Welcome to the #365Firsts Podcast and the Expert Advice Before Your First Time Series. The show aims to encourage, prepare, and inspire you to do things you’ve never done before and complete your #365FirstsChallenge list.
In each episode of this series, we give you tips and advice to set you up for success, for specific firsts and new experiences. The guests and topics are as varied as the options and possibilities of new experiences.
Whether you’re trying to learn a new skill, improve your health and happiness, work on your self-development, add excitement and adventure to your life, or simply have first times, you’re going to love our podcast.
In This Episode
Today, we’re discussing a topic that isn’t talked about enough. Women’s health and wellbeing as they enter into and go through menopause. It’s a topic often shoved under the rug and avoided, although women like today’s guest expert are fighting to break through the silence.
In this episode, we’re looking at menopause. This is a very natural process all women will go through, but not enough women are well educated about what it means and how to properly go through it. It can happen early and slowly with a lot of symptoms, or over less time with little to no symptoms; however, no matter how it manifests in your life, it’s important to know as much about it as possible to take the best care of yourself.
That’s why we’re lucky to be joined by Dr. Kyrin Dunston (also known as the Conscious Menopause Boss) who has a lot of experience and insights into this area of women’s health.
The Guest Expert
Kyrin is a holistic health expert, speaker, and health coach. She is a Board Certified Doctor who worked as a community OBGYN until she faced her own health issues and realized traditional medicine was not helping her.
Nowadays, she focuses on teaching women how to heal, optimize their health, and thrive in all areas of their lives. She took her expertise and skills beyond the exam room, working as a ‘doctorpreneur’ using her passion for wellness and health. Her work focuses on helping to ignite women and inspire them, through her media presence, podcast, group work and consulting.
She is the host of Her Brilliant Health Podcast, which is a fantastic show dedicated to women’s health. Kyrin also has her own functional medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia, which makes her the perfect expert for this episode.
What You Need To Know About Entering Menopause For The First Time
What is Menopause?
Kyrin started off the episode by defining menopause. She described it as the cessation of the menstrual process, where the ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This is process that can start in your early 40s and is called pre-menopause. A woman has reached menopause when she has not had a period for one year. There are a plethora of symptoms associated with menopause and it can affect a large portion of a woman’s life.
The Symptoms of Menopause
The main symptoms of menopause that Kyrin noted include menstrual irregularities, like longer or heavier periods, and missed periods. Hot flashes are very common too, as are weight gain and difficulty sleeping. Sleep can be heavily affected, both in terms of quality and length. The onset of the symptoms can be gradual, and may not happen all at once but there are your body signaling changes in your hormone production.
Due to the stigma surrounding women’s health and sexual wellbeing, for too long women have felt they had no choice but to suffer through menopause. Kyrin was clear this is not true, menopause can be much easier than it’s made out to be.
However, Kyrin pointed out the way to address menopause is not with pharmaceutical solutions. Women are given sleeping pills for their trouble sleeping, antidepressants for feeling down or other pills to help with their menopausal symptoms. These only get rid of the symptoms, not the cause.
Menopause and your Hormones
The changes in hormones are the cause of the symptoms. Progesterone is the first hormone that will start to be affected by menopause, which impacts everything from weight and mood, to sleep quality. The levels of progesterone will go down as women get older, which can lead to estrogen dependent problems like endometriosis. Kyrin suggested replacing progesterone with a herb called Vitex or an over-the-counter cream.
This is why Kyrin uses functional medicine to create ‘hormone prosperity’ which is a state where the hormonal imbalance are addressed, naturally.
Preparing yourself for menopause is absolutely vital, as deficiencies in hormones can lead to a lot of serious issues like osteoporosis. Being proactive and understanding your body is incredibly important for making menopause as easy as possible.
Conscious Menopause Boss
Something important Kyrin brought up is that menopause is a process, not an event. It’s going to start happening and bringing on symptoms, and then continue, change, and shift as you age. Kyrin described menopause as a journey women need to navigate, by having a high level of self-awareness.
Keeping a journal can be a great way to keep up to date – try to record your mood, sleep, weight and other fluctuations. This is handy for helping you to improve your health over time and explore herbal remedies. However, she did say, herbal remedies take more time than traditional medicine.
To get access to herbal remedies and tools, Kyrin noted you can do this by yourself – but she suggested working with a professional like herself, someone who does functional medicine to get the most effective, safe results and to properly test your hormone levels (require urine and saliva). Functional medical professionals aim to match natural hormone levels as closely as possible instead of using synthetic hormones, which is a much healthier approach.
In terms of pre-menopausal care, Kyrin highlighted keeping an eye on diet is important. Organic, unprocessed and plant-based food is great for preparing yourself for menopause, as a clean diet can help to mitigate symptoms and keep your body happy.
Menopause and your Sex Drive
In regards to dealing with the limited sex drive menopause can bring, Kyrin once again mentioned paying attention to hormones, more specifically, paying attention to cortisol, which is the stress hormone. Cortisol can have a huge impact on sex drive, and there are herbal remedies to help with this as well.
Menopause and Your Outlook
Dealing with the emotional aspect of menopause can be difficult for some women, but it’s important to remember this can be the best time of your life. Believing you’re going to lose your vitality, sex appeal, and energy as you age and go through menopause will often mean that you do lose them because it’s very much a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Kyrin pointed out finding the women in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s who are the shinning examples of vitality, sex appeal, and health – and modeling them.
Menopause is not something to keep to yourself, be quiet about, be frightened by, or that you have to go through alone. With preparation, research, support and care, you’ll be able to get through menopause and make it a rewarding part of your life.
Get In Touch With Kyrin
We’re honored Kyrin joined us for this episode, and hope you all found it educational. If you’d like to reach out to Kyrin and ask her more questions about her work, then you can find her on YouTube as Kyrin Dunston MD and on Facebook as well. You can visit her website to find the resources she mentioned in the episode.
How To Reach Us
We’ve had a blast recording and putting out this show so far, and we hope you’ve found it inspiring. If there’s anything you’d like to share with us regarding your experience with the show – both good and bad – then please do feel free to contact us.
Are there particular topics you’d like to see, or something you want advice on? Is there something you think we could be doing better? Feel free to get in touch with a member of our team at email@example.com today.
What’s Coming Up Next Time?
New episodes of Expert Advice Before Your First Time are released every Thursday, and we’ve got a great roster of experienced guests lined up to give you more expert advice.
Next time on the 12th, we’ll be speaking to Melinda Myers about learning to garden for the first time. After that on the 19th, we’ll be chatting with Jono Bacon about first-time crowdfunding.