May 4, 2021
Dr Newson speaks with Professor Robert Langer in this episode. Robert Langer is Professor Emeritus in Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California in San Diego. He was also an investigator of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Study. Together, they discuss how the WHI Study from 2002 turned the world upside down for women and how they have both been trying to right it ever since.
Professor Langer describes in detail what was understood about the benefits of hormone replacement therapy before the WHI study, how the notorious study came about and why it was finished prematurely and so badly misreported in the media. His unique account of how the events unfolded helps listeners to understand the bigger picture of why healthcare professionals and women remain unaware of the benefits of HRT and are often overly cautious of the perceived risks to this day.
Professor Langer's 3 top tips are:
1. All of the evidence shows that for women who are within 10 years of their menopause, or under the age of 60, if she has reason to take HRT, there is absolutely no need to be concerned about HRT. For these women the benefits strongly outweigh the risks.
2. There's no reason to stop taking HRT at any age, if you've been taking it from the time of your perimenopause or within 10 years of your menopause.
3. With a knowledgeable practitioner, there's no reason that a woman who is past her menopause or over 60, can't start taking HRT, as long as the clinician is aware of how to start slowly and get hormone levels to the right point.
April 27, 2021
Dr Newson has a fascinating conversation with Kay Anderson, a woman in her 80s who began taking HRT after a hysterectomy in 1972, when she was only 36. Kay remembers the frightening and devastating depression that suddenly engulfed her, as a mum with 3 young children, and how her gynaecologist agreed to use her as a 'guinea pig' and let her have some HRT.
They discuss the different types of HRT that Kay has taken and prescribing trends over the last 50 years, and Dr Newson explains how safe modern types of estrogen is through the skin, and how it can protect the health of your heart, bones and mind as you age. Kay has been the only one of her friends to take HRT and is also the only one who doesn't have to take any other medications!
Kay's top 3 tips:
- See another doctor if they won't give you HRT or try and make you stop taking it.
- Don't feel pressured to stop taking it, because if you do you will probably be right back where you started.
- Tell your friends and family what you want, so they can support you to get the right help for you.
April 20, 2021
Lorraine Kelly joins Dr Louise Newson in this podcast episode and they discuss their shared experience of talking about the menopause on that infamous couch!
Lorraine talks openly about her own menopause and how treatment radically changed her work life, relationships, and emotional wellbeing. Every time menopause is discussed on Lorraine's show, they have an overwhelming response from women who are struggling with their symptoms and can't get the help they need.
Dr Newson outlines some of the ways she is trying to counteract the misinformation around HRT and general lack of awareness from the public and healthcare professionals. They discuss how attitudes are slowly changing around menopause and share their frustrations at the uphill battle they face in trying to get more help for more women.
Lorraine's top 3 tips for women who are thinking about getting help:
- Get all the information you can and read up on everything you might need to know.
- Don't be fobbed off when you go and try and get help. Remember you're doing it for you, to feel better, but you're also doing it for everyone that loves you.
- If you're given HRT and you don't think it's working , don't give up, keep trying with it, or discuss changing the dose or type, it might take a while to find what suits you. Just go for it and be empowered.
Follow Lorraine on Instagram - @Lorrainekellysmith
April 12, 2021
Just before her 40th birthday, Caroline was given the unexpected diagnosis of breast cancer. The grueling treatments brought on the menopause and she endured a miserable seven years as a 'functional wreck'. Nine years on, Caroline reflects on this experience. She describes her search for help for the awful menopausal symptoms that were making her feel so unlike her usual, outgoing self and shares how she came to the decision to take HRT, despite being surrounded by advice to the contrary. Dr Newson outlines the complex and little understood relationship between breast cancer and estrogen, and reminds listeners that once accurate information is shared, the choice about menopause treatments after breast cancer ultimately belongs to the individual.
Caroline's three tips:
- Keep an honest record of how you are really feeling and look back on it. If you notice menopausal symptoms and you're just getting through the day, see your doctor. If they suggest antidepressants, don't agree straight away, find out more about how effective they are for menopausal women.
- Talk to someone who specialises in the menopause, even better, someone who treats menopausal women who've had breast cancer. Then you know you're getting gold standard information.
- Don't beat yourself up if all you're worried about is the cancer coming back. It's normal to feel like that. But also allow yourself the possibility of a better, brighter future. You need to know there is hope and help out there - you deserve it.
April 6, 2021
Food and health writer, Sam Rice joins Dr Louise Newson in this episode to discuss eating well in midlife. Sam tells of her unconventional route into nutrition and wellness, and how living in Bali inspired her to write the Midlife Kitchen with her good friend and best-selling author Mimi Spencer.
After the success of the Midlife Kitchen, Sam has recently published her follow up book, The Midlife Method, which supports women who have made the transition to healthier eating but struggle to shift the weight they would like to lose. She urges us to turn away from toxic diet cultures and worrying about our dress size, and focus more on our microbiomes, and having a healthy, happy gut.
Sam’s three top tips are:
- Think about the balance of food you’re eating, you don’t need to cut out whole groups of food, just focus on your complex carbs, lean proteins and healthy fats.
- In your regular exercise routines, don’t forget to include strength training with weights and resistance, as well as your cardio activities like walking or Zumba.
- Embrace eating with awareness. Give yourself permission to eat well and allow yourself to enjoy food.
The Midlife Kitchen: Health Boosting Recipes for Midlife & Beyond
The Midlife Method: How to Lose Weight & Look Great After 40
March 29, 2021
In this episode, Dr Newson has a lively discussion with Heather Hirsch, the Clinical Programme Director for the Menopause and Midlife Clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Heather was shocked to see, during her fellowship, that what was being taught about menopause principles and care was actually wrong and realised that menopause was the biggest gap in women’s healthcare across America.
The experts discuss the problem of unregulated compounded bioidentical hormones and the reasons why 2-3 thirds of American women use this type of non-approved hormone treatment, rather than FDA approved body identical HRT that is prescribed by doctors in the UK. They reflect on the shift away from using HRT over the last 2 decades, and the devastating consequences to women’s health because of this, and offer practical advice on how to educate other healthcare professionals to unlearn the pervasive myth that estrogen is dangerous.
Heather’s three take away messages are:
- Medical students should spend time with a menopause doctor and see how they help women.
- Menopause care is a team effort and a global effort; everyone has to come together.
- Tell a friend, colleague or family member about evidence-based sources of menopause information such as podcasts, youtube channels, or social media. Help spread the truth about HRT.
YouTube: Health by Heather Hirsch
Podcast: Women's Health by Heather Hirsch
March 22, 2021
In this podcast, Dr Louise Newson chats to Hayley Etherington, a young woman who has been menopausal since the age of 14.
Hayley talks openly with Dr Newson about her experience and how, even though she was given HRT as a teenager, she has been struggling with many different symptoms for so many years. Hayley's GP didn't make the connection between her symptoms and her menopause diagnosis and never suggested that she may be on the wrong type or dose of HRT.
Since having a virtual consultation with Dr Newson at the Newson Health clinic, Hayley is now on a new regime of HRT and says she feels like a new person, one who feels well and is full of energy.
Hayley has decided that now is the time to speak out about her premature menopause which she held inside for 25 years, in the hope that it may help others who are experiencing something similar.
Hayley's Three Take Home Tips:
- You know your body - not the doctor. Be persistent if you feel you are not getting the right help.
- Get a second opinion, try other GPs or see a menopause specialist if you can.
- Find your tribe of ladies. There is support out there for you - you are not alone.
Follow Hayley on Instagram: @prematuremenopause14
Read Hayley's blog: https://hayleysmenopause14.blogspot.com/
March 15, 2021
In this episode, Dr Louise Newson talks to Rushna Mia about her menopause experience and how she is aiming to increase awareness of the menopause and support for women and their families within her local Asian community.
Rushna works in a primary school, is a busy mother of 4, grandmother of a 3-year-old and helps run her family’s businesses. She is passionate about supporting women within her community and takes a lead in various women’s groups. Rushna describes the particular issue of the menopause as a taboo within Asian communities and says it is mostly swept under the carpet and not spoken about.
It took Rushna around 8 years to recognise that the symptoms she was experiencing were due to the menopause and the doctors she saw did not raise this possibility either. After seeing Dr Sarah Ball at the Newson Health Menopause and Wellbeing Centre and feeling so much better on the right treatment, Rushna now wants other women to know the right help is available.
Rushna's Three Take Home Tips:
- Use social media, there’s lots of free information out there that can be really helpful regarding your symptoms.
- Speak to your GP or try the Nurse again, ask if there are any local women’s groups.
- Women should work together to help other women and their families. It's important that everyone knows that help and support is available.
March 8, 2021
Professor Isaac Manyonda is a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George's Hospital in London with a major interest in the menopause.
In this very detailed discussion, Prof Isaac and Dr Newson talk about the huge benefits of oestrogen in HRT and how many ways oestrogen can improve future health and prevent disease. They discuss the misinformation and misunderstanding of HRT over the last 20 years and how this has led to so many women being inappropriately denied HRT.
Prof Isaac also speaks very eloquently about the perceived risks of HRT and also how oestrogen on its own can lead to a lower future risk of developing breast cancer and also dying from breast cancer. Dr Newson says that the information discussed in this podcast is evidence based and it is essential that all women listen carefully!
Professor Isaac Manyonda's Three Take Home Tips:
- HRT prevents many of the health problems that women can develop after the menopause and it does so in a very simple, cheap and effective way.
- In terms of the menopausal symptoms that women often experience, there is no better intervention than HRT.
- Here is a hormone that is essentially like 'magic bullet' - it really can help improve quality of life.
March 1, 2021
In this podcast, Dr Louise Newson is joined by Chris Mann, a consultant gynaecologist and one of the world's leading experts in endometriosis. Chris has received extensive training in many countries in the surgical treatment of endometriosis from some of the world's leading laparoscopic surgeons. He talks to Dr Newson about this condition, which affects around 10% of women and explains how, for many women, it takes seven years for a diagnosis. Far too many women do not seek medical help and those that do are often dismissed and given inappropriate advice or treatment.
Chris and Dr Newson talk about the different treatment options available for endometriosis and how women with endometriosis can be given different types of HRT during the perimenopause and menopause. He recommends that any woman who is not receiving adequate help should persevere and see another doctor.
We are releasing this podcast the first week in March to coincide with Endometriosis Awareness Month. Taking place across the world, Endometriosis Month exists to help increase awareness and highlight the symptoms of this debilitating condition that affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide.
Chris Mann's Three Take Home Tips:
- If you suspect that you may have endometriosis and the symptoms are negatively impacting your life then please seek help. Too many women suffer in silence.
- If you are not getting anywhere with your GP then you can ask for a second opinion. If you still are not getting the right help then book a private consultation with a specialist, if you can afford it. A specialist can then write to your GP and advise them on your treatment going forward.
- Don't give up! For too long, too many women have been fobbed off. It isn't something to just 'put up with' and there are now more of us out there that want to help.
Visit Chris Mann's website: https://www.theendometriosisclinic.com/christopher-mann/