GlycanAge is a biological age test paired with expert advice to help guide your wellness.

Does Menopause Have to Put a Pause on Your Life?

Unfortunately, menopause is still a huge taboo. This affects the way menopause is discussed privately, but also in the medical field. In order to break the stigma, we’re bringing you an interview with one of our clients that experienced amazing results after going on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
Vanja Maganjić

Unfortunately, menopause is still a huge taboo. This affects the way menopause is discussed privately, but also in the medical field. In order to break the stigma, we’re bringing you an interview with one of our clients that experienced amazing results after going on Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Can you share what your experience with menopause was like? Did you know what to expect and were there any surprises?

You know, my experience actually wasn't bad. Actually, relative to many people, it wasn't bad at all. My mother didn't have bad menopause either. For me, it came late and with very few symptoms. 

I noticed my hair was getting a bit thinner and falling out a bit more and I was possibly feeling slightly subpar, but nothing very tangible. And so my initial thought had been, I'm not going to do HRT, I'm going to weather the storm. 

I don't want to put anything in my mouth and on my skin and I probably wouldn't have gone down the route of HRT had I not done the GlycanAge test. 

I'm extremely fit, I exercise a lot. I have a very healthy diet and a very healthy lifestyle, so when I got my GlycanAge results and found out my biological age was older than my chronological age, it was quite a shock. My husband got tested at the exact same time and he was 20 years younger than his chronological age and my thought was - We have identical lives, how is this possible? 

As a result of that, I went to see the Newson clinic and they said - Listen, even if you're not having bad menopause, the positive impact of HRT will be amazing for you. That’s when I decided to start with hormone therapy. I'm on relatively low doses, but even with that amount, subsequent GlycanAge tests have shown improvement that has been dramatic. 

And whilst I didn't necessarily feel any negative symptoms of menopause I am experiencing a lot of positive changes with the HRT. My hair is better, I’m full of energy and, you know, I definitely do feel better. So I am now evangelical, both about GlycanAge and HRT to anyone who wants to talk about it with me. 

That's so amazing to hear and I have to say that you are one of our star students. I think you had the best results out of anyone. Can you tell me at which point did you know that it was menopause? 

I knew it was menopause because initially, my periods started coming slightly less frequently. And then very curiously, I had two overwhelmingly heavy periods. I mean, so heavy that I'd never experienced anything like it. 

I went to see the GP at that stage and she said, listen, this could be one of the effects of menopause. And sure enough, after those periods I didn't have any more periods at all. So it was the stopping of bleeding rather than anything else that made me know that I was hitting menopause.

And was it your GP that said that you should take a GlycanAge test?

They didn't suggest anything. I mean they said at that point, Oh, it's menopause, don't worry. I found that bizarre. After that, my husband who is a venture capitalist and had been introduced to your brand asked me if I wanted to get tested. 

When I got my GlycanAge results, you guys put me in touch with the Newson clinic which I couldn't speak more highly about. I think they're fantastic. And when I went to see them, then they had me do a whole bunch of blood tests. And so I've done two rounds of blood tests with them just to make sure that everything is at the right level.

That's amazing. Would you be willing to talk a bit about your experience with the Newson Health menopause study?

Of course! You know, because of the pandemic, my first appointment and in fact all of my appointments have been via Zoom or via telephone.

My doctor is extremely nice and when you think about it, there's no particular reason to actually see her face to face. When I need blood testing, she sends me somewhere more convenient for me. 

Obviously, there was a bit of a wait before I could see them because they're so popular, but they are just immensely knowledgeable about menopause because that's all they do. And they are literally night and day compared to my GP. 

Only after I got all those test results from the Newson clinic and went to my GP with all of them, did she say that she’ll put me on a protocol of estrogen and progesterone. She said, "We don't always do this when private clinics prescribe, but we totally trust the Newson clinic and if they prescribed it, we're happy to put that prescription on the NHS for you". 

I think that speaks volumes, that they have enough faith in the clinic and all of the prescriptions. So I get them on the NHS now.

I love that. What type of changes did you experience after going on HRT?

I mean, as I said, my hair got a bit better, my sex drive as well and just generally, you know, I feel like I'm 35 again. I've got lots of energy and I think because I walk for a couple of hours a day and do kettlebell classes, my bones are going to be strong enough to deal with that as well. So yeah, just generally I feel good.

Was your experience with GlycanAge positive as well?

Yes, absolutely. I think I was a tricky one because I was already living such a healthy life. I was exercising, eating healthily, don't drink, and such. 

And so the only thing that they did suggest, was to look into the HRT. And so I thought that was extremely nice. Everyone believed me and didn’t second guess me. The woman I spoke to, gave me excellent advice and it proved to be absolutely the right thing to change.

I do think it makes a huge difference in doing the test and then having that follow-up call. Because if you do the test and you don’t have any type of follow-up, then you won't know what to change. So I think it's very helpful that you offer that conversation after the test to ensure that you can make the most out of it.

We’re glad you had a great experience. What do you think is the trickiest part of living healthier or having a busy lifestyle? Do you have any tips for others?

You know what? I actually think the biggest tip of all is to walk. To walk, and walk, and walk. I've always walked quite a lot, always 2 hours a day. 

And I think that even people who don't like going to the gym can walk for 2 hours a day. It really transforms your mental and physical health. And it's the simplest, easiest, and cheapest way to make an impact on your health and your wellbeing. And I've ever amazed that more people don't do it.

I also love it because the scenery changes. And when you're in a gym, you’re just running towards the wall.

Do you have any advice for women who are struggling with perimenopausal or menopause symptoms?

Go and see the Newson clinic. That is my absolute must, to get an appointment with them. I now recommend to everyone to look at the Balance app, listen to podcasts, and try and see them. My sister has just been through and I've said to her, whatever happens, go to them above other people because they really know and understand the problem better than anyone.

My last question for you is, did you encounter any myths about menopause during your life, and were you surprised when you actually entered it?

Do you know what? I wasn't surprised just because I knew that my mother had gone through menopause very easily. 

The biggest surprise to me about menopause is that 50% of the population goes through it and nobody discusses it. I mean, it’s extraordinary and even as I was reaching my fifties and people were beginning to go through menopause, nobody talked about it. 

You had to be quite brave, even with your good friends, to bring up the subject of who was doing what and who to see. So many of my close friends, don’t want to discuss it, but the different protocols that people were on were so extreme, from popping pills to having patches, gels, and also having things inserted under the skin. 

When you listen to a number of women talk about their therapy, there is no consistency and it's quite bewildering. That's why, for me, discovering the Newson clinic was huge because I knew I could trust them. 

On the other hand, amongst my greatest girlfriends, everybody was doing very different things, some with some pretty extreme protocols. I do think it is fantastic that finally it's been talked about more. It's fantastic that men are being brought into the discussion a bit more than they really like to be brought in, but they are. 

I think what Louise has done is phenomenal, and I think it's something that should be much more openly discussed and women shouldn't have to suffer. If you start suffering, this is what you do. And even if you don't start suffering, you're better off if you do this.

Vanja Maganjić

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