Some people believe that symptoms related to hormonal imbalances or menopause should be endured as a natural part of aging, rather than seeking treatment.
Aging is an inescapable reality, woven with various threads, some smooth, others a bit rougher. Among these is the transition through menopause and the experience of hormonal imbalances, often viewed as milestones to be endured rather than health issues warranting medical attention. However, this perspective, rooted in age-old beliefs, overlooks the profound impact these changes can have on quality of life and the potential benefits of seeking treatment.
Menopause, typically occurring in women in their late 40s to early 50s, marks the end of menstrual cycles. It's a natural process, but it brings a variety of symptoms - hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and sleep disturbances, among others. Similarly, hormonal imbalances can affect both men and women, leading to a range of symptoms like fatigue, mood changes, and decreased libido. Historically, these changes were often considered just another part of getting older - something to be accepted rather than actively managed. But is this the right approach?
Let's debunk this myth: enduring these symptoms as an inevitable part of aging overlooks a crucial aspect of healthcare - the importance of quality of life. Yes, aging is natural, but so is seeking a life of comfort and wellness at every age. The medical community's understanding of menopause and hormonal imbalances has evolved significantly. But most providers remain skeptical of the benefits and are not convinced that we need to treat menopause and andropause.
Misdiagnosis and Misinformation
Unfortunately, sometimes patients experience misdiagnosis or misinformation regarding hormonal health. This can lead to a situation commonly referred to as 'medical gaslighting', where patients' symptoms are dismissed or incorrectly attributed, leaving real hormonal issues unaddressed.
The Impact of Gaslighting
Such experiences can lead to frustration, mistrust, and prolonged suffering for patients. For instance, women often report their menopausal symptoms being minimized or blamed incorrectly as due to stress or aging, delaying effective treatment like BHRT.
This medical response often leads to a lack of conversation and awareness about available treatments. Many individuals suffer in silence, unaware that their quality of life could be vastly improved with the right intervention. This silence is further compounded by societal taboos surrounding aging and hormonal health, particularly for women.
Advocating for Accurate Diagnosis
It's crucial for healthcare providers to listen to their patients and consider hormonal imbalances as a possible cause of their symptoms. Patients are encouraged to seek second opinions and advocate for comprehensive testing if they feel their concerns are not being adequately There's also a broader implication to consider. Normalizing the suffering associated with menopause and hormonal imbalances perpetuates a cycle of ignorance and inaction. It discourages research into more effective treatments and hinders the development of support systems for those undergoing these transitions.
At Happy Hormones East we aim to do 3 things with excellence:
Listen to the patient; you know best what is going on with your body.
Respond to your needs with a personalized, compassionate approach.
Respect your decisions and requests, giving you as much information as needed to make an informed choice.
Today we have a range of treatments, from hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to lifestyle changes and alternative remedies, all aimed at decreasing symptoms and improving overall well-being.
While menopause and hormonal imbalances are natural parts of aging, they aren't conditions that we have to suffer with. They are health issues deserving of attention, treatment, and care. As a society, we need to shift from status quo to rapid change. By doing so, we will improve individual lives and improve our understanding of aging, health, and well-being. Aging is natural, and so should be our efforts to make every phase of life comfortable and fulfilling.
Tammy O’Rourke is a Nurse Practitioner with a Ph.D. in Nursing.
She spent the first 20 years of her career in primary care. About seven years ago she started having symptoms of several hormonal imbalances, for which her doctor prescribed medications to address anxiety, depression, and sleep issues. These medications left her feeling numb, more tired, and angry at a system that wasn’t addressing the root cause. Tammy was in perimenopause, that 8–10-year period before menopause that leaves women feeling tired, out of control, moody, lacking in self-confidence, and unwell.
She made the move to invest in her health and discovered bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, which helped significantly with her symptoms. So much so that she decided to learn more about hormones. She became certified in the United States through World Link Medical and she has been helping men and women with their hormone problems for more than four years. Tammy is passionate about her hormone practice and continues to help women and men across the country.
She recently relocated to Cape Breton Island with her husband, who grew up in the Pier.