BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sex, Lies and Menopause

Perhaps we should move the menopause discussion out of the non-related post...I should have done it sooner. Here's part of the last comments from Menopause Sally:

Back to the old days, if you were unlucky enough to see mothers and grandmothers suffer and I mean suffer either from natural menopause or forced by surgery, then you would have a more open mind to once again, quality or quantity. For ME? No matter what happens to me, MY PILLOW will end the pain.

One cannot paint a broad brush regarding women's health. It is too important to family after herself. So the decision is up to her with education, not suggestions by friends or foe.

I wish I could get 3 friends to tell you their experiences with and without HRT. Unreal.


Can menopause be "controlled" by diet as some doctors would have you believe? Or, should we accept the drugs that are prescribed for them?

46 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The vast majority of menopause for most American women in the past was an abrupt surgical menopause (also called surgical castration in the medical field).

These numbers ran as high as 60-80%of US women, depending on geographical location. In fact Congress in the 1970s as one of the consequences of the women's movement finally investigated this horrendously disproportionate number of surgical procedures done on women. No other country on the planet has such high surgical menopause rates. None.

Rates for surgical menopause (surgical castration) since thw 1970's have dropped to 25-30% but they are still finding 80% of these procedures

have no medical incations. US women are still choosing surgical menopause (surgical castration) as an elective surgery of their own choosing.

Suffering over menopause? Most likely, but due far to more the creulty of this medically unnecessary procedure being forced upon them and not from biologcal menopause itself. Get your facts first, before you talk yourself into being miserable.

Prepare yourself for the onslaught of emotionally overwrought defenses of the suffering claimed to be caused by menopause and always determine two things up front before continuing the discussion:

(1) was the menopause a surgical menopause or a biological menopause.

And (2) what was the confirmed medical condition made prior to the choice for a surgical castration.

Then, let the cat fight begin and get back to me if you do not find women in America make a full time career out of menopause. And believe me, there is plenty of money to be made convincing US women they are Martyrs to their Menopause.

You do not see this in other countries; only in the US that allows lurid menopause marketing and has for decades. Even after the great WHI Premarin/Prempro debacle that found these drugs harmed women far more than they ever promised to help.

The snake oil salesmen just substituted "natural" hormones for the horse urine Premarin and Prempro and the same old song and dance fleecing women and making them feel it is their duty to suffer during this time continues.

BTW: a hot flash lasts typically 2-3 mintues and women have at the worst 8 hot flashes a day - approximately 15-20 minutes to total discomfort a day. They do not die from hot flashes. They are rarely observed by other people. They are momentarily uncomfortable but quickly pass for at least an hour before one might hit again, primarily when someone is stressed.

Hot flashes may be nature's way of flushing out toxins and they should just be let to happen, not chemically subverted.

Women pay good money to go to gyms to sweat it out in aerobic exercise classes .And they also pay good money to keep from sweating during menopause, at great risk to their long term health by using known carcinogenic drugs - both "natural" and artificial.

So you see, when you are up against this sort of confused thinking you can see why the discussion will quickly break down.

Rules to play by:
1. Dr John Lee is a charleton.

2. OTC Progesterone creams and saliva tests are expensive snake oil.

3. "Natural" hormones are the same carcinogenic drugs as the horse ones and even more badly tested.

4. Suzanne Somers looks really, really scary and she got breast cancer stuffing her bloated body full of hormones as prescribed by just one of our local hormone gurus, before she surgically turned her body and face into a freakish cartoon figure.

12/05/2007 11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Menopause is controlled by time and time alone.

Just like puberty. It will be your time, your body and mind with adjust, and you will move on.

Diet is silly. Soy is anathema and may actually increase hot flashes. Drugs and products are total waste of money and harmful.

Your best investment are natural fabric clothes in layers, and a small hand held fan.

Deep breathing breaks the hot flash cycle, and in a few minutes it is all over.

Don't let yourself become a self-fulfilling prophacy about the Suffering of Menopause. That is all marketing hype and the consequence of too many medically inappropriate surgical castrations.

You will not die from a hot flash and if you feel you life is out of control, it is your life that is out of control, not your hormones.

12/05/2007 11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dealing with this guy will drive any woman or man to need hormone replacement therapy.

http://independent.com/news/2007/nov/08/tenant-troubles-ebenstein/

12/05/2007 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Poster #1 gave me my first hot flash said...

Oh, Sara.

Great subject for the ladies.

However, first post suckers you in with the old stats and you think "wow" and then repeats same stuff as on other blog and HE has no clue. He (assumed) is dead wrong. Talks about life time perimenopause in other post and now Martyrdom?? Timing of hot flashes? Good grief. He probably hates his mother to talk as he does.

Oh that this first poster could have a period, get pregnant and experience labor and then later the hot flashes he (assumed) obviously thinks he knows about. What an insult to women ...

The THIRD post... Please, I beg you, Move it as you said you moved Sally. You try so hard and would it be possible to keep this particular blog ON SUBJECT?

I beg you and I'd bet all women would beg you to do the same. It's a wonderful subject but most men need to stay out of women's business, period. PUN INTENDED.

PS: Where is Sally's entire post?
If this is a sample I want to see all of it. Thank you for listening or reading.

12/06/2007 1:15 AM  
Anonymous I forgot nickname ..need a p.s. said...

Sorry... I forgot my nickname already...
I want to P.S. to address
11:28

Hormone levels are easily measured by a simple blood test and if they are "off" so is your brain.

(Similar to thyroid levels and sugar levels. Most gay women get checked regularly for hormone levels so should straight women.)

12/06/2007 1:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

umm, Sara---- why is this post on your blog? this will only invite the sexist retorts that have already appeared. your loyal readers don't need this.

12/06/2007 7:44 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thanks for the input 1:15 AM -- and maybe you are right. Too bad I can't do a gender test on the way to the comments section :)

Sally's entire comment is in the "Moral Turpitude" post a few posts down from this one.

12/06/2007 7:47 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

7:44 AM -- our comments crossed...I thought I was doing everyone a favor by separating the unrelated comments out. I will keep a watchful eye on the comments....

12/06/2007 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hormone levels (estrogen and progesterone) are not easily tested, vary widely and no optimum level at any given time have ever been established. Do your homework from science; not some marketing scheme designed to sell you a test and subsequently expensive products.

The FSH test for menopause is a total fraud. Again, do your homework instead of letting some doctor fleece you for this test and then "tell" you you are or are not "in menopause".

This FSH test is one of the more blatent examples of medicalizing menopause, fleecing women of both their dollars and their autonomy and making money at their expense and leaving them with worthless information.

Just say no to the expense and fraud of medicalizing menopause. You don't medicalize puberty and demand a doctor or health food store clerk tell you about it -- it just happens as it has happened to women for their entire time on this planet. If they suffered as badly as some women here already are complaining about, civilization itself would have halted.

And no, women were not all dead before they hit menopause in times past. That is Big Lie Number One to get women started on their suffering sob story.

The marketers have used the median age of death for women which included child hood illnesses and massive child birth deaths due to filthy delivery practices. Women who survived these early experiences lived well beyond menopause and have been going through it naturally for eons.

Women's entire history on this planet has been highjacked by greedy drug and product maunfacturers in the past 50 or so years after Nazi science found a way to produce cheap artificial hormone drugs and this science was hijacked by the Wyeth company to make Premarin and Prempro to the great detriment of every US women since.

And now the "natural" hormone charletons stole the exact same marketing plan away from Wyeth for their soy/yam junk because they smelled baby-boomer women were coming to menopause with more "natural" demands for what they willingly wanted to put into their precious, biologically evolved bodies.

No, I am not a man. And I am past menopause and had to research extensively on my own to get out of the grips of this egregious medical betrayal of women that has gone on far too long.

Yes, you can say no to the medicalizing of menopause. And you should.

12/06/2007 8:06 AM  
Blogger Oh Bugger It said...

Personally, I'm loving menopause. Yes, sometimes it's hard to explain to my SO why the door is wide-open and I'm standing naked in front of it in the middle of the night, but not having a period for several months at a time is immensely freeing - after all, my babymaking days are long gone.

Many researchers have long thought that Estrogen is the "nice" hormone; the hormone which allows women to make it through the dating/child-rearing years by promoting sweetness, docility, compliance, nurturing and the sublimation of many of their more "unacceptable" (hah!) feelings.

It is an incredible feeling to just say what I need to say, when I want to say it - without fear that someone will think I'm not "nice" or pretty, or whatever. I couldn't care less about whatever judgements people make when I honestly express myself. If I'm a crone, so be it. We were once the heretical truth-tellers that were burned at the stake as witches not to long ago. I say "Uppity Bitches Open Your Mouth and Raise Your Fists!"

12/06/2007 8:49 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

"Sorry... I forgot my nickname already..."

Sounds like you found the right natural drug...

12/06/2007 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Sally's friend said...

8:06 a.m.
You are so wrong.

You talk about costs all the time for starters. And you speak as if one shoe fits all.

I'm sorry but if you are not a man, then you are much much older than I and from the old school like my grandmother. She is 100 and healthy as can be. She began HRT at 80.

Every woman I know and there are a few thousand (business and friends)
does the research on this more than on any other issue regarding their bodies. Perhaps if the 60's generation did not go crazy taking "The Pill," HRT would not have allegedly been found to be harmful. And I mean, allegedly because Science is NOT perfect any more than the PRACTICE of medicine.

12/06/2007 2:39 PM  
Anonymous ... first hot flash at 1:15 said...

THANK YOU, SARA.

Appreciate your efforts.

12/06/2007 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Free at Last...... said...

OH BUGGER IT:

I LOVE YOUR LAST PARAGRAPH!!

I gave myself a party to "CELEBRATE" my freedom to say and do anything at anytime and the best? ANYWHERE. My husband is thrilled with my freedom. My long time friends finally learned my true age; I showed my driver license.

70 men and women at the party toasted all the Menopausal Women. They knew the real me but were thrilled I now show it to everyone.

Thanks for THIS subject, Sara.

12/06/2007 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Researching drug and product marketing material is not scientific research. Reading books thinly disguises as marketing scams is not doing researc.

Only by demanding and tracking footnotes to legitimate, well-designed and replicated scientific studies can you call it research.

You can't even rely on someone elses footnotes because they are often cherry-picked for meaningless or inaccurate sound-bites.

You have to read the full length article that footnote links to the statements made. You can do this at the Cottage Hospital library which archives most leading medical journals.

And to save you time, because I did all of this, you will end up as empty handed as I did, with a dose of massive betrayal thrown in if you actually think you or your doctor is making any menopause decisions based up legitimate scientific research.

The rest of the menopause information and misinformation you think you are "researching" is junk science which means snake oil being marketed to the willing and vulnerable for maximum profits for a condition time alone will mitigate.

Yet you will soon be out thousands of dollars before it is over if you end up suckering for any form of menopause products and drugs.

I would be very happy to indulge in a battle of the footnotes if some one wants to prove me wrong. Give us your footnote to any claim you found in your decision making "reseach", and I will get the full study from the library and let's discuss it here, responsibly.

12/06/2007 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brava, bugger. Love your style. You make my point exactly.

Redefine the experience, and the glow flows from within. There is much to be gained from this biological transition time. Much more when you let it unfold, as Nature intended.

The transition into independence is exhilerating. And that means being able to Just Say No to paternalistic drug dependencies based upon the unfounded but highly exploited Sufering Menopause Martyr model.

12/06/2007 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone read any drug "Inserts" required to be given to a patient with an Rx? If not readily available, ask for it before you pay for the Rx so you can read it.

All drugs have side effects and if you read the inserts the information will send you running out of the pharmacy.

It is NOT just hormones.
It is everything. Plus a huge problem is rising. The allergic reaction to the dyes in the meds. Those can fatal. Staff do not always see or look for interactions and allergies on their computers. So, beware.

Good blog, everyone, with good info. Good for you, Sara for posting this.

12/07/2007 12:16 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

I'm learning and this is clearing a "HOT" topic.

But I have no personal experience.

12/07/2007 6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loook at the numbers of antidepressant prescriptions sold every year -- the largest class of drugs sold in the US, bar none. And primarily to women. These are important questions to investigate.

Until the WHI study had to be halted a few years ago on Premarin and Prempro because it was so clear these drugs were harming and not helping women, these two drugs were the leading selling drugs in the US for years.

Women need to ask why this is happening, why they became such profitable drug marketing targets ....and for two very important life style conditions.

Why is life in the US so hostile to women and they need so many drugs to cope? And now they need massive amounts of cosmetic procedures again taking massive amounts of money specifically from them, and not so much from men.

Though the pharm industry has targeted med for a really scary array of unproven and unfounded heart disease medications as well.

Please read your next cholesterol drug ad small print when it claims it reduces heart risk by 3% and the small print it only made about a one percent difference in a study over a placebo sugar pill. This is called doing research - reading the fine print, not marketing adds and industry supported books and articles.

12/07/2007 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What we put into our body, affects our biochemistry so yes, nutrition is very important. HRT has never been an option for me as I consider it dangerous & going against the natural aging process. I must say that those I know who use it seem to have an unhealthy fear of aging & have also had 'plastic' surgery. I'm sure not everyone falls into that category who take HRT but the people I know do.

12/07/2007 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Jose, rather than mocking the topic you should have been interested in the medical abuse of women in the US decades ago.

How could you not have wondered why a known carcinogenic drug made from horse urine was long the top selling drug in the US, sold exclusively to castrated women.

This is extraordinary, and you claim ignorance about this? Why is that? Brings back that old 1960's saw, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Do you begin to see your current mocking and ignorance about serious health issues faced by women (do you not have a mother wife, girlfriend, neighbor and/or sister?) is not also your problem too?

Glad you are beginning to get an education here, but drop the droll comments and get serious about this topic. Because the very same drug marketing scams are also coming your way as the medical industry pumps you full of expensive and unproven medicines too ..... for your own good they will claim.

And if you are not aware of the blatent fraud perpetrated against women for decades primarily in the HRT/castration racket, you will not know how to protect yourself when you get hit with the prostate/cardio frauds soon to come your own way.

12/07/2007 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will agree that if you can go through menopause without any help except controlling diet and exercise, that is best. Some people are relatively unaffected by the changes. Unfortunately for some of us, the process is not so easy. Finding a natural alternative to HRT was a necessary evil, because I wasn't coping. I will agree that there is a commercial aspect to John Lee's website, but if you read carefully, he agreed that menopause should be a natural event. Our diet and culture have screwed that up and his point was not throw massive doses of hormones at women, but rather to give the minimum necessary to help rebalance nature and protect women from diseases caused by excessively dominant hormones. He also stressed proper diet and exercise. His recommendations were about one tenth of what the prescriptions run for dosage. There is a big difference between what Lee did and what the drug manufacturers do. Does Lee's program work, hell yes, and I have plenty of friends who will agree. I don't have the problem with the man making money especially when a portion of that goes to research. What is more disturbing is an article I read by a leading Harvard researcher about the prescription HRT's and their toxicity causing unecessary disease and killing thousands of women. A whole research project was stopped when they realized how toxic this stuff was. Why are the majority of the country's MD's still still prescribing Premerin and Progestin?

Drugs used prudently and carefully can cure diseases and save lives. It is the overuse and misuse of drugs that is very scary. I understand the necessity of treating diseases like diabetes, heart disease, severe depression etc. but we have become a pill happy culture. The massive ad campaigns by the drug firms are really frightening. It isn't so obvious in SB, but in most areas of the country, people are fat and have horrible diets and depend on drugs to keep their diabetes, blood pressure and cholesteral in check. Rather than change lifestyles, people run to the doctor for prescriptions to treat symptoms. There is little effort on the part of the medical community to educate and promote healthy lifestyles. The emphasis is on treating symptoms. We haven't even begun to see the long term consequences of our fast food society!

12/07/2007 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:57 a.m. and all:

Glad you included anti-depressants here as I have seen from those patients I know that if HRT is not doing the total job, out comes the RX pad for an anti-depressant. The TV ads for them make me throw my shoe at the tube and my husband asks me to stop yelling at the TV.

I know MORE women AND men who take anti-depressants that seem to go hand in hand with the STATIN drugs for cholesterol. I do not understand this combination at all. I lost several close people to cancer since 2002 and the first thing each patient's doctor prescribed for them? AN ANTI-DEPRESSANT. That was at diganosis and to be taken until death. How insane is that? Be happy to go through chemo and happily go to the grave?

I also think hormones PLUS anti-depressants has to be lethal at some point. Any researchers know about these combos?

12/07/2007 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did somebody say SEX?

Lets talk about SEX sometime. Sara !

12/07/2007 6:59 PM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

This comment comes from a concerned male.

I am wondering if some people have been sold an anti-medical bill of goods without considering what they are getting.

I don't know what a "castrated female" is -- seems like a contradiction in terms to me.

Patients would always to well to consider the risks and benefits of any therapy they are are offered. We must remember that every patient presents some complaint to the attending physician, and hopes for some relief.

My life partner has been experiencing menopausal symptoms for about 12 years. It doesn't manifest as the "suffering" that some posters refer to, but it is obviously unpleasant. She has chosen not to accept hormonal treatment due to her family's cancer history. On the other hand, "time" has not been kind to her either. She has, however, been able to find kind and caring physicians who have helped her deal with the situation. Those practitioners are out there. Please don't paint the whole medical profession with your "woman-killer" brush.

12/07/2007 7:08 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

6:59 PM -- not the best comment for a post like this brother! I'll see what I can do but think about context, hunh?

12/07/2007 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

I regret to have disappointed you anonymous 9:38AM. No doubt this is a serious issue. And I am ill informed but learning on this blog as I often do.

I can assure you I have given pharmaceutical studies free access my body in an earlier vast experimental program during my younger days. Timothy Leary and I were colleagues in research.

I have taken a recent interest in clitorectomy surgery for women in the middle east and found that a barbaric practice.

I've done some reading on women's suffrage.

Yes,I know my prostate is lying in wait, so please accept my greatest sympathy for those near and far who have the "Venus" set of mysteries to ponder and bear.

12/07/2007 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

I have learned:

"To medicate or not to medicate, that is the question."

And some women are very angry about this state of affairs.

12/07/2007 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Our diet and culture"

We each have a choice regarding diet & culture & we pay the consequences regarding our choices.

12/07/2007 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr John Lee is a quack. Sorry, but everything he says is nonsense about his brand of treatment, and treat he does at huge expense. I heard his traveling snake oil road show when he came to Santa Barbara. He was a huge medical fraud.

The only credit he deserves is debunking the use of estrogen as the all time panacea elixir for eternal youth and beauty.

His biggest fault is without even missing a beat he takes the whole estrogen drug fraud and substitutes the same scam with yam/soy progesterone, which is sold over the counter and his schlocky saliva tests that soon add up to thousands of dollars of money passing from the woman, still made to feel vulnerable and helpless and victimized by her newly "out of balance" body (nonsense) for which if she spends enough money she will be cured.

BTW: a castrated woman is the medical term used by doctors and the drug company fine print who has had her ovaries removed and or rendered functionally inactive by removal of her uterus, which is called euphamistically a hysterectomy. But most hysterectomies lead to ovarian failure in 3 years rendering the woman castrated.

Additionally, doctors immediately give women who have had only their uterus removed instant estrogen drug prescriptions which assumes their own retained ovaries have now stopped working. Doctors treat women who have had hysterectomies as functional castrates.

60-80%of US women have had some form of female castration at one time: removal of ovaries and failed retained ovaries due to the pelvic surgery or full removal of ovaries and uterus.

Today the rates of female castration is 30% of all female menopause. How did you not know this alarming fact when one out of three women still choose castration for menopause instead of having a natural menopause?

And studies show up to 80% of those female castration surgeries done today are still determined to be medically unfounded: that is, not done for any medical disease condition, or threat to a woman's health.

80% remain purely elective removals of uterus and ovaries today among American women.

Why do you think so many women are still choosing this surgical option alternative for their menopause in the US?

Why are doctors right here in Santa Barbara still encouraging so many women to have hysterectomies and female castrations and requiring the use of carcinogenic hormone drugs?

I have looked long and hard for answers to this and I know money is a large part of this, but how can that be when it is the woman's body, her health and her money and ultimately her choice that this is still happening after a few decades of the women's movement and women's alleged liberation from male authority figures.

Though female doctors are just as eager to also castrate and drug menopause women too.

12/07/2007 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One organization trying to educate women about non-surgical menopause altenatives is the HERS Foundation.

This website gives you some facts about this apparently still medical secret:

http://www.hersfoundation.org/pubs.htm

12/07/2007 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara:
6:59 should be told for benefit of doubt and others that "Sex Lies and Menopause" is yet another "self help bible" lower case on bible.

Don Jose should do less writing and more reading; did not need the female genitalia mentioned nor his drug research with Timothy Leary. Don is all over the blogs and seems to know everyone and everything but I kindly ask him to refrain from input on women's issues.

This blog has been most interesting and my husband agrees except for the weird remarks, of course.

A truly nice blog, Sara.

12/08/2007 12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Jose, you have moved from mocking the issue to trivializing it. A lateral move at best; an intractable stubborn resistence at worst.

But this is not a primary issue for you; only a secondary one.

Women first need to understand what the health industry is doing to them. Male support and understanding would be a luxurious addition.

Understand this too Jose: rage reaches far deeper into the soul than anger. Rage means it does not matter any longer if you do understand or not.

12/08/2007 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HYSTERECTOMY ALTERNATIVES AND AFTEREFFECTS
HERS FOUNDATION

FACT: Women experience a loss of physical sexual sensation as a result of hysterectomy.

FACT: A woman's vagina is shortened, scarred and dislocated by hysterectomy.

FACT: Hysterectomy's damage is life-long. Among its most common consequences, in addition to operative injuries are:

heart disease
osteoporosis
bone, joint and muscle pain and immobility
loss of sexual desire, arousal, sensation
painful intercourse, vaginal damage
displacement of bladder, bowel, and other pelvic organs
urinary tract infections, frequency, incontinence
chronic constipation and digestive disorders
profound fatigue
chronic exhaustion
altered body odor
loss of short-term memory
blunting of emotions, personality changes, despondency, irritability, anger, reclusiveness and suicidal thinking
FACT: No drugs or other treatments can replace ovarian or uterine hormones or functions. The loss is permanent.

FACT: The medical term for the removal of the ovaries is castration. 76% of women are castrated at the same time of the hysterectomy.

FACT: The uterus and ovaries function throughout life in women who have not been hysterectomized or castrated.

FACT: 98% of women HERS has referred to board-certified gynecologists after being told they needed hysterectomies, discovered that, in fact, they did not need hysterectomies.

FACT: Gynecologists, hospitals and drug companies make more than 8 billion dollars a year from the business of hysterectomy and castration.

HERS is the only independent, international organization dedicated to the issue of hysterectomy and advocates for fully informed medical choices by women.



© 2003 HERS Foundation, revised 2005, 2007 | Problems, Inquiries please contact: hersfdn@earthlink.net

12/08/2007 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real pain of being told by your doctor you should have a hysterectomy/castration is knowing you now have to choose between doing anything an authority figure tells you, or making independent decisions for yourself.

This is the hidden pain that creates so much emotional hostility about this issue. If you can't trust your doctor, who can you trust? But sadly we are learning often you cannot and should not.

But how does a woman begin to take responsibility for her own health decisions when going up against an authority figure with an advanced degree?

That has to be Chapter Two in this evolving dicussion. And once a doctor (authority figure) has placed a seed of doubt in a woman's mind has the evil web of compliance already been sown?

I wish doctors would take a new look at this issue and demand they too rely upon the science, rather than the comfortable profitability for them continuing to recommend this barbaric procedure when it is confirmed to medically unnecessary in some many instances.

Doctors, please honor the trust women put in you and stop dishonoring them with your unfounded, non-evidence based, medical procedure profit agenda.

Or, are you too succumbing to the seeds of doubt and your old fall-back "you get sued for what you don't do; not what you do do."

Women, please read from as many reliable resources as you can before making any mid-life drug or surgical decision.

There are a number of competent resources out there promoting women's health issues that are not related to selling you products or health scams. Dr Susan Love is a very comptent author; Dr John Lee is not.

PubMed search engine for the National Library of Medicine is a very good way to track studies and find resources to back up your own decisions. The Cottage Hospital Library can help you find full articles for your own self-study. If you can't understand the research, find someone who can help you because if the research is compelling, it will make obvious conclusions that you can also understand. If you are made to feel you are too uneducated to understand a medical decision your doctor is asking of you, this now needs to be an alarm signal because it is your choice and your body and only you experiences the consequences of what is ultimately your decision.

Doctors can be bullies when their authority is questioned. This is a sign you need to find someone who is confident enough to be your health care partner; not your authoritarian medical overlord. Good luck.

12/08/2007 3:13 PM  
Anonymous One Stop Doc Shopper said...

You know, so many insist on having exams by OB/GYNS. I learned in my youth to shop for the 'one stop shopping' physician who are more conservative in all their approaches to women's health; meaning needs and wants. He talks you out of the 'wants.' He guides you to the 'best' gyn if you insist on seeing one. The best thing my personal,'all purpose' phsycian has ever said to me (without bashing a medical colleague) when I asked about one particular and very popular GYN here in SB was, "He never met a UTERUS he did not want to remove."

So at 59, I'm still with my same 'one stop shopping' and he refers me to the best specialists if and when there is a need. None of those I see 'want a new Porsche' (which I noted somewhere her on the blog from someone else.)

I'd like to know the FACTS sources from 9;45 if not just from HERS.
Thanks.

12/08/2007 9:16 PM  
Anonymous I love sex said...

When are we going to get to the sex part of Sex, lies, and menopause?

12/11/2007 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Ticked! said...

Sara, will you please tell 1:34 PM 12/11 that he/she is gross?
***********
There's an explanation above... GO BUY THE BOOK AND READ IT YOURSELF!

12/11/2007 11:37 PM  
Blogger jqb said...


Can menopause be "controlled" by diet as some doctors would have you believe? Or, should we accept the drugs that are prescribed for them?


Even if any of your readers are competent to answer these questions, we have no way to know they are. I sure hope everyone takes everything said here with a bucket of salt, and seeks more reliable sources of information.

12/12/2007 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best test for any reading material is to see if any of the claims are footnoted to competent scientific journals.

And then go look up the actual study cited and see if it supports the claims.

Hard work, but the alternative is a lot more costly.

Dr Susan Love competently footnotes her book. Dr. John Lee footnotes his to his own unpublished articles and vague soundbites in others work of no consequence.

And the CrackerJack Chix in this town who have had long-running menopause "natural" hormone road shows can support nothing they claim; except their own bankbooks. Just ask them for their reference, and then let's all take a good hard look at them.

There you have it.

12/12/2007 7:34 PM  
Anonymous Helping Hand said...

There is just too much readin' goin' on and not enough discussion between those who have been there.

The first cue women should take is genetics for those fortunate to have at least mother and grandmother on both sides, plus older female siblings, first cousins and aunts. Remember, the first question asked by doctors regarding breast cancer is:
Any breast cancer in your family?

(Today's adoption laws are being helpful with family health history.)

Women MUST take action for preventive care, regular exams; and always ask about the newest equipment at labs and hospitals. Plus information should be sought online or via 800 Numbers to and through all research hospitals and clinics specializing in women's issues, especially before reaching the great menopausal decade.

Make Menopause part of normal lifestyle not to be dreaded, but to get through it safely and sanely. It has and can always be done. I, in particular, feel like an expert because I did what I wrote above and listened only to my body and then sought what I determined was best for me. And yes, I have helped family, friends and many co-workers.

I'm thinking of hanging out a "Menopause Shingle."

12/12/2007 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you have 60-80% of prior generation women having a surgical menopause/castration in the US and not a natural, biological menopause, it doesn't matter what your genetics are because they were artificially tampered with.

Rule One: when discussing menopause always determine if it was surgical or natural. Then discuss apples and apples, and oranges and oranges. But never, never, never just discuss "menopause".

Not with the castration numbers that exist in the US. The discussion without determining this critical fact quickly become emotional and useless.

So sorry, but looking at your aunts and mothers and grandmothers, sisters, cousins and nieces will tell you nothing unless you find out castration or natural menopause first.

Some of us have been through and past menopause. These are the ones sending out the strongest warnings about all the snake oil sellers out there; including your doctor.

12/13/2007 12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ONLY natural menopause is taken to account regarding elder family members and genetics. I assumed that could be an assumption. But I'm sure you know the old saying about the word "ASSUME."

12/13/2007 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assumed all the menopause studies were about natural menopause and then I learned they were only done on castrated women who had entered the medical world for their menopauses and thus were subject to more monitoring.

I learned until the infamous WHI study halted a few years ago when shown HRT drugs in fact were harming women, there were no studies at all on natural menopause.


So lesson one is everything we thought we knew about menopause in fact was done on castrated women, who had not had a menopause experience but rather a surgical experience and perhaps a prior pathology state (emotional and/or physical) that led to the castration surgical decision.

12/14/2007 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you see a menopause study done only on an estrogen drug, typically a "conjugated estrogen drug" (Premarin), you are reading a study done on castrated women. This is not a menopause study but a study done on a unique sub-group of women.

Yet, for decades this type of unique sub-group study was touted as a study about what happens to women after menopause. Totally inaccurate misrepresentation.

And this is why it is critical to demand the cites to any study your doctor or anyone else uses to justify any claims about menopause and to look at the actual study to see who exactly was subject to this study and if it has any relevance at all to your own situation.

One good example is the claim about the "rapid loss of bone post menopause" which undergirds the massive "osteoporosis" industry of fear-mongering, tests, drugs and supplement products.

Turns out when reading the alleged "studies" this "rapid bone loss post-menopause" was done on bed-ridden surgical castration women who often had 6 months of very sedentary recovery post surgery.

Everyone knows there is a normal bone density loss if there is lack of activity, most dramatic among astronauts who are weightless for any period of time.

So this distorted post-surgical recovery time that led to a degree of bone density loss became in an unsupported instant Post-MenoPause Bone Loss aka 'Osteoporosis" and the march to take women's lives and pocket books emerged to the present situation that every single aging woman lives in fear of osteoporosis whether or not she has legitimate risk factors or not.

The WHI study showed very few women among the 27,000 or so that they studied had "osteoporosis" or risk of fractures during the study period. Yet, this alleged condition remains a huge fear marketing campaign as women have been taught to fear their own normal bodies.

This is the medical equivalent of Bush's WMD threat in Iraq. Junk in, junk out but lots of money to be made by insider friends in the process.

Fear without facts has underscored the menopause industry. And vulnerable women who have been willing to be made afraid. It does take a willing partnership.

12/14/2007 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the question is asked if diet or exercise or drugs or supplements can affect menopause, substitute puberty for the word menopause and wonder about the same things?

Plus asking if one should try to alter puberty or just surrender to it and weather the storm.

Which is not to say there may not be coincidental problems also existing and even exacerbated by this hormonal transition time, but did Mother Nature evolve humanoids for over a million years make such a huge mistake that it only now takes doctors and billions of dollars of drugs and supplements to mitigate it?

The automatic answer to any problems also existing at midlife should not be hormones or menopause.

Problems are problems whenever they occur in life and should not be blamed on hormones. They should be blamed on the problems themselves and solutions for the trigger problem needs to be investigated and not attempted to be covered over by drugs of unknown or highly dubious value and affect.

A lot of women's lives get out of control at midlife because of a concentration of multiple stresses, including poor health choices over a long period of time, alcohol, drugs, stress reduction, weight gain, lack of exercise or spiritual/meditative/introspective life.

Menopause signals the finiteness of life and that is an awesome transition in anyone's life. Some take to this better than others. Those obsessed with remaining youthful, through any artificial means possible, have the worst time. Others find the day after cessation of their last period (natural menopause) to be no different than the day before except for the freedom from monthly periods.

Midlife is a transition time for both men and women and other than cessation of periods, both men and women show similar patterns, body changes and reactions. Men even have more hot flashes at midlife, often associated with stress/angst moments just like women find stress/angst triggers for their hot flashes.

But because it is culturallly more okay for men to "sweat" these are ignored. Whereas women due to massive drug marketing have been brainwashed to feel shame and embarassment and rush for the pill bottle at the very same event.

I suspect Mother Nature wants us to flush something out of our bodies -- most likely stress chemcicals because this is all science finds when they study a hot flash, and this is a Good Thing to have happen rather than let those stress chemicals build up in the body.

Hot flashes can be used as excellent red flags to where the chronic stress elements are in our lives and a way to monitor our reactions to those stress triggers, whether they are actual physical stress or more interesting emotional angst triggers.

These are part of the midlife maturation process and maturation should never, ever be confused with getting "old".

12/14/2007 12:51 PM  

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