Friday, April 19, 2024

Health Update: What the NAMS-Certified Provider Said ... 😊


Well, at least she completed training in menopause treatment and is waiting on the exam, which is more than 95% of the other OB/GYN providers in Lexington do (there are literally only 5 out of around 100 OB/GYN providers in Lexington).

So I just saw her today, and here's what she said (paraphrasing), implied, or emphatically agreed with.

1)  I should've been allowed to be seen before the ultrasound, just as I requested, due to the other symptoms I mentioned. 


"If a menopausal/post-menopausal woman suspects her hormones might be out of balance herself (not others blaming her hormones), they probably are, but and every woman is different and has different hormonal needs." 


Fibroids are the direct result of hormone imbalance -  not the other way around. 
Thus, it's looking at the problem backward to focus on the fibroids as a condition, rather than a symptom of a condition.


2)  Labs should have been done before prescribing anything to check my hormone levels - however, no labs were ordered at all  all treatment decisions were made in 5 minutes after the ultrasound, based on nothing but speculation.  


She tried to see where the prior clinician was coming from, and did on some things - like the reason she likely switched to pure progesterone versus norethindrone was because they don't prescribe birth control for hormone imbalance after menopause has been completed -  but she said they should've been explained to me, taken into consideration the side effects. 
Even still, new provider seemed the most horrified that no labs were taken since I first went there years ago, but off-the-cuff treatment decisions were being made.


3)  "Inability" to see an ovary at all on an ultrasound is unacceptable, especially in post-menopausal women complaining of pelvic pain.   
It's like "We know it's there, so find it?" Thus, it should have been redone, at their expense. 


4) Total "disappearance" of fibroids is rare, they usually just shrink (another reason the ultrasound should've been redone, at their expense). 


In her words, "It sounds like they didn't really try to see much of anything."  


5)  Hormone fluctuations DO affect bowel motility, constipation or diarrhea, depending on the hormone imbalance (and she cited the aforementioned studies), though the link isn't well understood. 
She also said even without the studies, she knew that just being a woman and treating women, as well as, interestingly, pointed to how women release their bowels during labor, which as it turns out, is not just pressure release, it's hormone influx (I didn't know that one.)

6)  The hormone my old provider prescribed was, in fact,  way too strong, especially without drawing labs to find levels first, and particularly if there was already constipation - because the side effect of it IS constipation.


Thus, she thinks this is multifactorial, one thing exacerbating the other - or at least, one condition drew attention to another -  and she's not ready to refer to GI yet.

So in addition to the vitamin B12 that I just restarted (that's already helping), she took labs for hormone levels today and is going order a compound mix based on my specific hormone levels, keeping in mind my sensitivity to estrogen.

Since the "cure" for fibroids is hormones anyway, we're holding on doing another ultrasound, but if this does not do the trick, we'll do another ultrasound.

Whew, it feels good to be heard, and very validating that this wasn't "all in my head."


It's 2024 - and if your OB/GYN isn't up on the latest and tells you stuff from like, 1954 - and most importantly, doesn't take labs to confirm their suspicions -  not thoughtfully considering the consequences of said said treatment to your overall health and hormonal status - then find another one!

With so much reproductive cancer about, and hormone regulation/balance being so important to get right -  as well as losing natural protections from heart disease, cancer, and immunity issues due to loss of hormone output - don't doubt yourself, and find someone who takes menopause more seriously and treats it more carefully.

This particular provider I have now had cancer at 44, a hysterectomy, and was thus thrown into menopause totally unprepared. 

She said everyone addressed the cancer, but not much was available on the menopause symptoms, which seemed to make everything worse. 

Thus, she got the extra training in it herself, and now knows her stuff (and if she didn't, like the vitamin B thing at first, she'll look it up to verify).

Yes, it feels good to be heard and to be validated that something was off in my treatment approach, here, in more ways than one!

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