Menopause choices affect aging experiences

Did you know that 1.3 million women in the US achieve* menopause every year?

Not every woman has difficulty with her menopause, but many others are suffering without help of any kind. Unrelenting mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia, and hormone imbalances can play havoc with a woman’s life, self-esteem and family relationships. Her doctor can offer anti-depressants, sleeping pills, and hormone replacements but that’s simply throwing a drug at a symptom – not addressing the underlying cause – which doctors aren’t trained to do.

It’s interesting to me that some women who go on hormone replacement think it gives them a free pass through menopause. You can be very sure that very woman alive must go through menopause. If you decide to use hormone replacement to deal with difficult symptoms, those same symptoms may be waiting for you when you come off the hormones.

And, all added hormones, bio-identical or not, have health risks that include death. Most experts agree that if you choose bio-identical hormones, the best option is to go on the smallest amount for only a short time – not for years and not indefinitely.

The new movie Managing Menopause Naturally points out that most women do nothing to prepare for menopause. It’s unfortunate, for their long-term health and wellness, that many women wait or avoid doing anything about their menopause until they’re in an ‘emergency’ state. Then they put their faith in a ‘magic pill’ that might give them temporary relief, might do nothing at all or might create a life-threatening situation.

Human nature is a funny thing.  Even though a woman knows she’d be much better off making lifestyle changes – because what she’s been doing hasn’t worked out for her – she may still resist making the commitment to take 100% responsibility for her own health and wellness.

Intuitively women MUST know that drugs and added hormones are not the healthy answer to their menopause challenges.  It’s NORMAL to have fluctuating hormone levels during your menopause years. It’s NOT NORMAL to take chemicals designed to try to fool your body into thinking it’s not getting older and it’s not going through menopause.

I don’t agree with the expert quoted in Managing Menopause Naturally, the movie who said: “You can do a lot with herbs and lifestyle, but if she’s not going to change the way she eats, is not going to do exercise, if she won’t take calcium supplements, then she may be better off with HRT.”

When a woman chooses to take added hormones, she removes herself from being connected to her body’s natural process. It’s likely she’ll avoid addressing what needs attention or isn’t working in her life. Going on hormone replacement will not create improved health & wellness in body, mind and spirit, nor is it part of putting your ‘ducks in a row’ to improve the likelihood of a high quality-of-life as a woman ages.

My bias is that I believe with everything in me that a ‘difficult’ menopause can be prevented or reversed by making healthier lifestyle choices regarding the foods you eat, stress management, dealing with emotional issues – past and present, regular exercise, cleansing, herbs, supplements & proper water consumption. The bonus is that the benefits extend beyond menopause and contribute to higher quality of life as you age.  

Think about the kind of menopause experience you want to have. Plan it out. Intention and focus are powerful energies. Here are a few cliches to help your thought process:  ‘anything worth doing is worth doing well’, ‘you get out of it what you put into it’ and ‘you reap what you sow’.

*BTW, in case you’re wondering, achieving menopause means it’s been at least a year since your last period!

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