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Doctors are in the dark about menopause.  They are not trained in menopause, perimenopause or hormone replacement therapies.  I read an article today I wanted to comment on because it's a common problem we face in medicine, and something I see often with patients.  We live in a time where we are given prescriptions to manage our symptoms but no one is really asking what the cause of the problem is.  Physicians are saying things like: "We don't know why, or we don't know what is causing your problem but let's try this medication and see if it helps".  I became very tired of hearing that from doctors.  Patients walk out with a handful of prescriptions to manage the symptoms they have but are not given any answers as to what's causing the symptoms.  Doctors are not taught how to get to the root of the problem then fix the problem at its source. They are taught to manage symptoms with prescriptions.

When women get into their 40's, they experience multiple symptoms that no one would relate to menopause, let alone low estrogen. The symptoms appear trivial and most women wouldn’t bring them up in doctors visits, like itchy skin, muscle and joint pain, moodiness, and feelings of not wanting to be touched.  No woman wants to admit she doesn't want to be touched by anyone, let alone her significant other and children.  Women stop doing things with their girlfriends and isolate themselves.  When a woman's estrogen declines, they no longer want to participate in activities they enjoyed once before.  A day alone with no one around is what most menopausal women work hard to achieve. They would rather be alone than having fun with friends and family.  Nothing is really as fun as it used to be to a woman with no estrogen.  

In the linked article, the author touches on some very common complaints I've heard over the years with patients.  I think women have given up hope there's really nothing we can do about the little symptoms that keep adding up.  Over the years we have been given prescriptions to mask symptoms for every little thing.  We are tired of taking prescriptions and know if we start complaining about every itch and twinge, we're going to just be given even more prescriptions with no real answers.  This is depressing but it is the reality of medicine today.  Our medical education system is set up to train doctors how to write prescriptions to treat the symptoms but they're never trained to get to the root cause, and fixing it as naturally as possible.  Doctors are fed up with not knowing what to say to their patient except, "Here take this prescription and see if it helps with your moods, rash, pain, etc.".   In my experience with working with physicians, I see this quite a bit.  I see doctors frustrated they're not really helping the problem as they are masking the symptoms to the problem.  I don't think a person intentionally goes to medical school to learn how to properly write a prescription, but that's what doctors are taught.  

When a patient starts listing complaints, the doctor is thinking of what drugs to write a script to manage the symptoms.  Not too many doctors would contemplate the cause of the problem and addressing that instead of prescription symptoms management.  A big problem we have in medicine is the patient wants answers not symptoms management.  The doctor feels helpless with the expectation they know what they're doing because they are, of course a doctor, they should know this stuff.  What ends up happening is the doctor is trying to practice medicine as they've been taught and write a script to treat the symptoms.  

Expert from article:

Experts say thousands of women experience multiple health problems in the run-up to the menopause — including joint pain, heart palpitations, dizzy spells, changes in taste and smell, receding gums, indigestion, anxiety and panic attacks.

They appear before the characteristic symptoms: hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and irregular periods.

Indeed, there are many symptoms that relate to hormones during the two to three years preceding the menopause (the 'perimenopause'), says Professor John Studd, a consultant gynaecologist at the London PMS and Menopause Clinic. Among the other reported problems are headaches, formication of the skin — an itchy sensation like crawling insects — and thinning hair and skin, as well as memory problems, brain fog, confusion, depression and the inability to concentrate.

These symptoms are not from menopause or perimenopause; they come from estrogen deficiency, which is a significant instigator in perimenopause and menopause.  Any woman can experience these symptoms if her estrogen is too low, she doesn’t have to be in menopause.  Perimenopausal women are in the beginning stages of declining estrogen.  When estrogen tanks, the body responds, no matter what the age is of the patient.  The woman in the article did not have these symptoms when she was in her mid-twenties when her estrogen was optimal. A woman in her twenties who has low estrogen can experience these same symptoms but most women in their twenties have optimal levels of estrogen and progesterone.  

Excerpt from article:

Professor Studd says: 'We still don't know the precise mechanism for these symptoms. Too often they are not recognised as menopause-related.'

Furthermore, the lack of knowledge about the range of complaints connected with fluctuating oestrogen means women can undergo tests and treatments that may cause more harm than good, says Claudine Domoney, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London.

Dr. Studd has not been trained in hormone optimization, and has no clinical experience in restoring hormones to optimal levels.  We do know the precise mechanism for these symptoms but he hasn't read the memo.  The precise mechanism for these symptoms is that estrogen is in the toilet and if we restore hormones that mimic human hormone rhythms, back to levels that protected our bodies from the degenerative diseases of aging, we wouldn't need the arsenal of prescriptions we take to manage the symptoms of these diseases. Dr. Studd is one of those physicians that think outside of the box and helps women treat their symptoms of low estrogen but like other doctors who try to do this, they approach it in a conventional medicine way; give enough hormones to manage the symptoms but no more because it’s too dangerous.  That’s not true.  We just don’t have quite enough information yet on optimal hormone restoration.  My hats off to Dr. Studd for stepping outside the norm and address the hormones.

Claudine Domoney is correct in saying there is a lack of knowledge about the range of complaints connected to fluctuating estrogen, but it's not the fluctuating estrogen that causes the problems.  It the complete lack of estrogen that causes the problems.  What's not accurate that Claudine Domoney is saying tests and treatments may cause more harm than good.  This statement indicates she really doesn't know what's going on, which is the case with many we believe should know the answers.  

There isn't any formal training on how to properly restore hormones to optimal levels mimicking the rhythmic pattern of the human body with bioidentical hormones.  Doctors are still afraid of estrogen and shouldn't be.  If estrogen caused cancer, every twenty-five year old woman would be dead with optimal levels of estrogen.  I've worked with a handful of providers who have figured it out on their own with outstanding results.  I have seen for nearly ten years what happens to women when hormones are optimized.  I had all the symptoms the woman in the article had.  I was on high doses of prescription medications and many prescriptions to treat the symptoms I was suffering with for years until I found a doctor who thinks outside the pharmaceutical box.  He restored my hormones to levels that mimic a 25 year old and doses them in a cyclical rhythm that matches my cycle.  

This method of balancing hormones is not taught at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.  In fact there is no formal training at this time for Biomimetic, Bioidentical Hormone Restoration. Doctors who are stepping outside the box of conventional medicine seeking training and education in hormone replacement therapy are being taught to treat the symptoms of low estrogen but not optimize and restore to youthful levels.  They are taught to use the lowest dose of estrogen possible to treat symptoms only, not restorative levels.

What would happen if we restored hormones to levels that mimic a young, healthy woman, eliminating 90% of the symptoms we take prescription medications for?  Is there a reason doctors are not taught how to properly restore hormones that can prevent or reverse disease?

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