For many women, the approach of menopause really is surprising. You’re living your life, dealing with all of the details (assignments in your job, aging parents, teen-age kids, home repairs and improvements) when – BAM! – you realize that your body is changing and you’re not quite sure what to do. It can definitely be bewildering when you experience that first hot flash or find that you’re suddenly exhibiting crazy bursts of emotion when you’re previously been so cool, calm and collected.
So what can you do to take control of your own health at this point? I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Tara Allmen, a National Certified Menopause Practitioner, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Fellow of the American College of Ob-Gyn, and Chairman of the Allmen Foundation. And oh yes – Dr. Allmen is perimenopausal.
Dr. Allmen has developed a new DVD reference, “Menopause in an Hour,” a copy of which was sent to me to preview prior to the interview. In watching the DVD, I was especially interested in Dr. Allmen’s philosophy to help women through this transition. Her approach starts by encouraging women to create what she calls “A Loving Lifestyle” that is focused on exercise, eating healthy foods, avoiding unhealthy food choices, drinking more water, and “living, giving and loving more.” I asked Dr. Allmen why she’s initially suggesting pretty common sense remedies for women to embrace as they begin menopause. “I would say the majority of women don’t do these things because they’re too busy or too tired,” she replied. “We women don’t put ourselves on our own list. Entering perimenopause is a chance to put taking care of ourselves higher on our list of things to do.”
As I thought about her comments, I had to agree – as I first started noticing my body’s changes, I was in the middle of caring for my mother, who had Alzheimer’s and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, while also attending graduate school. My focus was on Mom’s needs and completing term papers, and not on maintaining a regular exercise schedule or taking the time to eat healthy.
Dr. Allmen developed “Menopause in an Hour” to provide women with information so that they will be able to have knowledgeable conversations with their doctors about their symptoms and their health choices. “When I started perimenopause, I knew what to expect and I knew the choices,” she said. “”Women in this country are very confused and very frightened about what they’re experiencing. Their experiences inspired this one-hour DVD which is designed to inform them and empower them. I wanted to create something that would give women all the information that they need to be able to go to their health care professional and have an intelligent conversation."
The DVD includes a guidebook on different menopausal symptoms as well as hormone therapy. Dr. Allmen also has created a DVD that focuses on informing men about what they can do to help the women in their life go through menopause. (I’ll write about that DVD in a future sharepost).
“The older we get, the more complicated health issues we face,” Dr. Allmen said. “I hope that between the DVDs and the ‘Symptoms and Solutions’ guidebook, women will be able to do something that resonates with them.”
For more information about “Menopause in an Hour,” click the link or call 888-648-8388 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 888-648-8388 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Published On: May 14, 2010