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Older female issues: perimenopause, menopause, WD or something else

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basildev

Yeah... I hope so Peggy:)

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Altostrata

A friend turned 50 and started having hot flashes that interfered with her sleep.

 

She went to an acupuncturist who specializes in treating menopausal women, got acupuncture and a recommendation for this supplement:

 

Bezwecken PhytoB

 

From the manufacturer http://www.bezwecken.com/products.php

Proprietary Blend: Fermented Plant Derived Progesterone, Camellia Sinensis, Medicago Sativa, Fermented Plant Derived Estrogens (8.97mg/pellet)

Other Ingredients: Lactose, Magnesium Stearate, Starch Arrowroot, Maltodextrin, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Magnesium Silicate, Lactase.

This supplement contains progesterone and estrogen. I can't find any articles on it that aren't sales pitches.

 

According to http://www.forresthealth.com/phytob-240-pellets.html

Phyto-B contains 80% estriol and 20% estridiol.

About estriol and estridiol http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008/aug2008_Estriol-Its-Weakness-is-its-Strength_01.htm

 

According to http://www.amazon.com/Bezwecken-Phyto-B-240-pellets/dp/B000GU6S96 Each dissolvable tablet averages 12mg of plant based progesterone.

 

While Bezwecken sounds European, the company is owned by an Oregon naturopath, David K. Shefrin, N.D. and was founded "20+ years" ago. All the formulations are Shefrin's.

 

According to this supplement site http://www.evitalhealth.com/index.cfm/FuseAction/Shopping.ProductDetails/productid/229.html

Description

 

Phyto B provides a standardized dose of natural, plant derived progesterone and estrogens to support a desirable hormonal balance. Phyto B also includes the herbs camellia sinensis (green tea) and medicago sativa (alfalfa). Consider Phyto B a natural alternative to traditional hormone replacement therapy.†

 

Phyto B is an unmatched sublingual supplement containing fermented, plant derived progesterone and estrogens. After menopause the ovaries cease production of estrogen, estradiol and progesterone. The decrease in these hormones can wreak havoc on a woman's body often causing uncomfortable symptoms of hot flashes, osteoporosis, fatigue, and vaginal dryness. Many of these symptoms may be alleviated by supplementing with Phyto B. Additional symptoms of perimenopause and menopause that may also be lessened by Phyto B are excessive bleeding upon menstruation and even mood swings stemming from hormonal imbalances.

Suggested Usage

 

Use 4 pellets twice a day for a total of 8 pellets per day or as directed by your healthcare practitioner. For maximum absorption, crack pellets in half and allow them to dissolve for 3-5 minutes before swallowing,

 

....

 

Warnings

 

Please consult your healthcare practitioner before use. Keep out of reach of children.

Additional Information

 

Bezwecken provides full ingredient disclosure on all of our products so what you see on the label is what you get. To ensure the effectiveness and shelf life stability, it is necessary to use some standard excipients in the formula to prevent the breakdown of the formula itself. We strive to use only plant and mineral derived ingredients whenever possible for these excipients.

 

In addition, Bezwecken products do not contain parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium laurel sulfate or soy. Our fermented plant derived progesterone and estrogens are derived from wild yam. Our products are soon to be all vegetarian, and have never been tested on animals.

 

Some people need fewer pellets and some need more. Listen to your body and adjust dosage accordingly (maximum dosage is 8 pellets per day).

 

My friend raves about this supplement. Truly, she has been transformed from a crankpants to an energetic, cheerful person. Clearly, her sleep is better.

 

(She said this acupuncturist plans for only short-term acupuncture treatment; she gets people settled with a supplement and acupuncture becomes only occasional.)

 

I haven't tried PhytoB, but I've thought about it. It seems to be a good way to geet a very small, fairly consistent amount of progesterone. (I'm sure my gyn would have a fit if I mentioned it.)

 

The best price seems to be on Amazon. Read the reviews, there, too.

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basildev

Thanks for the info Alto,

 

I've give it a go when the time comes.

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dunerbug

I think I want to try this and see if it helps. Has anyone used this during withdrawal?

 

Any input would be appreciated.

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GiaK

I've tried it...not a good thing for me...at all.

 

Some people find it helpful others react badly...

 

just proceed with caution...start with very very little because it accumulates in your body fat and will take some time to go away if you end up not doing well on it...

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Barbarannamated

I've tried it...not a good thing for me...at all.

 

Some people find it helpful others react badly...

 

Gia,

 

I had a very bad immediate reaction to Prometrium which is touted as a *natural* progesterone (not bio identical, but I don't understand the difference). I took one dose and had horrible, vivid nightmares and a bizarre depressive episode. The labeling says it should not be used in patients with previous "psychic depression" (not "psychotic"). I don't think I've ever seen medical literature use or acknowledge that term!

 

Just curious if you have any idea why some people have such extreme reactions to progesterone..? Might it be related to its GABAergic properties?

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Nikki

the info out there on prometrium is not very good.

 

I use bio-identical progesterone and I am a basket case without it. It is the calming hormone

It comes in a cream along with a tiny amount of testosterone.

 

It's very costly and of course insurance companies won't pay for it.

 

I take 1/2mg daily of estradiol which is a bio-identical pill.

 

I feel so much better with them. I had a hysterectomy in late 1999. Tried weaning off, and can't it seriously affects the quality of my life.

 

Hugs

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Altostrata

Barb, steroids also affect overall neuro-hormonal balance.

 

I've been looking at the Bezwecken line, they make yam-derived estrogen-progesterone and progesterone-only products that are formulated in tiny pellets so you can titrate.

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dunerbug

The stuff that was recommended to me, you can buy in a health food store. It's made from wild yams? What do you all mean when you say natural? Is it the same type ?

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Barbarannamated

Barb, steroids also affect overall neuro-hormonal balance.

 

Thanks so much, Alto. Morning dread got exponentially worse on hydrocortisone. I tapered off and feel a bit better although in a wave now.

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Barbarannamated

I may be way off here, but I take it you all know that SSRI withdrawl affects menstrual bleeding?

 

I have a Mirena IUD (progesterone only) which was implanted to replace the contraceptive pill. I took the pill to control bleeding during withdrawl and to stop the worsening of withdrawl symptoms around the time of my period which was noticeable.

 

The last time I took citalopram I had the Mirena coil implanted. Bleeding practically stopped whilst taking citalopram as a consequence.

When I withdrew from the drug, I suddenly got the bleeding back....flooding actually. I was taking no other drugs at the time.

 

There's been a lot of research on SSRIs and uterine bleeding.

 

I had excessive bleeding whilst taking citalopram too...but I was also found to have fibroids, so that complicates things.

x

 

Interesting, Marmite. I got a period (while thinking I had been in menopause for 2 years) while tapering. I had no idea I was experiencing withdrawal until after my 8 month taper. It didnt happen again until some light bleeding this week.

 

So, they put the IUD in to control bleeding caused by citalopram? How are your hormone levels?

 

Sorry... I'm very fuzzy this morning.

 

EDIT TO ADD: quick search found this brief article about uterine bleeding and SSRIs. Can't get to the original article in Archives of Internal Medicine. Interested to see how they determined strength of serotonin binding among the different SSRIs.

 

"The cases were further classified according to the degree of serotonin reuptake inhibition they were exposed to—high, intermediate, or low, depending on the known potency of the drug they were on, which was defined as the drug's binding affinity for the serotonin transporter."

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC534477/

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Coralashley

Hi everyone!  I hope all is well! 

I was told by 2 doctors that taking bioidentical progesterone would help b/c I had lower than optimal levels. 

Before each visit with 2 different doctors I prayed that the Lord would give them the wisdom on making this kind of medical decision on my behalf. 

The 1st doctor I wasn't even asking to be put on anything I went to him for the DNA test that would show what meds worked best for me (assureRX test)..

An then while I was there he said he wanted to run blood tests on me and he did and thats when he said my hormones were not in the ideal ranges.  It sounded promosing but I didn't start them I wanted a 2nd opinion.

Then I heard of a doctor from my home town (which is about 45 minutes north of me), I heard that she helped people get off meds in natural ways, like food, etc.  I though cool, I'm going to see her.Then I went there and she had a ton of blood work done on me, I haven't seen the results yet.. but she looked at my old blood work and asked me tons of questions and she said, you are low on progesterone.. I told her about my tapering off benzos, I told her about the cross tolerance thing with benzos and progesterone and she said she knows all about that, but she says I'm going to give you what God naturally gives you.. you will be fine.  Then I am also going to help you get off the rest of the remeron you are on, which is now only 4.8mg liquid.I like everyone who is a part of benzobuddies was skeptical but I decided well if it's not good then I'll know right away and I can stop taking it.  I'll just try it...I started taking it last Thursday evening.. the 1st day on friday was horrible with bad anxiety (but they said it gets worse before it gets better) but then things got better.. but I still felt a lingering of anxiety (mainly about taking them) I also felt it was hard talking with people b/c I felt a little paniky. That is how I felt everyday on them.. I feel a little wirey but then calm all at the same time.  It's hard to explain.  I have lost 2 pounds since stating it 7 dyas ago.. which is nice since remeron makes you gain weight!

Then yesterday I took (1) Omega 3 during the day, and the night before I took my 4.8 remeron and 10mg of progesterone and I didn't feel as good.. then last night while I was laying on the couch relaxing I got up quickly and I felt eveything get dizzy and rushing up into my head, etc... I felt very off balance.. I then had to pull it together and get in the car to take my 4 yr old son to his 3rd sleep study.As I was driving I felt dizzy, etc, so I call my mom & she said well maybe your blod pressure is low.. so when I got there I asked to take my blood pressure, which was normal.. (I do want to mention that I did call and leave a message with my doctor to let her know I had a major dizzy spell).As I lay/sit in the room at the sleep study center I started feeling, hot, and burning in my head.. I felt like a drug addict in need of a drug.. I took my remeron which usually helps me feel better in situations like w/ds but it didn't help. I was debating on whether or not to take the progesterone.. but i did and within 30 minutes I was feeling a little better..But today I had a lot of appehension about talking to anyone at work, and although I feel a little better right now I am still spacey and cannot concentrate much.  I have light sensitivity, etc.I have a little anxiety and lingering breathing anxiety.  I also feel like when you are nervous and you bounce your leg that I could do that really ast right now.. but am trying to be as calm as I can be and not get to wound up.

I again have called the doctors office to let them know I believe I am having a bad reaction to the progesterone.. and it makes me so embarrised to have to call them again.. plus on top of it all yesterday evening I started getting my girl-time.Ugg..So do you all think after taking it for 7 days I can just stop taking it or should I take 1/2 tonight and see how I feel tomorrow.. that's what my mom thinks I shoud do.i know the doctor will think I'm crazy bc she says yes progesterone hits the same receptor sites as benzo (which I just tapered slowwly off) but it's not going to give you benzo w/d or cause you any problems.

I also heard from progesterones and ADs do not and should not be used together.

 

Please let me know your thoughts!thank you everyone for your thoughts in advance! 

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Coralashley

I also just found out that yes, progesterone can effect antidepressants.. please read:

 

 Natural Standard, The Authority on Integrative Medicine answered

Progesterone may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs that lower blood pressure.

Progesterone mayMore

Progesterone may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs that lower blood pressure.

Progesterone may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Examples include benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, sedatives, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.

Progesterone may also interact with acetaminophen, agents used for sexual enhancement, agents that may affect dopamine levels, agents that may affect heart rate, agents that may affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels, agents that may affect gonadotropin-releasing hormone levels, agents that may affect serotonin levels, agents that may enhance fertility, agents that may enhance cognitive function (memory), agents that may treat heart disorders, anticancer agents, antidepressants, estrogens, hormonal agents, neurologic agents (agents that may affect the brain), opiates, and paclitaxel.

You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment

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Nikki

Have been trying to decide what HRT is best for me since that episode of CT from progesterone.

 

Found  all female practice of OB/Gyn physicians and really like them.

 

If I take 075mgs. (3/4mg) of Estradiol I have breast tenderness.

 

If I don't take Progesterone cream (bio-identical) I have estrogen dominance and it causes insomnia.

 

So I need to take both in small doses.

 

.05mgs Estradiol and 20mgs. progesterone.  Progesterone relieves estrogen dominance for me.

 

Believe me lowering, changing doses of hormones is alot like changing doses of AD's. and there is a period of re-adjusting or stabilizing.

 

I will begin to stabilize today with proper dosing.  Think I have stabilized on AD's.

 

I am so sensitive to any changes......

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primrose

Hi everyone.

 

For the last year, I have been suffering what I thought were benzo withdrawal symptoms.

Sweating, anxiety, moodienss, depression etc etc.

 

I am 47, and it didn't occur to me that I may be pere-menopausal, until women of a certain age kept mentioning it to me.

 

I'm now on HRT since yesterday, and I am already starting to feel better.

Normally, I sleep with the window on and fan on.

Last night I didn't need the fan and was actually cold on waking for the first time, due to open windows.

 

I'm so releived and probably the only one to welcomeperi-menopause, as it's not withdrawal.

The HRT can take a while to kick in, so i know I am probably going to feel even better.

 

I;ve been tapering really sensibly and now I know what the real cause of my sx are.

It's really well worth a check with the doctor, but, don't expect the doctor to be clued up.

We have to do our homework, and I found that a great place to start is on menopausemetters dot co dot uk.

No link provided because of spamming, but you can google if interested.

 

My peri meno symptoms are so similar to meno it's unreal.

Even the morning dread, the only difference between my benzo induced morning dread and peri-meno morning dread is that the peri-meno morning dread goes once I have got out of bed.

 

I hope some women of a certain age, 45 and upwards, or even earlier, investigate this.

 

Thanks

 

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GiaK

withdrawal exacerbates menopausal symptoms...it's generally not very easy to tease out what is what.

 

it's nice you responded to the hormones and that you're feeling better.

 

not everyone does respond to hormones and some people like me cannot take them at all...they can make the symptoms far worse in some instances...and that is important to know as well.

 

explore with caution...especially if you're someone with a lot of sensitivities. 

 

(and yes, this includes bio-identical hormones too) 

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primrose

withdrawal exacerbates menopausal symptoms...it's generally not very easy to tease out what is what.

 

it's nice you responded to the hormones and that you're feeling better.

 

not everyone does respond to hormones and some people like me cannot take them at all...they can make the symptoms far worse in some instances...and that is important to know as well.

 

explore with caution...especially if you're someone with a lot of sensitivities. 

 

(and yes, this includes bio-identical hormones too) 

Hi Gia

 

No, it isn't easy to see what is what.

The reason I found out mine was meno, was because I was still getting symptoms despite ultra-slow tapering, we're talking a whole year to lose 2mg of valium.

Yes, HRT is contra-indicated in some women, so I found it was important to tell my doctor everything about my mh, symptoms, physical symptoms and gynae symptoms i was having, meds I was on (although she already knows that) and other things.

So far, so good with me.

There was a scare in 2002, but it turned out to be scaremongering, yet some doctors have not moved on from that.

It wont work for all, but i guess i am one of the lucky ones.

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GiaK

there are stories of women on the withdrawal boards who take hormones and then can't get off of them...they simulate severe withdrawal if they try to get off while causing issues on them as well...much like other psychoactive drugs...

 

it's something to very carefully consider and understand that doctors will likely not know anything about how our drug histories will impact our results. 

 

I've also found others who found them helpful like you have...it's one of those very difficult things to advise on because it's kind of a crap shoot...and when we're dealing with functionality...well, we all know what it's like. 

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Rhiannon

I think, you know, we all are so happy when we find something that works for us, that we want to tell everyone to try it because it might work for them too. And I think that's one of the things that's so great about a forum like this, we can share our stories and all learn from them.

 

Gia has seen a lot of people go through withdrawal, with all kinds of variations, so she's pretty much seen it all. And there have been a couple of times over the years that she's reminded me--when I'm waxing enthusiastic about some discovery of mine--that everyone's mileage varies.

 

I think with hormones it's the same as with any other supplement, diet, medicine, or other intervention, when combined with withdrawal: outcomes are variable. Hormones are powerful and can have many different effects. 

 

So as always, with anything you try, "proceed with caution" is the watchword. Something that works great for one person can have the complete opposite effect for someone else.

 

I use a small amount of over the counter bioidentical progesterone and estriol and DHEA creams, and I find that in very small amounts they've helped me with my postmenopausal symptoms (I'm well past menopause now). They don't seem to disrupt my taper/withdrawal process but I do feel it if I miss using them for more than a day or two, so it's another thing to be sort of "addicted" to.

 

Primrose, you sound good--encouraging! Glad to hear you're feeling better. Hopefully this will help smooth your taper from here forward.

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primrose

Thanks Rhi, and everyone for the feedback.

Yes, everyone should proceed with caution especially if they are on other meds.

I am a bit nervous in case anything goes wrong, because it feels like my taper has been delayed a lot.

The HRT has lessened the sweating definitely.

No more fan needed in bed.

I will report back on how I am doing.

I agree that if any women of a certain age wants to look into HRT to get all the facts and consider how it may react with your meds or taper.

 

Lots of love to you all.

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Sparrow

Progesterone (whether bioidentical or synthetic) acts on GABA receptors in the same manner as do benzos. Suddenly stopping it, or precipitously reducing the dose, will cause problems for anyone. That goes double for those of us dealing with psych drug tapering/withdrawal.

 

As always, proceed with caution.

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Barbarannamated

Primrose,

 

I'm glad you're having good results with hormones. I, too, feel I've been helped slightly by estrogen for premature ovarian failure/low estrogen, not menopausal symptoms. I had a VERY bad depressive reaction to one dose of Prometrium (progesterone) but seem ok with other formulations. I agree with previous comments that changing or missing dose can cause withdrawal as bad as psychoactive drugs. If I miss estrogen, it hits me quickly (mood).

 

Sparrow or others... does anyone know what receptors estrogen works on?

 

I hope for continued wellness for you, Primrose.

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primrose

Progesterone (whether bioidentical or synthetic) acts on GABA receptors in the same manner as do benzos. Suddenly stopping it, or precipitously reducing the dose, will cause problems for anyone. That goes double for those of us dealing with psych drug tapering/withdrawal.

 

As always, proceed with caution.

 

Definitely, I've knows some women on benzo tapers who are not on HRT, go into withdrawals shortly after the start of the first half of thier cycle, as their natural progesterone levels drop.

 

Does this also apply to synthetic progeseterone? I have allowed for it in my taper anyway, in case it does, but it would be handy to know for sure. Thanks.

 

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primrose

Primrose,I'm glad you're having good results with hormones. I, too, feel I've been helped slightly by estrogen for premature ovarian failure/low estrogen, not menopausal symptoms. I had a VERY bad depressive reaction to one dose of Prometrium (progesterone) but seem ok with other formulations. I agree with previous comments that changing or missing dose can cause withdrawal as bad as psychoactive drugs. If I miss estrogen, it hits me quickly (mood).Sparrow or others... does anyone know what receptors estrogen works on?I hope for continued wellness for you, Primrose.

Hi

 

Sorry to hear you had a bad reaction to the progesterone. Some women cannot tolerate it, I have yet to try it. I've had synthetic progesterone in a contrceptive pill before, twice, the second time I bled continuously.

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GiaK

huh, I guess that is what is going on with me...I get the sickest post menstruation and before I ovulate! I never stop learning...!!

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primrose

huh, I guess that is what is going on with me...I get the sickest post menstruation and before I ovulate! I never stop learning...!!

Yes, wd is very hard, there are so many influencing factors.

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primrose

 

huh, I guess that is what is going on with me...I get the sickest post menstruation and before I ovulate! I never stop learning...!!

Yes, wd is very hard, there are so many influencing factors.

 

 

 

huh, I guess that is what is going on with me...I get the sickest post menstruation and before I ovulate! I never stop learning...!!

Yes, wd is difficult in that way, there are so many influencing factors.

 

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GiaK

menopausal stuff is becoming more and more an issue in the mix...I really liked this article for how to consider menopause...in short...it's NATURAL...and it can be a healing time of growth and transformation:

 

http://www.spiritofmaat.com/archive/jun2/prns/weed.htm

 

and I just bought Susun Weed's book:

 

Menopause, The Wise Woman Way

with Susun Weed

by Lora Spivey

 

At 39, I discovered that what I had thought to be insanity was in fact my indoctrination into the secret rites of menopause.

I naturally sought council from those of my women friends who had entered this path ahead of me, and I was given much advice. But one thing stood out. They all said to me, "Do you have Susun Weed's book?"

A decade ago, Susun Weed wrote Menopausal Years, The Wise Woman Way. Since then, her wisdom and guidance have helped thousands of women to recognize that what happens to a woman in menopause is not the end for us, nor is it a medical condition to be pathologized and treated as illness.

Instead, Susun views menopause as a spiritual journey of unfoldment to a new level of awareness. In fact, she goes so far as to say that menopause is "a journey into enlightenment."

Susun has recently released New Menopausal Years, The Wise Woman Way. In this expanded edition, she includes her own post-menopausal work, commenting that "it's a bit heavier now."

When Susun speaks, she is said to carry the voice of the Wise Woman tradition.

Lora: Susun, what exactly is the Wise Woman tradition?

Susun: The Wise Woman tradition is the oldest healing traditon on this planet. Even today, according to the World Health Agency, ninety percent of all health care is provided at no charge by women in their homes!

Every woman is a natural healer.[*] The Wise Woman tradition is dedicated to helping us rediscover the healer who lies within.

In the Wise Woman tradition, instead of fixing the broken machine, as in the scientific tradition, or cleaning up a toxic mess, as in the heroic tradition, we nourish the wholeness of each individual.

Lora: Can you elaboborate on your view that menopause is a natural process and a spiritual journey?

Susun: I'd like to begin by sharing with you the work of Kristen Hawkes. She's a researcher at the University of Utah who's spent a great deal of time studying the Hazda Tribe.

Among the Hazda, the most productive, healthiest, and wisest members of the tribe are women in their sixties, seventies, and eighties, and Dr. Hawkes believes that menopause is the reason. She believes that after women have completed their childbearing years, they are positioned at the height of their intellectual and physical powers, available to give themselves wholly back to the community. So menopause is a process of enlightenment for the individual woman.

Most importantly, most altering, is the understanding that menopause is healthy.

One example that will show how menopause promotes health has to do with the production of the hormone estradiol.

When a woman is born, only twenty-nine of the thirty hormones are turned on. Then at puberty we turn on the thirtieth, which is estradiol. We need estradiol in order to ovulate.

But estradiol is to cancer as kerosene is to fire. It doesn't cause cancer, but if there's a "spark" it can provide the fuel. So although the risk of breast cancer in young women is very low — in America, it's only one in twenty thousand — pre-menopausal cancer can be devastating, and it's partly because of the presence of this hormone.

By age forty, the cancer risk is one in four hundred, and by age fifty it's one in fifteen. But as this risk of cancer is increasing, the amount of estradiol in the body is decreasing. In other words menopause, by turning off the production of estradiol, directly promotes the longevity of women.

Lora: The idea that menopause is unhealthy seems to be one of the big misconceptions we have about it. What are some others?

Susun: One of the biggest misconceptions is that menopause basically has to do with fewer hormones. In fact, the opposite is true.

The levels of hormones in a woman's blood are never higher than when she is in menopause! The levels of some hormones actually are elevated up to sixty times their pre-menopausal levels.

Most of the symptoms related to menopause have to do with hormonal overload!

Then why, you might ask, does taking estrogen stop these symptoms? It's because estrogen suppresses the production of the other hormones. However, it also prevents the woman from actually going through menopause.

Another great misconception is that in the past, women did not live long enough to go through this change, and that is why we need medical help to do this now. That simply isn't true.

Statistics do say that in the 1800s the average life expectancy for a woman was fifty years. But that doesn't mean that most women died at age fifty. The statistical average includes infant mortality figures, and in those days the infant mortality rate was about one in three. In order to have an average life expectancy of fifty, the vast majority of women who survived childhood had to have lived into their seventies, and gone through menopause without hormonal therapy of any kind.

In fact, 30,000-year-old archetypal figures such as the Goddess of Wilendorf call down to us through the ages, saying, "You can do it!"

Archeologists have found many, many of these figurines. Some believe that every household may have had one. And when we hear the information from Kristen Hawkes, we can sense why. For the Goddess is the repository of all wisdom and knowledge.

And it is menopuase that actually sharpens her faculties.

Lora: In your book you speak of menopause as an awakening of Kundalini energy. You've stated that once this awakening has occurred it is impossible for a woman to continue believing that the external reality is the sole reality. You've also documented scientific experiments in your book which indicate that a woman who is having a hot flash is literally in a state identical to deep meditation. Can you elaborate on this?

Susun: Hot flashes are a very important piece of energy work. Men sit in meditation for eighty years hoping to have a hot flash!

A hot flash is a rising of the Kundalini. Kundalini can be described as life force energy. Men strive for this, yet all a woman has to do is live to be old enough.

That's another one of the misconceptions, that the fewer symptoms a menopausal woman has, the healthier she is. I believe the opposite is true. Especially where hot flashes are concerned, the more the better. A healthy and vital menuopausal woman is going to work with her Kundalini energy — perhaps a lot.

Lora: So what I hear you saying is that rather than suppressing menopausal symptoms, we should nurture ourselves and allow the process to unfold.

Susun: Menopause is metamorphosis. It is a process like that of the caterpillar turning into a butterfly.

The first stage is the cocoon. Envision the caterpillar out there, eating leaves, munching lawns, feeling great, then suddenly saying to itself, "I don't know what's coming over me, but I really want to be alone." The caterpillar goes off and finds a quiet, secret, dark place to be. It's intuitive. Each menopausal woman in her own way will encounter the feeling that everybody else can deal with whatever they need to deal with — it's time to focus on me.

The second stage is melt-down. Within that cocoon, the caterpillar does not just lose a few legs and grow wings, the caterpillar melts down. The caterpillar actually turns to goo, or slime — and then has to rebuild into a butterfly. Each woman in her own way, will experience part of the melt-down phase of menopause. As with anything, we can either wallow in self-pity, or ask, "What opportunity is this?"

The opportunity is to become a butterfly. And the butterfly, having then been created, splits open the chrysalis from the top of the cocoon and emerges as a transformed being.

The woman emerges feeling new inside and out. It is now time to honor her as the wise woman.

So I urge woman entering menopause to begin a butterfly collection. By that, I mean to collect inspiring images of vibrant women twenty or more years older than they are, women they'd like to grow up to be.

I have one picture on my refridgerator of an eighty-year-old woman waterskiing on one leg and holding the tow rope in her teeth. I have another on my bathroom wall of an eigthy-three-year-old woman who has just won the national Older Women's Power-Lifting Championship. And I have one of a ninety-year-old woman by my desk who is doing a full standing split with her right leg above her on a stop sign.

These are some of my butterflies. They don't have hourglass figures or the most beautiful faces., but these are the women I want to grow up to be.

By being butterflies, by collecting butterflies, we help make the world a better place to be in.

Lora: What a beautiful, glorious vision. I can see myself celebrating what I used to be dreading.

In your book, you do offer advice on herbs and healing ways that can help us through this metamorphosis. Can you share some of these remedies?

Susun: It is always appropriate to take care of yourself. If you're trying to take care of yourself so you won't have symptoms, that may not work, but if you are not feeling victimized by your body, you can use your symptoms as a way to pinpoint areas that need special nourishment.

Quiet time alone in nature or sitting comfortably while listening to soothing music open the way for the flow of Kundalini.

Handling powerful Kundalini energies is easier when the nervous system is strong. Nourishing herbs such as oatstraw infusion, tincture of motherwort, cronewort (mugwort) vinegar, and the many varieties of seaweed are excellent green allies.

Hatha yoga, pranayama, and t'ai chi can help, too.

Lora: Your books emphasize that what we need is often growing wild all around us. Most of us are conditioned to believe that it is not safe to consume wild plants. I certainly have memories of my mother telling me not eat wild plants as they would make me sick or even kill me. What do you say to those of us who depend on manufactured products?

Susun: I often say that my real work is to teach people that what their parents taught them about avoiding wild plants is wrong. Of course, it was done with the best of intentions, because their parents and grandparents didn't know any better.

In fact, somewhere along the line for most of us transplanted Europeans, somebody's great-great-grandmother was burned as a witch. Witch burning broke our oral traditions.

People say to me, "Aren't you excited that MDs are starting to use herbs?"

And I say, "No, not at all. I'm going to be excited when I see three-year-olds using herbs."

My goal is to change how we think about health and healing. May we all reclaim herbal medicine as the simple, safe, primary care it is: a gift of health from the green nations.

My primary ally, my teacher in all things, is Nature: the Earth and her many companions.

The goal of my books is to help women to learn as I learned — not what I learned. I want them to find their own way and to trust their own intuition. I am not telling women how to do it right, because there is no one right way. I am sharing all the ways there are to do it, so they can choose. So they have their own power.

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GiaK

http://wp.me/p5nnb-a30

 

Menopause just like so much else in our modern life has been pathologized and women have been make to be at war with their own bodies because of this. Reframing what our bodies go through quite naturally can not only be liberating but transformative.
 

Menopausal stuff is becoming more and more an issue in the mix of my coming out of the psychiatric drug withdrawal. I’m 48 years old, but this stuff can start happening to women even in their 30s. A whole lot of women affected with psych drug withdrawal issues are also dealing with menopausal issues. It’s a very common theme on the withdrawal boards. People try hormones to mitigate the phenomena and sometimes feel comfortable on them but more often those of us with sensitized nervous systems don’t do well adding any sort of hormones, included bio-identical ones.

 

I really liked the below article on how to consider menopause…in short…it’s NATURAL…and it can be a healing time of growth and transformation. Medications and additional hormones are not generally recommended.  I was not at all surprised when I googled “menopause spirituality” that I found a whole lot of wonderful information. I have been noticing that hot flashes usher in information from the psyche/universe for me to learn from and process.

 

In the below article they speak of hot flashes being surges of kundalini energy. There is an article on kundalini and how it applies to psych drug withdrawal syndrome on this blog as well. Anyway, to learn from these energy surges we need to be receptive and non-resisting and we need to pay attention to them. Our society tells us to do the opposite and do whatever we can to MAKE THEM STOP. To be clear those of us who are dealing with psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes, hot flashes and the associated bodily sensations can be frightening and feel like just one more thing we’d rather not deal with. What is going on in our bodies is already overwhelming. This may seem to simply add to it. That said, I’ve found that learning to pay attention to and embrace what is proves to be the best way for me.

 

I found the below article very helpful and I’ve gone ahead and purchased Susun Weed’s book: New Menopausal Years : The Wise Woman Way, Alternative Approaches for Women 30-90 (Wise Woman Ways)

 

 

Menopause, The Wise Woman Way

Lora: Can you elaboborate on your view that menopause is a natural process and a spiritual journey?

Susun: I’d like to begin by sharing with you the work of Kristen Hawkes. She’s a researcher at the University of Utah who’s spent a great deal of time studying the Hazda Tribe.

Among the Hazda, the most productive, healthiest, and wisest members of the tribe are women in their sixties, seventies, and eighties, and Dr. Hawkes believes that menopause is the reason. She believes that after women have completed their childbearing years, they are positioned at the height of their intellectual and physical powers, available to give themselves wholly back to the community. So menopause is a process of enlightenment for the individual woman.

Most importantly, most altering, is the understanding that menopause is healthy…

Lora: The idea that menopause is unhealthy seems to be one of the big misconceptions we have about it. What are some others?

Susun: One of the biggest misconceptions is that menopause basically has to do with fewer hormones. In fact, the opposite is true.

The levels of hormones in a woman’s blood are never higher than when she is in menopause! The levels of some hormones actually are elevated up to sixty times their pre-menopausal levels.

Most of the symptoms related to menopause have to do with hormonal overload!

Then why, you might ask, does taking estrogen stop these symptoms? It’s because estrogen suppresses the production of the other hormones. However, it also prevents the woman from actually going through menopause.

Another great misconception is that in the past, women did not live long enough to go through this change, and that is why we need medical help to do this now. That simply isn’t true. (read more)

 

 

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Barbarannamated

Can anyone explain the general mood effect of estrogen and progesterone? My old endocrinologist says that estrogen has antidepressant properties. The doc providing my compounded estrogen and progesterone tells me estrogen is to protect the brain but progesterone, not estrogen, helps mood. Rationally, I know it's not that clear cut and a balance must be found.

 

I went on these fairly early in withdrawal and wonder if they're causing me more emotional lability than benefit.

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JeriL

Hi everyone!

I'm tapering clonazepam (just started, first 10% so far, so good) but am so concerned now about being on progesterone too. I've been on 200 mg. compounded for about 4 months. It sounds like that's going to complicate getting off the cl- what on earth should I do??? I've been reading up everywhere about avoiding gabaergics and now see I'm on another one, yikes. Do I try to taper that, too??? The tablets are quite large and easy to break...

Boy, this is freaking me out, hope someone here can help me. Alto??

 

Thanks,

J

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Sparrow

Jeri --

 

I was on compounded progesterone throughout my 16-month taper off clonazepam and am still taking it (I'm 10 months out now). It did not interfere with my taper in any way that was apparent to me. In fact it seemed to help, particularly with sleep.

 

In any case, you definitely should NOT go off both progesterone and a benzo at the same time.

 

Sparrow

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Sarabellum

Hi basildev,

 

I know it's been a while since you posted last and I was wondering how you are doing because I am in menopause and I went off anti-depressants almost a year ago. I'm struggling hard with mood. I was wondering if you found relief?

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JeriL

Yayyy, one week off last tiny dry-cut of the C (can't bring myself to use full name anymore)!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, need to deal with the 200 mg.of progesterone,yikes. Insurance has changed so I will have to try to find someone covered to do hormone tests again. But I'm freaked out about having to taper the P now???!!! Holy *#ll, will it never end??!!

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ikam

I have been on a lowest possible dose of HRT and it worked. Now, in WD many of my symptoms are back :(...and it is difficult to be sure what is WD and what menopausal symptoms.

It just adds to my confusion about my present experience...

 

What I read about cortisol makes a lot of sense...

 

All dis-regulated and I made it only worse trying to get a quick fix...

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