The Menopause Expert - Rebecca Hulem

Who's On Your Menopause Support Team?

Article by Wendy Lawson, publisher of Menopause the Blog

It can take a village to support your goals of optimal health and wellness. Why not put together a team of experts to help you through the menopausal transition?

It sometimes takes a Herculean effort to live life fully when you're suffering from any of the 34 menopausal symptoms that are typical for women in mid-life.  Unlike when we were in our 20s and 30s, when our bodies kept humming in perfect pitch without much intervention, the decade of our 50s can be a challenge to get through without guidance and support from others who can help us in our journey to optimal health.

My own journey began before I realized what was really happening to me. It started in my late forties with sleeping difficulties and "brain fog."  Joint pain followed, serious enough to keep me off the tennis court for over a year. In hindsight, I can connect the dots and see that I was going through peri-menopause. Later on, I began to experience hot flashes, more serious insomnia, and sudden weight gain, after decades of being trim.

Frustrated by the quick and incomplete answers I received from my physicians, I sought my own solutions through research on health-focused websites, reading books and magazine articles, and comparing notes with friends who appeared just as sleep deprived as I was.  I also "picked the brains" of wellness experts employed at integrated pharmacies like Pharmaca and Elephant. I spent a small fortune on supplements and botanical remedies that I can now say were a waste of money.  In retrospect, I acted like I was the first woman who went through menopause, determined to find the "cure."

After this period of trial and error on my own, I decided to do what every world class athlete does to achieve excellence: I sought an experienced "coach." Mine was a naturopathic doctor. Also, like a top athlete, I built a team of professionals to help me reach my goals: a nutritionist, a trainer, and eventually a physician who specializes in integrative medicine.  I focused on the aspects of wellness that my internist or gynecologist can't "fix" with a pill:  bone health, weight maintenance, cardio-vascular health and hormone balancing.  I knew if I took a holistic approach and focused on long-term wellness, I'd also feel better in the short-term. And I was right.  My only regret is that I waited so long before I sought help.

I believe that a menopause coach can be your greatest asset at a time when our health care needs are so complex and our personal physicians' time is so limited.  Seek advice from someone who has the experience, wisdom and generosity to guide you on your own journey to wellness.  Don't go it alone!

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