Why are so millions of women struggling with symptoms of Menopause without guidance? What is normal, and when do you need to be concerned?
This week we are joined by the "Menopause Guru" and multi-author Jeanne Andrus. Jeanne is the host of the Menopause Matters podcast and is helping women with this complex topic in her focused practice, Menopause Mastery Coaching.
Jeanne joins me for an informative conversation where she talks about the various phases of Menopause, how to manage symptoms, and what is truly happening physiologically in our bodies. Most importantly, Jeanne reminds us that what our bodies experience and how we feel about it emotionally is entirely normal.
Guest website: https://menopause.guru
Books: (As an Amazon affiliate, at no extra cost to you, we will earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
I Just Want to Be ME Again!: A Guide to Thriving Through Menopause, by Jeanne D. Andrus
Chill Out!: A Natural Guide to Controlling Hot Flashes, by Jeanne D. Andrus
Lighten Up!: A Game Plan for Losing Weight for Women in Menopause, by Jeanne D. Andrus
Think Again!: Clearing Away the Brain Fog of Menopause, by Jeanne D. Andrus
Where Is My Wife and What Have You Done with Her?: A Spouse's Guide to Her Menopause, by Jeanne D. Andrus
Real Life Momz Website: https://www.reallifemomz.com/
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Hi, and welcome to Real Life Momz I'm your host Lisa Foster and Real Life Momz is a podcast that's all about connecting moms through real parenting conversations. I believe that moms have so much insight and knowledge, and together we are powerful. On this podcast, we give moms a voice to tell their stories and share their expertise and resources through real conversations. And this week we're joined by Jeanne Andrus. She has a mission to help other women through their menopause journey. Through her podcast, Menopause Matters, her many books on the topic courses, and her practice, Menopause Mastery Coaching.
She has helped so many women, and I'm so excited to have her on the Real Life Momz podcast to talk about menopause with us today.
Hi, Jeanne. I am just so excited to have you here at Real Life Momz to help talk about a topic that, personally for me, I felt that I didn't have enough guidance in this at all. And that's the topic of menopause, perimenopause, all the, all the pauses, really <laugh>,
All things menopause.
All things menopause. And it's, it's interesting because I actually just got, well, not that recently, but recently in my head. Um, and I'm actually in menopause. So I went through the whole perimenopause not knowing anything. I didn't know if anything was normal, or not normal. There were some scary moments we could talk about those later. Um, and I don't even know what the next phase is. So when I say I am so excited and just relieved that you're here today, I really mean it. So thank you for coming on the show,
Lisa. Thank you so much for having me. Your story is so common, so normal to me, from what I hear from women all the time about, you know, I, I'm here. I, I'm not really sure what it means when they say I'm in menopause. That means I went through perimenopause and didn't know anything about it and what's next? And nobody gives us that information. It happened to me.
I mean, I'm, I'm now 20 years past, almost 20 years past where I started with this whole journey mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which was when I was 48 and I was going through active para perimenopause. I was having symptoms. I wasn't having the normal symptoms. Yeah. I wasn't having hot flashes. I wasn't having wonky periods. I wasn't having, you know, that sort of stuff. But I was having anger and irritability and depression, and nobody said to me, Hey, guess what?
This is perimenopause, welcome to this next phase of your life. And I was, I was just going through it and I was in just a funk. So it wound up with my marriage of 27 years falling apart. Um, it wound up with me having, to move. I left. I changed jobs a couple of times during that time. I wound up moving from New England where I had a house that was untenable the way I, worked to moving in with my mom and I finally just said to myself, I've got to get a hold on.
Whatever is going on with me, I've got to get healthy. I've got to feel better. Or I may as well just quit. I was in that, that bad of a state. Um, I don't think I ever really did to get, get suicidal, but I wasn't really happy with myself.
I wasn't happy with the way I was living. And so I got ha got healthy and I happened to pick a way to do that. That pulled me back into a more hormonal balance. And it wasn't until I sort of started then looking at helping other women do, um, get healthy and midlife, that I realized just how much of this was hormonal balance and hormonal imbalance that's created by menopause.
And I did a huge amount of research and I did some shifting in the way I worked. So now I coach and, and teach and talk and podcast and mm-hmm. <affirmative> write all about menopause because it is such a big change for women and it changes so much of who we are that we need the information. And as you said, you just didn't get it.
No. Yeah. And, no one's there to answer. Well, first of all, I do wanna say, oh my God, that is terrible what you went through
Cause that, that's horrible. I mean, you really, um, just between your marriage and just the anger that is, that is much more than I did. I mean, I had the hot flashes and, you know, the, I think memory might be an issue because I still have the memories.
I can't remember if I had memories,
Can't remember anything. Um, but yeah, I didn't, and I had the wonky periods for sure. Um, but it, but oh, I mean, it seemed to have really ripped apart your life.
Yeah, honestly, it did. On, I, let me cut to the chase at the end of the story. Uhhuh Uhhuh, I remarried. I have a fabulous husband. I moved from New England to Louisiana where I am. I do all things Mardi Gras mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, um, I, my son and I patched up the difficulties we had in our relationship at that time. I have a fabulous son, a daughter-in-law, and two amazing grandchildren. And life is really, really good.
So, <laugh> ok. The end of the story is
Beautiful. That's the end of the story. Thank you. So
<laugh>. Oh goodness. And there's very little guidance. I think. I mean, I have, when going through it, I had a few things, um, that I was dealing with and going through it, I would ask my doctor, and it was weird that they didn't really discuss it. They almost poo-pooed it a little bit. And I felt like myself going down a series of different testing to figure out what I was doing, like what was going on. But yeah, they're, they don't, I don't know why, why do you think it's such a, they don't wanna talk about it, <laugh> it? I don't know.
So, so I talk a lot about this in my own work. And the problem is that our medical training system is not designed to deal with this particular issue. So first of all, anybody who's been out of med school for more than 20 years probably hasn't seen a lot of the research that really matters because it's all been happening in the last 20 years. So anything that happened in the prior century really was very, it, it was just getting started.
But then when they go to med school, a specialist may, and I'm saying may, so a specialist in, in nongynecology, uh, nonobstetrician may hear one lecture that means one to three hours about menopause. A general practitioner or primary care physician or nurse practitioner may get one full lecture, maybe three hours on it. A gynecologist, unless they specialize in menopause, may only get one class in menopause.
Hmm. So you can see that they're just not getting the information. And gynecologists are what other doctors refer to as bikini medicine doctors, and that means they deal with what's covered by a bikini. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the problem is that estrogen, what we know now is that estrogen, and to a lesser extent, progesterone, every cell in your body as far as I've been able to determine has receptors for estrogen.
That means that they can escort estrogen into the cell and work with it to make whatever cellular processes they do better under estrogen. Make sense?
Okay. So when estrogen drops in perimenopause and then in menopause, and definitely in post-menopause, we don't have that estrogen to make things work as well as they used to. Now, that just doesn't mean just our ovaries and our uteruses. It means every part of us does not work as well as it did before. So one of the symptoms that happens is heart palpitations. Mm-hmm.
<affirmative>. Okay. So your heart is beating funky. Yeah. And you, it happens at night and you freak out and you go, you go running to the, to the emergency room, and you get a resident who's only been outta med school a year or so, and he hasn't heard this, and he runs a battery of tests and you go home feeling more scared than you, than when you went in, but nothing definitive.
So you go to the cardiologist and unless you happen to mention, Hey, I'm in perimenopause, and all kinds of weird stuff are, is happening to me mm-hmm. <affirmative>,
He's not necessarily gonna think it. And those are kind the kinds of things that happen. And cardiology is just one specialty where it happens, it happens throughout our body. It, uh, estrogen reacts with or interacts with most of our major hormones. So most of our major hormones aren't working quite as well. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid, uh, testosterone, serotonin, all of those hormones are not working as well as they used to. And so nothing is working quite as effectively.
And so the more that that gets out of balance and the more that we don't support our bodies, the harder it is for anything to go back into balance. Does that make sense? Totally.
Okay. So I know that when we talked a little bit before the show mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you didn't, you weren't even quite sure about these, these designations.
Yes. I was gonna say, can you go back and just rewind a little bit and talk a little bit because Yes, I don't, I don't know what perimenopause, post-menopause, menopause, I don't even understand the phases.
Okay. So we hit puberty and we get into these reproductive years is what I call them because that's what our body is doing every month. It is building up a uterine lining in order to nourish a fetus into a baby. And that it does that by every month tries to bring an egg or an ovum to maturity, release it down the fallopian tubes and get it fertilized.
That's without any hormonal birth control, in the mix. That's what it does every month. Well, we're born with all the ovum. We're gonna have ova, we're gonna have, we have a certain number. It's a big, big number. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, every month we lose something. So we lose, over the course of our lifetime, we, we probably lose 99, 990 9,000. Wow. And only about a hundred to 500 actually come to maturity.
So sometime around our early forties, we stop having as many viable ova.
And so when they try to come to maturity, it fails. And at some point, the ovum just disintegrates. And so it just falls apart basically. And the hormones that are associated with that aren't produced that month. This is when we're in perimenopause. And so one month you might have an ovum that comes to maturity. The next month you might not, you might go two or three without producing a viable ovum.
You might go six months producing regularly. That's why we get those weird fluctuations of symptoms. Symptoms that come and go
As well, as your cycle kind of getting a
Little. Right. So that's where your cycle gets off because the estrogen and progesterone are part of keeping your cycle regular and building up and flushing out that, uh, uterine lining. So if you all of a sudden have a lot of estrogen pouring in, you might get a lot of lining built up, or you might have lining left over that didn't really shed the previous month. So you might have a heavy period mm-hmm. <affirmative>, or you might go two or three months where you don't have a lining building up.
So you have really light or spotty periods. At some point, you stop having periods and you go a year, the one-year mark from your last period is the date of menopause. Menopause is one day. <laugh> <laugh>. I know <laugh>.
That's funny that you just said that. Yeah. Yeah. Cause my day was in June. Yes. I had my one-year mark. Yes.
Yeah. Technically it's one day mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's the day that just, that you stop. And at that one-year mark, the year is the point at which you can expect to never be fertile again. So that's the day on which you can say, I don't need to worry about birth control. If you are sexually active and don't want more children. Everything after that day is post-menopause.
Okay. Well, so I guess I'm in post-menopause and didn't even know, so
Thank you. Right? Yeah. Now, in the first couple of years that, that you're in post-menopause, your body is adjusting to its new levels of hormones. And so you wanna support your body to produce what hormones it, it can still produce so that you can get to a point where you're sort of, I guess the word would be homeostasis. Um, this is where, where the memory thing comes in and you forget the word, you really want to use <laugh>. Yeah. Um, but you, you reach a point where everything is I is on equilibrium, and you feel relatively good if you're supporting your body.
So, what I do with women is teach them how to support their bodies throughout the whole process.
I was just gonna ask how to support your body. Yeah. How do you, how do you even know what you're lacking, I guess?
Well, so here's the deal. All of those symptoms, and in my book, I've identified over a hundred and I keep running into things that seem to be related to this whole process. So I don't ever purport to have a full and not complete list mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but, but the symptoms that you have are symptoms of different hormones being out of balance in a different way. And some of 'em are just random symptoms, and we really don't know what caused them.
But there are some that really, really point to what's going on, whether it's cortisol and your stress levels are bad, or insulin and your sugar L levels are out of whack, or your thyroid and your metabolism isn't. Right. And the thing that we do then, once we have an idea of what's going on, is we test that hypothesis and we, we use nutrition and we use movement, and we use stress management and sleep.
Um, I teach sleep because sleep is actually one of, one of the most common symptoms, or not. Sleeping is one of the most common symptoms of, of the whole journey. And it happen, it happens in so many different ways that we don't sleep. That I teach people how to, how to get a good night's sleep. And then I teach them how to, how to deal with the relationships and the changes and the, the things that are happening in their lives so that they can really take control of themselves, take control of their lives.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative> put themselves into the center of their lives for the first time ever.
Uh, what I love that I'm hearing from you is you're not using medication, you know, to help with these symptoms. Because I feel like when I had some symptoms, the actual response really was, um, you know, it was kind of like, well, we could put you on like a birth control. I didn't really have a lot of choices. Yeah.
Yeah. There, well, let's talk about different ways. So yeah. So one way is hormone replacement, or before you actually go through menopause, it's usually they try and put you on birth control pill. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> a birth control pill, but that's interfering with the hormone stasis as it is. And so to me, there is this really wonderful gift of menopause. And we didn't, I, I kind of alluded to it.
When we're in, our reproductive years, our biology is pushing us to be all things to all people.
And we're, we're taking care of our kids. We're ta doing our jobs, we're taking care of our husbands, we're taking care of our parents, we're taking care of the community, and we're always last
And when estrogen starts to recede, what we find is that that center part of our lives, we can let go of some of the things that we're doing for other people, but we don't have to, we don't have to throw them out of our lives. We just get a chance to say, Hey, I'm important too. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And when we start playing with our hormones with hormone replacement or birth control, that doesn't get to happen quite as much.
Because the hormones are, are being, are still the same things that you've always had. So I, this is why I say it's a gift. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Now another way that doctors tend to do things is because doctors are doctors; they tend to throw a pill at you. Yeah. So here, have an antidepressant here, have there's a new one coming out for hot flashes. I don't know if it keeps hot flashes down, but it might be worth it. But pills aren't generally designed to make you, well, they're ma they're designed to solve a symptom.
So the way I work with all natural stuff, and, partly because I am not a doctor and I cannot counteract your doc, I can't counterman your doctor's orders and I can't prescribe for you. But I can say this is how you can do it without necessarily running into those pills and hormone replacement.
You can give other options, which I think is very, very important. I know in my experience; I had, one of my symptoms was excessive bleeding. And when I say excessive bleeding, it was, it was bad. Um, there was a point where for three weeks I just bled straight. It was, um, like changing every hour kind of thing. Yes. And um, you know, so I was at the doctor quite a bit, and of course, they did all the right things in the sense of like, you know, is there anything else going on all those tests to make sure there's no cysts or anything that need to be taken care of.
Um, and obviously nothing was found; never did they mention really menopause <laugh> in any of this, just FYI. Um, but their thought was, oh, well we could put you on like a birth control and I don't do well on birth control. I, my blood pressure goes up, and I get migraines. It's not a good scenario for me. So I knew mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that wasn't the route. And luckily, I am actually a cranial psychotherapist is one of, um, the things that I do. And I decided to go get some treatment and see if that would help.
And, you know, and it did, it totally rebalanced my body. I stopped bleeding honestly two days later. And that was so nice. Cause I felt like, just like you said, I got to the root of the problem. Yes.
Not just taking something to mask the problem. So for me, that was very helpful. And, I like that there are other options out there for people.
I have literally talked with women who, um, have been in similar situations and because they've been bleeding heavily for two or a couple of cycles, the response is, oh, let's go, let's go take your uterus out. Let's give you a hysterectomy.
Well, once you do that, I mean, you displace all kinds of things in that area, your body, and then everything else starts falling apart. I'm sorry, <laugh>. It just, it's not, it's not what's needed. Now there's, there's a secondary surgical procedure called an ablation, which will, it's, it's a sort of a burning out of the uterine lining and that will stop the bleeding as well. But this idea that, we just yank something out because it's inconvenient.
Um, my, my solution is to, you know, do some work with like B12 and iron to make sure that you're not, not getting anemic and really trying to bring down the, there's a couple of herbals that you can use to bring down the estrogen levels a little bit to help your, your body flush estrogen. Usually, that heavy bleeding is too much estrogen in your body at the time.
And so there are really easy ways, I won't say easy, but there are, are natural ways and it means that you're not going through a surgical procedure with, uh, a rather lengthy recovery period. Um, your body, there is some evidence that your body actually, that your uterus actually helps produce some of the residual hormones after menopause. Certainly, you don't wanna lose your ovaries unless you, unless they're truly diseased and really causing problems.
Because that's where, again, residual hormones come from those your ovaries and your uterus. And you just don't wanna lose that. Just because,
I mean, I like to keep as many body parts that I came with <laugh>, you know,
You don't just cut off your hand cuz you cut your finger <laugh>.
And, yes. Um, you know, there are times when we actually need that need, those surgeries like any other organ, those organs can become diseased and really need to be removed. But heavy bleeding is not necessarily one of them.
<laugh>. And, just to what you're saying too, is no one actually even tested my levels while I was bleeding to see if I even had higher or lower or if it was not in balance. I never even got a blood test. I got other tests, but not a blood
<laugh>. Yeah. So they didn't they didn't test your Fsh to see, so FSH is what's called the follicle-stimulating hormone. And remember I told you that you're trying to, those uh, ovum are trying to mature, they mature inside of follicles, which are not like your hair follicles. They're something totally different. And a pituitary hormone called FSH or follicle stimulating hormone is released as those more and more of it is released as you don't get overcome to maturity.
So that rises, and that tells you you're in menopause. And again, your doctor didn't even test for that.
No. Yeah. I know. It's funny because I've been asking about, you know, like possible like a blood test. Um, no, granted, I've had to switch doctors here and there cuz a lot of them left <laugh>, you know, just moved away. Um, so I'm sure my care wasn't as consistent as maybe somebody else's, but it wasn't until I went for my last physical and I had to get a blood test for something else, and I just said, can you test me to see if I'm in menopause? Cause I'm just, I'm curious. I haven't, you know, come June would've been my year and I was just curious if, if I was in it, I had no idea.
Like they, you know, and, and they got it back, and they're like, oh yeah, you're totally you. Yeah, I'm totally there. You're totally there. I was like, what? I was like, oh my God, I totally missed it. You know? So, um, so yeah, I was surprised that I didn't, that wasn't looked at ahead of time.
Yeah, that's, that's um, it's just so common for the, for the doctors to not um, not test for it. Not look for it. Um, I had a doctor who said, said to me, so anything weird going on? And I, I said, no. And he said, well, let me know if it is 'cause we've got a pill for that.
That was my menopause <laugh> from him. It's
Didn't even say the word
<laugh>. Ugh. And I, I get a feeling sometimes that they might like, I think people might have a reaction to it. Like, oh, if I'm in menopause, that means I'm changing. And and I think some women might think that look is, is bad, but I actually was excited about menopause. I was like, oh my God, I don't want my cycle. I'm done having kids. Like, let's go. So I even like the doctor; I finally said, can you take a blood test for me? Um, I said, just so you know, I'm excited about menopause, like it coming back that I'm in it. I, it's like a party.
I'm great with it. Like, this isn't gonna hurt me in any way <laugh>, you know? Well, so I almost feel like it's a sensitive talking point for them sometimes. I dunno.
I think, you know, we have some really negative, uh, occasionally I do a talk about where we get, get some of this negative feeling about it. But back hundreds of years ago, when a woman reached her mid to late forties, she was old. And if you're in your forties, you don't feel particularly old. And by the way, you aren't mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, these days you still have 32, 33 more years just by statistics.
<affirmative>. So, you know, you've got a, you've got at least as much time as the time you've been since puberty. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, well, just about when you hit your late forties, it's about halfway between puberty and, quote the statistical end of life mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So you, you really do have a whole other half of your, of your adult life to look forward to mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And you have to look forward to, without the responsibilities necessarily of children.
Um, and I understand there are some women who can, can feel really, saddened by that they haven't gotten the family they wanted. And I understand that mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and there are things that, things that doctors can do to help you get fertile at, you know, towards the end of perimenopause. But there are also other things that you can do, to spend your life with kids that, um, can really be just as rewarding.
I'm just thinking with, with your own experience with this whole menopause trip, <laugh> of your own experience, but you've, you've kind of grown and known so, so much now that you've worked with so many women. Um, what would you wanna tell yourself going through menopause back then that you kind of know now?
I think the thing that I, so one of the, one of the statements I use frequently is you are not going crazy. Your hormones are
Oh, that's perfect. I love
That. So most of what you're experiencing is, if not okay, it's normal. Women all over the, all over the world, are going through similar, um, experiences, and they're not, for the most part, they're not dangerous. There are a few that are not, that you really wanna see a doctor about right away mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, but most of the, most of the symptoms are not terribly dangerous. Even those heart palpitations I was talking about mm-hmm.
<affirmative>, those are not dangerous. They're just weird little beats of your heart. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you, you're gonna feel a little flutter or a little weirdness going on. UTIs, urinary tract infections are more common. Yeah. You want to; you don't want to just go around and have them all the time. You wanna do, you know, you wanna do your cranberry juice, you wanna do your, your antibiotics, but most things are not, it's not like you've got a diagnosis of a fatal disease.
It's just something our bodies are designed to go through mm-hmm. <affirmative> and on the other side, we, we think a little differently. We feel a little differently. Um, I, but overall we have an opportunity to spend 30 years or more being the person we wanna be.
Yeah. And I love how you put it cuz I've never thought of it like this cuz when you are going through it right. You have all these weird symptoms and just things that are just sometimes unpleasant. Right. <laugh>, whether hot slash and you're just sweating mid and you know, in the middle of no nowhere and people are like, why are you sweating? Or, or
Why are you sweating? It's 10 degrees in here, <laugh>. Yeah. Been there.
Exactly. You know? Um, but what I'm hearing you say, and it's so it's just comforting, is that everyone goes through it; it's normal. Like, I don't think it's normal. You hear the word normal associated with those things.
No, we don't. We, we, we think we're sick. We think we need to run to the doctor. I've talked to so many women who have just spent days and hours and and countless dollars going to the doctor, trying to find out what was wrong. Um, I've done it. One of the symptoms is something called menopausal arthritis, in which estrogen is part of what helps lubricate your joints. It helps create the fluids that lubricate your joints. And so your joints are a little less fluid.
And so you get weird aches and pains. And I started getting it, getting it, and I wound up at a, a back specialist, and he's like, well, you're just getting old. I guess you've got arthritis. Well, it turned out that as I sort of settled in, that all went away. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so the time we spend at doctors and the money we spend at doctors for people who don't understand what we're going through is really, um, it's significant.
What Yeah, it's, it is. And it's, I'm just like listening to you it, arthritis, it's like, oh my goodness. Like I can see that happening. It just being so misdiagnosed. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Well in all this, what do you think is like the biggest like, miss about menopause? Like when you hear it, you're just like cringe and you're like, oh my God, that is so not true.
Oh, let's see. Um, one of the biggest myths that, that I, um, that I I try and dispel immediately is that you can't get pregnant once you stop having your period.
That's a good one to know.
<laugh>, that's a good one to know. <laugh>. Um, there, the other thing is that remember that your f ssh is up, so it's actually triggering almost. I, I don't, not everybody goes through this, but I did, and I've, I've seen other women go through it where getting towards the end of it you're like, oh, wouldn't it be nice to have another baby? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it's like your body is saying, oh, it lasts hoorah. Let's, let's hurry up and have one more. And you don't really think about what, life would be like with a two-year-old and three years or a 16-year-old and 17-year-old years.
And, so you can, you can kind of fall into this false myth mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So know that once, even though your periods have stopped until that one-year period, that one-year marker, you are fertile.
And that is such a good point because I know for myself, I had gone like eight months without my period, and I was like, I'm there. You know, like how like I must be there. Right. Uhhuh, <affirmative>. And all of a sudden, um, my, my daughter and I were on vacation together, and she got hers, and I got mine. I was like, wait a minute, <laugh>, wait, we just cycled together. Did you mess up my menopause? You know, but yeah. So like me, I would've thought that I couldn't maybe get pregnant cuz I was like so close. I was right there, you know?
Yep. And so I think that's an important piece.
Yeah. It's an important piece. Another myth I is sort of an older myth, but I think it still pervades, and that is that menopause is a disease or a deficiency or something is wrong, and that is just not true. This is a, it's natural process, and it's designed into humans. It's designed into humans and a few whales and that's it. But it is a natural process. It's back in the early 20th century, there was a lot of, of, lot of doctors thinking, oh, this is a deficiency of estrogen and you should, you should get estrogen again.
And that was actually a really bad thing because, uh, estrogen without progesterone will wind up causing, it's, it really elevates your risk of uterine cancer. So mm-hmm. You don't want to ever do that. Oh. And that is actually a myth that doctors can sometimes perpetuate on us.
So if you are going out for, for hormone therapy and you don't have a uterus, a doctor will might tell you that you don't need to take progesterone because you only need to take it if you still have your uterus. Well, you must take it if you still have your uterus, but if you don't have your uterus, you still need that progesterone. So you want, you, you wanna contradict your doctor and you, you wanna say, yes, I do need progesterone.
I needed to feel better because you, the fe you will feel better with the balance of those two. And if you just have estrogen, you get, you wind up in the state called estrogen dominant, like that heavy bleeding that we were talking about, it can, it can also do things like, uh, create a lot of breast tenderness and a number of other things. So, so this, there's this myth out there that if you don't have a uterus, you don't need progesterone. And that's just false.
Yeah. So really balancing those hormones is what I'm
Hearing, right? Yeah.
Oh, so helpful. Your information is so helpful. I do have to ask this; this is kind of my own personal question, so I'm just gonna ask it cuz hopefully, another person has it out there. But when you do hit menopause, you're one day, right? <laugh> and never mm-hmm. <affirmative> notice,
Celebration, you dunno that. Um,
And, and if you missed it, have a celebration anyway.
<laugh>. Yeah. <laugh>. And here in post menopause, um, what are, are there some concerns or anything that like people should be conscious of
The, the big things? Again, um, because your body isn't producing the amounts of estrogen and progesterone. It did. So it's about a 10th of what it is that most of that residual comes from three places. There's a little bit of residual from your ovaries. Estrogen is also produced in your fat cells, but the majority of the residual comes from your adrenal glands, which is the same place adrenaline or epinephrine comes from.
And also cortisol, the stress hormone. Right. So if you are overstressed, you're not gonna be producing as much of, because cortisol and epinephrine and, um, epinephrine take precedence over, uh, estrogen and progesterone. So what you wanna do is keep your stress under control. And I know you cannot reduce stress. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you can only manage it <laugh>. Right. Um, you know, you can't get rid of your kids, you can't get rid of your dog, you can't get rid of your spouse.
Um, you know, the government frowns on some of that stuff, <laugh>, <laugh>. Um, but you, what you wanna do is manage your stress. So how did, how does stress management work? It works by being mindful and being, uh, good to yourself. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it works by meditation and yoga, it works by exercise, it works by sleeping. Right. There are a lot of pieces that can go into it, but you wanna manage that stress so that your body has the room to produce as much estrogen, progesterone, and then the insulin and the and thyroid and testosterone also all get whacked out of balance with too much cortisol in your system.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I would say the biggest thing to post-menopause is stress management.
Yes. Yes. Creating a little space for yourself, I think, is great. So tell us about you do so much. You have your podcast, Menopause Matters. You have a book out, right? It's called Just Want to Be Me Again, I think, right?
Yes. Actually, I have several books out.
You just do so much. And, um, and you, we were talking about a class, so can you just tell us about some of the wonderful things you do
Because we don't get information about, uh, menopause the way we got it about puberty. Remember you went to school one day, and they dragged all the girls into a classroom, and they scared 'em half to death about their periods. I have had this dream that I could do the same for every 40-year-old woman in America. It's probably, uh, not possible, but this, in March, on March 15th, I'm starting a class that, uh, will be providing that information, and it'll be a four-week class where, uh, I'll talk for a little while.
I'll be using my book as a textbook for it. So it's gonna be a chance to get your questions answered to be, you know, the Lisa <laugh> talking to me and saying, Hey, wait a minute, what about, so we'll, we'll have plenty of time for Q and A and um, then I'm gonna be doing a one-on-one with each person in the class.
Ah, that sounds wonderful. And so needed. Yes. Awesome. Well, we can have some of that in our show notes too. Um, is there a link to sign up for that class?
Yes. Uh, the link is mg.menopause.guru/classroom For listeners of this podcast, if you use the coupon code, MOMZ you will get a $50 discount.
That's amazing. I will have that all in the show notes too. So for whoever's listening and just wants to click on the link, that's an easy way to do it. It'll be in the show notes.
Thank you so much for including that.
Of course. It's so, such a great resource. There are very few if any; I mean, this is the first class I'm hearing about <laugh>, obviously, I missed everything. Um, so I mean, this is just gold. It's just gold. I think we need more of this type of stuff out there for us to learn, and be able to ha that one-on-one piece that you're gonna do is just amazing.
Yeah.I really love working one-on-one with people and helping them to understand exactly what's going on and what's, what's what their body is telling them. Because I've learned kind of to read those messages, and it's more than I could teach in a class <laugh>, let's say. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Well, thank you for doing everything that you are doing. Is there anything else that you want the listeners to hear? All the moms out there that are listening to this show? Is there anything you you want them to know?
I, there's, I think there's one thing that we kind of didn't cover, and it's that there really is, there's a gift for you in menopause, but there's also a gift for your children. And I'm, I don't say this on every podcast that I'm on because many of them are not geared specifically to moms, but when you have children, and you're going through this para menopause, menopause phase, and your children are, are getting a little older, and I'm not, not talking about your two-year-old because your two year old still needs a lot of, lot of care and attention, but as your kids get older, because you are putting yourself into the mix, you have a tendency to allow your child a little more independence.
And I'm, I'm a big believer in what, in my, when I was raising my son, was called free-range children, which was the ability of kids to be by themselves, entertain themselves, know how to take care of themselves. And I think that as we get old, as we move through this period of our lives, we are more apt to give our children that independence without necessarily letting them go into dangerous situations.
Mm. But to, to really give them responsibilities around the house. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> give them responsibilities for themselves. Although I do, I I do admit that phones and other devices are, were not nearly as prevalent when I was raising mine. Uh, but I think it gives us, a sense that it's okay to not be helicopter parents.
Yeah. It's interesting you're saying that because I def I thought I, I have teens, so my kids are older at the same time as I'm hitting this menopause phase and, and their teenagers, they are definitely getting more and more independence, and it's weird, but I'm so much more grounded and okay with it.
And almost expect it, you know, whereas mm-hmm. <affirmative> before I felt like I was probably more, I was never a helicopter mom, I will say that, but I definitely was probably a more involved mom, um, you know, just in their day-to-day and he, and probably helped a little too much. But as this phase is coming with it, them being teens, it's like, yeah. Now they're like, I don't, you know, they, I don't do their laundry anymore. <laugh> <laugh>, I have given up so many, and my thought is like, it's not hurting me if their clothes are dirty. Right. Like, they'll, they'll do it because they don't wanna go in dirty clothes, <laugh>.
Um, so it's really like
Perspective, but I never correlated it to this time period. I just kind of thought, oh, they're getting older.
Yeah. But what one of the things that's happening is that you're letting them have that independence. And there's a marvelous thing about kids that grow up independent, grow up to be independent adults. And boy is it wonderful.
Although I, admit mine is 1600 miles away, and that is a few hundred miles too far.
Yeah. A little too independent. <laugh>
<laugh>. I, but I moved from where he was, so I guess it's my own fault.
Yeah. There you go. Thank you so much. I mean, for educating us today, for your conversation, for you, just for information. I feel like, ugh, I wish I would've met you so like two years ago, but I am so glad that you have so much out there for other parents and other women to listen to your podcast. I was listening to it just today and the information is so helpful. Um, it's nice to know that it's normal and that we're not
Alone. You are not alone. Yeah. I, and I encourage your listeners to reach out to me if, if they're confused about what's going on with them, I'd love to help.
Oh, thank you again. This was really, uh, so like exactly what I needed. <laugh>.
Well, I am so glad.
Thank you for listening to this episode. If you are looking for more information on menopause, John will be starting a four-week class on March 15th. So click on the link in the show notes to learn more about this course. And don't forget, Jeanne has offered an amazing discount of $50 for this class by using the coupon code MOMZ. And remember, menopause is a natural, normal process that millions of women are going through every day. So you are definitely not alone on this journey.
The Menopause Guru
Jeanne Andrus was 48 when perimenopause launched its sneak attack on her. Perhaps she should have been expecting it, but like so many of us, she hadn't gotten the memo. So, when depression, anger, and low libido kicked her out of her own life, she knew she had to do something. She did.
She got healthy, she got fit, and she got happy. Naturally. Holistically.
A few years later, she quit her corporate job to become a personal trainer and learned that her 40's and 50's clients were experiencing the same upheaval she had gone through and with the same lack of information.
And that signalled to her that it was time to dig in. learn what was going, and help her clients understand and cope with the changes in their lives. Her practice grew and morphed into what she calls Menopause Mastery Coaching.
Now, she's on a mission to spread the knowledge she's gleaned to women everywhere through her podcast "Menopause Matters," through her book, "I Just Want to Be ME Again!" and through appearing on podcasts like this one.