Here are a few questions from an interview with Dr Christiane Northrup and  Share Guide which is a Holistic Health Magazine and Resource Directory.
This is taken  from her book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom – her information is always good, especially if you are new to this information.

Share Guide: If you have a body you are worthy of being healthy, if you ask me. If you are going to be healthy, you should listen to your body’s signals and you should have some rest in your work week. All of my successful mentors take regular time off through the year to get away.

Dr. Northrup: If you are a woman, you are trained, especially if you want a career, that you have got to pay extra dues to have a home and a family. “Oh my God, he is going to LET me go to work!” We are still brainwashed into thinking that the husband knows best, or “Thank God at least I have a man so that I look normal.” I see this as an evolutionary thing, not as any personal theory. I think it’s just where we are in our culture now.

I think it will be my daughter’s generation that comes to more gender equity in the relationships of the heart. You and I both know it’s much easier for a guy to go out and get his nurturing needs met if he divorces somebody when things get rocky at midlife. He’ll just go marry someone 20 years younger and start over, instead of actually doing the transformational work of the heart. My antidote to all this is that you have to have partnership with your Self–that is what midlife is about, finding partnership with yourself.

Share Guide: Since your most recent book covers the subject of menopause, I’d like to ask about this subject. You write that menopause is a lot more than just raging hormones, that it’s actually a time of total transformation. Can you elaborate on this for our readers?

Dr. Northrup: The female human body has various stages when you are more apt to be in touch with your spirit or your wisdom. One of those is just before your menstrual period is about to begin; one is during birth and postpartem and during breast feeding; and the last period is during menopause, including perimenopause and the years leading up to menopause. If you don’t pay attention to the material that comes up premenstrually each month, which is like a pool backwash system, then nature gives it another opportunity.

What happens to women premenstrually is they say things like “I am not myself. I’m like Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde.” But it is them. It’s a part of themselves that they have pushed down and disowned–perhaps the angry part, or the part that feels ashamed. At menopause, all of this comes up to be cleansed. It’s like a sewage treatment plant of your life.

Your body is trying to clear all this out for the second half of life, because during this time you are going to be fueled primarily by your spirit and your connection with your soul. When you can make that connection, it’s as though your body gets fueled by light. It is the most amazing thing after menopause, seeing people doing better than they’ve ever done.

Relationships heal, things that no longer work leave your life, bodies can transform. What our culture does with that is try to make it a hormone deficiency or a Prozac or Zoloft deficiency. But there is an opportunity for growth which comes in the form of rage, or sometimes the need to be alone, etc. We take those symptoms and lead people to believe that they are caused by a deficiency of the human female body, when in fact they are simply the message of our soul knocking on the door of our heart and asking us to change something. That’s what menopause really is–a kind of mother of all wake-up calls!

Share Guide: I know there is no one-size-fits-all answer, but do you recommend some form of hormone replacement therapy for women with menopause?

Dr. Northrup: Some women do very well with bioidentical hormones. One in three women currently have had their ovaries removed. This is a lot of women who do not have the benefit of their own ovaries in connection with their adrenals, which would usually link during the 13 year transition known as menopause. These women may benefit from a little estrogen or a little progesterone or possibly a little testosterone, but in no case should these be the conventional hormones that are synthetic.

This is important for people to know: you cannot patent a naturally occurring hormone. The hormones that naturally occur in the human female body have been altered so that the drug companies can justify the R&D programs to patent a hormone and therefore make their money. It’s frightening! I’ll take my chances with the hormones that mother nature has taken at least 3 million years to come up with.

Share Guide: This is what you mean by bioidentical?

Dr: Northrup: Yes. Examples would be Climara, Vivelle or Estraderm. These products are biochemically identical to what the human body manufactures, and that is what you are looking for. These hormones are available as a skin patch.

The drug companies have patented the patch technology, and I consider that a beautiful marriage of technology and nature’s wisdom. People will tell you that Premarin is natural–yeah, it’s natural if you are a horse! That is why the term bioidentical came into being. It’s more precise than “natural.”

Share Guide: You have a good quote in your book from a Dr. Joel Hargrove who said in reference to the popular HRT therapy, “Premarin is a natural hormone if your native food is hay.”

Dr. Northrup: Right. Dr. Hargrove was actually the first person to patent bioidentical progesterone in an oral form. He grew up on a farm and knew early on that giving women things like synthetic progesterone (such as Provera or Depraprovera) was not good at all. The reason why it is so effective as birth control is because it makes women so ornery no one wants to come near them! These are things that women need to know.

Share Guide: What about not taking anything and letting nature take its course?

Dr. Northrup: Yes, that would be the first thing you would want to try. But then again, let’s say you are 38 years old, and you are in there for a fibroid surgery or something, and you didn’t know any better, so the guy says let’s take out your ovaries while we are in here, and that will prevent ovarian cancer later. Because women are trained to be terrified of their bodies, they agree to this. This is the kind of woman who is going to need hormones for a while.

For the women who have healthy ovaries and healthy adrenals, they may not need them. But you have to do some nutritional support, such as omega 3 fats, and B vitamins to help clear estrogen dominance from your system. When you skip ovulations and you don’t have progesterone to balance the estrogen, that can create a state of anxiety, jitters, and headaches.

(That is also a drive for the brain to change things in your life.) So you might want to take some soy or ground up flax seed, which helps a great deal to give you plant hormone support while your body is making the transition.

Read Dr. Northrup’s book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.

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