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early menopause & why we are sick

Posted by Elisa on March 29, 2002 at 22:28:20:

I think it was Denise who recently asked Walt why he
thinks women go through menopause (or at least start
perimenopause) earlier than they did in previous
generations. He answered that all diseases happen
earlier, obviously suggesting that the general
population is less healthy, as is our environment.

Last weekend I had the good fortune to stop by my
mother's house when she was having a little luncheon
with eight of her women friends. They range in age from
54-72 and all are post menopausal. Although it is a
slightly off color thing to bring up in mixed company, I
thought about Denise's question and thought I would
ask these ladies what they thought, and possibly dispel
the rumours that women of earlier generations suffered
the same as we do only they didn't talk about those
things back then. Here is what came of the
conversation.

Two of the women had their uteruses removed and
were on hrt. The others had all gone through meno
naturally and had not taken any hrt at any time. All of
them went through it between ages 47 and 54. All
reported having experienced some hot flashes and
insomnia, and general aches and pains (joints etc.).
One woman said she had migraines for several years
just before her periods stopped. Two women (the ones
who had hysterectomies) had heavy bleeding.
Interesting to note that both of these women were very
overweight (always had been). None of them reported
any problems in their 30s. All of them only remembered
feeling anything in the 2-3 years around the cessation
of menses. My mother remembered having several
spells of severe vertigo about 5 years before meno, but
never made the connection to hormones. One of her
friends said she had 6 months of vertigo right before
her last period. All of them with the exception of my
mother had some starts and stops in their cycles
before it all went away. My mother's just stopped one
month and never returned, normal 5 days periods up to
the very last one.

So it seems that this sampling of women at least
experienced what would be considered typical
menopause without much that would be considered
perimenopause. Today it seems that people think it is
"normal" to become a raving moody bitch with irregular
periods, hot flashes, crying jags/depression, or have
your hair all fall out and acne return in your mid 30s or
early 40s. When I mentioned this to this group, they
laughed and swore up and down that they had none of
these problems. So, my next question was, "Why do
you think women are having these problems now and
so much earlier?"

"Stress!" one lady said.

"Cell phones!" another one answered, laughing.

"We had our children earlier, and more of them." said a
third.

I thought this line of thinking was intriguing so I asked
them to think of all the things that are different now from
when they were growing up, and I wrote it all down.
Here's is the list this kind group of ladies came up with.
Note that most of these women were born between
1936 and 1940.

At the time these women were born there were no jet
airplanes, and commercial plane travel was effectively
non-existant. There were no computers, satellites,
microwave ovens, copy machines, fax machines, tape
recorders, CD players, or any kind of wireless devices
like cell phones, pagers, palm pilots etc. There were no
stereo music systems period. There was no television.
No space travel, no atomic, nuclear or hydrogen
bombs, no guided missiles or smart bombs either.
There were no fluorescent lights, no washing
machines or dryers, dishwashers, or food processors.
There was no air conditioning. Nor were there
freeways, shopping centers, or malls. There essentially
were no suburbs as we know them. There were also
no fast food chains or megastores like Wal-mart or
Costco. There was no fed-x overnight service. No birth
control pills, antibiotics, SSRIs, or or any other
medication that resulted from genetic research. There
was no genetically "enhanced" foods and no pesticides
or herbicides. Margarine, artificial sweeteners, and
reduced fat foods were not yet invented and processed
foods were barely in existance. Most people had one
car at most and the gasoline used to fuel them did not
contain chemical additives that poisoned the ground
water. And the list goes on.

Given the fact that all of the above mentioned changes
that have occured in the last 60 years, the question we
should be asking is not why do some people get sick
or go throug meno earlier, it is why are we not ALL sick
and going through meno earlier.

Food for thought!



Re: early menopause & why we are sick

Posted by kt on March 29, 2002 at 22:58:00:

In Reply to: early menopause & why we are sick posted by Elisa on March 29, 2002 at 22:28:20:

Elisa,
Thanks for posting this - it's very interesting. You are a good ethnographer!
Something occurred to me, though- is it possible that menopause is like childbirth in that once it's over, you forget how bad it was?
kt



Re: early menopause & why we are sick

Posted by Naya on March 29, 2002 at 23:13:15:

In Reply to: early menopause & why we are sick posted by Elisa on March 29, 2002 at 22:28:20:

Interesting observations. However, a lot of the *negative* tings you list did come into being starting in the 1940's, including the first atomic bomb. In the 50's when these women were teenagers, many of the things you mentioned began to appear on the scene and continued to increase as the women entered their 20's and 30's, although not to the extent that they, (the things on the list), exist today.



Re: early menopause & why we are sick

Posted by kmd on March 29, 2002 at 23:44:33:

In Reply to: early menopause & why we are sick posted by Elisa on March 29, 2002 at 22:28:20:

Wow Elisa, great post! Makes me want to drive to the woods and hide from modern life though. This is a very convincing argument that SR is more important now than ever.

What will the health of our children be like when they are in their 30's? Scary!

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Re: early menopause & why we are sick

Posted by MAI on March 30, 2002 at 00:06:20:

In Reply to: early menopause & why we are sick posted by Elisa on March 29, 2002 at 22:28:20:

Actually what is almost at all times misdiagnosed as MENOPAUSE is NOT menopause but mercury poisoning!

One of the BIGGEST scams in medicine.

Think why women in other cultures do not have night sweats, or alleged menopause at early age !




Re: early menopause & why we are sick - to MAI re: mercury

Posted by kmd on March 30, 2002 at 00:23:07:

In Reply to: Re: early menopause & why we are sick posted by MAI on March 30, 2002 at 00:06:20:

Hi MAI, I think most of us by now realize that mercury is one of the "biggest scams in medicine" and that it is very harmful to people and has caused a lot of adverse health conditions.

But mercury cannot be the sole cause of everything that is going wrong with the health of people today. Yes it contributes in many cases! But it is not the end-all. I think you are not "seeing the forest for the trees."

I think if Elisa asked that group of post-menopausal women about their own amalgams, we would learn that they all have them, LOTS of them, and probably got them at a young age, same as what is happening to young women still today. I see an abundance of silver in the mouths of most older folks.

If that group of women got their amalgams same as women now entering their 30's and 40's did, you cannot tie this to the increased incidence of early menopause.

Also, the women you are referring to from other cultures - which cultures? Cultures without all our modern electromagnetic soup?

I appreciate your position and that you are an activist speaking out strongly for an important cause. I am glad that there will be no mercury amalgams going into the mouths of my 2 boys. I'm glad I became aware of the dangers of mercury thimerosal in vaccines (almost too late for my youngest).

But there are SO MANY THINGS wrong with our environment, we are exposed to so much! Mercury is only one thing!

Getting mercury out of the picture to the point where children are being born of mothers who are mercury-free and who grow up mercury-free is not going to guarantee them a lifetime free of illness and ailments!

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Re: early menopause & why we are sick

Posted by Sonja on March 30, 2002 at 00:24:35:

In Reply to: early menopause & why we are sick posted by Elisa on March 29, 2002 at 22:28:20:

Thank you so much for a thoughtful post.

It is often difficult to discover what's going on while it goes on. I think your observations and conclusions are right on track, and need to be taken seriously.

We don't know today what tomorrow may bring. The speed of technological development scares me, as well as the fact that it is being guided by profit motives, and not by the principles of well being. Most people won't know that the quality of their life is poor, if that is how they always have had it. More people should do studies like you did and raise their awareness. I don't think the development should be stopped, but definitely slowed down and its consequences examined.

Sonja

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Re: early menopause & why we are sick - to Elisa and kt

Posted by Barb on March 30, 2002 at 00:40:35:

In Reply to: Re: early menopause & why we are sick posted by kt on March 29, 2002 at 22:58:00:

Elisa,
Excellent post. Another thought that has come up about why its starting early on many women. A cause may be all the harmones that have been put in our meat and food sources over the years. That is a reason now given for girls starting their periods so young now.
I am starting menapause. the most difficult thing for me is the mood swings, irritability, and depression. I have talked with older women about menapause, and they have told me that they almost lost their sanity during that time.
So, maybie what Kt posted, once through it, they have forgotten. Also, you should interview the husbands...LOL
I wonder what they would have to say about their wives when they went through menapause.



Re: early menopause & why we are sick (Archive in menopause.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 30, 2002 at 09:19:37:

In Reply to: early menopause & why we are sick posted by Elisa on March 29, 2002 at 22:28:20:

Thanks, Elisa.

This is worth starting a new archive!

Namaste`

Walt

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Good point, Barb.......

Posted by kt on March 30, 2002 at 10:04:49:

In Reply to: Re: early menopause & why we are sick - to Elisa and kt posted by Barb on March 30, 2002 at 00:40:35:

I bet the husbands haven't forgotten what it was like!!!



Re: early menopause & why we are sick - to Elisa and kt

Posted by Elisa on March 30, 2002 at 11:31:45:

In Reply to: Re: early menopause & why we are sick - to Elisa and kt posted by Barb on March 30, 2002 at 00:40:35:

It's true that some women may not remember how bad
their menopause was once it is long past. However, I
think the thing that struck me most about this group is
that they did not have the menopause symtoms as
early as women now. They have no recollection of
feeling lousy in their 30s or early 40s, whereas doctors
now seem to think this is normal. And of course it is,
give the state of our environment and lifestyle.

Maybe my Dad will have a luncheon soon and I can
ask the boys what they think to get to the bottom of
this!!! LOL.



To Naya

Posted by Elisa on March 30, 2002 at 11:36:46:

In Reply to: Re: early menopause & why we are sick posted by Naya on March 29, 2002 at 23:13:15:

Yes it;s true that many of these things came about in
conception in the 40s and 50s, but they did not touch
everyone's life like they do now until much later. The
most insidious of these things in my opinion (nuclear
power, the advent of the computer industry, genetic
foods, chemicals etc) have all become nearly
unavoidable for the entire population in the just the last
30 years (my lifetime). And its not just he "inventions"
themselves that make us sick, but the fallout of their
manufacturing and the way it increases stress in our
lives that may have the greatest inpact. Just look at
what antibiotics alone have done to our ability to fight off
illnes naturally. We have weakened ourselves as a race
through technology.

Of course this is a "deep" subject and one that is clearly
open to a lot of debate.

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Re: Good point, Barb.......To Elisa and Kt LOL -

Posted by Barb on March 30, 2002 at 12:07:06:

In Reply to: Good point, Barb....... posted by kt on March 30, 2002 at 10:04:49:

As I remember it when I when I was growing up, many many women at menapausal age were on anti-depressants. Many women became alcholholics or became dependant on the anti-depressants. Valum comes to my mind.
Great post Elisa!



That's true....

Posted by kt on March 30, 2002 at 13:22:51:

In Reply to: Re: Good point, Barb.......To Elisa and Kt LOL - posted by Barb on March 30, 2002 at 12:07:06:

I remember my mom having a terrible time. She had wild mood swings and would crave salt (adrenal problems?) and ordered potato chips shipped to our house by the case! After a hysterectomy at 50 and estrogen therapy, she felt much better. It was the 60's. I'm wondering if they performed alot of hysterectomies back then just to get women thru menopause quicker.



Re: early menopause & why we are sick - to Elisa and kt

Posted by kt on March 30, 2002 at 14:08:24:

In Reply to: Re: early menopause & why we are sick - to Elisa and kt posted by Elisa on March 30, 2002 at 11:31:45:

That is a very interesting point about what doctors consider to be normal. I started having symptoms in my late 30s. In my 40s I addressed the thyroid and adrenal problems that had bothered me for years and also had my mercury fillings removed, gave up junk food and did regular yoga. Now, at 49, I have no menopause symptoms and no pms for the first time in my life. Last time I saw her, my doctor asked what type of therapy I would like when I "hit menopause". I told her I didn't need a thing, I was sailing right through it! She seems to think this is quite abnormal!!!



Re: That's true....

Posted by Naya on March 30, 2002 at 17:41:58:

In Reply to: That's true.... posted by kt on March 30, 2002 at 13:22:51:

I think you're right. There were a lot of hysterectomies then. My mother had one, too, and I've had one. I myself am in the low end of that group that was interviewed and I had a horrible time in my 20's,30's and 40's. That's why I'm questioning the absolute validity of the conclusions made. I know there is much more technological fall-out now, but I don't think menopause was such a picnic for women older than I. I think they just didn't talk about it the way we do. My mother never talked about it, or sex or anything like that.



Re: early menopause & why we are sick

Posted by Cathy on March 30, 2002 at 20:58:45:

In Reply to: early menopause & why we are sick posted by Elisa on March 29, 2002 at 22:28:20:

What a great post! I am in the middle of menopause, and I have had very few of the, "complaints" that others suffer from. I think it's because I was a vegeterian for many years, and in my non-vegeterian years, ate only hormone-free meat. In addition, I think women are programmed to expect a lot of crazyness during this expierience. My friends of the same age but different mind-set are miserable. They have horrible hot flashes, while I get warm and take off my sweater! Like everything else, getting freaked out makes it much worst.

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Re: early menopause & why we are sick -to KT

Posted by Barb on March 30, 2002 at 21:09:30:

In Reply to: Re: early menopause & why we are sick - to Elisa and kt posted by kt on March 30, 2002 at 14:08:24:

Wow, thats REALLY interesting kt. Thats GREAT!
I'm still working on LGS...got exercise and diet down
What did you do for adrenals?
Barb



Re: early menopause & why we are sick -to KT

Posted by kt on March 30, 2002 at 22:54:06:

In Reply to: Re: early menopause & why we are sick -to KT posted by Barb on March 30, 2002 at 21:09:30:

I started taking dhea and a few months later started a homeopathic dose of hydrocortisone (5mg. per day). Took the dhea about 2 years until the levels were in normal range. Will be slowly weaning myself off the hydrocortisone over the next six months.

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Re: That's true....

Posted by kt on March 30, 2002 at 23:02:02:

In Reply to: Re: That's true.... posted by Naya on March 30, 2002 at 17:41:58:

Yes, you're right. I remember when I was a teenager sitting around with my friends and discussing the problems our mothers were having, but I don't think the MOTHERS ever talked about it.
I think part of the problem was that almost all of the doctors were male and they didn't really take those types of complaints seriously, so the women just kept their mouths shut and suffered in silence.



Re: That's true....

Posted by Naya to kt on March 31, 2002 at 00:43:46:

In Reply to: Re: That's true.... posted by kt on March 30, 2002 at 23:02:02:

Good point about all our mothers' doctors being male. And the docs at that time had a generally very unliberated view of women in those days, as did most of the women about themselves. So I think the philosophy was "shut up and keep your suffering to yourself". I remember my mother saying, " well we just didn't talk about those things".



Re: That's true....

Posted by Vince F on March 31, 2002 at 05:40:18:

In Reply to: Re: That's true.... posted by Naya to kt on March 31, 2002 at 00:43:46:

talking about Dr's in general I don't think they understand
an illness till They have it even wemens issues with a
woman Dr. I heard the Dr/Writer, Cook I believe who said
that he Never understood his patients complaints till He
needed knee surgery and learned what he was bing told about
treatments and hospitals and he said that every intern
should spend just one day in a bed in a hospital to see
what it was like.

Last week there was a woman gyn on PBS and even She said
that when giving birth she thought like she was taught and
didn't listen to her body as if her personality was split
and a male Dr has No point of reference for wemens problems
so it would be even worse. In any case I think finding a
Dr you listens and Then things is a lot better than one
who pretends to know everything.

VF



Re: early menopause & why we are sick

Posted by Denise on March 31, 2002 at 09:28:27:

In Reply to: early menopause & why we are sick posted by Elisa on March 29, 2002 at 22:28:20:

Hi Elisa!
Yes it was me that brought this up. During my explorings of menopause It just came to my mind this guestion. Cause on the sites and even the doctors have a set age limit for this and than I got to wondering what about the ones that are not in the age limit. What also comes to mind has anyone ever noticed that kids are bigger these days? There shoe size and height. I always wondered if it is what they put into food the hormones. I even had a chiro tell me that is why kids are larger all over than when we were that age cause of the hormones in food.
DOcs always say with that fsh test it is high you need estrogen-I don;t believe that is true. A true estrogen test needs to be given-but around here alot of docs don;t to. But some women trust there docs and just add more hormones to there system and wonder why they are not feeling better. If one can figure out how to get rid of the extra hormones I would think we would all be better off.
It kills me with those cigarette commercials on how bad it is for you-i think commercials should be started on what is it your food! I agree that stress is a number one problem these days-cause the world is involved in to many rules on life-nothing is simple like it use to be and if people did not make things so complicated we all would be better off.
Dealing with the stress needs to be done but also dealing with the excess hormones too. HOw does one get rid of the extra hormones is the question. I don;t think taking something to balance them is the solution-I think if one got rid of the extra estrogen they would balance. As for me my levels according to the medical profession I need to take hormones-but with muscle testing I don;t need hormones. I feel better with out hormones. My gut feeling is I have to much estrogen. I know Doc Lee says use progestoroe to balance them-but that does not solve the problem off haveing to much estrogen. I know I am babbling here-I know I am no doctor but doesn;t it make sense to get rid of the extra estrogen? Not to use progestorone to balance the to much estrogen. Sounds like it would add to the problem to me. I know some woman need it-alot of us don;t especially the ones that are not really in menopause.
Thank you for making this topic more involved. And thank your mother and her friends!!
Denise



Re: early menopause & why we are sick

Posted by Sonja on March 31, 2002 at 16:25:53:

In Reply to: Re: early menopause & why we are sick posted by Denise on March 31, 2002 at 09:28:27:

Dear Denise,
I am not menopausal yet, but have been following this thread with great interest. It concerns all women and the future generations too.

I just wanted to say that I trust your gut feeling. You have obviously given this a lot of thought and put it all together. If it 'feels' like you have too much estrogen, I wouldn't be surprised if you were right. This intuitive feeling, that many dismiss nowadays, has been our main guidance for thousands of years. Too bad we today think that knowledge is only what's in the books. I value this place where people can come together and exchange knowledge.

This is an aside to this discussion, which to me is both interesting and important....learned a lot from it.

best regards
Sonja

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Re: That's true....

Posted by kt on March 31, 2002 at 17:21:23:

In Reply to: Re: That's true.... posted by Vince F on March 31, 2002 at 05:40:18:

That's a good point, Vince. I think you might be talking about Dr. Christiane Northrup. I saw her on PBS a few months ago and she was talking about how she had been taught in medical school to tell pregnant women not to push until the doctor said so. After she had a baby, she said she would never tell a woman not to push and she felt like telephoning all her patients whose babies she had delivered and apologizing to them for being so insensitive!

Did you ever see the movie with William Hurt?--I think it's called "The Doctor" -- he gets cancer and discovers how badly patients are treated.

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