Menopocalypse: How I Learned to Thrive During Menopause and How You Can Too
Author: Amanda Thebe
Year Published: October 20, 2020
Page Count: 232 pages – 5-6 hour read time.
What It’s About:
In her book, Menopocalypse, Amanda Thebe, personal trainer and fitness coach takes an honest and humorous approach to tackling a complicated topic affecting so many women’s lives – Menopause.
Amanda pulls readers in with her all-too-familiar story about being blindsided by the onset on perimenopause symptoms. Many continue to relate to her two-year grueling journey of extensive testing and misdiagnosis before finally finding an answer. All too many of us understand the pain and anguish Amanda goes through – weight gain, headaches, depression, and withdrawing from her family and friends.
Menopocalypse starts out a little doom and gloom. She takes us through potential symptoms: hot flashes, weight gain, sleep issues, joint aches, headaches, mood swings, sadness, and depression. And the realities of what we might face when dealing with the medical profession. However, Amanda eventually leans into her humour and leaves us feeling lighter and more hopeful about the journey ahead of us.
She shares easy-to-implement tips and tricks to help us find ease in our menopause journey. There’s a little bit of everything you’d expect: diet, movement, sleep, mindset, hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle hacks. She even shares a detailed workout plan complete with a schedule and illustrations.
The Take Aways:
After reading Menopocalypse you should come away with:
- A better understanding about perimenopause and how it impacts your hormones and your overall health;
- The confidence you need to talk to your doctor about your menopause symptoms so you can best advocate for your own health;
- A few simple diet, fitness, sleep and lifestyle hacks to help you find ease during perimenopause and beyond;
- A few good belly laughs. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
It wouldn’t be a book on menopause and women’s health if it didn’t bring up the subject of hormone replacement therapy (HRT, or HT as referenced in this book). HRT is a really controversial topic. And has been since the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study was released in 2002.
The WHI study that began in 1991 to understand how certain diseases affect menopausal women and prevent them. Over 160,000 women aged 50 to 79 participated in the 15-year study. In 2002, the WHI found that using a combination of estrogen and progestin hormone therapy increased the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and urinary incontinence. Although it lowered fracture and colorectal cancer risk, the study indicated that overall risks outweighed the benefits, leading many women to stop hormone therapy.
The controversy with these results, however, is that the majority of study participants were over ten years past their final menstrual period. This prompted concerns about the applicability of the trial results to younger women.
In recent years, HRT is being re-examined as a safe treatment option to support women in perimenopause and menopause. The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) recently released a new position statement on HRT. A really high level summary is:
- Hormone therapy effectively treats vasomotor symptoms and genitourinary syndrome of menopause, while also preventing bone loss and fractures.
- Risks of hormone therapy vary depending on factors like type, dose, duration, and timing of initiation, requiring individualized treatment based on available evidence.
- Women younger than 60 or within 10 years of menopause onset can benefit from hormone therapy for symptom relief and bone health.
- However, starting hormone therapy later in life or more than 10-20 years after menopause onset poses higher risks for conditions like heart disease, stroke, VTE, and dementia.
Our advice – As with any medication, have the risks and benefits explained to you by a qualified practitioner. They can help you to understand if HRT is right for you.
Why you should read this book:
Menopocalyse comes at a time when people are starting to take notice of women’s health. This fierce and funny book aims to help perimenopausal and menopausal women prepare for the road ahead. I recommend this book to women looking for a high-level overview of menopause and a few good laughs.
Is this the most comprehensive book on menopause? Probably not. But as far as menopause books go, it’s entertaining and informative. And that’s a good thing. Because there’s a lot of women who are feeling sad, lost, alone and desperate for answers.
Amanda’s quick wit and fierce honesty will help you feel understood and less alone. For someone reading their first book on menopause or just starting to learn about menopause symptoms, there’s a lot of good information in Menopocalypse. For those of you who’ve already done some pretty deep dives, this will be an entertaining take on a normally heavy topic.