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When Hormones Go Wacko

Feminine Confusion © lynette Sheppard

Feminine Confusion © lynette Sheppard

Genemedics Health Institute shared this  interesting and illuminating infographic on hormone imbalance with us. Enjoy.

When Hormones Go Wacko

About 80 percent of women worldwide experience different kinds of female hormone imbalance. In fact, an estimate of 2.2. billion women age 50 and above are presumed to experience female hormone imbalance by the year 2025.

Although female hormone imbalance may seem like a norm these days, it can still be remedied. With the right knowledge and information, women can live a normal life without having to suffer from the adverse effects of female hormone imbalance.

If you are already suffering from female hormone imbalance, there is a solution. Imbalances can be corrected through simple, natural, and practical ways such as staying active, eating healthy, and undergoing hormone replacement therapy.

You don’t have to be a part of the increasing 80 percent of women experiencing female hormone imbalance. Everything you need to know about female hormone imbalance is readily available for you to read here!

When Hormones Go Wacko - Female Hormone Imbalance

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Does Estrogen Increase Risk of Breast Cancer?

Painted Lady © lynette sheppard

Painted Lady © lynette sheppard

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we bring you this informative guest post from gynecologist Bill Rawls. Estrogen sources run the gamut from oral contraceptives to HRT to surprising areas of everyday living. Women of every age should read this article with common sense advice for our health.

Does estrogen increase risk of breast cancer?
Proving that breast cancer is linked to estrogen is not difficult.  
If a woman has her ovaries removed at a very young age, and does not receive estrogen replacement, her risk of breast cancer decreases profoundly.  Of course, it’s not a very nice thing to do to someone, because risks of all other diseases, especially heart disease go up, and the body begins aging rapidly.  Even so, removing ovaries at a young age is sometimes necessary to save a life or halt a disease process.  It has occurred enough times over the years to recognize a link between estrogen (or lack of estrogen) and breast cancer…having functional ovaries that produce estrogen defines a certain risk of breast cancer.

But the baseline rate has not been stable; the past seventy-five years has seen a dramatic rise in breast cancer.  The increase has to be estrogen related, and the extra estrogen has to come from somewhere, but where?  Initially experts speculated that birth control pills might be the source.  Obvious choice – oral contraceptives contain estrogen, and if breast cancer is estrogen related, adding estrogen would increase risk, right?   Actually it doesn’t work that way.  Low dose birth control pills suppress estrogen produced by the ovaries, so the little bit of estrogen added by the pill does not raise total estrogen levels; in other words, it’s a wash.  And even though the type of estrogen in oral contraceptives is synthetic, it is metabolized similarly to natural estrogen, and therefore extra stimulation of breast tissue does not occur.  Thirty years of studying use of low dose pills has not defined any significant increased risk of breast cancer – deep breath, relax…  (Taking oral contraceptives for ten years or greater does, however, decrease risk of ovarian cancer by 50%!)

Postmenopausal estrogen replacement has also been targeted as an explanation for the rise in breast cancer...and here we might have some traction. For the past fifty years the standard for postmenopausal hormone replacement has been conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin).  Not a single estrogen, but a combination of different estrogens derived from horses, this product is very stimulating to breast tissue.  Twenty-five percent of the product’s estrogens have no look-alike in the human body and are slowly metabolized. The process of conjugation slows metabolism and increases potency even further.  When the Women’s Health Initiative, (a large study done in 2001 to evaluate postmenopausal hormone replacement) showed that conjugated equine estrogens increase risk of breast cancer, it should not have been a surprise…but use of Premarin does not explain the dramatic rise in breast cancer that has occurred in premenopausal women.

It has to be related to estrogen; and if women are not producing more estrogen and birth control pills have been proven safe, then it must be coming from the environment.  Bingo…the rise in breast cancer has directly paralleled the rise in environmental toxins; many (if not most) of which have estrogenic activity.  Virtually all pesticides have estrogenic activity and many byproducts from the plastic industry are estrogenic.  Insidiously, these chemical compounds make their way into the food supply and water supply. Even meat from the grocery store is suspect.  Hormones are readily used in the livestock industry to encourage growth.  Add to that pesticides from the corn and soybeans the animal consumes every day and finding an association between red meat consumption and increased breast cancer risk is not surprising!

And so, how do you enjoy a normal lifetime of having ovaries, live in the modern world, and still not get breast cancer?  The answer really has two parts.  The first is awareness.  Toxins with estrogen-like activity (sometimes called xenoestrogens) can enter the body by only three different routes.  They can be ingested in drinks and food, breathed in a through the lungs and absorbed through skin.  The solutions are obvious.  Eat organic whenever possible.  Lean toward fresh vegetables and fruit and cut back on meat and dairy (with the exception of fresh fish and farm eggs).  Avoid processed food.  Filter your water.  Never microwave food in a plastic container.  Keep your drinking liquids in glass containers.  Live in a place with clean air.  Be careful about things that you rub on your skin.

The second is detoxification.  Elaborate detoxification protocols are really not required; the body is designed for detoxification; it just needs a little help.  Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, kale and especially broccoli) help the liver detoxify estrogen and estrogen-like compounds through a pathway that actually decreases risk of breast cancer.  Fiber from fresh vegetables and fruit helps pull toxins out of the body.  Hydration is also important, and the best hydration is from a source that most people don’t think about.  Living cells inside fresh vegetables and fruit hold a lot of water.  As the food is digested during the day, clean water is slowly and continually released; perfect for the detoxification process (compare this to the dehydrated stuff in processed food that actually requires water for digestion).

Certain supplements can enhance the detoxification process.  Milk thistle is top on the list.  This well-studied and well-tolerated herb is known to protect liver cells, increase bile flow (important for flushing the liver and getting toxins out of the body) and encourages regeneration of liver cells.  About 400-600 mg per day is enough for the average person.  Beyond milk thistle, there are scores of natural and herbal supplements that can protect liver function, improve detoxification and decrease cancer risk…anyone and everyone should take advantage of this extraordinary resource.

Awareness is essential!  Cultivate good health into your life!

Dr. Bill Rawls practices gynecology at Soundside Healthcare (Morehead City, NC) and is also the co-founder and medical director of Vital Plan (https://vitalplan.com), a wellness and herbal supplement company. For more information, visit his blog at http://rawlsmd.com.

 

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Can HRT Prevent Colorectal Cancer?

Plumeria Time © lynette sheppard

Hormone replacement therapy and cancer risk: we hear about it all the time. This guest post by Nader Ahmadnia of colonoscopy.com brings to light new research findings about HRT and its relationship to colorectal cancer. Interesting findings.  I know – more to think about and weigh when considering risks vs benefit of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy.)  Sigh…and just when our brains have gone on safari or something. At any rate, this is worth reading.

Correlation Between Menopause Hormone Therapy and Cancer
What is Menopausal Hormone Therapy?
Many women turn to hormone therapy when they really need help with menopause symptoms like nighttime sweating and hot flashes. Hormone therapy involves the intake of estrogen and/or progesterone to make up for the natural drop in production of female hormones that occurs when women go through menopause. Typically, the treatment is temporary. Most doctors recommend that a patient stop relying on hormone therapy once the body adjusts to initial menopausal changes and symptoms taper off, as risks associated with this treatment method increase the longer a woman is on it.
Other names for Menopausal Hormone Therapy include:
Post-menopausal Hormones
Post-menopausal Hormone Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy
While Menopausal Hormone Therapy has met pretty widespread use in the United States, many doctors still debate whether the health benefits outweigh the risks. In particular, several large-scale studies have suggested that that hormone therapy could affect the likelihood that a woman will develop certain cancers, in particular cancer of the lining of the uterus, or endometrial cancer.
Does Menopausal Hormone Therapy Put Me At Risk of Colon Cancer?
According to the Women’s Health Initiative, in fact, Estrogen-Progestin Therapy (EPT) actually reduced the risk that a woman would develop cancer of the colon and/or rectum by as much as 40 percent. This staggering statistic dropped off somewhat after the woman had stopped undergoing this specific type of hormone treatment for a period of 2 years. These results have been replicated in various studies. Unfortunately, the same benefits were not as widely concluded in studies of colorectal cancer risk and Menopausal Hormone Therapy that utilized only Estrogen Therapy (ET).
Is Estrogen-Progestin Therapy Safe?
Because researchers are still collecting information about the correlation between hormone therapy and risk of cancer, there is no definite prognosis for patients going through menopause. It is best to consult a doctor who knows your specific medical history if you are concerned about your health. Although mature women looking to lower the risk of colorectal cancer with Estrogen-Progestin Therapy may find study results promising, it is important to take other factors into consideration, such as the effect that hormone therapy has on heart disease, stroke and susceptibility to blood clots. Estrogen-Progestin Therapy has also been shown to increase the risk of other cancers prevalent in females, such as breast cancer.
When considering any kind of Menopausal Hormone Therapy to treat your menopausal symptoms, talk to your primary care provider about taking the lowest dose possible and for only for how long it is necessary. Also talk to your doctor about exploring other options, such as herbal and/or dietary supplements. As usual, you will need to maintain a regular check-up schedule to check for signs of developing cancer. For more information about the benefits and risks of Menopause Hormone Therapy, visit online resources provided by reputable organizations such as the National Women’s Health Information Center and/or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Research Participation, Hair Loss, and HRT Update: A Menopause Grab Bag

red maple leaves, Zion NP © lynette sheppard


Greetings, Goddesses (and those who love them). My apologies for not posting for a couple of weeks. The short story on why? Hula conference, food poisoning, the flu.
I’m bouncing back now; well more like crawling back but things are looking up. I’m recuperating in one of the most beautiful places on our little green planet: Zion National Park, Utah.

In deference to the backlog of important topics I’ve been meaning to post, here are three in one – a veritable grab bag of meno missives.

First, there is a call for participation in a UCLA study on attitudes toward disgusting situations. It seems that there may be changes in what we find disgusting or not when we go through menopause. Professor Daniel Fessler of UCLA and Dr. Katinka Quintelier of Ghent University are co-conductors of this research. I took the survey myself – pretty interesting. Click on the link below or paste it into your browser – all results are completely anonymous. http://menodis2011-2012.questionpro.com

On the hair loss front – a particularly diabolical manifestation of the Change, there is new hope out for menopausal women afflicted. Avacor has been approved for hair regrowth in hormonal thinning. (Active ingredient in the serum is minoxidil aka Rogaine.) They have had significant success, although like everything, it won’t work for all women. So I have offered to be a guinea pig yet again and have begun a three month program. It usually takes two months to show any effect, so don’t expect to hear too much too soon. Hope springeth eternal – I’ve taken my before pictures and hope to see a difference in eight weeks or so. I’ll keep you posted.

I will say this: one of the products in their starter kit is called “Boost”. It is a hair thickener styling product and it is as good or better as any of my previous favorites. I highly recommend this even if you don’t need to regrow hair. It’s a great volumizer and doesn’t weigh my hair down in the process. Yes, you can buy this product separately. If you want to take this journey along with me, they can start you out with a free 3 month trial supply of the full set of products. Check out their website at avacor.com

Last but not least, I wanted to report on my HRT cessation (and my physician’s). We both feel just fine – yes, we do have a hot flash every now and then but they are short lived and not too incendiary. I must report the side effect of a little smugness on both our parts, but thankfully this is not serious.
For those of you who are attempting to titrate down your HRT, go slowly and be gentle with yourself. With the patch, I was cutting it into tinier and tinier pieces until I was wearing just a miniscule pie shaped wedge that likely had almost no hormone in it. Still, the placebo effect is powerful juju and I availed myself of it for quite a while. Now I’m happy and hormone free. Except for any hormones that my own body might produce on its own. I’ll take all of those I can get.Now, I’m going out to sit on the patio and look at red rocks. Take the survey, grow some hair, be gentle with yourself in all ways. Oh, and eat some chocolate. Just sayin’…

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Menopause Goes to the Movies

Two new films are out on the Big M and having seen both, here’s the Menopause Goddess take on them.

Managing Menopause Naturally gives in depth information on all aspects of the Change, demystifying without pushing any one alternative. I really like that about it. Experts in the complementary health field, herbalists, nutritionists, MD’s, and midwifes discuss what to expect and all remedies. Despite the title, this film does not rule out hormone replacement therapy. Rightly, it claims that all women are different and that each menopause transition is individual. There are no one -size-fits-all therapies. Best of all, real women approaching and experiencing the Menopause journey are featured discussing their fears and what has worked for them.

This is a must see for pre-menopausal women. In other words, see it while you still have brain function enough to sit still and focus for 80 minutes. And if you are already experiencing brain fog? Well, watch it in manageable pieces – say four 20 minute segments.

The only negative about this film for me was was its lack of humor. That is a personal bias of mine to be sure. I feel that humor and the support of like-afflicted girlfriends is the MAIN thing that will get you through. That said, it really is helpful to have some information to go along with the belly laughs.

My favorite menopausal woman-expert in the film is Tierona Low Dog, MD, AHG. This no nonsense herbalist, midwife, biochemist and mother tells it like it is. I love her. When I grow up, I want to be her. Just sayin’….

Managing Menopause Naturally is available from TrueMind, a documentary film company dedicated to healthy living, environmental wellness and personal development.  List price is $19.98, but you can get it on Amazon for $12.60. Even better, you can watch it for $4.99 on their website:  True Mind.   For those of us who want to watch it in segments, $4.99 gets you access for 48 hours.

The Venuses previewed “Hot Flash Havoc” together at our annual meeting.  This feature is billed as “a film of menopausal proportions” with “Commotions, emotions, and magical potions.” With excitement and in our most comfy jammies, we settled in to watch.

Good news: it was informative – and we especially enjoyed the historical narrative illuminating menopause through the ages. It did a great job of explaining the physiological changes as well. And there was a fair amount of humor.

Bad news: We all felt that there was a hidden agenda to the film: namely that “hormone therapy is necessary to get through menopause and prevent many of the hazards of aging (eg. osteoporosis, heart disease.)

There were experts and real women as there were in Managing Menopause Naturally. Some legitimate points were made about flaws in the Women’s Health Initiative study that scared so many women off and away from HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy.) My holistic MD told me right off the bat that there were flaws in the study. Still, we both feel that long term HRT is likely not risk free or even desirable.

At the very beginning of this film, a disclaimer purports that “no pharmaceutical companies were involved in the production of this motion picture.”  It’s interesting that the filmmakers felt it necessary to clarify that point, lending credence to our feeling that this was a “one right answer” film.
In the end, we would have to say that we would not recommend this film without the caveat that it seemed focused on HRT as the answer for menopause and beyond. And honestly? We just don’t feel that that is true. HRT is an answer. For some women. For some time.  And probably not forever. That said, the film is available on their website: Hot Flash Havoc.  It lists for $24.99 and is available direct on their site for $19.99.  Amazon sells it for the full list price of $24.99. Only the trailers can be viewed on the site.

Those of you who have purchased The Big M or the ebook version Becoming A Menopause Goddess know that in that chronicle of wisdom we’ve gleaned together, we offer our best humor, heart, and help to our sister goddesses. And in 2012, we will begin offering a series of short YouTube videos to augment the book and keep you all up to date on what we learn in our Venus group together. And we will exhort you to start your own group, as always.

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Bioidentical vs Synthetic Hormone Replacement in Menopause

roses grunge © lynette sheppard

This guest post was written by Dr. Jo Ann Holoka, Jacksonville Bioidentical Hormones Expert and part of BodyLogicMD, a network of highly trained physicians across the country who use BHRT (bioidentical hormone therapy) to help anyone suffering from hormone related conditions such as adrenal fatigue, menopause, and andropause (the male menopause).

The difference between bioidentical and synthetic hormones:

Ever since the Women’s Health Initiative studies came to a screeching halt in 2002, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has garnered a pretty bad rep. The number of women using HRT declined significantly after it was discovered that the combination of hormones that most women were taking (namely progestin and estrogen) increased the likelihood of heart disease, breast cancer, blood clots and stroke.

The main problem with these studies is that they were only focusing on women who used synthetic hormones, such as Premarin, Provera and Prempro. Nearly a decade later, hormone therapy has become more popular among menopausal women, thanks to natural HRT alternatives, like bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

Bioidentical hormones are molecularly identical to the hormones that the body produces naturally. Bioidentical hormones are derived from naturally occurring, plant-based sources, such as soy and yams. There are several advantages when using natural bioidentical hormones, when compared to their synthetic counterpart.

Being that bioidentical hormones are exact replicas of the hormones your body already produces, the body can’t distinguish the supplemented hormones from the ones your body is producing naturally. So when you take a blood test, your total estradiol level reflects both the bioidentical estradiol and the natural estradiol. This makes it easier for your doctor to closely monitor your total levels and adjust your treatment regimen accordingly. Most synthetic hormones are metabolized differently and aren’t visible using standard lab tests.

Another benefit of using bioidentical hormones is that they’re typically not taken orally. Most synthetic forms of HRT are administered orally, in the form of a pill. Instead, bioidentical hormones are compounded in a laboratory and come in the form of creams, gels, pellets or injection (though not common). It’s best to avoid taking hormones orally (bioidentical or not), because it can lead to high blood pressure, weight gain, elevated cholesterol levels and has even been found to bring on sudden bouts of depression in some women.

Perhaps the most alluring of benefits is the fact that each BHRT regimen is individually tailored to meet your specific needs. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment when it comes to balancing hormones. Two women of the same age, who follow the same diet and workout routine, could have wildly different hormone levels. Bioidentical hormones are custom compounded based on your hormone levels and your specific set of symptoms. This makes them far more effective than the synthetic HRT drugs that are currently on the market.

Be it hormone therapy or anything else that may relate to your health or well-being, it’s always a good idea to do your homework and research all of your options before making a decision. It’s also important to remember that you know your body better than anyone else. If you feel like your body is trying to tell you something, don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor about further testing to take a closer look at what’s going on inside.

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Everything Menopause: The Short Course

Ti leaves © lynette sheppard

Unlike when my friend, Dee Adams of Minnie Pauz fame, began writing about the Big M over 16 years ago, a plethora of menopause sites are to be found on the web. This is good and this is bad.

Good – lots of information is available at your fingertips
. We are actually learning daily about this journey and how to travel it with grace and coolness.

Bad – it’s confusing, contradictory, and occasionally there is more selling going on than informing.

Emman Sioco of everythingmenopause.com writes a guest post for us this week,
distilling a few essential truths about the menopause journey. For more info on any of these topics, (HRT, exercise, etc.) just type it into the Search box here on Menopause Goddess Blog to get our longer, less politically correct take on it.

And if the Search box gets cranky and doesn’t like the search words you picked? Write us by clicking the contact us button on the left margin of the home page and we’ll get you the links to the appropriate articles.

(I personally think the Search box is related to Google by marriage or something and she is capricious at times. HRT info? Why didn’t you say so? You should have typed in Hormone Replacement Therapy, then I would have honored your request.)

At any rate, please enjoy our guest blogger, Emman Sioco, of everythingmenopause.com

“All about Menopause

“With menopause, each woman is very different.  While there are some rough guidelines and symptoms you can read, the symptoms of each menopausal woman will be entirely different from the next.  Some women blow through menopause without a single symptom, while others have every symptom in the book and maybe some others too.

When you understand that each woman is different, you will understand that what worked for your sister or best friend, may not work for you.  While this can be frustrating these are the facts and there are some resources you can use to help you get through this tough time and maybe even laugh about it along the way.

Exercise can help with some of the symptoms of menopause.  Tiredness is a common symptom of menopause and when you exercise each day your body will release endorphins.  This can help you to get through the rest of your day feeling energized.
When you exercise you are likely to eat better and this can help to feel better and have more energy.  There are many foods out there that are loaded with anti oxidants and this can give you more strength and stamina to get through each day.

Hormone replacement therapy is something that many women try at some point.  If your symptoms are severe, HRT may really help.  You should never give up on your personal hormone replacement therapy program too quickly. It can take 2-3 weeks for you to really see if this can help.  You do not have to simply deal with menopause and you can take your life back.

If you have tried HRT and a particular type did not work for you, it can be worth it to give another type of hormone replacement therapy a try.  Natural symptom relief is something that has made leaps and bounds.  There are some great natural remedies that boast less risk and can be very helpful in relieving some of the most common symptoms.

Your girlfriends can be your partners in this journey.  It is likely that someone in your group of friends is experiencing menopausal symptoms and this can be a wonderful way to exchange stories.  You can also talk to these friends about treatments that have worked.

Getting through menopause is one of the most accomplished things that you may do.  Menopause does not have to take over your life and there are some ways that you can take control of your symptoms.”

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All I Know About Stopping HRT So Far


It has been 5 months since I cut my estradiol patch in half; the next step in getting off HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy.)

Thankfully, the process has been relatively easy. Oh sure, I’ve had hot flashes on occasion. Especially at night. Still, none of them has been of the severity or duration of my pre-HRT surges.

Every woman is different. I know I sound like a broken record here, but it’s true. No single remedy, help, or idea fits each woman during her menopause transition.

With that in mind, here are a few things I’ve learned that may be of help if you are considering stopping your HRT or even your herbal remedies.

#1. Take it slow, sistah.
While there are few absolutes, here’s one. Do not go “cold turkey” off your HRT, herbal remedy, or other ‘natural’ solution. Why would you want to rush it? Give your body time to adjust.

Give yourself a chance to notice if side effects are going to show up, and if they might diminish over time. Look for other ways to remain cool, rested, and emotionally balanced. Remember that your body has a feedback system built in to monitor hormone levels – let’s not take it to condition Red, stress overload, shock to system just because we’ve decided to stop HRT.

Believe it or not, other parts of your body start manufacturing estrogen – oh sure, not in childbearing young woman amounts, but more than you might think. So the slight drop from decreasing your HRT stimulates the body to make a little more. Sometime later, after 6 months or so, you may decrease your hormone therapy again, giving your body another little signal to kick it up.

Likely, we’ll have enough to keep us from chronic insomnia, mood swings, and intractable hot flashes.

2. Exercise helps with all the menopause symptoms. Seriously! I did not want to believe this, but sure enough, if I get my walk in every day, I have few to no hot flashes, I sleep soundly through the night, and my mood is calm and upbeat. If I skip it for more than a day, my symptoms kick up a little more.

3. If you try other remedies to take the place of your HRT, remember to try only one at a time and give it at least 2 weeks to work before adding or trying something else. For more info on Natural remedies read Natural Symptom Relief for Menopause. Always tell your trusted health care partner about everything you are taking, to avoid adverse medication interactions.

And be sure to avail yourself of non-medical, non-herbal remedies like fans, wicking sleepwear, hypnosis (I swear it works – studies prove it and I’ve tried it myself with great success.)

4. Be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself with kindness and generosity during this change. This is yet another transition and it needn’t be a “should” but a gradual lessening as a choice. I’m getting better at this – I still tend to expect too much of myself or push too hard. Rest, chocolate, me-time are all important adjuncts to leaving HRT.

5. Finally, I cannot underestimate the power of girlfriends in getting us through every part of the menopause transition. If you have a group of like-minded, like-afflicted gal pals, make sure you spend lots of time with them. When women ask me what the single most important menopause remedy/help/fix is, I tell them it is Girlfriends with a capital G.

Girlfriends will get you through getting off HRT, too. Something wonderful happens when women get together and share their experience and experiences; a special synergy that is more healing than ANY herb or medication, oil or cream. And if you don’t have such a group, here’s how to start one: Creating Your Own Goddess Group. Of course, you can always join the rest of us right here on the Menopause Goddess Blog.

For much more info, try the search engine on our blog or order your own copy of The Big M where the Venuses share ALL.

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Menopause Research Study On Hormone Therapy Cessation: Participate Now

Calling all Menopause Goddesses. We need your help in a cutting edge new study. As you all know, research on the menopause transition has been sadly lacking.  I have been bitching about that for what seems like forever.

Thanks to Menopause Goddess, Dee Adams, the creator of Minnie Pauz Menopause cartoons, I learned of an exciting new study in progress.

Mary Fischer, a nursing doctoral student at University of Massachusetts is exploring women’s experiences with discontinuing hormone therapy. How timely is that?

So many goddesses, including yours truly, are working to discontinue our hormone therapy – and frankly, like so much of the Big M, this is uncharted territory. Fear and loathing on the Menopause Trail, you might say.

Thankfully, this new study is qualitative in nature. Rather than simply yes or no answers, our experience in our own words is requested in addition to necessary quantitative data. Which as we Menopause Goddesses know is one of the major ways we share information: through stories of personal experience.

If you are a Menopause Goddess in the process of decreasing or discontinuing your HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or have already ceased your HRT, I urge you to contact Mary to participate in the study. I’ve already gratefully filed out the online study after signing the informed consent and receiving my user name and password.

This is how we will help ourselves and the women who come after us (like our daughters) to have an easier Menopause journey. Women sharing wisdom: that’s what it’s all about.

Contact Mary Fischer at 508-877-3316 or email her at mary.fischer@umassmed.edu to get started.

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Stopping HRT: A Menopause Goddess’s Daily Journal


Day One of Operation Stop HRT

Dear diary,
Today, I cut my patch in half and secured the non-adhesive end with waterproof tape. I’ve felt virtuous all day. No symptoms or adverse effects at all – not that I expected any. Estrogen will store in fat tissue, and okay, I’ve got a little storage depot around my middle and in my thighs. I expect no real change for the first week or so. (And hopefully, no real changes after that!) Because I’m tired of change. I haven’t heard from Dr. A yet re: her progress.
Off to bed, and hopefully to uninterrupted sleep.

Day Two
Another good (read uneventful) day from a hormonal standpoint. Delighted that my waterproof tape is holding. No hot flashes or other Big M symptoms. It seemed like an especially hot night, though not enough to wake me. Felt so much better when my husband complained “Geez, it was hot last night.”. Yay. It’s not me.

Being religious about using my natural progesterone cream. Feeling like this might be easy, but know that there exist loads of shoes just waiting to drop when I get too cocky. Called the clinic and left message for Dr. A. to call me. Has she reconsidered (read Chickened Out)?

Day Three
Pretty good day. Not flashing or sweating. The only glitch I’ve noticed today is a slight shortening of my fuse. Our computer genius is on one phone line, my husband is on the other and the conversations are filling the house with competing crosstalk. Add to that the weed eater droning at 3000 decibels around the house and I can feel my shoulders hunch up to my ears. But I’m not sure that this isn’t just a normal day of overload unrelated to decreasing my BHRT (Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.)

I engage in calming tasks like cleaning off my desk space while wearing my noise canceling headphones, sucking serenity from my iPod meditative music playlist. Ahhhhhhh, Technology as tranquilizer. What a concept.

No word from Dr. A. I may be doing this alone. Unless someone else would like to join me?????????

Stay tuned, dear goddesses. I appreciate all support and suggestions. And chocolate.

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