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In my quest to improve my own health and relieve menopause symptoms, I have read many menopause books. Then when I started building this website, I read even more. Here are just a few of my favorites.
The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing During the Change
Christiane Northrup, M.D.
Bantam Books, 2003
This is the first of all the menopause books I have read, and I enjoyed Dr. Northrup's positive attitude and the way she relates her own experience to illustrate the many ways in which menopause can affect women. She covers everything from how your brain changes, why marriages must change and dealing with empty nest syndrome to pelvic floor exercises and the myths and reality of sex and menopause. Conventional approaches such as HRT are covered along with diet, nutrition and herbal supplements to support your Change.
The New Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way
Susun S. Weed
Ash Tree Publishing, 2002
I first encountered Susun Weed when I became pregnant and bought her book Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. I was taking classes in herbal medicine at the time, and wanted to use herbs to support my pregnancy. I followed many of her recommendations and I am certain that is why I had such a successful pregnancy, labor and delivery with my first child being born at the age of 41. I turn to her books again and again when I have symptoms I want relief from, or just to know more about a certain herb. She has years of experience working with women and herbs. Susun is also the person who influenced my dietary choices and sent me looking for more information on the work and discoveries of Weston Price.
The Herbal Menopause Book
Amanda McQuade Crawford
The Crossing Press, 1999
Written by a well-known herbalist, this book covers herbs and other natural therapies for all the symptoms of menopause. She covers the physiology of menopause along with other concerns for mid-life women such as heart disease and osteoporosis. I do not agree with some of her nutritional and dietary suggestions, but the herbal information is sound and based on clinical experience.
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause and
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Peri Menopause, both by
John Lee, M.D.
These are both menopause books about progesterone cream. I bought these books because I was interested in health, but they sat on my shelf for years because I thought there was a lot of hype around progesterone cream. It wasn't until I hit peri menopause, with mood swings, insomnia and migraines, that a friend mentioned progesterone cream and I thought it was worth investigating. I read the peri menopause book, and decided my symptoms might be relieved by the cream. It was a great help to me. The book goes into great detail about hormone imbalance, how to buy a high quality cream, and dosing instructions. While I don't believe that women should take hormones for long periods of time, I found the information in these books very helpful.
Discover Your Menopause Type
Joseph Collins, N.D.
Prima Publishing 2000
This is a very informative book that gives you self tests to determine which menopause type you are. Examples are: low estrogen, low progesterone, or low estrogen and progesterone. There are twelve different types. Collins gives a symptom picture of each type along with natural remedies that include nutrition, diet, herbs, homeopathic remedies, glandulars, hormones and more.
The Menopause Thyroid Solution: Overcome Menopause by Solving your Hidden Thyroid Problems
Mary J. Shomon
If you have been diagnosed with low thyroid, chances are you've already heard of Mary Shomon. She has written extensively about thyroid issues. Her latest book covers the impact of low thyroid on menopause symptoms. The book addresses the question of whether your symptoms (many of which are similar) are thyroid-related or menopause-related. She goes on to discuss diagnosis and treatment of both, along with covering natural approaches, diet and exercise. She does a good job of covering many issues related to the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid, although her coverage of alternative treatments for thyroid patients (use of natural dessicated thyroid, T3 medications) is not as in depth as some of the other thyroid books I've read recently (Stop the Thyroid Madness, and Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal). If you're having trouble with menopause and you wonder if you may have low thyroid, this is an excellent menopause book.
Feeling fat, fuzzy, or frazzled? A 3-Step Program to Restore Thyroid, Adrenal and Reproductive Balance
Richard Shames, M.D. and Karilee Shames, Ph.D., R.N.
Although not specifically a menopause book, the problems addressed in this book are very common for midlife women, and most doctors are not looking at the whole picture the way these authors do. Since all of these hormones are interdependent, it seems pretty silly to try and treat them one at a time, without knowing the health status of all of them. But that is exactly what most M.D.s do. This book will help you understand which “type” you are, how to use natural approaches to support your endocrine and reproductive system, how to order lab tests and find a good practitioner. Highly recommended if you are feeling “fat, fuzzy or frazzled.”
Menopause Books: Best Diet, Health and Cookbooks
Although most of these are not specifically menopause books, the dietary advice still fits. In fact, some of the menopause diet books on the market I would not recommend, due to too much emphasis on low fat or low saturated fat and adding unfermented soy products to your diet.
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
Sally Fallon, with Pat Connelly and Mary Enig, Ph.D.
ProMotion Publishing, 1995
This is much more than a cookbook. It's more like an encyclopedia of information about traditional diets, modern diets, and why one supports health while the other destroys it. Sally Fallon is the Board President of the Weston A. Price Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to “restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism.” Dr. Price's research provides the research and information we need today to understand true physical health and the nutrients in our diets that provide that health. Much of this information goes against conventional thinking on healthy diets, for example, animal fats from healthy animals are not only good for you, but necessary for optimum health.
Eat Fat, Lose Fat
Dr. Mary Enig, Sally Fallon
Hudson Street Press, 2005
This book is full of information on health and diet. It includes three coconut-based diet plans: Quick and Easy Weight Loss, Health Recovery, and Everyday Gourmet. They have included many recipes based on traditional foods, and many of these are quicker and easier to prepare than the recipes in Nourishing Traditions. I have read Part One: The Truth About Fats and Part Two: Real Foods – for Healing and Health over and over again. There is so much information in these two sections it's hard to take it all in. The recipes are delicious, although like most diet plans I've seen, a bit too much for a full-time working woman with school and parenting responsibilities. But if you're a bit more organized in the kitchen than I, I highly recommend trying these diet plans.