Is it coping with anxiety, coping with sleepless nights, not putting yourself in a situation where you experience flushes?
Or is it running away and doing a Shirley Valentine or is it starting anti-depressants?
I have thought long and deep and I think the number one things women can do prior to menopause and managing flushes naturally is empowerment through knowledge.
Empower yourself by learning as much as you can about the inevitable changes, discover more about your body and how you are placed to go through menopause (are you high risk for symptoms, side effects and trauma) know what your hormone status BEFORE you start menopause.
Empowerment means that you will not be reactive which means you have all the control.
Feeling out-of-control about your body and hormones is the most distressing thing. I have had women in my clinic over the years desperate to resolve flushing, or low sex drive or poor sleep. “… If only I could do this … “they plea.
By the time you are that desperate you will try anything and often that will mean HRT. And HRT is not ideal. Not ideal given the increased incidence of cancer associated with it as highlighted by the WHO study in 2002.
When you are desperate that means you are already behind the eight-ball. Not in total control of your health or hormones and you may be at risk for other hormone imbalances (depression, underactive thyroid disease or cancer).
With 60% of women in Australia going through menopause suffering a symptom (that they don’t need to suffer) it makes sense to be pro-active. Find out what is causing the symptom, check you hormones with a saliva test and seek professional advice on how to fix it.
Just a brief note on testing your hormones. In Australia Medicare re-emburses blood testing for hormones. This doesn’t mean it is free! It just means the government will fork the bill on your behalf but we all pay for it. Unfortunately sex hormones are tricky and bind to proteins in your blood so the readings are quite inaccurate.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone or FSH can be accurately measured by blood test and this indicates your ovaries’ responsiveness (ie it goes up when the ovaries are going through menopause) but other hormones such as estrogen and progesterone are not able to be accurately tested on blood test.
Ten years or so ago, doctors refused to blood test for hormones as they knew it was a waste of time. It still is, but consumer pressure is forcing them to test this way as it is covered by Medicare. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends the only accurate method for checking sex hormones is via saliva.
At this point in time, saliva testing for hormones is not covered by Medicare. It doesn’t mean it isn’t the right way to check them, it is. It just means you will be out-of-pocket for the test.
I offer the testing in two ways. You can order a test and do it from home. When your results are back we set up a phone or skype consultation to discuss the results. OR I include it as part of my Comprehensive Health Program.
Understanding your hormones is critical to being a balanced woman. I really wish we spent more time on it in schools and that it was more “mainstream” in health care. It would save so many interventions, save women time off work for gynae issues and would help us in relationships. Out of balanced hormones create so much negativity in our bodies, our minds and results in reactiveness.
Being in tune with your body and your health BEFORE entering menopause will save you much grief and is the only way to sensibly manage menopause.
To find out more, down load my 7 day bust through menopause naturally series!