The Hotflash inc podcast

56. SOLO: 11 lessons about menopause + midlife for 2023

December 30, 2022 Ann Marie McQueen Season 2
56. SOLO: 11 lessons about menopause + midlife for 2023
The Hotflash inc podcast
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The Hotflash inc podcast
56. SOLO: 11 lessons about menopause + midlife for 2023
Dec 30, 2022 Season 2
Ann Marie McQueen

Ann Marie is back with a solo episode, her last of the year. Get ready as she makes sense of a crazy year she's still trying to make sense of, and looks at taking that wisdom forward, so maybe you can make a little sense of where you are headed too.

Highlights:

• Why our bodies and brains work overtime to keep us safe – and why we need to recognize it when they do
•  It’s not all perimenopause
• We've got to move what we can and lift heavy things
• Duh: hormone therapy is a really good way to deal with perimenopause symptoms
• Big pharma is working overtime on us – and no one is watching
• Why how we talk about menopause is important
• Have you thought about choline? Here's why you might want to
• Everyone needs to learn this: Progestin and progesterone are not the same thing
• If you want to get to know yourself, quit drinking and eating crap
• If you feel called to do something, just do it and find out why later
• “Low and slow” for the win

Join the Hotflash Inc perimenoposse:

Web: hotflashinc.com
TikTok: @hotflashinc
Instagram: @hotflashinc
Twitter: @hotflashinc

Episode website: Hotflashinc

See hotflashinc.com/privacy-policy for privacy information

Join the Hotflash Inc perimenoposse:

Web: hotflashinc.com
TikTok:
@hotflashinc
Instagram:
@hotflashinc
X:
@hotflashinc

Episode website: Hotflashinc

See hotflashinc.com/privacy-policy for privacy information

Show Notes Transcript

Ann Marie is back with a solo episode, her last of the year. Get ready as she makes sense of a crazy year she's still trying to make sense of, and looks at taking that wisdom forward, so maybe you can make a little sense of where you are headed too.

Highlights:

• Why our bodies and brains work overtime to keep us safe – and why we need to recognize it when they do
•  It’s not all perimenopause
• We've got to move what we can and lift heavy things
• Duh: hormone therapy is a really good way to deal with perimenopause symptoms
• Big pharma is working overtime on us – and no one is watching
• Why how we talk about menopause is important
• Have you thought about choline? Here's why you might want to
• Everyone needs to learn this: Progestin and progesterone are not the same thing
• If you want to get to know yourself, quit drinking and eating crap
• If you feel called to do something, just do it and find out why later
• “Low and slow” for the win

Join the Hotflash Inc perimenoposse:

Web: hotflashinc.com
TikTok: @hotflashinc
Instagram: @hotflashinc
Twitter: @hotflashinc

Episode website: Hotflashinc

See hotflashinc.com/privacy-policy for privacy information

Join the Hotflash Inc perimenoposse:

Web: hotflashinc.com
TikTok:
@hotflashinc
Instagram:
@hotflashinc
X:
@hotflashinc

Episode website: Hotflashinc

See hotflashinc.com/privacy-policy for privacy information

Hi there. It's just me today, a solo episode. I wanna talk about the things I've learned this year. It has been a very crazy, painful, exciting, tiring, undulating crazy year, this 2022, and I have changed so much since last year that I can't even recognize. I've made a little list here, so I'm just gonna talk about some of the things. The biggest thing I did this year was go on a hiking trip on the Lian Way in Turkey. It was an eight day hiking trip. I met my friend there, she brought some other friends, and then we joined a larger trip with Intrepid Travel, which I highly recommend, and they're a very cool company and they stay in really cool hotels and they're very eco-friendly. Look, I'm not a hiking person. I don't know what happened as I've gotten older, but I do know that I like going on vacationing and coming back feeling well, and a lot of vacations seem to be at cross purposes with that. So I also wanted to challenge myself on my 52nd birthday, and this seemed like the greatest thing to do, but I had been struggling for months over a year actually, with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which is a really bad gut problem. And I did not feel well, and I had given myself a deadline of May to do the last sort. Intervention that I was working on with a functional medicine specialist, which involved a liquid diet. I'm taking these antimicrobials and it was really intense and when I did this liquid diet, I lost 20 pounds in two weeks. And you know, I've gained like 10 of it back, but I was really small. So, you know, most people wouldn't try to tackle this all in the same month, but most people aren't me. And I didn't wanna go on the. Having this gut problem because I could barely eat anything, so I went on the trip and my gut was better, but I was 20 pounds down. I hadn't got the right shoes. I really didn't think it was gonna be as hard as it was, like I had more of an idea that it would be sort of a meandering walk. It was very difficult and I made it through, but that's a story for another day. What I learned from the precursor to that experience is that my brain and body will do almost anything they can to stop me from trying new things. And I've learned this over the years. One of my favorite books on this topic is, the Big Leap by gay Hendrix it's all about your upper limits and busting through, and I think a lot of people don't realize that this is very normal. There will seem to be obstacles presented. Whenever you're trying to do something new, because I guess there's a part of your brain that's just in survival MO and wants to keep you safe. And as I've learned about this more and more, I'm able to bust through. It's never easy and I always think they're real. And I think that's a normal human thing. But just to give you an idea of what was happening on days leading up to it, I developed this massive pain in my foot, like just this crazy pain. And I was like, what? This is crazy. I can't go on a hiking trip with this kind of a pain. Who would expect me to hike with this? I'm going to have to cancel. And then I, I was doing some laundry and I was like, wait a second. I think this is it. You are so clever. This inner s. Shanique was the person who says really nasty things and tries to keep you small. And I just was like, I'm going on the trip. And lo and behold, a few hours later that pain was gone, which I think is crazy. Like our bodies and minds are just so magical. But the day I was to leave, I was, it was a night flight and I just got struck with this incredible fatigue. And it was the first day that I was eating after two weeks of a liquid diet. So it was really weird. But I guess maybe the eating was making me tired. I I d. And I was laying on my couch thinking, I don't even wanna pack. Why don't I just cancel on the trip? I don't have to tell anyone in Abu Dhabi. I didn't go. I'll just change the subject when they ask me about it and I can stay here. It'll be wonderful. I can read and watch tv. It's gonna be such a great experience. and then I thought that's absolutely ridiculous. You've paid for this trip, and anyone who I think has read my newsletter will know that I made a mistake and I booked the trip for the wrong time. So I actually paid a lot more for the trip because they charged me a premium. So I went it was illustrated to me at this time. My inner Shaniqua will do just about anything to keep me safe. And it doesn't have to make any sense. Shaniqua acts like a tantrum, me angry toddler, just throwing whatever will come up. Just, but, but, but, but it reminds me of this story about my little brother when he was just so small and my mom loved to tell this story where we would be going somewhere new and he would ask her like 9 million questions. And then one time he just ran out of questions and she could tell he was really struggling to find something else. And he said, but what if someone bites me? And I told that story at his wedding and I literally feel like Shaniqua was about to say to me, you can't go on this trip. Like someone might bite you. I got bit by a lot of things on that trip, by the way. It was fine. It was absolutely spectacular. So that's the first thing I learned. My body and brain will work overtime to keep me safe and stop me from trying new things and having spectacular new experiences. That trip was life changing. It was very, very hard, very hard. And definitely get the right hiking shoes when you go. But definitely challenge yourself and definitely don't listen. and this isn't the same thing as not listening. When you're tired and you need a break and you're pushing yourself, it's not like that. This is when you've chosen to take on a new challenge and you know, you can do it, but something wants to keep you small. The other thing I've learned probably more on my own than anything else, but also through my research, is that it's not all perimenopause. It's not always peri. A year ago I was dealing with sibo. A year before that. I was dealing with what I thought were, was sudden onset of really terrible perimenopause symptoms, fatigue, brain fog, bloating of the kind I had not experienced before. And I was making videos saying this perimenopause, my gosh. And then nine months later, I found out that I had small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and then it took me another nine months to tackle that. I'm learning more and more that there are a lot of these issues underlying and driving the problems that are happening to us in perimenopause, insulin, re. Thyroid dysfunction, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which I also found out I have, in which more than 30% of us have. That's just the start of it. I mean, there are lots of other things that can be happening and that present as perimenopause symptoms, and it's one of the reasons I get a little concerned when I see all these TikTok videos about perimenopause. Some of the symptom. are concerning, like hot flashes can be concerning. There are underlying links to cardiovascular issues or there can be, frozen shoulder, which I'm in the middle of talking about links to thyroid, links to metabolic dysfunction. It's a lot to unpack and I feel like I've been in the middle of years of my health and I feel like I'm turning into one of those people who you, you don't wanna talk to. Cause they always have something. but I feel like I'm also working it out like bit by bit. And I like to remember the words of the health coach, Kendra Garrett. She's awesome. She lives in Maine, in the us. She's on TikTok. Hilarious. She's turned into a body builder tackling something new. I wonder what her Shaniqua says about it. She says, and she got this from someone else. Treat the treatable, controllable, controllable, and by all means, get checked out for everyth. and then you can proceed and treat yourself for perimenopause. But I think we increasingly need to recognize that our perimenopause is made much worse by these many, many, many conditions that are out there. Gut is a huge one, so it's important to recognize that. The third thing I learned, we have got to move our. and we've got to lift weights. You know, I could cite study after study after study, but you know this deep down, and I know this deep down too, I got way into F 45 this year and I did a lot of their weight classes and I got strong and I felt easier to do things and they moved and it's one of my great losses of the year because I don't feel like driving all the way over to where they are now. But I'm still keeping up with the weights. I'm doing my trampoline, I'm trying classes on class pass. Really the number one thing we should be doing, walking, lifting, weights, strength training, yoga, whatever it is. If we can move, we should. Another thing I learned this year, and I've been learning this the whole time I've been researching hormone therapy, is a really good way to deal with perimenopause symptoms. This may seem obvious and I am a very skeptical person. because I know the ways that we're being manipulated by people who can make a lot of money off of us taking menopause hormone therapy. I mean, we're, we're fantastic repeat customers, right? That's exactly it. That's a dream for a big corporation. Get someone on something and get them to take it for the rest of their life. Well, it doesn't have to be like that. We know there's a critical window when it's most effective right around menopause. We know that it helps in peri. And the amount of people who say to me that it's life-changing is compelling. I'm still not on hormone therapy, but I'm working on it. I'm working on these other issues. I'm working on finding a gynecologist who will prescribe it for me, cuz so far I've found two who won't because I'm still in perimenopause. Not everyone wants to take it. It's not gonna solve everything, but it's certainly a really big tool in the toolbox. I hope that you can find the right practitioner, because that's another barrier is finding someone who's well-versed in it. But there's becoming more and more information and, and they're becoming more and more doctors and practitioners who are versed, and that is something I'm way leaning into despite my skepticism and leading into the fifth thing I learned about menopause and midlife this year, and it's something I always suspected and I've seen but I haven't been able to do. The sort of investigation that I would like to do on it is that big pharma is working overtime on us in menopause and almost no one is watching. And I say this having just said to you that I think hormone therapy is a really good way to deal with. Okay. Like I'm not saying that it's not, but I like to know all the ways things are being presented to me. And I just about fell over when I read an article by Margaret McCartney, a Glasgow based GP and writer, in the British Medical Journal earlier in December, and she was talking about this issue. and she was talking about specifically the all party parliamentary group on menopause in the uk, which has been the result of much of this menopause revolution and push for policy that's happened over there, and they're way ahead on the issue. But no one in the British press has pointed out that the A P P G, the all party parliamentary group of menopause is funded. Bristol Meyers Squibb and Astellas Pharma, two pharmaceutical companies, a big global PR firm runs the A PPG Secretariat and they produce their recent report that takes money and governments, governments will take that money from wherever it's flowing. And we are learning that more and more. She wrote, this isn't a surprise, but it means that the media coverage was in the main presented uncritically and without interrogation of its claims. We're in a new world of journalism and the fact that no one's asking how things are funded is a reflection of that, a symptom of that, a cause of. I don't think there's anything wrong with knowing who's paying for things that seem like they're coming from taxpayer funding. I think that's essential to know. The sixth thing I learned about menopause and midlife is that. How we talk about menopause is important. There are some accounts on social media that I cannot even look at. Their names are negative. The way people talk about menopause is negative. I feel gross when I look at them. I like to keep them on my feet because I feel like I need to cover all of what's happening out there, but they are opposite to the way I approach this transition and everything in my life. I just feel better when I'm a bright side person, when I'm a Pollyanna about things. I don't know whether you wanna call it the law of attraction or manifestation or abundance or whatever people wanna say. I am working on it big time. I've always tried to be like this. I've always noticed how much better my life goes when I'm like this. And I saw a clip recently and Joe Rogan talks about how he avoids people that he calls can't catch a break people, because he said they're toxic. they're like a plague. And I realized I avoid them too. And you probably do too, unless you are one. And I doubt if you are one, you're listening to this podcast, and if so, you've probably turned it off by now. we all strive to be like this. I think it's just very, very, very hard and it's a real habit not to be. But I don't want to get embroiled and people who just wanna turn all of this into really entertainment with no. End point. No lesson. Just, it's happened to me the other day. I got onto a call with someone who wanted to collaborate with me, and I just started to feel like worse and worse. And then I realized that she was ranting about a whole bunch of things that I just don't feel the need to rant about. And she asked me to do something for her and I was gonna do it, and then I got off the phone. I'm like, why would I do something for someone who. Just made me feel like that. And it is just so opposite to my way of looking at this. So anyway, that's another little thing that we're all learning is to say no. But the way we talk about this is so important and there are studies to back this up. There are studies, you don't even need a study for this, you know that if you say, oh, today, or you know, you know what I'm talking about. The seventh thing I learned is that choline should be part of the perimenopause conversation and that we should be careful of anticholinergic drugs. I just about dropped Lune Brynne's book the upgrade when she started talking about the dangers of Benadryl, Tylenol pm Ol Unisom, any of the medicines that help us sleep. But work by blocking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, she says that is destroying the brain's ability to lay down memory pathways. Now, I don't even wanna think about all the gravel I took when I was younger. I do notice that in the biohacking sphere, which I also follow, they are sounding an alarm in terms of the impact of anticholinergic drugs. And the rising risk of dementia. But this is important right now in how we feel here now, and not just for cognitive function of memory, but our mood. And as, naturopathic, Dr. Lara Briden writes about in Herbe Hormone Repair manual, a drop in estrogen reduces the activity of an enzyme called pimped. But I don't know if you say P E M T or pimped, I like to say pimped and pemp helps us make cool. She wrote recently on Instagram this our ability to make choline relies on estrogen, which has got researchers thinking that some of the brain benefits of estrogen therapy could be from how it supports choline. So you can take estrogen therapy or you can take choline, you can eat foods with choline. But I think you should be paying attention to Colleen, and I'm personally going to avoid anything that is anti coline. because we're all worried about dementia and we don't need anything else stacked against us. The Eighth thing I learned this year about menopause midlife is that progestin and progesterone are not the same thing, and that is very important. So the number of doctors and researchers that use the term progesterone to refer to all progesterone, whether it's bioidentical or biosimilar or synthetic, AKA hydroxy, progesterone or progestogen is concerning. And when I interviewed the American Compounding pharmacist, Jennifer Birch earlier this year, she said, it's really shocking the number of doctors that don't know the difference in this. And she. Hydroxy progesterone has a long list of side effects and bioidentical progesterone or progesterone that's most similar to what we make has a long list of benefits. So why wouldn't you just make sure you were taking progesterone? There is a commercially available form of progesterone, oral micronized progesterone that is approved by the F D A or a similar body if you're concerned about compounding pharmac. It just makes perfect sense but still, when I interview doctors about hormone therapy, mostly they're focused on estrogen and to them, progesterone or progestogen are just a thing you have to prescribe to prevent the potential thickening of the uterine lining. Even though in its latest guidance, the North American Menopause Society recommends oral micronized progesterone to help with hot flashes and sleep issues, and even though it's known that hydroxy progesterone will not have those benefits also in clinical studies, it's increasingly showing that some of the risks associated with hormone therapy. Seem to lie in the combination of estrogen and hydroxy progesterone, an increased risk of dementia, for example, and an increased risk of breast cancer. It just seems to me that if I was asking my doctor about hormone therapy, this is a worthy distinction to make. This might be a time to print out a study talking about the risks or print out an article. illuminating that these are two separate things, and take it to your doctor because it's 20, almost 23. Maybe by the time you listen to this, it will be 2023, and this is something that they should know. Number nine, and I'll be quick about this. If you wanna get to know yourself, quit drinking and eating sugar and other crap to fix your mood. I haven't been drinking for a couple of months now and I'm trying not to eat any added sugar or crap, and it's really, really hard. You know, there's just nothing to take the edge off and I think that's a good thing. I read someone talking about 2023 and they said, lean into the hard, do the hard. Whether it's an Instagram video or whether it's what you decide to do in your work or what you wanna do in your spare time, I'm leaning into this because I feel like it's the path to getting to know myself better. It's not forever. It's hard, and I'm doing it. number 10. If you feel called to do something, even if it doesn't make sense, just do it. I started Hot Flash in 2020. I became obsessed with this idea in 2018. I still spend so much of my time doing it and thinking about it and planning it and working on expanding it and spending money on it, and I don't really know why. I just started doing it like a little Energizer Bunny and I put out Newsletter Up newsletter after newsletter after newsletter. I haven't made any money. 2022. I made a little bit in 2021. I'm gonna be focusing on that in 2023, so I can expand the way I want to. I just felt like I was onto something. It felt so personally fulfilling to do it, and I felt like there was a need, but more than that, I just, I don't know. I was called to do it. And like many people in my forties, I was very adrift. You know, I'd achieved things in my career. I just didn't know what I wanted to do next. I don't know where this is going, and I don't even know why I'm doing it, except I feel that I'm filling a definite niche. But I'm just saying that it seems like I should do it and now I am, and it feels pretty good when I'm doing it. So the 11th and last thing I learned, and it's not the last thing I've learned, I've learned a million things, but about menopause and midlife this year is low and slow wins the race now. This is the guidance for experimenting with cannabis in any capacity. or drugs in general. And, it's sort of the standard guidance for dealing with cannabis and menopause. It's often the advice given to women who are experimenting with cannabis for their menopause symptoms. One of the things that struck me in Luann Brynne's book, the upgrade was her approach to antidepressants. She actually micro doses them. She actually micro doses them with her patients. Then she constantly monitors their progress and boosts the prescriptions if required. Why doesn't every doctor do this with every drug? I just can't understand it, and I'm sure there's reasons, and I would love to hear those reasons, but it makes perfect sense to me that if I'm going to my practitioner to ask about hormone therapy, that I would ask to go on the lowest doses and then go up from there. This works for a lot of things and, low and slow is one of the things that I'm gonna try to remember in 2023. Lean into the hard, low, and slow Pollyanna all the way. Happy New Year. Thank you for being here.

Ann Marie:

Thank you so much for joining me. If you like this conversation, I hope you'll check out some of my other interviews on the Hot Flashing Podcast, subscribe, give a rating, maybe a review, and come back for more next week. Hot Flash Inc. Was created and is hosted by Annemarie McQueen, produced and edited by Sonya Mac. The information contained in this podcast is intended for informational purposes only, and is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing, treating, curing, or preventing any disease. Before using any products referenced on the podcast, consult with your healthcare provider, read all labels, and he all directions and cautions that accompany the products. Information received through the podcast should not be used in place of a consultation or advice. Care provider. If you suspect you have a medical problem, ie. Menopause or anything else or any healthcare questions, please promptly see your healthcare provider. This podcast, including Annemarie McQueen and any producers or editors disclaim any responsibility from any possible adverse effects from the use of any information. Contains herein opinions of guests on this podcast. Are their own, and the podcast does not endorse or accept responsibility for statements made by guests. This podcast does not make any representations or warranties about a guest's qualifications or credibility. This podcast may contain paid endorsements and advertisements for products or services. Individuals on this podcast may have direct or indirect financial interest in products or services. Referred to here in this podcast is owned by Hot Flash, Inc. Media.