Healthy Ageing

Hormones and vague symptoms

Meyken Houppermans
Founder and Head Coach
A foggy brain, memory loss, urinary incontinence, bladder inflammation, dry skin. Feeling  tired, bloated, agitated, aggressive and depressed. Muscle and joint pain, suddenly appearing injuries and troubles sleeping. All symptoms of hormonal imbalances. Stop suffering in silence. Read how to tackle these symptoms and  improve your overall health.

Hormones are to blame

Very regularly, female clients in the age of 30 to 60 plus, visit my practice with vague unexplainable symptoms. They feel tired, bloated, agitated, aggressive or  depressed. They suffer from a foggy brain and memory loss, urinary  incontinence, bladder inflammation and dry skin. They are suddenly confronted  with muscle and joint pain, injuries, and troubles with sleeping. Most of these women are in good health: they eat healthy, exercise regularly, don’t  have any serious medical issues and take good care of their mental health.

By the time they reach out to me, they have already dealt with their symptoms for quite a  while. And now they feel frustrated, scared, insecure and sometimes even  desperate. They cannot explain what is going on and they feel out of control  of their body and mind. Many of them already consulted their home doctor but  were sent away with the diagnose burnout or a stress related issue. When in  fact, these women knów they aren’t burned out!

It’s incredibly sad to see these women struggle with: their hormones. Because that is what it is: due to the normal process of ageing, hormone levels (among which estrogen and progesterone) drop and cause all those vague  unexplainable yet serious symptoms.

Stop suffering in silence

The issue we want to address here is: The symptoms can be treated, and women  don’t need to suffer in silence. This requires two lines of action: from women and from health professionals:

Women, especially in The Netherlands, need to speak up

Compared to  other countries, it is not common practice for Dutch women to address  hormonal issues with their home doctor or with their employer. Nor is it for  the latter to recognize symptoms and to offer help. Of the 8,6  million women in The Netherlands, 80 percent suffers from hormonal issues. Thirty percent of them say these issues negatively affect their life and job.  More than half of the cases of absenteeism is hormone- related. Yet, only  about 2 to 3 percent of them seek help by a health professional or talk about  it at work.

Women need to talk about it with other women, friends, family, their employer and house  doctor. They also need to demand medical guidance. Because there is no need  to suffer in silence and deal with symptoms that negatively influence the  quality of life, when in fact these symptoms can easily be treated.

By speaking up  and demanding medical guidance, women can improve their physical and mental  health and feel much better in their private and professional life. Speaking  up creates more awareness among other women,(friends, husbands, kids),  employers and health professionals: They can provide these others with valuable tacit knowledge: real life knowledge and experiences. In that way, the issue of the female ageing process will no longer be the “non- issue”: the issue we all suffer from but don’t talk about. The issue “we just have to deal with, because….well… just because”.

Health professionals, especially in The Netherlands, need to change their view and awareness

They need to be more aware of the female ageing process and on how female hormones negatively affect the quality of many lives. Often, Dutch  house doctors are familiar with the well-known symptoms like night sweats and  hot flashes in women over 55. But the “vague” symptoms mentioned above, especially in younger women who sometimes still have their period, are far  less recognized and not seldom downplayed or diagnosed as stress- related. And even the more familiar are sometimes labeled as: The issue “we just have to  deal with, because….well… just because”.

For health professionals to change their view; to increase their awareness; and to offer medical treatment to women, they need to take note of the (huge amount of)  international scientific research on female hormones and the process of  ageing. More up to date knowledge and more understanding can improve so many  lives so easily!

Positive side effects of medical treatment for overall health

There are simple medical treatments out there, that have been proven to be  effective with low risk of dreaded side effects such as cancer and with high changes of positive side effects for overall health. We are not talking about  placebos such as herbal products, flack seed, plants or oils. We are talking  about hormonal therapy among which with 17β- estrogen and progesterone (Demers, 2012).

Besides significantly decreasing those vague symptoms, hormonal therapy has other benefits for overall health:

-         Lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and thrombosis

-         Improvement of cognitive functions such as memory, stress resistance  and mood

-         Improvement of the quality of sleep and increased libido

-         Protection against Alzheimer’s disease and depression

-         Protection against osteoporosis

-         Lower risk of inflammatory reactions related to chronic diseases and cancer

-         Lower risk of obesity (weight gain, yes!) and diabetes type 2

If you’re dealing with vague unexplainable symptoms, speak up! Demand medical  treatment from a health professional to supplement your hormone levels if  that is what needs to be fixed. In the  meantime, take good care of yourself in terms of nutrition (read our previous article), exercise and relaxation. Healthy Ageing  is within easy reach, just go out there and get it!

Create your own health!©