Blood story – how these tiny red cells changed my experience with menopause
All along I have been told and I accepted that menopause would be a rocky ride that I would just have to accept, embrace and deal with. From doctors to the media, we are sold a bill of goods that ain’t so great. Don’t get me wrong – the hot flashes, night sweats, hormone rage and memory loss are real. But where is the help, the support and the solution? I truly believed that going into menopause was going to be hell.
I went into early menopause right after having my daughter and am now 3 years post-menopausal and guess what? My symptoms only seem to be getting worse. Like you and everyone else, I was told they should get better and all but disappear. Evidently that’s not true.
What does this have to do with you?
Many women I’ve spoken to quickly dismiss the topic of menopause immediately. It doesn’t relate to them … yet. They say they are either not going through it or they are aptly armed with all the knowledge they need when the time comes. I would disagree – vehemently. Why? Because I felt the same. I felt my doctor’s dismissive behaviour of the subject meant I had nothing to be concerned about. For me menopause was inevitable and there was nothing I could do to change it. I couldn’t have been more wrong (and neither could my doctor).
Our failure to understand menopause left me with increasingly intense symptoms and an atrophied uterus. Sex is painful so I avoid it. Now ask me how my marriage is? My mood swings are worse, my anxiety is heightened, my memory loss is now laughable to my family. I can never remember dates, names or the last known location of my keys, cellphone or glasses.
We were all wrong
It turns out that by understanding your body on a deeper level you can foresee a upcoming issues and choose to course correct before you steer into some nasty hormonal nonsense. And by deeper – I mean right down to a cellular level.
I was introduced to Susan through a friend. Susan Schroeter is the founder of Lean on Me Nutrition. She is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and Certified Holistic Cancer Coach (CHCP) and has a whole host of credentials behind her. In short, she knows her stuff and she helps men to have healthier lives. She has definitely changed mine!
“The Change” doesn’t have to be like this
I didn’t waste much time getting to Susan. I am hell-bent on getting to the bottom of this and I want to start feeling back to normal soon. It’s been a few years since I’ve recognized myself.
We start our session with a review of the last 3 days of my diet, a chat about my lifestyle and my goals. She then gives a tiny prick on my finger to extract blood for both a dry and wet observation of my cells.
It turns out my cells are damn lovely. See? They could be a screensaver or some artwork!
Susan then went on to point out the observations in shape, colour, movement and size. In one hour, my blood told a story of my overall health. There should have been no spoiler alerts needed. I had just had a battery of blood tests done at my doctor’s office and everything came back stellar! But not so, according to Susan and the proof was right in front of us.
Some weak outlines in some of the cells indicated a deficit that will easily be fixed with Omega 3 fatty acids. We observed shape abnormalities and my lazy white blood cells that didn’t seem to move in order to do their job. This was indicative of other deficits to my diet. A small outline on one cell was able to tell her that I have a small bit of eczema. There is no hiding from these cells!
What the cells will tell
By reviewing both the dried nature and the wet blood, I could see a tapestry of my problems unfolding. Depression and anxiety – but of course! Look at the low iron, vitamin C and zinc! It was all there. All the information I needed to change my course and my outcome. We were sure my adrenal glands would be a train wreck. These are the guys responsible for my non-sex life and my increased stress. But alas, they were fine. However, when we looked at other deficiencies we could see where these issues were stemming from and the adrenal glands were wrongfully accused all along.
Finally, the bright side I have been looking for
I left armed with two new supplements to begin. We will add more once I complete a PH test and stomach acid test (a fun little test involving a bit of baking soda and hinging on a burp). I also left with high hopes that I will return to my old self in a few weeks or less.
I came home and immediately put aside all the vitamins and supplements I had randomly and desperately been stocking up on. All bought based on random pieces of advice from multiple sources but with no demonstrative outcomes. I took them back to Shoppers Drug Mart to have them dispose of them for me. Everyone should know that you shouldn’t pour those into the sink or toilet – they go directly into our water as do expired medications. Be warned. Your drugstore will take them and dispose of them for you.
A plan to outsmart menopause
Now I have a new, more focused and more informed plan. I know what I have to eat more of and drink (ahem… wine) less of. We were able to identify potential problems in their very early stages and to thwart them by increasing the levels of irons, magnesium, zinc, Omegas and vitamin C needed to produce those beautiful, round red healthy cells.
Life North of 40
Women entering their 40s are wise to talk to someone like Susan. Menopause doesn’t have to suck, regardless of what your doctors or the media tell us. By identifying what happens to your body during the change and preparing it in advance, you will probably get off lightly. And one day, with this important information now at our disposal, menopause will be something we go through – not something we dread and stigmatize.
Some extra reading. Susan calls this ‘the book your doctor hates that you have’. We flipped through it and it told me so much about my blood and helped me to find some issues and identify the culprit through flipping through some of these pages.
I never used to be a big fan of blood and guts (truth: I faint easily) but this experience opened my eyes to the answers I was seeking and new possibilities that revealed themselves from under a microscope.