Hot Flashes: Maybe it?s menopause. Maybe it?s not.

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Hot Flashes could be the symptom of a disease you don?t know you have.

Drenching night sweats. Embarrassing hot flashes. Mood swings. Forgetfulness.

Are your menopausal symptoms making mid-life miserable?

If so, you may have considered Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). That?s a smart approach; many doctors prefer Bioidentical hormones over synthetic because they?re closer to your own natural chemistry.

Consider this first:  Not all hot flashes are created equal. In other words, your menopausal symptoms may not be caused by menopause at all!  Here?s a true story about a patient of mine. We?ll call her Judy.

Judy?s story?

Judy, an attractive woman in her 50?s, came to me in desperation. She had gone to numerous Manhattan doctors for BHRT. Her reason for wanting BHRT? It was a bit unusual. ?My business depends on it!? she said, flipping her red curls with emotion. She explained that she owned a fairly large company, and had been having trouble competing against her rivals. She thought the problem might be that they were more aggressive than her?they were all men. She also wanted to have more interest in her sex life with her husband. Over the years, things had cooled down.

Judy had assumed her lack of aggressiveness?and lack of interest in sex?was caused by a hormonal imbalance due to menopause.  She believed in using Bioidentical hormones, as opposed to synthetic hormones. But BHRT with sex hormones hadn?t completely worked for her?she was still experiencing menopause-like symptoms. So what was going on? She came to me for some alternative thinking.

A surprise diagnosis

After investigating, I discovered something that took Judy completely by surprise. It wasn?t menopause that caused her problems. It was her digestive issues that created the problem. This is a common issue with busy working women?and as a business owner and mother, Judy certainly qualified as busy! 

Using this new knowledge, we precisely adjusted her BHRT, in order to address the problem. The result?

Things improved in the boardroom?and the bedroom

Before long, Judy was assertively standing up to her competition, and winning. Her business began to thrive, and her confidence grew. She also found a renewed interest in sex, much to her husband?s delight (and her own). She told me on a follow-up visit, ?I feel stronger and sexier than I?ve felt in years!?

(By the way, BHRT can also help men be more successful in business, as well as in bed. The key, as with women, is to find the root cause of the problem.)

Lesson learned

Like many of my patients, Judy was expecting one diagnosis, and learned something different. I find that?s often the case with menopause. Many women come to me assuming their symptoms are due to menopause. Sometimes they are, of course. But often there?s a different reason for their symptoms?and a different BHRT that they should be getting. In fact, whenever I lecture on the many other reasons women experience symptoms that mimic menopause, I get startled reactions. Most often, it doesn?t occur to women that there might be something going on besides menopause?something that can be treated with BHRT, once it?s correctly diagnosed. That could be because women are so conditioned to expect all that ?menopausal madness? that comedians think is so funny. But here?s what I think. Women aren?t even supposed to have menopause at all! 

Menopause is natural?or is it?

Here are some interesting facts about menopause. It technically begins when a woman?s ovaries run out of eggs. But a woman only uses about 400 eggs (through ovulation) in her lifetime?and her body has millions at birth. Why does Mother Nature give a woman at least one million eggs if she will only use 400? Maybe she should use almost all of them and not have menopause?

Here?s another fact. Most animals do not go through menopause--except for animals in captivity. Is it because animals in the wild die too young to reach menopausal age? Or could it be that menopause is happening too early in most women because they feel that they are in captivity?

Menopause or not, there?s help

The truth is, plenty can be done with BHRT to possibly prevent early menopausal symptoms, and certainly to ease them. And there?s much that can be done with BHRT if symptoms aren?t due to menopause. Again, the key is knowing the root cause of your troubles.

When I give talks on menopause and BHRT, women are always surprised by the simple steps they can take--from fixing imbalances to detoxifying to eating a particular diet?that make it possible to take midlife in stride. As Judy said after her customized BHRT had begun to take effect, ?Thank you so much. I feel like a goddess!? 


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