So, I figured I might have to defend my decision to consider using a transdermal bioidentical estradiol. But, I didn’t think it would happen so quickly. No sooner had I written my post last week, when I received an email (albeit a cheerful one) from a lady who identified herself as a “wellness coach.”
She had this to say:
Hello and let me first thank you for such informative articles that you spend time writing to inform the public of real medical issues. Excellent information! I was just curious reading your post about starting estrogen - I coach women (and a few men) towards increased health.
They generally seek me out for fat loss but leave completely new people...from what they eat and how they think. I won't ramble on too much here, but I have noticed incredible changes with women going through menopause and also after menopause simply by eliminating inflammatory foods, meditation, and the perfect amount of exercise.
Of course, each person is different but all results have been fantastic! I'm so curious at a typical week's food intake. Can you email me a few day’s worth? I have found people who change their lifestyle have eliminated depression, anxiety, pharmaceuticals, and the list goes on. I don't mean to pry; I'm just very curious.
I am constantly reading and researching - what if you could change a few things and stay away from hormone therapy? I hope this isn't too intrusive, my mind was curious as I read your article so I thought, what the heck - I'm going to ask what you're eating?
Okay, so, first of all: It was intrusive. And second? It annoyed the hooey out of me. Why, you say? Well, because like the cheerful wellness coach who was interested in my eating habits, I too am “constantly reading and researching,” and I don’t throw my articles and posts out there on a whim, darn it.
I’m also not too fond of the whole “wellness-coach-life-coach” thingy that every Tom, Dick, Harry, and their sister seems to be into these days. In case you haven’t noticed, EVERYBODY is an expert. So, by the time I got to her suggestion that I “change a few things and stay away from hormone therapy,” I was already irritated.
Here is an indisputable, well-documented, medical fact that you can take to the bank when it comes to hormone therapy for women in perimenopause: There is no consensus.
Really. That’s it. No consensus.
It all depends on which side of the fence you want to fall down on and which “experts” you choose to listen to. If you are a hardcore naturalist, then chances are, you’re not going to be too interested in hormone therapy of any kind. As I’ve said before, I know more than a few folks who are of this persuasion.
If you are what I refer to as a “traditionalist” when it comes to medicine, then you usually follow the latest medical research and adopt whatever viewpoint medical organizations such as NAMS (North American Menopause Society), for example, say is the “official position” on a particular issue.
I like to think that I personally fall somewhere in the middle.
My decision to discuss the possibility of estrogen therapy with my physician wasn’t impulsive or uninformed. It was born out of several years of reading, studying, researching, and consulting with professionals whom I respect.
In short, I am practicing what I preach.
I have educated myself on the pros and cons of bioidentical estrogen therapy, and I am taking personal responsibility for my health. Will I use it long term? I don’t know for sure, but probably not. I just know that I’ve done my homework, and I’m making this decision with my eyes open.
I will definitely share with you what my experience is, and whether I decide to use it, and for how long. But, as far as what I’m eating every day, Miss Wellness Coach, well, that’s just none of your darn business.
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.