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Literature & Fiction

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (180 votes)

Released: 2006-10-31

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The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing During the Change, Revised Edition by Christiane Northrup

Description

Through her bestselling books, groundbreaking PBS specials, and up-to-the-minute clinical knowledge, Dr. Christiane Northrup has earned a place as one of America’s most trusted medical advisors.

In The Wisdom of Menopause, she once again challenges convention with this inspiring look at one of the most commonly misunderstood female health issues. The “change” is not simply a collection of physical symptoms to be “fixed,” Dr. Northrup claims, but a mind/body revolution that brings the greatest opportunity for growth since adolescence. The choices a woman makes now–from the quality of her relationships to the quality of her diet–have the power to secure her health and well-being for the rest of her life. Through her personal story and many fascinating case histories, Dr. Northrup shows:

• How menopause jump-starts changes in the brain, issuing a dramatic wake-up call to body, mind, and emotions
• How to ensure the long-term health of breasts, bones, and heart
• How the body adjusts naturally to changing hormones
• Why bestselling drugs like Premarin may not be the best choice
• How to deal with metabolism shifts, weight gain, sexual problems, and appearance issues
• How to negotiate the challenges of “the empty nest” and midlife marriage

And much more.

In a book destined to be a classic, Dr. Northrup shows women how they can make menopause a time of personal empowerment and positive energy–emerging wiser, healthier, and stronger in both mind and body than ever before.


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Editorial Review

Menopause doesn't have to be a dreaded curse of aging during which we can look forward only to hot flashes and whacked-out hormonal mood swings. According to Christiane Northrup, M.D. (Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom), menopause often marks the beginning of a woman's most sexually passionate, creatively inspired, and professionally productive phase of life.

While this may sound like wishful thinking, Northrup backs up her good news with solid medical expertise. As an obstetrician and gynecologist, Northrup has specialized in using a mind-body approach to women's health for decades, which means she doesn't just write about hormones, but also examines how a woman's lifestyle, emotions, and beliefs are affected by menopause. With the right diet, attitude, and perhaps some supplements along the way, women can actually look forward to a resurgence of energy and a revolutionary opportunity for personal growth–one that rivals the hormonally driven period of adolescence in its scope and urgency, she claims. And yes, at just under 500 pages, The Wisdom of Menopause does explain how to have a positive and healthy menopause in concise detail. Northrup has indeed “written the book” on menopause.

It helps that Northrup has been through menopause herself (she vowed she wouldn't write a book on it until she was on the other side). Readers have the sense that they are gleaning advice from a knowledgeable holistic doctor as well as a sage aunt whose life was radically altered by the “change of life” (Northrup divorced at the onset of menopause). After she shares her personal story of “the change,” Northrup delves into a significant discussion on how self-sacrifice catches up with women in midlife. Suddenly, hormones are directing women out of the caregiver role and into an inwardly focused assessment of life and its meaning, she explains. Resentments (not hormones) are what spur the notorious surges of anger, as women reexamine the agreements surrounding their relationships with colleagues, friends, and family members.

From here, Northrup guides readers into a thorough section on menopausal hormone changes–a discussion that is scientifically informative, yet entirely accessible. While acknowledging the need for hormone-replacement therapy and the tremendous relief it can provide (helping to alleviate insomnia, hot flashes, and depression), Northrup encourages women to avoid synthetic hormones and instead consider “bioidentical” hormones (such as estradiol, estrone, and estriol). She also devotes an entire chapter to foods and supplements that support hormonal balance. By the way, she says to skip the wild Mexican yam creams: “they certainly don't provide the documented benefits of progesterone.” Be warned: some readers may find the advice in Wisdom of Menopause too alternative for their liking. For example, in her discussion on insomnia, one of Northrup's recommendations is to cover the mirror at night, following the ancient Asian design principles of feng shui. (Skeptics will find Northrup's medical assertions carefully cited and footnoted in the rear of her book.)

Northrup gives a solid and practical diet plan that supports hormonal balance while countering the weight gain that so frequently plagues menopausal women (“focus on portion size, not calories,” “eat protein at every meal,” and cut down on refined and high-carbohydrate foods). Readers can also expect a thorough mind-body discussion in subsequent chapters that cover breast health, bone loss, and cultivating midlife beauty, along with chapters titled “Sex and Menopause: Myths and Reality” and “Creating Pelvic Health and Power.”

She concludes with a list of mail-order and online resources, such as retailers for bioidentical hormones, progesterone cream, Chinese herbs, soy products, weight-loss audiocassettes, lubricants, and Kegel weights. Northrup takes a truly comprehensive approach to all the effective treatments of menopausal symptoms so that women can make their own highly informed and wise choices. –Gail Hudson

Book Details

Author: Christiane Northru.. Publisher: Bantam Binding: Paperback Language: English Pages: 656

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