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078 Knowing & Navigating the Symptoms of Menopause with Diane Danzebrink

Women What Whistle

Release Date: 10/15/2020

100 Coming Out and The Story So Far show art 100 Coming Out and The Story So Far

Women What Whistle

THE STORY SO FAR: Welcome to our final episode from inside the wardrobe. We are relaunching with a slightly new focus in the Autumn which I explain about in this episode The previous episodes I signpost are: Menopause: 72, 78, 79, 91, 92, 93 The 5 love languages: 25 What is good sex: 94 Eating disorders or food related: 29 76 92 95 Grief and depression: 49 84 85   The link to my website is The link for subscribing to Women What Whistle is And the link to our Facebook group page is As ever, thank you so much for listening – much love all round!!

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Women What Whistle

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Women What Whistle

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Women What Whistle

In this episode we wrap up Menopause Awareness Month by talking with Dr Zoe Hodson about testosterone and alcohol. It’s not just about libido, we talk about the benefits to mental health, our mood, energy and mental agility. A decrease in testosterone can have a detrimental knock on effect to women’s lives. Zoe talks about women being misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, ME, fibromyalgia, POTS, even women being investigated for an early onset of dementia – all because of the dip in testosterone, a hormone that our ovaries already produces, hence, it’s not just for boys. We also...

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Women What Whistle

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091 MENOPAUSE, HRT AND HOW TO APPROACH YOUR GP show art 091 MENOPAUSE, HRT AND HOW TO APPROACH YOUR GP

Women What Whistle

Menopause is often misdiagnosed so education is paramount. If we can know what to look out for, we will be far more equipped when we go to see the GP for help and support. This week we talk to menopause specialist Sharon Hartmann from the Newson Clinic. She works both in the NHS and the private sector so she has a window on both experiences. The effects of menopause start in our early 40s, sometimes even sooner and often they are misdiagnosed as depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, even alzheimers – you’ll hear all about that across the next few episodes. If you haven’t...

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Our hormones have for many years been subjected to shameful jibes however, they are immensely powerful and the driving force behind so much of who we are, hence the title of this episode. The thing is, they also change as we transition into the next phase of our lives around our mid/late 40s and when they begin to change, we can find the impact on our emotional, mental and physical health to be a huge shock to the system if we aren't informed about what to expect.

If we can understand what’s going on, and manage the change with support, the next phase of life has the opportunity to be even more fulfilling and wonderful. The trouble is, we often switch off to its inevitability and think that its nothing to worry about until the hot flushes start which couldn’t be further from the truth! Just like achy joints, osteoporosis, brittle bones, and forgetfulness are NOT just an inevitable sign of ageing, they are all connected to hormone change which we can do so much about when we actually understand what is going on within our body. It actually starts in your early 40s so it’s important to know what to look out for, hot flushes are much further down the line so in this episode we literally list the lot!

The trouble is, until recently, none of this has been talked about, menopause has been laden with shame, guilt and misunderstanding. The symptoms are way beyond what we have always thought and so when you know what to look out for, you are far more likely to be able to navigate this next phase of your life successfully and that’s what we are talking about in this episode, the symptoms to be looking out for.

Davina McCall was on Loose Women the other day and said how awful the menopause had been for her because she never knew, because no one had ever told her what to expect – and that is the case for nearly everyone …until now, partly thanks to my guest this week, Diane Danzebrink who has been central to this becoming a national conversation and raising an army of women who have said enough is enough, this needs to be understood and addressed properly. Diane even took the conversation right into the houses of parliament and lobbied for change, successfully -  she is a hero!

As women, we often pride ourselves on getting on with things and that’s all very well but in “just getting on with it” we are actually denying ourselves of the support that we could really benefit from, but even worse, we are allowing the stigma to continue because we are stigmatising it ourselves by saying that we SHOULD just get on with it.

So, we can either arm ourselves with information, or we can exacerbate the issue.  We have had to cover up and keep quiet about this significant functional change in our bodies for generations, for the longest time women were just seen as the child bearers and once they were done bearing and raising children, they should be put out to graze and quietly fade away – a disgraceful concept today. The life expectancy for women used to be mid 50 but now there’s an entire life to be had beyond our biologically productive years, we have much more life ahead of us but it can be dramatically effected by hormone deficiency when the body begins to change if we aren't supported correctly.

In this episode, I am joined by Diane Danzebrink, founder of the menopause support campaign and the driving force behind the #makemenopausematter movement to talk about what to look out for and the list is quite a lot to swallow –

  • Anxiety
  • Low moods
  • Depressed
  • Mood swings
  • Tearfulness
  • Brain fog
  • Reduced confidence
  • Irritability
  • Loss of joy
  • Poor memory
  • Poor concentration
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Increased headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Painful or aching muscles and joints
  • Changes to periods
  • Vaginal or vulval symptoms
  • Urinary symptoms
  • Loss of libido
  • Dry skin
  • Dry eyes
  • Changes to oral health
  • Changes to your hair
  • Weight gain
  • Feeling dizzy or feint
  • Changes to hearing – some people hear buzzing and ringing, tinnitus type symptoms
  • Restless legs
  • Changes to body odour
  • Increase in allergies if you had them before
  • Changes to digestion – gut and bowel health

The list is quite a shock to the system when you realise the effect that hormone change can have on our bodies but as you will hear Diane say, the more we talk about it, the more we normalise it. So please share and post away, use #makemenopausematter and please sign the petition because it is vital that education is increased particularly for GPs.

If you’ve not yet heard episode 72, a beginners guide to the menopause and HRT with Dr Zoe Hodson, she talked about how GPs are barely trained AT ALL on the menopause or HRT and that is often why so many women are stranded with their symptoms, just feeling like their life and body is falling apart, when actually so much of what they’re going through is manageable – remember our hormones are amazing things, they are NOTHING to be ashamed of, they are PART of being a woman and ESSENTIAL to life – it’s crazy that we’ve had to suffer in silence for so long, and for many, it really is suffering, for years. Please don’t let that be you, and please let’s not let our children have to go through the same

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION to improve the education of our GPS and if you would like to find out more, here is the link to Diane’s website 

Also if you’ve not listened to Episode 72, here’s the link to my chat with Dr Zoe Hodson “A Beginners Guide to Menopause and HRT” and remember to subscribe so you don’t miss next week’s episode on managing mental health during this very important part of our lives.

Please feel free to join in on the Facebook group page called INSIDE MY WARDROBE and come and find me on pipagordon.co.uk