Te Awamutu Courier
Empowering menopause guide
FORGET THE MYTHS and misinformation, respected health writer Nicky Pellegrino has done the work for you in this empowering and honest book. Don’t Sweat It includes the latest research on everything from hormone replacement therapy to natural therapies and hot flushes, and the lowdown on how menopause can affect everything from your weight to your memory and sleep, to skyrocketing anxiety levels and your missing libido . . . In this wonderfully candid, warm, and witty investigation into the realities of menopause, Nicky shares her own insights into this often-challenging phase of life, and interviews the experts for the latest, credible research on options out there to help women make the right choice for themselves. We asked her a few questions:
Why did you write Don’t Sweat It?
I was experiencing some of the 30-plus symptoms of the menopause transition — hot flushes, heart palpitations, migraines, weird itchiness, crazy rages — and so it was very much on my mind. I became aware that we are in the middle of this amazing menopause revolution with more people talking and writing about it, more research and new thinking. Mid-life women are realising there are a lot of us — by 2025 there’s projected to be over a billion. And Gen X don’t seem prepared to go through this thing as quietly and invisibly as previous generations. All of that seemed very interesting to write about. Also important.
What advice you would give someone who is suffering with menopause?
There are things you can do — lots of things, not just hormone therapy. And those things may change as you move from the early stages of peri-menopause through the whole transition. So you need to arm yourself with good information and make decisions about what is right for you — no two women have the same menopause experience and treatments that work brilliantly for one person might not do much for another.
You interviewed lots of experts for the book, from doctors to naturopaths, how did you decide who to interview for the book?
The menopause is all about diversity. So I wanted to reflect as many different women’s experiences as possible and also as many potential therapies. That involved interviewing a lot of medical experts and also practitioners of alternative medicine. I’d encourage women to be open to both if they need help. Don’t Sweat It is jam-packed with relevant information; how long did you spend researching and writing the book?
About a year but I’ve been writing regularly about health for over a decade of my career in journalism and over that time I’ve interviewed hundreds of experts. What I’ve learnt about staying healthy in midlife and beyond has formed the foundation of this book.
What was your worst thing about going through menopause?
The mood swings. I started to feel like my brain didn’t belong to me anymore. I was furious with everyone and everything. And then sad. And then furious again. It was exhausting. I consider it a miracle that I still have friends left — especially as a lot of them were going through the menopause transition too.
And the best thing?
For me, not having periods. I used to have days where I couldn’t stray too far from a toilet because of the dramatic, build-an-ark flooding. Looking back it stopped me doing all sorts of things and I should have got help but for some reason I soldiered on. I was anaemic and constantly applying stain remover to clothing and bed linen.
Now I’ve thrown out my tampons and I can wear white trousers.
Throughout the book you have injected lots of humour, why was it to you to make sure that the book was an entertaining read?
I don’t think it’s helpful being all doom and gloom about menopause. It’s just a life stage, lots of us are going through it and actually there’s plenty to laugh about. Also my books are always entertaining; at least I hope so!