Managing the mystery of menopause
There is a stigma and sometimes embarrassment surrounding the taboo subject of menopause, which leaves many women without guidance. According to the National Institute of Health, more than one million women a year in the United States experience menopause.
The hormonal fluctuations that come with menopause affect mood, skin and energy levels often resulting in brain fog, weight gain, hair loss and sleep issues. Many women expect to suffer through this time and are not sure what they can do.
As a society, understanding the challenges and finding resources is key. A starting point is to gain knowledge and confidence to become a self-advocate. Then, armed with specific talking points, a woman can find the right doctor to walk with through this time in life and optimize the experience, instead of simply accepting the unwelcome changes.
Here are some resources for managing the mystery of menopause. Type “menopause” in the search field of the general websites listed:
Red Hot Mamas is a menopause support group with information and a community to connect with. Visit redhotmamas.org.
The North American Menopause Society provides a questionnaire about menopause with treatment suggestions and a guidebook. Visit menopause.org/for-women.
Dr. Jen Gunter’s book The Menopause Manifesto is frequently recommended by experts.
Dr. Lisa Mosconi’s TED talk “How menopause affects the brain” has been viewed more than 4 million times. Her new book, Menopause Brain is available for pre-order.
Visit endocrine.org for many menopause resources and to find an endocrinologist.
Visit womenshealth.org for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website on women’s health.
The Sunday Paper website has collected resources from many doctors such as those listed below. Visit mariashriversundaypaper.com.
Dr. Lauren Streicher, author of Hot Flash Hell, explained Menopause Hormone Therapy, which received negative press in 2002, but more recent studies show benefits. Visit The National Library of Medicine at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and drstreicher.com for more information.
Dr. Heather Hirsch, author of the forthcoming book Unlock Your Menopause Type, stated, “Suffering through your symptoms doesn’t have to be part of the equation – and may actually lead to worse overall health.” Visit heatherhirschmd.com.
Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a leader in women’s health education provided a sassy comeback for when a doctor says, “Menopause is all in your head.” Visit madameovary.com.
Dr. Joann Pinkerton, claims women are “suffering in silence” and stated, “Finding the best treatment options for you should be individualized, which makes finding the right doctor very important.” Visit uvahealth.com.
Dr. Heather Bartos stated, “Menopause can be a freeing, beautiful time – especially if you go into it thinking it can be.” Visit heatherbartosmd.com.
By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photo