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Menopause/Perimenopause Information:
Where to go?

by Resa

If you are overwhelmed by possible perimenopausal or menopausal (peri/meno) symptoms, where should you go for information? Not to newsgroups, at least not initially. There are many good reasons to post to net news, but included in the favorite expressions of welcomers here at asm are the statements "Do your homework. Do your research." It's a good idea to do it in advance. The following represents my opinion.

  1. The best source of cohesive information about these life transitions can be gotten from books. Though medical information in books is dated sometimes even before the book itself is published, books can provide you with a fundamental overview and be reassuring. Confusion about using or not using hormones can be clarified by reading books that present and debate the pros and cons. Even if you are firmly committed to the idea that no unnatural substances will ease your passage through peri/meno, you should hear out all possible sides. You can scan these 3-4 books in the bookstore and request that your library order them. Library policies generally require that they fairly represent all viewpoints and provide current books on health issues.

    AMA Book Essential Guide to Menopause (American Medical Association Essential Guides Series) by American Medical Association, Angela R. Perry (Editor) 1997.

    "The American Medical Association sorts through a wide array of professional views to compile solid, clear-cut information on menopause in one comprehensive volume."
    Estrogen Estrogen: How and Why It Could Save Your Life, by Dr. Adam Romoff.

    "Romoff... cites studies showing that many women would be saved from heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease by taking estrogen. He further argues that the risk of breast and uterine cancer has been greatly exaggerated. " [It is a very brief book].
    Perimenopause Could It be Perimenopause? By Stephen R. Goldstein and Laurie Ashner.

    "...perimenopause begins a decade before menopause and carries its own line of symptoms...includes information that explains not only what's going on, but how women can cope with and manage it."

    The authors point out that many treatments i.e. Black Cohosh and soy simply add to the fluctuating hormone problems of perimenopause. They advocate using very low dose birth control pills.
    Dr. Love Dr. Susan Love's Hormone Book.

    Reassuring information-very comprehensive. Dr. Love presents the breast surgeon's perspective of hormone therapy.

  2. If your symptoms are affecting your quality of life or especially if they are disabling, you should consult with a health care practitioner. We go regularly to our dentist without balking, but many people view a consultation with a doctor as a sign that they have failed to take care of themselves. The Federal government has given more recognition to alternative healthcare treatments and you may decide to go that route. But, a face to face consultation is important. Doctors in other newsgroups frequently warn posters about the inaccuracy of information exchanged on the Net. Be wary of people who give you a diagnosis. You should probably not reveal critical or personal information about your medical history publicly.

  3. For very current information about the latest reasearch: <http://www.pslgroup.com/MENOPAUSE.HTM>.

  4. For camaraderie, especially if you believe that exogenous estrogen is bad for women with intact uteri, you should feel comfortable and welcome in the newsgroup. Threads about healthy living can be fun. You'll find some informative and tasty tips about diet now and then. Some contributors are skilled at online research and provide information to explain studies or to counter a perceived media and medical establishment manipulation of women. Several a.s.m. related web sites do the same. Many of the women in the group bring charm and wit to the menopause topics.

Good luck,
   Resa


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