About eight years ago came my first encounter with Menopause. I was 45 years old. I was talking to a friend about some weird symptoms I was having and wondering whether I should visit the doctor. I remember being quite scared as I thought I was going crazy. I was suddenly forgetting everything which was such a shock to me as I had previously been proud of my acute memory and ability to recall details. I also became quite moody and irrational, not to mention the sudden, inexplicable tendency to cry at anything remotely sad. I found myself having to switch off the news as certain news items would have been sobbing on the sofa like a baby. And although I didn’t realise the connection at the time, my periods had become less regular, sometimes even missing months at a time, then returning with a vengeance.
I visited my doctor who, after patiently listening to my ten minute ramble, calmly suggested my symptoms could be, in fact, Perimenopause, the forerunner to Menopause. I think I felt a bit shocked at this diagnosis as I fully expected that my Menopause would be essentially hot flushes followed by the end of my monthly periods ! ( Yay to the end of periods ) I honestly had no idea that I would start my Menopausal journey with, what effectively was ‘brain melt down’ with my emotions doing somersaults every minute of every day.
I therefore vowed to become armed with knowledge and information to make sure I knew exactly what was facing me and, more importantly how I could help myself. I have always tried to live a healthy life although I do take medication for an inner ear complaint and am not averse to taking paracetamol for a blinding headache. For me though, I wanted to get through Menopause naturally and without HRT. Having suffered issues with my breasts some years earlier which included a lumpectomy I decided I didn’t want to add to my risk by taking HRT. ( Please note: the medical advice on HRT constantly changes so please check with your doctor before deciding whether you should take HRT )
So, I began sourcing books that I thought might be helpful to me. I would like to share these books with you and my thoughts on how useful they were to me, and for what reasons. Please remember these books are not to replace the advice and care you receive from your doctor. This is my personal opinion only and I am not medically trained.
The first book I bought was actually a book on Perimenopause, called ‘ Could It Be The Perimenopause’ by Steven Goldstein and Laurie Ashner. I LOVED this book. It’s easy to read, informative and gives a good all round view on many of the symptoms facing women approaching the Menopause. This book explains the changes in your body and gives information and advice on both natural and medical interventions that can help you combat the hormonal imbalances. There are also plenty of case studies recorded in the book which gives the book a very down to earth feel and makes it easy to understand.
Click here for the link Could It Be The Perimenopause?
My next recommended book is one with personal stories, practical advice AND lots of humour. We all need humour in our life especially when faced with the Menopause which can quickly take any sense of humour we had previously. I LOVE this book with its true, funny stories which I fully sympathised with at the time of reading. Although this is an American book, the thoughts and feelings remain the same whichever country you are in. It brings to mind that old phrase. ‘We are in this together’. This book, together with lots of really helpful tips will quickly have you chuckling to yourself about a symptom that five minutes earlier had you crying in a heap on your bed. ‘Staying Sane When You’re Going Through Menopause’ by Pam Brodowsky & Evelyn Fazio is a fabulous book that will have you laughing through your latest hot flush.
For me the emotional and psychological effects of the Menopause have been the most drastic and energy sapping. My panic attacks and anxiety increased ten fold, I became emotionally fraught and bouts of depression would hit me so quickly I actually became scared for my overall mental health. The doctor told me it was the Menopause making me feel this way but I have really struggled to believe that a mere hormone imbalance could affect my mental health so intensely. This book called ‘The Menopause And The Mind’ by Claire Warga actually goes into great depth about the way Perimenopause and Menopause affects our mental health so deeply. This book is a very intense book and goes into great detail and as such is not the easiest book to read BUT it explained so much for me and my symptoms as my mental health became an important issue to me and I needed a good explanation of why I was feeling like this. It’s a great book as it offers not just an explanation for your moods and feelings, but also gives strategies to help cope with these issues.
Click here for the link Menopause and the Mind
My next Menopause book that I would recommend is ‘The Menopause Diet’ by Theresa Cheung. This book is great as it approaches the Menopause issues from a nutritional point of view. We all know that the Menopause can change your body shape and one of the reasons is the slowing down of the metabolism which in turn can lead to us gaining weight without really changing our diet. I have put on a stone slowly over the past year and yet I haven’t suddenly starting eating lots of chocolate bars and stuffing my face every night with cheese and onion crisps. I have realised that my body has changed and I just don’t lose the weight as easily as I used to. I therefore am aware that I need to increase my exercise regime in order, not just to increase my metabolism, but also to increase my overall health and particularly to strengthen my bone structure. This book gives lots of great advice about nutrition and how to beat Menopause symptoms with simple eating plans. It also includes advice on vitamin supplements and other natural ways to improve your general health.
Another great book focusing on natural ways to approach the Menopause is a book by Marilyn Glenville called ‘Natural Alternatives to HRT’. This book is written by one of the UK’s leading nutritional experts and is easy to read with lots of practical advice for you to start immediately should you wish to treat your symptoms naturally rather than with HRT. The book includes sections on nutrition, exercise, vitamin supplements and other natural methods to help with Menopause issues. This is by a British author and most of the products she mentions can easily be bought at your local health food shop or online.
Click for link New Natural Alternatives To HRT
My final book is a small, easy to read book that is packed full of clear information and advice for managing Menopause symptoms. I have included this book ’50 Things You Can Do Today To Manage Menopause’ by Wendy Green as it is a quick read which anyone could finish in a couple of hours and yet gives you all the advice you need about Menopause in a nutshell. I like all the suggestions that she makes for coping with each symptom as they arise, such as practising Mindfulness, reconnecting with nature, managing stress levels and even how to dress, to cope better with the hot flushes. If you were to buy just one basic book to get you started I would recommend this one with its easy to read format. I know sometimes Menopause stops us from concentrating for too long so a short, simple book like this is ideal.
Click for link 50 Things You Can Do Today to Manage the Menopause
Well, there are my books on the Menopause that I would recommend to anyone who is struggling for sound information and advice on the condition. Remember the Menopause is a natural event in a woman’s life that happens to everyone eventually. There are many people offering advice on how to cope etc, but no one person has the right to tell you what to do with your body. I hope that by reading different books you may be more equipped to make an informed choice about your Menopause. I really hope whatever stage you are at in your Menopause that you find a way through it that suits you and your lifestyle.
Please comment below and let me know how you coped or are coping with the Menopause. Have you any good book recommendations that you might like to share with my readers. If so, please leave the book title and author in the comment section below.
Until next time,