Why is it that all of medicine defines menopause simply as “menopausal symptoms” confined primarily to vasomotor symptoms? This presents a medical dilemma whereby the severe estrogen deficiency symptoms that really matter are completely ignored.
If menopause was all about hot flashes and night sweats, women could be tough and live through it since on average those symptoms only last about 4 years. These symptoms include but not limited to, brain function decline (memory, Alzheimer disease,￼ anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance), bone loss and Osteoporosis, hair loss, skin wrinkling, vision changes, heart attack, stroke, metabolic dysfunction (weight gain, a tendency toward diabetes, worsening cholesterol, fatty liver and likely increased cancer rates due to increased insulin levels), decreased sex drive and function, vaginal atrophy, bladder dysfunction (up at night to urinate, frequency, urgency, frequent UTI symptoms) just to name some of the more pertinent symptoms. Some of these are controversial, but in my take on the medical literature, definitely true. Not a great life!!!
So as medicine focuses only on the short-lived, bothersome night sweats and hot flashes, women’s health suffers greatly due to a failure to address the issues listed above. A recent article is touting a new neurotransmitter altering drug to rid women of hot flashes. While that is a great gesture, without the estrogen replacement, overall life and health are sacrificed and likely life span shortened significantly. Here’s the reference to the new article.
Michael D. Fox, MD
Jacksonville Center Reproductive Medicine
Advanced Reproductive Specialists