11th Oct 2018
Helen Seymour is in Peri-Menopause, or at least she thinks she is. In her new weekly column we follow her on her journey towards the Menopause, learning as she does all about the big M.
I have the bones of an eighty-year-old woman. That may come as a surprise to you, but I already knew. A routine bone scan when I was twenty-six advised I had Osteopenia, and slowly over the years, no matter what I did, my bone density dropped. Calcium, Vitamin D, Magnesium, leafy green veg, weight-bearing exercise. You name it, I did it.
And here’s what we discovered along the way. When I say “we” I mean the various Doctors, Nutritionists and Bone Density experts I consulted. We discovered that my body refuses to absorb calcium. No matter how much I consume, my body expels it. It comes out on my contact lenses in small gritty white spots. It comes out through my hair. A UK Lab wrote a letter to my Nutritionist which said “… tell this patient to stop taking calcium. Her hair is full of it”.
So I tried everything, but nothing worked. I broke an elbow in 2007. Three months later I broke a wrist. The surgeon in Beaumont Hospital shook the X-Ray of my arm at me and said “… I’m not happy about this. It’s very faded”. He sent me to another expert who told me I couldn’t go on Osteoporosis Medication until I had decided I wasn’t going to have children, because it could affect my fertility. So I held off.
Anyway, here I am, fifty-years-old, and unlikely to be having children. Never say never. A friend of mine had a baby at fifty-three, but we’ll just park that thought for the moment.
So. My visit to London. To see Professor John Studd. Carole Vordeman’s Menopause expert, who also specializes in guess what? Yep. Osteoporosis. See, my visit wasn’t just for Menopause; it was yet another attempt to see can I fix this, before I sneeze and disintegrate.
“You have the bones of an eighty-year-old woman” he said.
“… Great.” I let out a big soft sigh.
“Are you still getting regular periods?”
“… I skipped two cycles between March and June.”
“… Mmm” deep growly noises from him as he studied my blood test results.
“… And I got headaches, and hot flushes, and depression. Although they’ve stopped now.”
“How’s your libido?”
“It’s um, it’s good. It’s always been good.”
“Are you in a relationship?”
“… Do you orgasm?”
“… Ehh …”
“Your libido is linked to your Menopause. Do you orgasm?”
“How often? Once a week? Twice a week?”
It was a very in-depth interview, with a lot of personal questions. Nothing sleazy about it. No hashtag situation here, Just a factual discussion with a Professional, that gave him a detailed picture of where I was at, both in terms of Menopause and Osteoporosis. Outside of that, there were blood tests, a Dexa Scan, a breast examination, presentation of a recent Mamogram and my most recent smear test. After a long discussion, more of which in future columns, Professor Studd wrote a prescription, and placed two plastic bottles in front of me. Oestrodose (Oestrogen) and Totrane (Testoserone).
“Hold out your arm” he said. I held out my arm. He pumped three squirts of the Oestrodose gel onto it. “Rub it in” he said. “Give me your other arm”. I gave him my other arm. He pumped one squirt of Testosterone gel onto it. I rubbed it in. “Good” he said. “Now do that every day, and take the prescribed Vitamin D and Progesterone as directed. I’ll see you again in three months time, and we’ll review your bloods.”
So folks, I am officially on Body-Identical HRT. There is more, much more that I want to say on all of this, so keep reading over the coming weeks as we dive deeper on Body Identical Hormones, Bio-Identical Hormones, Traditional HRT, Osteoporosis and more.
Meanwhile, if you have any concerns about your bones, book a Dexa. Ask your GP for a referral letter, and off you go. It’s a very quick and easy test, and you’re actually at an age where you need to know. Check your bones. Mind your bones. See you next week …
Related: You may find yourself a bottomless pit of RED rage
Related: Loss of confidence during menopause made me a different person
Related: Self-care is not something that comes naturally at this stage of life
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