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You wouldn't like me when I'm angry...

I try to make my articles about you, providing (hopefully) interesting and useful content to enable you to easily live a healthier life. As part of this effort, I've sourced a series of lifestyle advice pdfs from a training provider I really trust. I've worked with this educational resource company for many, many years and it supplies me with much of my continuing professional development training. Please feel free to save them or forward them on to anyone who may benefit from the information.

Today, we're kicking it off with the Menopause Advice leaflet which you can access by CLICKING HERE.

I've chosen this topic because it's very much in the news right now and it's something I've been managing myself (to greater and lesser degrees) over the last few years so I'll speak from the heart and let the leaflet provide the advice.

Here's my experience of perimenopause in as factual a way as I can describe.

Before trying HRT I followed all lifestyle prescriptions and advice for dealing naturally with perimenopause symptoms, however I let the symptoms of perimenopause go on for far too long before I sought help. Even then, I had to strongly insist on HRT as a treatment rather than mood stabilisers as my hormone levels were deemed to be 'borderline'.

Over and above the now much discussed mood changes, sleeplessness, sweats and brain fog that menopause is known for, I also experienced joint pain, fatigue, appetite loss, dizziness and hayfever.

Throughout the year that I have been taking HRT, my prescription has changed 4 times. Some of these changes have been to find the right combinations of HRT but others have been because both my hormone levels and my needs have continued to change. For example, in the course of ongoing blood checks, we discovered that I had become deficient in Vitamin D which means that some of my symptoms may have been entirely unrelated to hormonal changes. (Vitamin D deficiency can lead to sleeplessness and fatigue.) For anyone avoiding speaking to health professionals, this is one clear reason why you should; the solution may be simpler than you think and separate from any lifestyle changes you have previously implemented.

I noticed a difference in my joint pain and brain fog within three days of taking HRT. This means that, although I may have had to change prescription many times, I experienced measurable relief from the very outset of the medication delivery. The changes to the prescription have been either modifying or 'fine-tuning' an already effective treatment.

When your body changes slowly, it's hard to vocalise what you're feeling or to understand what you need. Add into that any other age related issues that may require investigation (such as the Vitamin D deficiency) and it's easy to see why many women ignore symptoms or try to manage them alone.

Personally, this episode of my life coincided with the upheaval of Covid so I blamed many of the mood-related changes on global events rather than being connected with obvious physical changes I was consistently journaling. I think it's easy to find reasons to bury our heads in the sand and if I could change my actions I would have trusted myself more and spoken out both earlier and far more forcefully.

While I'm not averse to sharing feelings, I prefer to focus on positive ways to effect change so this newsletter has been a little more emotionally charged than usual and I'm sorry if it's more than you expected with your morning cuppie! The LEAFLET about menopause gives advice on living well through the menopause so is applicable for everyone at that stage, regardless of other medical intervention.

On a positive note; while many people grieve for the perceived loss of youth that accompanies this point in our lives, I feel excited about leaping into the next stage. The plan has always been to use it up, wear it out and screech sideways into the grave so expect more mischief from me in the future.


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