As the population ages, menopause has become an increasingly important target for Big Pharma. The game is to identify new symptoms or “conditions” for which the giant drug companies develop new combinations of chemicals with horrific side effects; a practice known as “condition branding” .
You have seen some of these condition branded products advertised on television, usually accompanied by a voice-over listing the various side effects that often make the treatment seem worse than the problem. It does not happen overnight or after a few meetings with doctors and pharma execs. The “new” conditions are published and distributed to clinicians by drug companies and anyone they can convince to write about them in medical journals, websites, and blogs. Their strategy is to “increase the awareness of such diseases” prior to developing the drug. It is a cynical process designed only to maximize corporate profits; not to help women deal with the natural processes of aging.
The changes wrought by menopause come as no surprise to women in the 21st century. Although the onset of menopause is said to occur generally when a woman reaches her early fifties, for some women “perimenopause” can begin up to 10 years earlier. And for women that require hysterectomies earlier in life, menopause happens immediately.
Symptoms can include hot flashes, weight gain, brain fog, moodiness, and hormonal changes (lower estrogen) which can cause vaginal atrophy, and loss of sexual desire. I know NOT one woman who doesn’t experience at least one of these symptoms. Personally speaking, it sucks! And the pharma companies also know this truth.
As I speak to family members, friends, and other women, I find they all want to feel better, get their old bodies back, and not feel like they’re going crazy with so many changes. The temptation is to turn to the drug companies in the hope that they have developed a cheap, easy to use pill or cream that would just make the problem go away. Unfortunately, the most widely prescribed treatments involve hormone replacement therapy which, while helpful in alleviating symptoms, have also been linked to nasty side effects, including certain forms of cancer.
The price to pay for women’s emotion and sexual health can be staggering. We’re not talking about the price tags of drugs supplied by big pharma, albeit these drugs are not affordable for most women (let alone disadvantaged ones). The biggest cost is our well-being or worse, our life.
"There is no scientifically established norm for sexual activity, feelings or desire, and there is no evidence that hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a medical condition. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a typical example of a condition that was sponsored by industry to prepare the market for a specific treatment." - Journal of Medical Ethics
If you’re suffering, you want to think twice before you ask your doctor for relief of menopausal symptoms. Unfortunately, physicians are not educated much on nutrition or diet. They typically want to prescribe meds that are available to you and how you can access them. If you want to go the wholistic route, you’re better off going to a naturopath or your pantry for some relief. We recommend that you try plants that have been linked to relieving menopausal symptoms to get you back on track. There are many different options. One physician-based research that shows phytoestrogen from plants are a safe and effective option. We highly recommend doing your own research to see what works the best for your body. Food is medicine whether we like to admit it or not.
More to come on this topic in part 2 of this article.
Tamam Life uses Maca Root to help alleviate menopausal symptoms - research below.
“Preliminary findings show that Lepidium meyenii (Maca) (3.5 g/d) reduces psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lowers measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity. It has also been shown to reduce blood pressure and depression.”
Results: There were no differences in estradiol, FSH, TSH, SHBG, glucose, lipid profiles and serum cytokines amongst those who received Maca as compared to the placebo group; however, significant decreases in diastolic blood pressure and depression were apparent after Maca treatment.
Conclusions: Maca did not exert hormonal or immune biological action in the small cohort of patients studied; however, it appeared to reduce symptoms of depression and improve diastolic blood pressure in Chinese postmenopausal women.
NOTE/Disclaimer: Herbal supplements may come with side effects and interact negatively with certain medications. You should always consult your healthcare provider before adding supplements to your routine.
 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26124287/) Meixel, A., Yanchar, E., & Fugh-Berman, A. (2015). Hypoactive sexual desire disorder: inventing a disease to sell low libido. Journal of medical ethics, 41(10), 859–862. https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2014-102596
(https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18784609/) Brooks, N. A., Wilcox, G., Walker, K. Z., Ashton, J. F., Cox, M. B., & Stojanovska, L. (2008). Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content. Menopause (New York, N.Y.), 15(6), 1157–1162. https://doi.org/10.1097/gme.0b013e3181732953
(https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24931003/) Stojanovska, L., Law, C., Lai, B., Chung, T., Nelson, K., Day, S., Apostolopoulos, V., & Haines, C. (2015). Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women. Climacteric : the journal of the International Menopause Society, 18(1), 69–78.
https://doi.org/10.3109/13697137.2014.929649 Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women
(https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/2008/15060/Beneficial_effects_of_Lepidium_meyenii__Maca__on.24.aspx ) Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content