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The Journey to HRT

 

Confused about HRT?

My eyes have been opened and I am going to explore how HRT – Hormonal Replacement Therapy – can ease some of the symptoms that I am experiencing. I recently turned 51 and while I know I do look younger, I can’t honestly, hand on heart, say that I FEEL younger than 51. There are still nights I don’t sleep well as my hands and feet are tingling and numb. There are days that my joints ache and not from a hard workout. My eyes feel dry and I can’t wear contact lenses everyday. I get scaly dry patches on my skin, usually related to drinking lovely NZ white wines. I am petrified that I will have a brain fog moment while presenting a training session or even recording a podcast episode!

I know I should feel better but even more importantly, my quest to live a life well and embrace longevity physically, mentally and emotionally drives me to understand and explore how HRT can protect me from death (see video below).

 I am all about living a long life, as long as I don’t feel or look like the living dead. So, I am going to be my own guinea pig and sign up for HRT. Join me on this journey as I chronicle the road to finding a doctor who will understand and prescribe it, and then how it feels to be taking it. 

VIDEO: Prof James Simon discusses the benefits of HRT and How the US Government and the Media conspired to convince women that HRT was dangerous.

DAY ONE: I googled “Doctor in Tauranga that will prescribe HRT”. RESULT – virtual crickets. Could not find a medical centre that specialises in women’s hormonal health. Will have to explore more.

 

 

 

Friend reaches out on IG page @sexyaging to let me know that she visited her GP with her “list” of menopausal symptoms which included severe migraines. Requested HRT as she know’s she is peri-menopausal and listened to EPISODE 18 with Dr Rebecca Lewis. Her GP prescribed medication for migraines and a round of anti-depressants. Same GP told her that HRT would increase her risk of breast cancer……friend lives in the USA…..

I go for a massage and a facial (thanks hubby!). The therapist is around the same age as me. She starts to tell me that I have some dry scaly patches on my skin (I roll my eyes in my head cos my eyes are closed, trying to relax). Her recommendation is that I increase the fish oil in my diet and start using X,Y,Z products added to my skincare regimen. And if I am experiencing “flushes” in my skin that I could try drinking sage tea. WTF? So, while I try NOT to talk about perimenopause ALL the time, I say to her “Actually, I’m perimenopausal right now so the skin changes are due to fluctuating hormones and how my diet has changed blah blah blah”. SILENCE. About 30-seconds later, she says “Yeah, I’m pre-menopausal too, it sucks”. That is not a spelling error. She said “pre-menopause” which also means that she really doesn’t know what is happening to her either.

DAY TWO: Going for a walk with a friend today and she shares her successful consultation with her doctor who agreed that HRT is the right way to go. Get’s prescription. $5. I take note of the doctor contacts.

Called the clinic to request appointment with said doctor. Unfortunately, the doctor is taking on any NEW patients right now. “Do you have any other doctors in the practice that specialise in mid life women’s health needs?” I ask. Long pause. Short story – I need to go to the clinic in person to register anyway as a new patient to the clinic.

5/5

Not Sleeping? Awake in the night? Smashed the next day?

Featured Post

My Ideal Sleep Routine

So we know that we need to be sleeping properly between 2-4am to ensure maximum recovery for the body and mind. If you want to know more about WHY, tune in to EPISODE 1: Hormones and Sleep with Dr Wendy Sweet, PhD

So we know that we need to be sleeping properly between 2-4am to ensure maximum recovery for the body and mind. If you want to know more about WHY, tune in to EPISODE 1: Hormones and Sleep with Dr Wendy Sweet, PhD

When I was experiencing sleeplessness during peri-menopause, I was so frustrated! I was getting to bed reasonably early, say 10.30pm, after a robust spinning class, late dinner and Netflix catch up. I thought I was relaxed. I couldn’t keep my eyes open so I believed I was going to have the best sleep EVER. And BAM! Awake at 2.30am.

Featured Post

The Sleep Revolution: Arianna Huffington

And from the information I gathered, I made myself a SLEEP ROUTINE. This would be my “go to” for helping my body relax and recover and hopefully get over the hormonal hump of sleeplessness. I can report that this did, in fact, help me and I rarely wake up in the night between 2-4am. And to keep things in perspective, if there were upheavals and increased stress in my life, I would find it harder to commit to my sleep routine. And there’s the irony! That’s when I need it the most! Oh well, my imperfect life LOL

Here’s what I TRY to do

  • Eat my last meal before 7pm
  • Don’t drink alcohol after 6pm – yay to the day drinkers! Just kidding!
  • Shut down my devices by 8pm or two hours before going to bed. This includes not watching TV. I know that this is going to mess with you if you are deep into “Bridgerton” right now but I guess you have to ask yourself whether you want to continue to be sleep deprived or not….
  • 10-15 minutes of gentle yoga or stretching – this really helped with realigning my spine and relaxing my hip joints after working at a desk for hours or recovering from multiple workouts.
  • 10 mins of meditation – I actually find I have more focus for meditation in the morning but it really does help to focus on breathing and clear out the mind.
  • Warm shower or bath – apparently having a cold shower is a good idea too but anyone who knows me knows that I won’t even jump into a cold swimming pool unless the outdoor temperature is 30C+. 20 years of living in the tropics will do that…. And anyway, I found the warm shower or bath to work.
  • Lavender Essential Oils – diffused in the room or sprayed on your pillow. I can’t actually say whether this contributed to my improved sleep but I figured it couldn’t hurt either!
  • Air conditioning or a cool room – I sleep really well when it’s cold in the room and I have a heavy blanket on me.
  • READ – so if you are still moaning about me saying not to watch “Bridgerton” on Netflix, how about reading it? There are 8 books – should see you through a few months. 30 mins is good but by this stage, I found I was struggling to go for 45 mins and I really wanted to sleep.
  • I started tracking my sleep quality when I turned 45, so that’s 5 years of data. And when I follow my sleep routine, I guarantee record minimum 7 hours unbroken and high quality sleep. Thanks FitBit! (not a branding plug, just that they have all the tools I needed).

Everybody is unique and different and so I can’t promise that this will work for you. But if your sleep is literally killing you right now, it won’t hurt to try, right?

 

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