Hold That Pause
Hold That Pause

So Many Medical Experts, So Little Time

expertsIf you’re anything like me, your head spins trying to figure out which expert to believe when it comes to getting treatment for perimenopause symptoms.  Medical research in women’s health is extraordinarily fluid, and seems to change directions quicker than a tornado blowing up in the plains of Kansas. 

Of course, it doesn’t help when there is no end of confusion and controversy surrounding hormone replacement therapy, thanks to a little study called The Women’s Health Initiative.  After that fiasco, women have been faced with a bono-fide healthcare conundrum.  Who’s right, who’s wrong, and which expert should we believe when they all claim to have accurate information regarding our health?  

As a women’s health blogger and healthcare consumer advocate, I hear these concerns and questions every day.  Women are confused, and understandably so.  Equally credible experts and healthcare professionals have entirely different opinions on the same health issues. When you factor in all of the conflicting information from the Internet, it’s like trying to navigate a medical Wild, Wild West, complete with gypsies, charlatans, and snake oil salesman to boot. 

I wish I could be the one to clear it all up for you right here and now.  But, unfortunately, as I’ve already said, I am just as confused as you are sometimes.  The last thing I want to do is add yet another voice to the chorus of experts.  However, I can offer you one fact that you can absolutely hang your hat on: the days of paternalistic medicine where the “doctor knows best” are gone.   

Do not misunderstand me when I say that.  I am not advocating medical anarchy where we ignore the advice of medical professionals. What I am saying is that the system has changed, and it will continue to change in the coming decades. 

The healthcare system we have now demands that we take the initiative and personal responsibility for our health.  Unfortunately, that does sometimes mean wading through volumes of conflicting information regarding hormone replacement therapy, for example, and other health care issues as well.  It also means that given all of the information to consider, we can only hope to the make best judgment possible, weighing the pros and cons of what we know.

Is hormone replacement therapy bad for you?  Are bioidentical hormones better than synthetic hormones?  If something is FDA approved, does that make it safe?  If something is not FDA approved, does that mean it is not safe?  These are questions you will have to answer for yourself, because, frankly, there is not a right or wrong answer.  All healthcare decisions carry with them an inherent risk, and they always have, no matter which expert you choose to believe.

So while it may seem like a daunting task (and I whole-heartedly agree that it is at times), it’s your life and your health that is at stake.  Being passive is just not an option anymore.  Get in the driver’s seat.

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

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Tags: Politics of Women's Health , News and Research

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About the Author

Magnolia is dedicated to empowering women to take responsibility for their own health.