporific effect and helps to provide a good night’s sleep, so I didn’t do myself any favours by taking it at 3pm and wondering why I was falling asleep at my desk!!
(b) The 17B Estradiol gel is applied twice daily and the first two pumps of the gel should be discarded as this is just to get the gel to the top of the pump to work more efficiently. So Day 1 was a waste of time as I didn’t read the instructions and didn’t discard the gel!
(c) Testosterone gel: I went to the loo (toilet) for privacy and without reading the instructions I began to apply all the gel from the tube. There was so much of it!! Later, having wrestled back the product from my husband and read the instructions, I realised I should have applied ¼ tube and every other day. I said to my daughter that if I suddenly start speaking with a very deep voice she’ll know why!!
I’m involving the whole family with my new regime and shall keep a journal, so watch this space!
As a result of all my experiences, I’ve put together what I call, The Notebook. A step-by-step process to help you get your life back and get through menopause.
You can download a copy of The Menopause Survival Kit today, and I’ve included a guide to menopause symptoms as well – so you can get yourself started right now.