Living Well with Menopause: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know

Overview

A complete holistic guide to menopause. A vital self-care manual for the more than 50 million American women facing this natural process.

For thirty years, board-certified holistic practitioner, master's-prepared nurse, and doctorally prepared educator Carolyn Chambers Clark has been helping women navigate the challenges of menopause. Now she can help you with her breakthrough guide that addresses the full range of medical, alternative, and ...

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Living Well with Menopause: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know

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Overview

A complete holistic guide to menopause. A vital self-care manual for the more than 50 million American women facing this natural process.

For thirty years, board-certified holistic practitioner, master's-prepared nurse, and doctorally prepared educator Carolyn Chambers Clark has been helping women navigate the challenges of menopause. Now she can help you with her breakthrough guide that addresses the full range of medical, alternative, and complementary self-care strategies, with easy-to-follow guidelines for avoiding the pitfalls of:

  • Hot flashes
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Skin, hair, and bladder changes
  • Weight gain
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Emotional ups and downs
  • Insomnia

Having been through this natural process herself, and having counseled countless other menopausal women, Clark is a compassionate voice clearly addressing the risks and possible benefits of hormone therapies, offering easy-to-understand advice, and providing the most comprehensive menopause program available.

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Editorial Reviews

Christiane Northrup
“Loaded with practical, well-researched information to help women negotiate menopause in good spirits and good health.”
C. Norman Shealy
“LIVING WELL WITH MENOPAUSE provides a balanced and natural common-sense approach to this normal life process.”
Susun S. Weed
“[A] banquet of choices for women who want to become vitally, vigorously, and vivaciously older.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060758127
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/2/2005
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 982,531
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Chambers Clark is a board-certified advanced holistic nurse practitioner with a master's degree in mental health nursing and a doctorate in education. She is a faculty member in the Health Services Doctoral Program at Walden University, and she hosts http://home.earthlink.net/~cccwellness and http://HolisticHealth.bellaonline.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Living Well with Menopause

What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need To Know
By Carolyn Clark

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Carolyn Clark
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060758120

Introduction

If you're reading this book because you're about to or already have begun menopause, congratulations! You've taken an important step toward understanding the challenges of menopause and acting positively to enter this new phase of life. You've also decided that you want to seize control and take steps to be the happy person you know you can be.

Menopause is one of the most important journeys in your life. It will be thought-provoking, frustrating, confusing, and growthenhancing. You may start to hate your partner, your kids, your job, your boss, your hair, and even your furniture. This is normal -- upsetting but normal.

The idea is to keep in mind that you're not losing control. You're not losing your memory or your mind. Hormonal and other challenging changes are occurring, and as a result, your body, mind, and spirit are reacting. An imbalance has presented you with the opportunity to learn how to weather the effects.

My Personal Menopause Journey

I know what you're going through. In my late 30s I started to react with anger and frustration to situations that never used to bother me. In my 40s I began to have trouble sleeping through the night, and I had short periods of panic for no reason at all. My heart would pound as my worries increased. At first I didn't realize that these emotional changes and insomnia were tip-offs that hot flashes, dry skin, thinning hair, and achy joints would soon arrive. As a nurse, I should have known menopause was on its way, but maybe I didn't want to acknowledge it.

As a holistic and wellness practitioner, I didn't even consider taking hormones as my periods waned to a halt. I figured that women had come through menopause for thousands of years before hormone therapy, and they must have discovered ways to manage the changes.

I began to notice I perspired much more and had to wear layers of clothes so that I could peel them off during hot flashes. Having had menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding, bloating, and fatigue for many years, I was secretly happy to turn the page on that phase of my life.

Little did I know that the changes were just beginning. My normal thin and glossy hair grew even thinner and dull. I began to find clumps of it on my bathroom floor. My skin felt dry and itchy despite putting on body lotion. I was gaining weight even though I ate healthy foods. My joints and muscles ached more frequently, and I started to notice short episodes of dizziness. I stopped sleeping through the night, and sometimes it didn't seem as if I slept at all. I would prowl the halls, clicking the TV on and off, hoping to find something to soothe me to sleep. I began to resent the fact that everyone, including my husband, was fast asleep and I wasn't.

I had no idea what to do. The information available at the time was primarily from medical sources and touted taking hormones, which I'd already decided to forego. I knew from my physiology courses what potent substances hormones were, and I didn't want to subject myself to the yet unknown long-term effects.

The prospect of going through this experience alone with no helpful information propelled me into action. I started collecting herb books, holistic books, and anything I could find that even mentioned menopause. It amazed me that no one had collected both the medical and holistic information into one volume. Worse, I could only find a page or two on hot flashes in each source, with only a few suggestions, many of which I'd already discovered or had found didn't work. I constantly shuffled between studies I'd downloaded from the Internet or copied from journals, books, and notes I'd scribbled on pieces of paper.

Added to the mix were my clients, many of whom were entering or were in the throes of menopause and clamoring for information about what to do. They shared their stories with me, and I shared what I was learning from my daily searches for new information. I had become a vegetarian years earlier, but the beans and rice that had once calmed me now seemed to provoke hot flashes. Ditto the frozen yogurt I'd grown to love. I'd always enjoyed a glass of wine with our Sunday dinner of pasta but found the alcohol now set off horrendous hot flashes.

That's when I knew that even though my lifestyle was healthy, menopause would force me to change the way I lived if I wanted to be more comfortable and more joyful. I changed what I ate, the vitamins, minerals, herbs, and supplements I took, found a new exercise program that worked for me, and began to seek out other holistic practitioners to find what worked for them.

When I talked to my friends and colleagues, I realized I wasn't the only one in the dark. Menopause was not talked about among women the way giving birth and parenting were. It was a dark, secret path that all women eventually took, but one that was not discussed by our mothers, our health care providers, or our friends.

I looked around for ways to connect with more than just the hundreds of women who had come to me for holistic and wellness education. I found bellaonline.com and became the editor for their menopause Web site. As I accumulated articles and brought more and more women to the Web site each month, it sunk in that there are thousands or maybe millions of women out there who could benefit from what I'd learned in my own menopause process and through counseling other women with theirs. That's why I wrote Living Well with Menopause. Women deserve to know more about the menopause process and how to cope.

Continues...


Excerpted from Living Well with Menopause by Carolyn Clark Copyright © 2005 by Carolyn Clark. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2005

    I Love This Book

    I love this book, and I don't say that lightly. I'm not what you might call a gusher. Since the day my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and his options laid out in front of him more than a decade ago, I have been painfully aware that hormones are not always the magic cure-all. Since then, I've watched in something close to horror as friend after friend has been placed on HRT while doctors try to 'fix' what's wrong with the bodies of women who have reached 'that age.' Reading this book and finally hearing someone say (1) that heading into menopause doesn't mean something's wrong with a woman's body, and (2) that HRT isn't always the answer was like coming up for fresh air to me. Finally, somebody 'gets' it and they're saying it aloud. While that alone would be enough to make me recommend this book to any woman over the age of . . . 21 . . . there's more. I love that Dr. Clark gives women ways to take an active role in their own lives. I, for one, have had enough of passively sitting by while some stranger tells me I'm not feeling what I feel and doles out a pill to make everything all better. This book is a 'must have' for women -- and again, I don't say that lightly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2005

    The subtitle says it all

    I think this is a terrific book for a number of reasons. 1) The 'new' info that HRT is dangerous for us. This may be a case of the pendulum swinging far one way and it'll swing back in a few years and 'they'll' say HRT isn't dangerous, but it's nice to have options - that we women can control - either way. 2) I'm only on the verge of menopause so I don't have experience, but it's my understanding that even HRT doesn't prevent all menopausal symptoms. So even if you're using HRT, Dr. Clark provides numerous ways to live more comfortably with hot flashes, lowered libido, weight gain, depression, mood swings and so on. 3) I like that Dr. Clark approaches menopause as a natural part of women's lives, as opposed to a disease or abnormality. It may be an uncomfortable and sometimes trying part of our lives, but it's not something we need to get well from, we just need to live through it and Dr. Clark offers a variety of tools to do so more comfortably, happily and sanely. And they are not costly tools. They may require behavioral changes that will be difficult for some of us, but they are within our reach. (Truth be told, I'm so lazy, if there were a safe pill that also would alleviate symptoms, I'd probably take it. But I'd rather do the work to change my habits than take something that might increase my chances of cancer or other serious illnesses or conditions.) The thing that hit me the hardest, though, is how true it is that doctors don't tell you all you need to know. I've even had doctors 'argue' that my symptoms don't indicate pre- or peri-menopause because they are 'normal' in some women, even though they are significant changes in the way my body functions. (I've since had blood work show that my suspicions were more founded than their assertions.) I also think young women should read this book to find out how lifestyle choices they make in their 20's and early 30's can affect their menopause experience down the line. They're liable to forget or ignore much of what they read, as we all think we're invincible when we're in our 20's. But if even one or two nuggets of helpful information stick, they'll be better off, later. I think every woman, whether choosing HRT or not, should read this book to see the ways she can shape and gain some control over her menopause experience and also learn that it's not just her and it's not just in her head.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2005

    Living Well With Menopause

    This book should be helpful to any women who are experiencing problems with menopause. Clark, who comes to us with an impressive background, including several book of the year awards, has written a handy, easy to use volume. The book is extremely well indexed ¿ good thing, as it¿s bursting with tidbits of wisdom and help. She addresses nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, and gives helps on relationships and herbal remedies. At the end of the book is advice on creating your own Menopause Plan. One caveat is a bias, perceived by the reviewer (but maybe not by every reader), against conventional medical treatment and the options offered. If conventional medicine has failed you, pick up a copy and see what else is available for assistance in negotiating this time of life with minimal discomfort. The reviewer has not personally found her doctors to be as unhelpful as those quoted in Clark¿s anecdotes. But she also has not found any help in HRT and had to turn to alternative methods to deal with some of the complications of menopause. Clark gives us a wealth of good information as she defines the stages women go through as they age, gives helpful advice on the physical discomfort and emotional distress that can be associated with this time of life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2005

    Much needed book

    Wonderful book full of information we women need. My copy is full of highlighting because I'll be using it often. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2005

    More Specific Self-Care Info Than Any Other Book Out There

    This book takes you by the hand and explains the dangers of taking hormones and provides you with safe, effective, and specific nutrition/supplements, herbs, exercise, stress reduction/healing, and environmental steps to take to feel better. It even provides you with specific things you can do and say to better your relationship with your partner and family while you're experiencing menopause changes. It's about time someone demystified the whole menopause thing for men and family members. This book provides ways to get the people you love on your side and helped me realize menopause changes can be talked about. The book even tells you how to find a health care practitioner who's best for you and how to design your own menopause success plan. Dr. Clark bases her menopausal women vignettes on her own research and 99% of the menopause changes measures she describes are based on research studies. Hats off to Dr. Clark! This is the best book on menopause I've read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2005

    What your doctor should tell you but probably won't

    Living Well with Menopause By Carolyn Chambers Clark, ARNP, EDD This is a comprehensive guide to the symptoms of menopause and how holistic medicine, exercises and diet changes can help alleviate them a great book for all women who aren¿t willing to risk the side-effects of hormone replacement therapy. Dr. Clark lays out an easy-to-follow plan to help sufferers emerge with their health and sanity intact on the other side. Carola Dunn

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