Declining hormones due to menopause or peri-menopause are responsible for a host of symptoms and life changing issues. The result is like a chain reaction starting with night sweats, weight gain and lack of sleep to dulled libido and depression. When you begin to experience symptoms of low and/or imbalanced hormones it can feel like you are spinning out of control rather quickly. It is easy to become agitated and unmotivated to fight the fight. There are options to address this transition in your life. The first thing to do is become educated. Education does not mean to take everything for face value. Not everyone shares the same opinion to advise you on what to do. Often patients will be led to believe that their symptoms and concerns are just a normal part of aging and encouraged to “accept it”. The truth is, while it is a normal part of aging, there are options. Hormone replacement took a back seat to intensive research for several decades since it was considered unimportant or not life threatening. When your quality of life is disrupted the worst feeling you can add to it is being made to feel insignificant or overly dramatic about what you are going through.
Often an SSRI or antidepressant is prescribed basically insinuating that the issue is all in your head. SSRI’s, a common type of antidepressant, can numb your feelings and alter your reactions to both positive and negative stimuli. For instance, one patient described that she could not cry at her father’s funeral while on an SSRI. She was very close with her father, and felt out of sorts at her lack of emotional response. In another example, a patient received a promotion that she had worked on getting for over 3 years and when her family threw her a surprise party to celebrate, she told them that she would rather lie down for a bit. Having no emotion could be argued to be worse than having the extreme of a positive or negative response. Being on an SSRI is often described as just “existing”. That does not seem like a very attractive option to menopause. People deserve to be given the opportunity to live their best life daily, not just medicated to merely exist.
Learn about your options, ask questions, read books, and find support groups for others going through similar issues. The more you know, the healthier you will be. Often, we are led to believe that no matter what, the doctor is always right. Doctors should be highly respected and well regarded during any health issue. They trained for years and years to be able to counsel their patients. However, not every doctor is a specialist in every field of medicine. Would you advise your close friend or relative to go to a foot doctor for their heart palpitations? You would never do that, because it doesn’t make sense! But if you really think about it, is that what you are doing when it comes to menopause? Find a doctor that is a specialist in hormone replacement. Bio-Identical hormone replacement therapy could be just what you are looking for, but you will never know if you don’t go and learn for yourself. Find a practice that specializes in BHRT, not merely offers it as a side line. Ask a lot of questions, even write them down before your consultation. Do what you feel is best for you, not what you are expected to do.
You get one life and one chance at living it. Choose to live it at its greatest potential!