Mastering Menopause: Evidence-Based Info You Need!

 

Going Through Menopause?

These Are The Very Best, Most Empowering Guide Books

 

Perimenopause and menopause symptoms can range from mild to almost debilitating.

Hot flashes, sleep problems, weight gain, mood changes and other issues can really diminish quality of life.

Fortunately, armed with the right knowledge, there is a lot you can do to minimize and even eliminate some of the most upsetting menopause symptoms.

 

Hot flashes, sleep problems, weight gain, mood changes and other issues can really diminish quality of life.

 

By having a full understanding of the condition, your symptoms and all your current options, you’ll be able to take control of your health, and be proactive in finding relief of discomfort and answers to your concerns.

You’ll also be an informed patient when discussing potential treatments with your doctor.

 

Some Quick Definitions

 

Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the span of years before menopause when a woman’s hormone levels and menstrual periods become irregular.

Perimenopause has been described as “going through menopause” or “being in menopause.”

After 1 year of having no periods, a woman has reached menopause (usually around age 50).

In the years before menopause, changing hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, cause perimenopausal symptoms. These typically start in a woman’s mid-40s, and they continue for a year or two after menopause.

 

Illustration: Liberty Antonia Sadler

 

Some women have mild perimenopausal symptoms. Others have severe symptoms that affect their sleep and daily lives. Symptoms can include:

  • Unpredictable changes in menstrual pattern, including heavier or lighter blood flows and shorter or longer cycles.
  • Hot flashes.
  • Night sweats and sleep problems (insomnia).
  • Memory problems and lack of concentration.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety, irritability, and mood swings.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Vaginal itching or dryness, causing discomfort during sexual activity.
  • Decreased sex drive (libido).

 

Menopause

 

Menopause can be a liberating time!

 

Menopause comes after perimenopause, and is defined as the time when there has been no menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months and no other biological or physiological cause can be identified.

It’s the end of fertility, the end of the childbearing years. (A woman may still, however, be able to become pregnant unless 12 consecutive months have passed without a period.)

 

Post Menopausal

 

 

This is the period of time after menopause, and occurs when a woman has experienced 12 consecutive months without menstruation.

 

Hormone Replacement Therapy

 

Hormone replacement therapy can relieve symptoms like hot flashes.

 

Hormone therapy (HT) is also known as hormone replacement therapy or HRT. 

It’s a prescribed hormone treatment prescribed by a doctor to offset the lower levels of estrogen and progesterone that happen naturally at the beginning of menopause.

HT is either:

  • estrogen taken alone, sometimes called estrogen therapy (ET) or estrogen replacement therapy (ERT);
  • progesterone (natural or synthetic);or
  • combination estrogen plus progesterone.

HT may be taken as:

  • a pill
  • a patch
  • a cream or gel
  • an implant
  • an injection
  • a vaginal ring

 

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

 

 

Bioidentical hormones are man-made hormones derived from plant estrogens that are chemically identical to those the human body produces.

Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are among those most commonly replicated and used in treatment.

Bioidentical hormones come in various forms, including:

  • pills
  • patches
  • creams
  • gels
  • injections

 

Best Books on Menopause

 

These books contain up-to-date information so you can be proactive.

 

These are the books I recommend to empower you through perimenopause, menopause and beyond. 

My recommendations are based on my own analysis of each book, and on user reviews and message board discussions. 

Each of these selections provides up-to-date information, so you’ll be equipped to make informed decisions.

 

Menopause Confidential: A Doctor Reveals the Secrets to Surviving Through Midlife

 

Menopause Confidential

 

Menopause Confidential by Tara Allmen, MD, FACOG, NCMP, provides a unique and comprehensive guide for “thriving through midlife.” 

It’s so much more than your mother’s book on menopause: it assumes that the woman is more than a vessel of symptoms and is, in fact, a woman. A woman who wants to maximize her physical, mental, emotional, and sexual self while the physiologic changes of midlife occur.

It is truly a guide to the self-determined management at a time in life when so many physical changes seem outside our control. The truth is we have control of many things and through the knowledge shared by Dr. Allmen all women can improve upon their overall feeling of health and well-being.

 

This book is a guide to the self-determined management at a time in life when so many physical changes seem outside our control.

 

This book reaches into the many health issues that women question. I have not seen a book that tackles so many topics all focused on this time of life. Some great examples of the enlightened approach that this book takes:

Chapter 3 – My Husband Thinks I’m Crazy. There are real and medically explainable changes in mood that occur as our hormones fluctuate. This chapter is a bit of both vindication as well as an offering of suggestions that may help with these challenging physiologic times.

Chapter 8 – To Pee or Not To Pee. A wonderful guide to helping so many women get away from the idea that life must be lived from “bathroom to bathroom.” Some things we put up with we frankly should not. Other things that we do not think we can prevent, frankly we can.

Chapter 16 – Potions, Patches, and Pills, Oh My! While the mainstay of many books on menopause, this chapter explains more than just the physiology of hormones and the issue addressed in a way that is both logical and understandable and clarifies the risks, benefits, and medical science that so many women find baffling.

Chapter 20 – Every Man Needs a Gynecologist. Having discovered the witty way that Dr. Allmen writes, I would buy any book she wrote just to read that chapter. Chapter 20 is a delicious final course in this buffet of teaching.

While these are just a few examples and I will leave Chapter 6 – The Vagina Is Like Las Vegas, Baby! to your imagination, they illustrate the comprehensive yet down-to-earth approach this expert offers. The book is truly unique and I enjoyed the read.

Reader reviews of Menopause Confidential are outstanding.

The Little Book of Menopause: Understanding the Biology and Management of Menopause (Expanded Edition)

 

The Book of Menopause (2018 Edition)

 

The Little Book of Menopause is a very comprehensive yet concise book on menopause.

Easily one of the best books I have read on menopause, the authors have explained the complex physiology and biology of numerous menopause symptoms in an easy-to-understand manner. I feel that not only women but men also would highly benefit from this book to enhance their understanding of this important chapter of women’s life.

What is truly unique about this book is that it contains factual medical information and not a compilation of one’s experiences or opinions (which the media is full of).

It gives you accurate information to better understand menopause and hence make better decisions.

My personal favorite chapters are “The Timing of Hormone Replacement Therapy in Menopause” and “Obesity and Cardiovascular Risk,” highlighting the association of menopause with cardiovascular risk and how it could be prevented.

 

This book contains factual medical information, rather than a compilation of one’s experiences or opinions.

 

This is an important area that, in the past, the media highlighted flawed results and slammed hormone therapy, which as we now know does reduce one’s cardiovascular risks if started for the right person at the right time.

Sadly, media is not highlighting the newer studies, and it’s a challenge to educate each physician, which is something this book offers.

Some women may find the explanations too detailed, making the reading somewhat dry, but those looking for in-depth yet concise knowledge would find this book immensely useful and a quick read.

Although the book is titled The Little Book of Menopause, other than the short read, there is nothing little about this book.

The additional resources suggested at the end are invaluable. I would definitely keep this book as my go-to reference and would recommend it to my friends and family, as well.

The Estrogen Fix: The Breakthrough Guide to Being Healthy, Energized, and Hormonally Balanced

 

The Estrogen Fix

 

The Estrogen Fix was written by Dr. Mache Seibel, one of the leading doctors in women’s health and menopause.

If you’re confused about and afraid to take estrogen – or if you’re taking estrogen, and hoping you haven’t made a dangerous mistake, this is the book for you.

You’ll discover the impact that not taking estrogen will have on your health, and find the very latest information to help you make informed decisions on hormone replacement therapy.

Dr. Seibel explains an exciting new theory based on groundbreaking research, and proves that every woman has an ideal time to more safely begin estrogen replacement therapy.

When estrogen is administered at the right time (the “estrogen window”), it can lower your risk for breast cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, osteoporosis, and others, while minimizing your menopause symptoms.

 

Dr. Seibel proves that every woman has an ideal time to more safely begin estrogen replacement therapy.

 

Among the many subjects covered, Dr. Seibel discusses how estrogen affects your breasts, heart, brain, bones, and more.  He also offers a guide for speaking with your doctor about estrogen replacement therapy.

The reviews for this book are excellent.  This book is a particularly good choice for women who haven’t yet reached full-blown menopause, and want to be proactive throughout the process.

The Magic of Menopause: A Holistic Guide to Get Your Happy Back

 

The Magic of Menopause

 

In The Magic of Menopause, author Lorraine Miano provides a positive and enjoyable approach to managing the physical and emotional challenges of the menopause transition.

She approaches women’s attitudes and adjustments to the physical changes and symptoms of menopause as an exercise in positivity and self-determination. The opening description of her two grandmothers provides the perfect contrast and backdrop for the rest of the book.

As the reader is taken on a journey through anxiety, stress, hot flashes, sex, and sleep issues, there are many suggestions of philosophical approaches that maximize quality of life.

Particularly helpful features include space in most chapters for journaling your thoughts while the teachings of the chapter are fresh. She also artfully weaves descriptions of menopause physiology with women’s personal stories as well as recommendations for meditation and recipes for healthy eating.

In almost every case for which recommendations are made, the author, who is an Integrative Certified Health Coach, reminds the reader to check with her healthcare provider or health professional before engaging in new activities or diet changes. This is reiterated throughout the book.

 

The author focuses on holistic techniques for symptom management, offers many suggestions of philosophical approaches that maximize quality of life.

 

The author has a focused push toward holistic techniques for managing menopause symptoms. She leverages the power of positive thinking, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle.

However, there are some topics she covers that may seem a bit controversial to the scientific reader. There is reference to the topic of adrenal fatigue, which is noted in the scientific literature as an entity that may not actually exist. Additionally, there are references to salivary hormone testing, bioidentical hormone use, and multiple, various food supplements.

From a purely scientific standpoint, many clinicians feel that safety and efficacy data are lacking on many of these approaches.

That said, most of the author’s descriptions and recommendations simply promote a healthy lifestyle, free from smoking, alcohol, and processed foods, while encouraging exercise and healthy eating.

 

The Magic of Menopause takes a holistic, optimistic approach.

 

Though there may be some caution needed on the supplements and related recommendations, the author does repeatedly advise checking with one’s own healthcare professional before starting any of the protocols.

The overall tone of the book and the author’s approach are quite refreshing, entertaining, and engaging. The additional pages that are made available for note taking, journal entries, and reflection make the book interactive and practically useful.

If you focus on the lifestyle changes and approach to overall positive outlook, this book will likely prove to be a helpful adjunct to navigating the menopause transition. The fact that the author, Ms. Miano, refers to herself as “Your Menopause Fairy Godmother” and creates a coaching feel throughout her method makes the read very enjoyable indeed.

If you lean toward holistic approaches, this book will very much suit you.  I recommend this book for encouragement and tips (subject to your doctor’s advice), and as an adjunct to one of the more scientific books mentioned.

Reader reviews for The Magic of Menopause are excellent.

Menopausal Mania & Mahem: An Adult Coloring Book of Hormonal Heresy

 

Menopausal Mania & Mayhem

 

Alright, time to lighten the mood:  this one’s just for fun  – and it’s a terrific gift for a friend who’s going through menopause!

Menopausal Mania & Mahem is a unique collection of 20 hand-drawn coloring pages, plus 10 bonus pages of menopausal mandalas!

It includes a variety of original, completely hand-drawn designs and hilarious, relatable sayings.

 

 

The designs range from simple and easy to intricate and challenging for all skill levels, or to suit your mood.

 

Menopausal Mania makes a great little gift for a friend who’s going through menopause!

 

Each coloring page is one-sided so you don’t have to worry about ruining the back side of your coloring pages if you use markers or other wet mediums.

Menopausal Mania is rated 4.9 out of 5 (at the time of publication), and has some fun reviews!  Several purchasers have uploaded images of their colored masterpieces from this entertaining book.

*Don’t forget the colored pencils and sharpener!

Final Thoughts

 

As important as it is to be informed and proactive, it’s equally important to keep up with regular visits with your doctor for preventive health care and any medical concerns.

Continue getting these appointments during and after menopause.

Preventive health care as you age might include recommended health screening tests, such as colonoscopy, mammography and triglyceride screening.

Your doctor might recommend other tests and exams, too, including thyroid testing if suggested by your history, and breast and pelvic exams.

And of course, see your doctor if you have “menstrual” bleeding after menopause.

Hey!  Blogging can be a lonely business … I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips on coping with perimenopause and menopause – drop me a comment below!

 

What to Read Next

 

 

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