Who knew? Not I
For those of you who read my personal blog, this week’s post is a repeat. I just thought the topic was important enough that I would keep spreading the word.
I just turned 61 and am only now learning about menopause. Okay, sure, I had the hot flashes and the night sweats (still do on occasion), which I’ve treated successfully with natural supplements. But, did you know that there is a whole host of symptoms related to menopause? Take a gander at this:
Over the last 10 or so years, I have gone to my doctor(s), my naturopath(s), my nurse practitioner, my acupuncturist, my therapist(s), my etc., etc., etc., with most of the symptoms on this list and not a single one of them mentioned menopause. What the heck is going on here?
The average age of menopause is 51 in North America. This means that your last period was when you were 50. Because perimenopause can start 4 - 10 years before that, and if we live to the ripe old age of 80, our female bodies could be in hormonal flux for 40 freaking years (not counting puberty and menstruation). So, not a blip in time but fully half our life span.
I have not had a good’s night sleep in 15 years. Erratic hormones aside, that alone makes me cranky, anxious and depressed.
I hate it that our medical system still seems lost in the woods when it comes to women’s health. Shouldn’t every 40-year-old woman be proactively engaged in conversation with a medical professional about what might be the most profoundly life changing transition? Obviously, the answer is yes.
Twenty years late to the party, I have had a visit with my doctor who has prescribed a low dose progesterone which, apparently, could relieve me of most of the symptoms I have suffered through for the last decade or more. Imagine.
Imagine a life free from chronic joint and muscle pain, free from anxiety and depression. A life replete with replenishing sleep and a healthy sex life. A life free from the guilt of not doing enough to relieve my own symptoms. Honestly, I already feel like a pretty dynamic woman in the world but imagine who I could be without all this shitty body stuff that is treatable. Who knew?
PSA: If you are a woman who is experiencing “unexplained” anxiety or depression, you might like to take a look at (peri) menopause.
Check out this TedTalk on how menopause affects the brain.