Moderate Your Way Through Menopause
I happened to catch a radio talk show recently, where the host and guest were discussing the health benefits of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D for women in menopause. It was an interesting discussion which held my attention for quite some time. Of course, the guest had a product he was hawking (doesn’t everybody?), and he had his science and his facts to support the claims for his product.
As I listened to the discussion, I couldn’t help but think about how many diets, health philosophies, supplements, vitamins, and products I’ve been willing to try in my lifetime. All because somebody told me it was good for me, and well, I certainly wanted to be healthy and well.
One of the benefits of aging is that I’ve finally figured out what works for me and what doesn’t. After 30 plus years of exploring veganism, vegetarianism, Hatha Yoga, this health trend, that health trend, Taoism, Buddhism, and various other philosophical “isms,” I have finally trimmed the fat, and unloaded the weighty baggage of the extraneous and the superfluous.
Translation: I like it simple.
As a women’s health writer, I am also mindful of the enormous glut of health information available to women, and how overwhelming it is trying to sort through the subterfuge, to find what is genuinely helpful.
Women ask my opinion on products and therapies every day. And more than a few want me to tell them exactly what to do to treat their symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. I have a lot of compassion for these women. They just want answers, and they want treatments that work.
Don’t we all?
The problem comes in when everybody and their brother claims to have the only “true” science and latest research on their side, as the radio talk show guest did. Not to mention the cacophony of advertising voices barking at women from every angle to try their products.
Where’s the mute button?
So when women ask me for advice, or my opinion on a particular product or treatment, it’s very difficult for me to point to any one thing. Some women would never dream of taking hormones during perimenopause. But I do. Others would never put anything but regulated, FDA approved synthetic hormones in their body, and believe that compounded, bioidentical hormones are a crock.
But I’ve used both.
The best advice I can offer anyone who wants my opinion is this: Moderation.
That is not to say that I do not believe the radio talk show guest had a good product, or that I think hormone therapy is bad, or that I believe all natural, organic, non-synthetic therapies are the only way to treat perimenopause symptoms. I’m saying that anytime we have an extreme point of view about anything, we lose perspective.
And if there is ever a time we need perspective, it’s during perimenopause and menopause.
Finding the middle ground allows you to see in both directions. If it is hormone therapy you prefer, but do not relish the idea of long term treatment, then use it for a while and supplement with alternative therapies. If you are at complete ease using hormone replacement therapy, then use it as long as you are. Stop when you aren’t.
There are no magic bullets, ladies. And I think most of you know that. As cliché as it sounds, we just have to find what works for us. There is no one therapy, supplement, vitamin, or treatment that is the “be all-end all.”
The simple truth is this: Perimenopause is a turbulent, bumpy transition. Once you reach menopause, the ride is over, and the crazy symptoms stop. So whatever helps you navigate the ride, is exactly what you need to do.
Magnolia Miller is a certified healthcare consumer advocate in women's health and a women's freelance health writer and blogger at The Perimenopause Blog.