Last week was a busy week, with lots of awesome chats with very inspiring women. Another lady that I was lucky enough to talk to was Dr Naomi Potter, who specialises in Body Identical Hormones to help you through the menopause.
Dr Naomi worked in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, then Accident and Emergency and Psychiatry, followed by general practice before gaining membership with the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2010 and has worked as a GP with specialist interest in women's health and Menopause since, in an NHS practice in South West London. She has also undergone further training in menopause and is a member of the British Menopause Society, Royal College of General Practitioners, British Medical Association and GMC registered. It is also worth noting that throughout all of this, she is also a mother to 5 children, so really understands women’s struggles with balancing work and family time!
We had a great conversation about how HRT has a really bad reputation in today’s society and this shouldn’t be the case at all. HRT can have benefits to your health, if you’re prepared to dig a bit deeper into the research and understand that the information leaked years ago about the big HRT study that was taking place, actually represented the data in a very unfair way and missed out a lot of important information.
HRT can provide you with benefits such as, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and there is no increased risk of dying from breast cancer when taking HRT – contrary to popular belief, and there is a lower mortality rate amongst women who take it, in comparison to women who don’t. So please do look into it before completely disregarding it. We spoke about the main problem being that women don’t understand how their body is reacting to things, therefore are unable to articulate to the Doctor properly about what they need. Dr Naomi has a list of questions to ask your GP when seeking HRT to ensure you get the right combo for you.
‘Body Identical Hormones’ mimic the hormones that we produce ourselves, they have the same structure as the ones we make. Body Identical Oestrogens are made from yam and soy – all very natural, meaning that HRT is absolutely something that you can feel confident in exploring. These are the ways you can take HRT: the patch, gel, spray and tablets (non body identical). There really is something for everyone, so please don’t suffer in silence – you do not have to struggle through life with these horrible menopause symptoms!
The top 3 tips that Dr Naomi offered were:
1) Before you visit your GP, find out who the women’s health lead is at the practice to see who is best to help you. Reception should be able to tell you who the women’s health doctor is, specifically mention menopause. It is worth waiting for. If you have symptoms and you are over the age of 45, you do not need blood tests to confirm that it is menopause. Under 45, and experiencing symptoms, you can tell your doctor that even though you’re under 45 and even if you are still having periods, bloods are normal you can be perimenopausal. Use her Instagram with questions to ask your Doctor! Don’t give up to get a diagnosis!
2) If you are starting HRT, it’s probably best to take oestrogen in another form rather than orally.
3) Cut down on alcohol and try to exercise until you’re breathing hard and sweating. These will really help your health!
Make sure to check Dr Naomi out at: https://www.drnaomipotter.com/ where she has some great info for you. Her Instagram is also @drmenopausecare where again, she posts awesome content! To all you women who are suffering out there, I hope this helps you in your quest for better treatment when dealing with the menopause.
Check out our episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP7lhmWgppQ&t=7s
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