May 2023

In this VETgirl online veterinary continuing education blog, Dr. Justine Lee, DACVECC, DABT talks about the top 5 things that will help with menopause. If you haven’t read our first blog about perimenopause and what you need to know, check it out here. I know it seems like a weird, private topic, but as we’re a field of 70-90% women, you need to know perimenopause and menopause! More importantly, we need to talk about this kind of stuff so we know how to lift each other up and support each other in our veterinary community!

By Dr. Justine Lee, DACVECC, DABT
Director of Medicine / CEO, VETgirl

Top 5 Things That Will Help with Menopause

As I hit menopause, I found some of the symptoms pretty difficult and annoying to deal with. Here, the top 5 things that I found to help make my life easier and relieve some of my menopause symptoms.

1. A menopause hot flash neck fan
A few months ago, I went to visit my dear old veterinary friends, and one of their life hacks of life was this amazing fan that goes around your neck to help with hot flashes related to menopause. I mean, I already get hot sweating doing surgery – from the stress and the lights – so add on hot flashes and this girl is a drippin’. This menopause hot flash neck fan helps cool your carotids and is super light weight.

2. Organic maca power
I’m not normally into vitamins, minerals and what I call herbs and spices. But now? I swear by them…

My older sister recommended a few supplements that dramatically helped with her symptoms: maca powder and ashwa gandha.

I started with maca, an adaptogen that helps supposedly “energize and support resiliency.” What are adaptogens? They are herbs that are thought to help increase the stress response by acting as “normalizers” and “stabilizers.” Does it truly help regulate my cortisol level? I’ll take all the non-Rx help I can get! So, I use an organic powdered form of this. As maca is a bit bitter, I add it to my morning kale shake to mask the taste. And within 2 weeks, my menopausal symptoms (specifically hot flashes, irritability and difficulty sleeping) were dramatically better.

Maca organic image

3. Organic ashwa gandha

The next herb I added in was ashwa gandha, Indian ginseng. It’s bitter, and I also mix the taste in my kale shake, so can’t taste it at all. Being very evidence-based, I did some preliminary research on it about this and found some evidence supporting it in this article written by a Mayo MD. There’s some info from Cleveland Clinic below also which shows some benefits of ashwa gandha related to stress mitigation… and I have a lot of stress in my life!

Ashwa Gandha organic image

4. Cooling bedsheets

I don’t normally splurge on sheets, but man, was I sweating at night. Thanks to Facebook targeted ads, I discovered Cozy Earth bedsheets. They are stupidly expensive, but made of bamboo and oh so cool at night. On cold Minnesota winter nights, they are almost too cool, but they help with my hot flashes, so I’ll take them! Oh, and Oprah approves too.

5. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
OK, in full disclosure, I haven’t done this (yet). But, the reviews are raving about HRT. When in doubt, you’re busy but please take the TIME to make an appointment with your ob-gyn or medical doctor now (since it’ll take you 4-months to get an open appointment) to talk to your health care professional about it. Because you need to take care of YOURSELF first! (e.g., Read, oxygen masks for YOU first!).

Seriously, help a sister out. What comments or tips do you have?

Weigh in below!

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  1. Thanks for the info Justine!
    If you have any interest in discussing with other vets, I started a spinoff group from DVMoms – Life in the Trenches. It’s Perimenopausal DVMoms.

    Tara Sparks Haley DVM
    COR ’99

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