Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz is a renowned OB-GYN. Her new book Menopause Bootcamp: Optimize Your Health, Empower Your Self, and Flourish as You Age has been endorsed by Rashida Jones, Dr. Mark Hyman, Pamela Adlon, and more.
As an authority on the topic of menopause, we asked Suzanne to talk to us about the things no one tells you and she quickly rocked back these ten keys.
Whether you’re 25 or 55, this story is an important read. Whether it’s period health, birth, sexual health of menopause, so many women’s health topics are shrouded in mystery. That lack of transparency serves no one. Let’s aim toward a future in which every woman can manage the stages of her life in good health…
10 Things Nobody Tells You About Menopause
1. It’s not something entirely out of your control. — Through a combination of traditional medicine, Ayurvedic healing practices, diet and exercise changes, symptoms can be managed much more effectively than we are often led to believe.
2. Hormones are not dangerous, and they won’t give you cancer. — In fact, hormone therapy is life-changing for many women, and major studies that have previously linked hormones to cancer have been discredited.
3. There is a happy medium between alternative and traditional remedies. — The best symptom treatment plan for you will be a unique blend of herbal remedies, movement, diet, and medication.
4. Major weight gain is not inevitable, and you don’t have to crash diet to maintain your weight. — Most women in the United States gain between 5 and 10 lbs during menopause, which is totally normal and won’t majorly affect your health. The best thing you can do for your diet in menopause is maintain a diet low in processed foods and high in healthy fats, protein, and fruits and vegetables.
5. Your self-care routine is just as important as your wellness regimen when it comes to managing menopausal symptoms. — Most women spend the majority of their time caring for someone else—husband, kids, coworkers. When you slow down and take time for yourself, your stress level decreases, and your body responds in kind. Try meditation, yoga, exercise, journaling, or even just dedicating the last 90 seconds of your shower to self-massage with some essential oils. Small moments can have a big impact.
6. You’ll need to be your own advocate. — Sadly, menopausal symptoms are often dismissed as overly-dramatic or non-existent by some doctors. Ensuring you have the right doctor by your side through this transition will literally be life changing. Gather intel about the best doctors from friends and online reviews, and don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself once you’re at the office.
7. Consistency is key. — Once your body begins to go through these changes, bringing stability to your daily routines, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, will help offset the intensity of the menopausal transition. Start by making small changes.
8. Your gut is calling a lot of the shots. — Ayurvedic practitioners have long understood the importance of the gut microbiome to our overall health, but Western medicine is just coming around to the importance of this connection. A happy gut microbiome can positively impact your changing body in myriad ways. Start by incorporating more fiber and fermented foods into your diet.
9. You can’t do it alone. — Sure, you can—and for centuries, women have. But now we know the incredible value of a support network for major life changes. Invite some friends over for your own mini-Menopause Bootcamp. There is great power in numbers.
10. Menopause is not the end of a woman’s life; it is just the beginning! — After all, if your period stops in your late forties or early fifties and you live to see your eighties (the average American woman’s life expectancy is 80.5 years), you’ll spend between a third and half of your life in menopause.