Menopause expert Ellen Dolgen kindly let me share her article on becoming your own medical advocate. I’ve learned that many doctors fail women when it comes to menopause education, especially by not warning us of what to expect as perimenopause and menopause set in. Knowledge is indeed power. Take it away, Ellen. Thanks for sharing this post and for all you do for women everywhere!
You can’t leave your perimenopause and menopause symptoms on the kitchen counter when you leave the house.
You can’t pretend to be “fine” when you are dripping wet from a hot flash, sleepless and irritable. Your family, co- workers, loved ones, and friends know when you are not feeling well.
Here are some simple tips that will help you become your own best Health Advocate:
- You are not alone! According to Menopause.org, “An estimated 6,000 U.S. women reach menopause every day. That is over 2 million of us per year. In addition, more women are living beyond age 65. A women’s average life expectancy in the western world is estimated at 79. 7 years.”
- Trust How You Feel! – You know when you don’t feel well. If you go to a healthcare provider to get menopause advice and help and your provider tells you, “You’re too young to be in menopause”, don’t sit there and accept it! Do not go home and suffer in silence.
- Reach out and get the help you need and deserve!
- Educate yourself on perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. Be in charge of your fertility and family planning.
- Find a Menopause Specialist! This may not be the doctor who delivered your babies. This is a medical professional that has been specifically trained to help menopausal women.
- Get the proper hormone testing to measure your levels such as DHEAS, Estradiol, Free and Total Testosterone, FSH, Progesterone, Thyroid Panel, just to name a few.
- Chart your symptoms. I have worked with doctors to develop a helpful chart that will help you to quickly and accurately explain how you feel to your doctor. You can download it here.
- Understand your options – both hormonal and non-hormonal.
- Communicate openly and honestly to your loved ones so that you can get their love and support.
- Remember, if you do not feel better, communicate that with your menopause specialist. If they are unable to help you – find another one! No divorce attorney is needed!
You CAN get the help that you need and deserve if you educate yourself. Be proactive about your health, rather than reactive.
For more detailed support, download Ellen’s FREE eBook, MENOPAUSE MONDAYS The Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause. This is a comprehensive guide to all things menopause—tips on how to find a menopause specialist, the tests, the symptoms, treatments, and long-range effects on a woman’s health.
Ellen’s motto is: Suffering silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!
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Thank you, again, Ellen. Enjoy that adorable granddaughter!
Here’s an article that I wrote for Empowher on educating yourself about menopause. I am bonkers over this topic. It’s so darn important!