"No more eggs and no more Pills
Hello steamy hot flush
Down below's a no-go zone
Since reading Sherrill Sellman's book Hormone Heresy: What women must know about their hormones I've decided that I have to find a natural alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy. I'm already not keen on medication, and the idea of pumping my body with a cocktail of synthetic hormones yet again (since I stopped the Pill) does not appeal.
At the first sign of menopausal symptoms (hot flushes, dryness you-know-where), I rushed to my doc. He advised HRT or I would be in danger of aging rapidly - find myself suddenly dried out and an old hag in a couple of years. There was a definite hint of 'your partner won't find you attractive any more and will probably dump you for a more luscious alternative because what can you do with an old prune?' Fun...
He prescribed estriol (a form of oestrogen) for down below, and, to his credit, instead of imposing HRT on me, suggested I ask my buddies about HRT, and to do some research on the internet. So I did. Well I did the internet bit because I don't have many friends who have hit menopause yet.
I discovered that HRT is not all it's made out to be, and that some women have disastrous reactions to it. Instead of taking it and risk becoming oestrogen dominant which is not a good thing, I wanted to balance out the hormonal imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone in my menopausal body as naturally and side-effect-free as possible.
Dr Sellman suggests seeing a naturopathic doctor, and as luck would have it, the Pages Jaunes for Montpellier threw up two: a man and a woman. I looked at the woman's web page and noted she has 25 years of experience, and, from her photo saw that she has very probably gone through menopause. It seemed an obvious choice to select her rather than the man who did not have a web site and thus was just a name on a page.
Today was the day when I had my appointment. I took along my blood test analyses (usual stuff plus FSH which determines whether you're in menopause or not because it's a reproductive hormone - I am) and found myself in a little outhouse in the doc's garden.
She started by looking at my eyes. Apparently you can tell a lot from eyes. Before she looked at my blood tests, she flashed a torch at me and asked me whether I had some intestinal issues, and some joint problems, and said I have an excellent 'hygiene de vie' which means I'm in roaring good health.
I was pleased to hear that because I have made a lot of effort in the past year, and it's obviously paid off, not that I was abusing my health before, but I'm taking more care now (organic fruit and veg, less meat, dairy and bread, sport).
I do have a little intestinal problem (she said it was some inflammation) and my joints get tired when I walk a lot, so top marks the doc! I also wake up too early which annoys me. We had a chat about my eating habits and she decided to prescribe a number of food supplements to rectify my hormonal imbalances:
- Houblon which is like oestrogen
- Salsepareille which is like progesterone
- Bourrache (borage) oil which, from what she said, is like an elixir of life
- plus a bit of Hydra 7 which will help things along
- Optiflore to get my intestines sorted out
- Rhadiola Rosea and Magnesium Marin to improve the quality of my sleep and help me relax.
I was in there for an hour and it cost me 65 Eur which should be reimbursed by my mutuelle. I have to get most of the supplements on the internet, and she indicated where I could go because there's such a variety out there.
I'll be chucking out the estriol which had revolting consequences.
In the same vein, I started doing a local yoga course this evening. It was a trial session, and although there was some noise from the other activities going on in the communal centre, I found it relaxing and pretty promising.
Then I came home and had sausage and spuds, broccoli, and a glass of wine for dinner. :)
Got to keep my strength up for all this healthy living!
The other thing about HRT is that you really don't want to be pumping oestrogen into your body, when 1 in 10 women (or whatever the figure is) will develop breast cancer in their lives. Breast cancer medication is all about removing or reducing oestrogen, because it feeds the cancer.ReplyDelete
I like the sound of your naturopath, and your approach. We can't be young forever, and surely some of the journey is allowing our minds and souls to catch up with the fact that our bodies are ageing.
Thanks, Iota. The naturopathe looks terrific. She's 63 but certainly doesn't look it.Delete
These days we have to combat the toxic effects of our environment and food on our bodies that didn't exist in the past.
Houblon? That means beer. Menopause, I'm ready.ReplyDelete
Yes, hops!! Maybe drinking lots of beer is the answer! :)Delete
Interesting. I have been taking HRT for a while since having early onset menopause. It's been great for me and I was happy to take them as, from my own research, felt it was replacing what would normally be present before the menopause. The decision regarding when to come off them is now arising - for me the risks up to now have been worth taking but carrying on with HRT past the normal age for menopause is something I don't want to do.ReplyDelete
Absolutely, I read that it's not a good idea to take it long term.Delete
I'm glad you've been satisfied with it, no doubt you would have stopped it if you hadn't been!
If you're thinking about coming off HRT and what you can take instead, try this website for more information: http://www.johnleemd.com/store/main_articles.html
We are not told about hormone imbalances enough (at all) and yet they have a major effect on our health and sense of well-being!
When does it get easier for us women? Menopause...Oh no, something to look forward to...I am glad that you found a good naturopath. Let us know how it goes...ReplyDelete
Aren't we the lucky ones!Delete
I will indeed let you know. Got to buy the supplements first! :)
I am terrible with supplements. I keep forgetting to take them. Great, something to look forward to...Delete
I'll say this, with respect to hot flashes.....my late grandmother suffered from far too many. Poor lady.ReplyDelete
It sounds like you have a very competent doctor. Do listen to her advice.
Im going to print out this list and head down to the health food store because - do you know what happened when I got home, It was "oh its so hot in here" whereever i went, then realised Oh the big M has descended....ReplyDelete
Nice to know I'm not the only one! :)Delete
I'm so glad I've seen this post (I'm so far behind on everyone's posts!) because you have just described me! The flushes which I've been coping with quite well are now so out of hand it's not true! I look forward to seeing how you get on with all those recommended supplements.ReplyDelete
Thanks Jay, I'll keep you posted. Good to know I'm not the only one too. :)Delete
I'm a great believer in naturopaths and natural medicine. I started to study it once and still have all the books. Even did a brief iridology course - amazing - so I understand how she could see your health so clearly :) I recommend the author Lesley Kenton as a resource too. Will be tracking your progess xReplyDelete
It's a fascinating subject. You must have enjoyed studying it, and I'm sure you put it all to good use! I'll look out for Kenton's books.Delete