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E68: Why Drs. Don't Know What To Do With Perimenopause



I've been one of the millions of women that visited my doctor for a period of 5 years, trying to figure out why I was suffering from brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, acne, eczema, inflammation, allergies, painful joints, irritability and so much more, without getting any answers.

As a healthcare professional myself, I felt stuck and unsure why my doctors and specialists couldn't provide any answers or solutions.

If this sounds like your story, I share with you today why it is that doctors have no idea what to do with perimenopause and how you can side-step the 'sick-care' system and take your health into your own hands.

You CAN thrive through perimenopause and in this episode I share the first 3 steps that you can take to get there!

If you would like to join my 10-day coaching program, you can save your seat for free here...


Transcript:

Hello my friend and welcome back.

I’m so happy you are here again today and I truly wish we could kick our shoes off together on the patio, with a glass of whatever and have a chat.

Talking about women’s health, hormones and perimenopause is something I can do for hours ever single day, because I’ve seen how that knowledge can change the lives of women in a profound way. It it really impacts he 4 most important things that we hold so dearly as women, and that is marriage, our children, our business or career and our spiritual wellbeing. But you know, it also affects our extended families and people that we love. And so I can’t emphasise this enough.

If we don’t learn about perimenopause and how to thrive through this normal reproductive stage of life, all other aspects will most definitely suffer because of it.

So thanx for being here, investing in your own knowlege, and instead of making this a 1-way conversation, I would love for you to let me know what your experience has been with perimenopause, how did you learn about this, because I’m almost 100% convinced that you did not learn about this from your doctor.

Which is what this episode is all about today.

I’ve had a conversation with a dear friend recently about a family member that has had devastating news concerning their health as a result of the medical system dropping the ball once again.

And I’m sure all of us have stories that are near and dear to us when it comes to health care system, which I like to call the sick care system.

I’ve been a victim of this myself.

Trusting those that are supposed to be the experts and they were unable to provide me with any solutions, explanations or even just a message of hope.

This is what fuels me every day to show up and do the work, especially when things get tough. Because so many people out there need to hear this message as for too long we’ve been giving the responsibility of our health over to that sick care system and they’ve been failing us.

We need to take that responsibility back and make a difference for ourselves and our families.

And I know that doctors get extremely irritated when we jump on google and try to do our own research, but I think this is critical that we do educate ourselves.

I’m not necessarily advocating for self-diagnosing or following and believing everything you read on google, because we do know that there is A LOT of misinformation out there.

But find healthcare professionals that study the research and make it their mission to provide you with accurate information so that you can be well informed and advocate for yourself. Which is what this podcast is all about, and also all other content and information that I ever put out into the world.


I wanna use our time together today to help you understand the history of the last 50 or so years of women’s health, which will help you to understand why a lot of things may not make sense to you in terms of your health.

I think it is important to understand what has been happening in the past few years and how that is affecting women’s health today. And you may have heard me talk about this before, but I think it’s important enough to talk about it often, so that it does not get overlooked.


In the 1970’s, the FDA issued a policy, recommending that all women of childbearing age be excluded from clinical trials due to the increased risk to an unborn foetus.

This policy was broad and recommended excluding even women who used contraception, were single or whose husbands were vasectomized. This came as a result of the effect of a drug called thalidomide, which was used as a sedative, that has caused horrible limb deformities in babies.


At the same time, very few women worked in either medicine or science in those years, and many women also believed that women’s health needs were a low priority in the scientific and medical fields.


In 1993, the inclusion of women in clinical trials became law after after years of advocating from the Women’s Health Movement and other activist groups.


So all of this lead to about a 20 year research gap in women’s health of which we can still feel and see the effect today. It’s so clear that doctors have no idea what to do with women even still today.

I’ve recently had a consultation with a lady that has been concerned with her daughter showing signs of puberty at the age of 8 and she couldn’t find a single doctor or specialist that shared her concerns. They all made it out as normal.

And this is consistent behavious for women of all ages.

We see in the teenage years too, where girls struggle with debilitating periods that are painful and heavy and they get prescribed hormonal contraceptives. I find this super unethical, because one of the oaths that we take as healthcare professionals when we graduate, is first do no harm.

Hormonal contraceptives, no matter how small the dose, have been proven over and over again to have huge risks associated with it, especially when using during those developing years when the pathways between the brain and ovaries are still developing.

So for me, first of all, it’s unethical to prescribe a drug that we know carries large risks, and secondly, that those drugs are being prescribed without giving women all of the information that they need to make informed decisions.


Now coming back to this massive research gap, it can take approximately 17 years for research findings to make its way into clinical practice. Because these findings need to be validated through more studies, which take time. And then, once validated, this data need to be incorporated into medical school curriculums, and existing, qualified healthcare providers need to be updated. And if you’re doctor does not have a special interest in women’s health, his or her ongoing professional development won’t be focused on that field and therefore they will still be totally unaware of the developments that are happening in that field. So you can understand that this is totally the long game, and that you and I are still living in the effects of that research gap.


And here’s what I want you to hear today my friend, debilitating symptoms are not normal.

I was talking to a former student of mine a few weeks ago, and she was explaining how she was suffering from incredibly heavy and painful periods from her very first period and how she was missing days of school at a time due to heavy bleeding.

It was only later that she realised that her friends were not experiencing the same and therefore what she was going through was not normal.

From that time on, she has always been looking for information and help to get to the bottom of what was happening to her body but couldn’t find anything for about 20 years.


When we go through something like this, we learn to live with a body that does not allow us to live life to the fullest.

We learn to be ok with substandard medical care, because we keep hearing that what we’re experiencing is normal.

We learn to accept that men get to live a full life in their uncomplicated bodies and we need to settle for the challenges that we are experiencing.

For years we keep ignoring symptoms that are trying to tell us an important message.

But we were never taught to understand the language that our body speaks.

We were never encouraged and taught to tune in to the subtle whispers, like heavy periods, foggy brain, pms, painful periods, poor sleep, poor mental health and so much more.

So we live with it. Until we ignore it long enough for our bodies to finally give in and we develop chronic conditions.

And i’ve seen this over and over again.


And I think what makes it worse, is that we’ve had general practitioners that have been male dominant for the majority of medical care history. It means that they can’t relate and don’t understand the symptoms that we are experiencing and sometimes we don’t quite have the language to explain the full impact of those symptoms.

But to be honest, even female practitioners often don’t get it.

Because the reality is, the medical training that our doctors and medical staff get, is based on those years of research that was done on male subjects.


So what does this mean for you today?

Well, I believe the first step that we as women need to take for ourselves, but also for the next generations, is to face the truth about the fact that it is OUR responsibility to advocate for ourselves and to search the answers for ourselves.

And as you may know, this is the hard part.

Telling a doctor that you don’t agree with his or her opinion or diagnosis, is something that takes a lot of courage and vulnerability.

But that’s what we need to do.

And then, keep looking until we find the answers.


The research is coming through right now…

And if you look for a healthcare practitioner that considers it important enough to give their female patients equal medical care, they will know what is coming through at the moment.

If they take the time to dig through and search out the new research.

And to be brutally honest, the reason why I’ve decided to specialise in women’s health and not see people of both genders, is because I believe that we can’t be good at everything.

It is hard enough to keep up with the research if you specialise, let alone try to be a general practitioner.

I believe that it’s important for healthcare providers to specialise in order to fairly provide medical care. Just like I’ve had to do it for the last 2 years.

So keep looking until you find the right person who will give you the time that you deserve and the right care.


So what can you do today to find the answers that you are looking for?

Well I believe there are 3 things that you can do to move towards the outcomes that you need.


Number 1 - I believe that we need to take a hard look at your health.

And write down all of your symptoms.

I’ve seen that this can be so very hard for women, because we’ve been living with those symptoms for so long, that we can’t distinguish between what is normal and what are symptoms.

But write down the things that you are not willing to accept as normal.

It can be irritability, being a constant grump, brain fog, fatigue, loss of motivation or purpose, anxiety, depression, headaches, poor sleep or constantly being tired despite good sleep, unwanted weight gain, heavy, unpredictable periods that disrupt your life. If you need to make sure you always have a spare set of underwear and pants on your first day or 2 of your period, that is not normal.

Maybe you’ve just lost your drive and motivation, or maybe it’s your weight or infertility struggles.

Write those things down and make a commitment to yourself to get to the bottom of it, even if I haven’t mentioned the symptoms that you have been struggling with.

Believe me friend, for years I felt dismissed and ignored by my healthcare practitioners but let me be the first to tell you, things don't have to be this way!

Write it down and make a commitment to you and your health today!

Because the hard truth is, if you ignore it for long enough, your body will start screaming louder until you can’t ignore it any longer and unfortunately, quite often, this is the point of no return in terms of chronic conditions. Don’t ignore it, it’s not worth it.


The second thing I believe you need to do, is to find yourself a healthcare practitioner that will listen and do the necessary testing.

I find that this is a real struggle.

I often request testing for my clients and doctors are really hesitant to do proper, in-depth testing. But there are doctors out there that will work alongside a practitioner like myself for the sake of their patients.

So find a doctor like that.

But take courage my friend, if you can’t find a doctor that will support you, there are easy ways to get testing done at home.

You are not at the mercy of your gp, you absolutely can take your health into your own hands.

And like I said, I believe that it is our responsibility to do just that.

If you’ve been listening to my podcast for any amount of time, you will know that I’m absolutely not anti doctors, they play a very important role. But we need to know when is the right time to seek medical help.

If you are struggling with any of the symptoms that I’ve mentioned earlier, the best place to start is to find the root cause of those symptoms. And most doctors will try to solve the symptom, rather than find the root cause.


And the third thing I believe you can do to get on track towards truly healing your body, is to start educating yourself on what your body needs. And you can do that by finding an expert in the area of women’s health.

I’m hoping that, by now, you’ve learned that mainstream health and fitness is not focused on the unique needs that we as women have.

And I’m also hoping that, by now, you’ve come to learn that I’m passionate about this topic and helping women to find the root cause of all these symptoms that they are struggling with.


This podcast is here for exactly this reason, to provide you with all of the information that you need to heal your hormones and your body.

So I wanna invite you today to get in touch with me.

Let me know what your needs are, so I can help you find the information and answers that you need.

Let me know what your symptoms are and what the information is that you need.


This is exactly why I create all of my programs, and if you’re listening to this episode before the 25th of september, you still have time to register for my free 10-day coaching program where you’ll learn what perimenopause is , and how to support your body through this. I’ll teach you the 5 important habits that you need to be implementing every day that will most definitely make the biggest difference for you and support your body to start healing.

I would absolutely love to have you there and I know that this program has been absolutely life changing to so many women out there.

You can head to vandghie.com/thrive or find the link in the show notes to save your seat.


I did this episode today because I believe that it is important for us to understand why mainstream healthcare is not meeting the needs of us as women. Why we feel dismissed and ignored.

And I’m hoping it has helped you to see the alternative that is available to you, and how you can be part of a generation that will change things for our daughters and granddaughters.


I know my message is controversial, and believe me, about 5 years ago I would probably have rolled my eyes at this very message.

But I’ve had to walk that health journey myself to find the critical research that is now starting to see the light of day and I’m incredibly grateful every day that I get to share this information with you.


So thank you for trusting me with this very important education and thanx for being here friend.


I would so appreciate if you could share this episode with a friend, place a rating and review where you listen and remember to subscribe to the Perimenopause Podcast so you’ll get all of the notifications when my next episodes air.


Until next time

Bye for now.


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