The Hormone Survival Guide for Perimenopause
By Nisha Jackson, Ph.D.
This book makes sense from beginning to end. Dr. Jackson has packed
an astounding amount of relevant information into this small volume, which
is beautifully organized, easy-to-read, informative, and positive. It
is well written and well referenced.
Overall, this book outlines one of the most common-sense approaches
to deal with the symptoms of hormone imbalance, a very common problem.
It provides answers to questions that many women have given up asking
their physician. Physicians often just don't know the answers when it
comes to nutritional or natural ways to maintain wellness, or treat symptoms.
I believe it should be considered a must-read for physicians as well as
any woman over the age of 20.
Many doctors do not appreciate the difference between synthetic hormones
and bioidentical hormones which are sometimes called "natural"
or "human identical" hormones. Synthetic hormones often differ
in molecular structure from those produced by the body. Dr. Jackson is
one of an increasing number of practitioners and scientists who believe
that even a slight difference in the molecular configuration of a compound
can produce a totally different response from its natural counterpart.
In her practice, she finds that natural hormones more effectively correct
symptoms and have fewer side effects.
The author explains that hormone-related problems have escalated over
the past two decades, and discusses why. In addition, hormone levels decline
with age. The decline brings with it the symptoms of perimenopause for
many, but not all, women. How the hormones work is described accurately
but in a way that the reader can easily understand.
Dr. Jackson advocates hormone testing for women who have typical and
distressing perimenopausal symptoms. She discusses serum versus salivary
testing, the use of hormones to treat hormone problems, placing emphasis
on hormone balance and natural versus synthetic hormones.
She considers diet a powerful way to create hormone balance, and explains
why women gain weight with age, and how insulin becomes a fat-storage
hormone. Signs of insulin resistance are the same as those for low blood-sugar
(hypoglycemia). When the ovaries produce less estrogen during perimenopause,
the body's fat cells produce more. A six-step plan for weight/fat loss
is described in detail, as are supplements that aid fat loss.
The positive benefits of exercise are emphasized, and for those not
able, or not inclined, women are encouraged to start small - "…even
20 minutes of walking helps."
Overworked adrenal glands and "toxic" stress are huge factors
in poor health. Doctors often miss this, and some women just can't handle
the load. The book describes how stress affects the body, how to recognize
the signs of "toxic" stress, and provides solutions including
diet and exercises specifically targeted at this common symptom.
PMS has some symptoms similar to menopause, and a checklist is provided
to aid assessment. Treatment options are offered. Dr. Jackson also discusses
a "healthy" sex drive, why perimenopausal women often lose it,
and talks about the hormones that affect it. Also explained is how undiagnosed,
untreated low thyroid is "bad news". Finding a practitioner
who will work with the patient to obtain an accurate diagnosis is of utmost
Other hazards of perimenopause such as hot flashes, irregular period,
thinning hair, breast tenderness, vaginal dryness, migraines and other
headaches, bladder control, and sleep are all discussed and suggestions
Dr. Jackson has found twelve weeks to be a "magical" time
frame for her patients. The weight management program is a 12-week plan,
as is the hormonal overhaul plan. First the patient is medically evaluated,
consulted regarding her problems, tested via blood samples for hormone
imbalances, then scheduled back into the office to discuss lab results.
From there individualized programs are set up.
One thing worthy of mention is that recommendations are made regarding
treatment of hormone imbalance with hormone replacement, yet no mention
is made as to how a post-cancer patient should approach the subject. The
book assumes healthy patients when discussing hormones and dosages. I
think I would be more comfortable seeing contraindications (throughout)
as well as recommendations.
This book reinforces everything we have presented in our website which
we feel contains unbiased comprehensive information for women regarding
perimenopause, menopause, postmenopause and related health issues.
I appreciate the opportunity for review.
-- Joan McPhee, MH, WT
Assistant Editor, ProjectAWARE
Softcover, 6" x 9", 192 pages
Published by: Larkfield Publishing, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Distributor: Independent Publishers Group (Orders only 800-888-4741)
The Hormone Survival Guide for Perimenopause (at Amazon.com)