Embracing The “M” Word: 7 Surprise Facts About The Nature of Menopause
With DRIVEN’s Energy Workshop Series in progress, I thought it time to revisit an energy-related webinar of ours from the autumn of ’15. The theme? Menopause. The following are the surprising facts we discovered that day from menopause expert Ellen Dolgen. I hope you will be inspired by them, and will consider join me for the next DRIVEN energy-related event.
Every person on the planet experiences it, but most of us still remain in the dark about its causes, its symptoms, and when it’s expected to arrive. The “it” is menopause, and the experiencer is, or will be, YOU. This is precisely why menopause education shot to the top of DRIVEN’s event priorities in 2015, materializing as a September virtual workshop. Menopause expert Ellen Dolgen was our Google Hangouts special guest that day, armed with the facts and the personal experience to open our participants’ eyes about this scary and turbulent episode in our lives.
Ellen began spreading the word about menopause after her own difficult experience with its symptoms. She did her homework, and wrote THE modern book on the subject, Menopause Mondays. For the last 10 years, she has made it her mission to educate women (and men) about menopause, launching a supportive website designed to get us all “on the same page” before the many unpredictable changes begin to set in.
Feeling at first a tad unsettled, our Hangout guests soon began to gain a sense of empowerment by Ellen’s valuable, practical advice about handling menopause. She encouraged us to be proactive about what will naturally occur in our bodies and in our brain chemistry, equipping us with the tools to manage this inevitable life event with knowledge and grace. This included reiterating some of the good living practices that we may already know about (good nutrition, exercise, stress-free living). But it also included a number of surprise facts and figures about menopause that we never could have conceived of. Here are 7 indispensable lessons from the Hangout that made us glad we discovered Ellen.
Perimenopause, which is the transition toward infertility, can begin as early as our 40’s, and sometimes even our 30’s! During this transition, our menstrual cycles may lengthen or shorten. Symptoms more typical of menopause can occur, and should continue until there has been a 12-month stretch without a menstrual period. Then, my friends, you have entered menopause proper.
Expecting The Unexpected
Just as everyone sees something entirely different in the inkblot test, menopause is an individual experience. Don’t try to gauge how early or severe your symptoms will be based on that of your mother, sisters or other relatives. The odds are you will be misinforming yourself.
Am I Having A Symptom?
We’ve all heard about hot flashes and mood swings. But did you know that other menopause symptoms include hair loss, muscle aches, migraine headaches, and chronically cold extremities? See a whole list of such symptoms at Ellen Dolgen’s symptoms page.
Concerning Your Health
Besides the menopausal weight we gain due to the slowing of our metabolism, we should closely monitor our cholesterol, as it will likely go up as well. In a related side note, you’ll need to decide on hormone therapy by the time you’re 60 in order to prevent a greater chance of plaque buildup. Additionally, keep in mind that many symptoms of menopause can overlap with those of an underactive thyroid (fatigue, irregular menstruation, weight gain, etc). See your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
A Natural Solution
There are many homeopathic treatments to consider for menopausal symptoms. The first and most obvious is to stick with a nutritional diet if you aren’t already. Herbal remedies, exercise and stress avoidance are also crucial, which may not come as a surprise.
Ellen and her husband both discovered the benefits of Transcendental Meditation for their separate health and emotional issues as they approached their 60s. It turns out that not only is TM beneficial for the mind and body at any age, but it is also shown to reduce cholesterol and stress levels— specifically what we need during menopause!
Since we are all unique, it’s a wise move for each of us to seek a menopause specialist for individual guidance. Ellen has done an incredible job of compiling a nationwide directory of menopause specialists to consult in your area (the list actually covers the entire northern hemisphere). And for further advice from Ellen and her colleagues, particularly for NYC dwellers, The 3 Tomatoes website has an excellent collection of menopause-related blog articles.