Choose The Right Menopause Remedy Part II

Menopause is not a disease (although it darn sure feels like one to those of us suffering through it.) It’s a normal, albeit intense, transition. It is important for us to keep reminding ourselves of this when searching for relief. Confronted with myriad treatment options, we need to be able to CHOOSE the most effective remedies with the least potential for harm. Here are a few "rules" we Venuses recommend to help guide your choices.

Rules and Guidelines
#1 Try One Remedy at A Time
While this may seem like common sense, I cannot tell you how many knowledgeable, intelligent, and perceptive women avail themselves of several herbs, creams, and treatments at the same time to relieve their discomfort. While we menopausal women understand the desperation of a search for relief, this throw-everything-but-the kitchen-sink-at-it method obscures what really will work. Or won’t.

Try one remedy and give it enough time to work – most menopause preparations are labeled with how long you can expect to wait for symptom relief. If after the appropriate time period nothing happens, you may switch to another remedy or add one that is meant to work with the first. (for example, start with progesterone cream and later add plant estrogens – more about those later.)

#2 What Works for One Venus May Not Work For Another
Although we are strong proponents of learning about relief and modalities from other women who have experienced the wild changes of this time of life, we understand the uniqueness of each woman’s transition. (Transition used in this case is a euphemism for "barely endurable roller coaster ride".) So as you try remedies and attempt solutions recommended to you by your own Venuses or your health care practitioners, continue to refer back to rule # 1.

#3 What Worked Yesterday May Not Work Tomorrow
Just when you’ve found the perfect balance of creams, supplements, or HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) to quiet the hormonal ebbs and flows causing such disruption and discomfort, they stop working. Without warning, you are plunged back to ground zero, searching for an elusive combination of remedies that will ease your suffering. Alas, this will likely happen more than once. Get used to it. We are hoping that if you are prepared for it, it will be easier to take. Maybe not.

Take heart, though. Eventually each Venus found a remedy or combination that worked for us and our symptoms diminished. We found a new balance and health. There was even a little bonus in that we don’t have those pre-menopausal monthly ups and downs anymore. And we don’t miss them one little bit. Stay tuned. We’ll have more guidelines for our sister goddesses in the next blog entry.
(Material partially adapted from our upcoming book "Venus Comes of Age: The Wit and Wisdom of Menopausal Goddesses"

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5 Responses to Choose The Right Menopause Remedy Part II

  1. Lynette Sheppard September 23, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    Janet,

    I LOVE "As The Tampon Turns"!As for how much time, that is so variable as to be unanswerable. When I was going through peri-m, I remember my gyne (an amazing young woman) told me honestly that it could last up to 10 years – I nearly fainted! Thankfully, I've only met one woman who had it last that long – most of us get a couple years of what Karen-Venus calls her "Peri-Como". You're right, it is at least entertaining to watch, even though it is annoying in the extreme.

  2. Lynette Sheppard September 23, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    Hi Janet,

    I know what you mean. When you seem to reach some sort of balance, you don't want to mess with anything lest it change it back to a struggle. Luckily, all the symptoms get better with time. For many women, perimenopause is the worst phase of the Menopause transition. Keep us posted! Maybe you're on to something with the B vitamins.

    all my best,

    Lynette

  3. Janet September 23, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    After my episode of hot flashes in January, where I was in a panic running around trying to find something, anything to stop them or at least make them bearable, I haven't had a flash since (knock on wood). In desperation, I started taking B-complex (vitamin supplement) and I don't know if it helped but I'm afraid to stop taking it, not that I want to stop taking it, it's just that I wonder if it's the reason why I don't have hot flashes. I know it's probably not the reason, but I don't really want to find out.

    I've since seen my doctor and I'll be getting a blood test for TSH among other things. Even peri is a roller coaster ride with no warnings as to what's coming from month to month. If nothing else, it's interesting to see what my body is gonna do next.

  4. Janet September 23, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    *whining* But how much time???

    If nothing else, it's interesting to watch how my body changes. I'm sure I wouldn't find it quite so fascinating if I had more aches and pains associated with aging, but at the moment it's something besides television to watch. It's almost like a soap opera-I'm holding my breath wondering if the hot flashes will return, and watch the calendar wondering if my period will show up more or less when it's supposed to, or if this is going to be a "dry" month. I had a migraine yesterday-this is usually a sign that my period is on its way in a day or two, so I'm staying tuned to see if it was a trick. "As the Tampon Turns" would be a good title, don't you think?

  5. Rae Young September 23, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    I just want to wish all of you goddess out there , good luck, lots of patience, a huge sense of humor, lots and lots of friends and love ones that will take to time to listen to all the outraged yelling and crying and love you anyway ……………. aloha rae

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