I was asked this week to describe the typical woman that I specialise in helping. It actually stopped me in my tracks as I have never been asked this question before during my 30 year career. Whilst I acknowledge each woman’s suffering, I usually place my focus firmly on the solution to help overcome their symptoms, rather than dwelling the horror of each individual situation. When I really started thinking about the answer it hit me like a ton of bricks that millions of women are in a really bad place, often for much of their adult life. And both the medical profession and the media practically ignore the fact, or at best glosses over it. To say the very least it was a sobering exercise that left me feeling a mixture of emotions ranging from anger, disbelief, frustration and devastation.
My audience is made up of mostly women. To date, they have been mainly women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s with hormone issues, although I have advised girls in their teens and 20’s as well as women in the 60’s and 70’s. They often feel at their wits end and a shadow of their former selves. They have usually tried all sorts of self-help approaches and even medication from their doctor, but nothing has really worked.
The symptoms they suffer are usually moderate to severe and completely change the colour of the lenses through which they see the world. They often feel like they are clinging on by their finger nails and that I am their last resort.
Large numbers of PMS suffers report suffering extreme symptoms including feeling suicidal, violent and aggressive, overwhelmed by deep depression on some days. From midlife, many are unable to sleep because they are regularly drowned in sweat in the night, more than embarrassed by their incessant hot flushes during the day, and mortified by their vaginal dryness making personal relationships a nightmare.
Dealing with the symptoms
Whether they are suffering from PMS, peri-menopause, menopause, post menopause, they are overwhelmed on many days of the month by their raging hormones or stress related symptoms. They feel moody, irritable, and anxious, with nervous tension. Their self-perception is diminished and they no longer recognise themselves in the mirror. Their relationships are adversely affected. Sometimes they alienate their partner and children, if they have them, and describe themselves as Jekyll and Hyde.
Most of my audience don’t feel sexy anymore, at least for part of the month if they are pre-menstrual, and as much as every day of their lives if they are menopausal. Some say they prefer chocolate to sex and they wouldn’t care if they were never touched again. Many of them give into food cravings, particularly chocolate, sometimes consuming more than three or four bars of chocolate each day. They have often gained weight as a result and feel nervous that their partner may feel neglected and grow tired of their lust less relationship.
As well as hormonal symptoms, many of them experience bowel problems including constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome and they probably feel tired, find it hard to sleep well and sometimes notice their skin is dull, their hair thin and lifeless and their nails split and brittle.
A percentage of the women of childbearing age I encounter suffering with PMS, many also suffer from endometriosis, have ovarian cysts, fibroids as well as period pains. In addition to being wives, partners and lovers, they are also often mothers, many having to work and juggle their lives and sometimes they are carers for older relatives.
The natural approach
My deep frustration stems from the fact that these women are suffering needlessly as the vast majority of these symptoms can be managed completely naturally once a woman learns how to meet her needs at her particular life stage. The programme we pioneered at the Natural Health Advisory Service shows in numerous studies that over ninety percent of both PMS and menopause sufferers were symptom-free within four to six months. But instead of being given sound advice they are either given a cocktail of anti-depressants and hormones or left alone, in hormone hell, to fend for themselves.
Beat the Menopause Naturally Facebook Group
I need to give this situation more thought, but in the meantime, I’ve decided to offer live sessions in our Beat the Menopause Naturally Facebook Group where I can at least answer some of their questions and useful, scientifically-based information from my books is available on my website. I know that’s a drop in the ocean, but at least it’s a start.
If when you read this you recognise yourself my heart goes out to you. Feel encouraged that there is a light at the end of the tunnel as it’s possible to be symptom-free and feel better than you can remember in a matter of months. Don’t feel alone as you are suffering along with millions of other women around the world. Just know you can get better and don’t be afraid to ask for help.