I’ve discovered that I’m not normal. And, as an abnormal person, I don’t always accept things as they normally are. I contemplate lots of things … things that most other people just accept. But I question everything, especially things that don’t make sense to me.
For instance, why do we say “reckless driving?” Isn’t it reckful driving?” It seems to me that “reckless” driving would mean driving without wrecks. And reckful driving would mean driving with wrecks. And shouldn’t we spell it “w-r-e-c-k” rather than “r-e-c-k”?
And why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
Okay, so now you have an idea of the thoughts that float around in my head. Yep … my brain is always contemplating something. It never takes a break.
So, I’d like to present menopause to you in a different light. I’ve been thinking about menopause as a deficiency state.
A deficiency state is any state in which your body lacks something that it needs to function. There are all sorts of deficiency states.
A vitamin deficiency is when you don’t have enough of a particular vitamin. For instance, if you’re deficient in Vitamin C, you’ll develop a disease called “scurvy.” After about a month with inadequate Vitamin C, you’d begin to notice symptoms such as:
- Feeling tired
- Soreness of your arms and legs
- Curly hair
Eventually, you’d notice symptoms that indicate inadequate red blood cells, like:
- Bleeding gums from gum disease
- Bleeding from your skin
As scurvy worsens over time, you’d notice:
- Poor wound healing
- Personality changes
- Eventual death from infection or bleeding
Nowadays, scurvy is very uncommon in developed countries. And treatment is simple: You just take Vitamin C supplements by mouth. You’d notice improvement in your symptoms in a matter of days, with complete recovery in a few weeks.
Nearly every vitamin has a syndrome associated with deficiency of that vitamin. And you treat every single one of them by replacing the deficient vitamin. That’s why there are so many “multi-vitamin” formulations in stores. The fact is that people’s diets aren’t that great these days. And they can compensate for what would be vitamin deficiencies by taking a multi-vitamin. Plus, there are all sorts of added supplements to foods in order to prevent vitamin deficiencies.
Let’s see, what about protein deficiency?
You know, there are a lot of vegans and vegetarians who are protein deficient. You really have to know what you’re doing if you become vegetarian or vegan. Well, what symptoms would you have if you were protein deficient?
- You’d have constant cravings for — believe it or not — foods that are not protein!
- You’d crave foods that indicate unstable blood sugar. So you’d crave carbs, sweets, chocolate, caffeine, and other foods with absolutely no nutritional value.
- You might also have muscle or joint pain.
- You wouldn’t be able to sleep well.
- You’d have low energy.
- You’d be moody.
- You’d have trouble losing weight.
- Your immunity would be suppressed and you’d get sick easily.
- You’d retain fluid in your ankles.
- You’d have flaky skin in some areas.
- You might notice hair thinning or hair loss.
Treatment is easy: You eat more protein, and voilá, the symptoms disappear.
Here’s a biggie: What about Diabetes Type I? It’s a deficiency of insulin. And without insulin, your blood sugar levels are too high. And what happens when your blood sugar levels remain too high? Well, lots of things, including:
- Kidney failure
- Skin ulcers
- Heart disease
- Diabetic coma
Diabetes is probably the worst of the deficiency diseases. Unfortunately, it’s all too common. And how do you treat it? You take insulin, thereby replacing the deficiency.
Hypothyroidism is another one. “Hypo” means too little. And “thyroidism” means thyroid hormone. So hypothyroidism means too little thyroid hormone. This is a common problem for menopausal women. What symptoms would you notice ifyou had hypothyroidism?
- Inability to tolerate cold temperatures
- Weight gain
Once again, treatment is simple: You replace what’s missing: thyroid hormone.
We even have supplements added to our foods so that we never become deficient in important nutrients.
Have you ever wondered why your salt is “iodized”? It’s so that you’re never deficient in iodine.
And do you use a toothpaste with fluoride in it? It contains fluorine to prevent tooth decay.
Just walk through the grocery store and look at how many of your foods are “fortified” with something.
So I ask you: How is estrogen deficiency any different from any of these other deficiency states?
Did you notice that many of the symptoms of these other deficiency states sounded an awful lot like the symptoms of menopause?
I’ve been renting some of my brain space to this quandary lately. And I wonder why it is that no one expects you to live with a deficiency of any other substance. So why would it be expected, or even acceptable, for you to live with estrogen deficiency?
The fact is that nearly every part of your female body is dependent on estrogen. Without it, you have all sorts of symptoms that manifest in all areas of your body — head to toe, that manifest in every manner —physical, emotional, psychological, and social. You have short-term symptoms that disrupt your quality of life, like:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood swings, Irritability, Depression
- Cravings for sweets, carbs, alcohol
- Breast pain
- Joint stiffness and joint pain
- Dry skin
- Hair loss on your scalp
- Hair growth in undesirable locations
- Vaginal dryness
- Urinary tract infections
- Urinary incontinence
- Weight gain
- Decreased sex drive
And you have long-term diseases that can end your life:
- Heart attack
- Alzheimer’s Disease
So why is it controversial as to whether or not estrogen replacement is appropriate?
And why have women been scared to death about the risks and left in the dark about the benefits?
Have you ever heard the saying, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”? Well, it’s not true. It’s estrogen! Estrogen is a girl’s best friend … from puberty until death.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, why replace estrogen when menopause really isn’t a disease? Do you know what the word, “disease” means? “Dis” is Latin, and means away from. “Ease” is French, and means ease. Together, the word “disease” means away from ease.
So what do you think? Does menopause take or keep women away from ease?
Your answer is the only one that matters … for you.
So, next you may ask, “Well, why would Mother Nature make us become estrogen deficient at middle age if she didn’t intend for us to live out the rest of our lives in an estrogen deprived state?” Isn’t it ‘natural’ to live without estrogen for the second half of our lives?”
I’ll tell you why: Because good ole Mother Nature intended for you to die at about age 50! The only reason you live longer than you’re supposed to live, according to Mother Nature’s plan, is because of advances in medicine. You were never supposed to live in a menopausal state at all; you were supposed to die.
So, how do you account for that?
Do you prefer to live in an estrogen-deprived state for the rest of your life? Or do you prefer to replace the estrogen deficiency?
I can tell you that if men suddenly became deficient in testosterone, they’d replace it faster than you can say “hot flash.” If men’s testosterone disappeared like women’s estrogen does, they would certainly not have handled it with the grace we’ve shown. In fact, they probably would have made a huge mess of the world by now.
Maybe you think its better to just accept things as they are. If so, you might live out the rest of your life recklessly in some deficiency state. Alternatively, maybe you’ll decide to think about these things analytically, ask the hard questions, and demand answers. If so, you’ll be around to drive on any parkway and park on any driveway you wish.
So, why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway? Now, don’t drive wreckfully on either!
This article, was written by Dr. Barbara Taylor.