Taking A Proactive Approach To Menopause.
Historically, menopause has been both misunderstood and viewed as a negative health event. In the 1930’s menopause was described as a “deficiency disease”, and later in the 1970’s hormone replacement therapy was described as the “liberation of middle aged women.”1
Today we continue to live in a culture that values youth, and often frames menopause as a loss and a feared transition.
Will a woman experience bothersome symptoms during menopause? Most likely.
Do certain health risks increase? Yes.
Can lifestyle, diet and being proactive make a significant difference in a woman’s health and menopausal symptoms? Absolutely.
The reality is, menopause is a natural event. And while it does often cause bothersome symptoms and an increase in certain health risks, it is an opportunity to make changes and to take a proactive approach. Too much of the rhetoric surrounding menopause is focused on the adverse symptoms, and fueled by a fear of aging. I strongly believe that we need to engage in conversations that are empowering and informative.
In order to be proactive, you need to be informed of your risk factors, and the lifestyle and diet choices that are best for you. You need to be aware of your treatment options, so that you don’t suffer from menopausal symptoms in silence. And finally, you need to build a plan for prevention and longevity, because let’s face it; there is a lot of life left to enjoy after your 50’s.
To inform and empower women, I created the Proactive Menopause Plan. This worksheet was designed to allow you and your health-care provider to assess your risk factors, identify your specific menopausal symptoms, and to build a plan that is focused on prevention and addressing your acute concerns. The main areas that the worksheet focuses on are bone, breast and cardiovascular health, as well as the management of menopausal symptoms. The worksheet includes the latest recommendations for diet and physical activity, and screening.
To get a copy, subscribe to my newsletter, and you will be sent the PDF.
I recently wrote an article for the Hawthorne Naturopathic Centre blog, which goes into great detail about the research and recommendations for proactively addressing breast, bone and heart health. If you’re interested in reading more, you can read the article here.
In the upcoming months, I will continue to write more about addressing menopause from a preventative and functional medicine perspective. If you’re interested in reviewing your health history, addressing your menopausal symptoms, and building a proactive plan, you can book an appointment online, or call 250-598-3314.
- Singh, A., Kaur, S., & Walia, I. (2002). A historical perspective on menopause and menopausal age. Bulletin of the Indian Institute of History of Medicine (Hyderabad), 32(2), 121-135.
References for the Proactive Menopause Plan
- Freedman, R. R. (2005). Hot flashes: behavioral treatments, mechanisms, and relation to sleep. The American journal of medicine, 118(12), 124-130.
- Carmody, J., Crawford, S., Salmoirago-Blotcher, E., Leung, K., Churchill, L., & Olendzki, N. (2011). Mindfulness training for coping with hot flashes: results of a randomized trial. Menopause (New York, NY), 18(6), 611.
- Why are Mammograms Important? (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2019, from http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/screening/breast/get-a-mammogram/why-are-mammograms-important.
- Pizot, C., Boniol, M., Mullie, P., Koechlin, A., Boniol, M., Boyle, P., & Autier, P. (2016). Physical activity, hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer risk: A meta-analysis of prospective studies. European Journal of Cancer, 52, 138-154.
- Wu, A. H., Yu, M. C., Tseng, C. C., & Pike, M. C. (2008). Epidemiology of soy exposures and breast cancer risk. British journal of cancer, 98(1), 9-14.
- Cao, Y., Willett, W. C., Rimm, E. B., Stampfer, M. J., & Giovannucci, E. L. (2015). Light to moderate intake of alcohol, drinking patterns, and risk of cancer: results from two prospective US cohort studies. Bmj, 351, h4238.
- Pacifici, R. (1996). Estrogen, cytokines, and pathogenesis of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 11(8), 1043-1051.
- Rosen, H. and Drezner. M. Overview of the management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. In: UpToDate, Post, TW (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2019.
- Vitamin D and Effects on Fractures, Falls and Bone Mineral Density. (2018, October 16). Retrieved from https://osteoporosis.ca/vitamin-d-and-effects-on-fractures-falls-and-bone-mineral-density/.
- Zhao, D., Guallar, E., Ouyang, P., Subramanya, V., Vaidya, D., Ndumele, C. E., … & Budoff, M. J. (2018). Endogenous sex hormones and incident cardiovascular disease in post-menopausal women. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 71(22), 2555-2566.
- Heart Risk & prevention. (2018). Retrieved November 20, 2019, from https://www.heartandstroke.ca/heart/risk-and-prevention.
- Threapleton, D. E., Greenwood, D. C., Evans, C. E., Cleghorn, C. L., Nykjaer, C., Woodhead, C., … & Burley, V. J. (2013). Dietary fibre intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: systematic review and meta-analysis. Bmj, 347, f6879.
- Manson, J. E., Cook, N. R., Lee, I. M., Christen, W., Bassuk, S. S., Mora, S., … & D’Agostino, D. (2019). Marine n− 3 fatty acids and prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, 380(1), 23-32.
- Lewis, S. F., & Hennekens, C. H. (2016). Regular physical activity: forgotten benefits. The American journal of medicine, 129(2), 137-138.