Facebook is a great place to find support groups related to health-related concerns. They’re everywhere. Menopause, Adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance, iodine deficiency, magnesium deficiency…there’s something for everyone.
While they are good places to share stories and connect, they are lousy places to get medical advice.
I’ve noticed 2 particularly disturbing trends. The first is an increase in the number of women in these groups who post their own experience as though it is the gospel and encourage others to use whatever remedy changed their life. In my group, I recently had a woman touting the benefits of high-dose progesterone for everyone. This approach does work for some women, but there are others who can’t tolerate it at all.
The other trend I’ve noticed is women who order a hormone test kit online and post test results for the group to comment on.
Are you kidding me?
If you don’t know what to do with results, you shouldn’t be ordering the kit in the first place! And this type of advice is ILLEGAL.
Here is why all of this free advice is bad medicine and way too expensive:
First, when someone advises you to do something, they are doing so without knowing your full history, medical problems, medications or anything else about you. This can create a very dangerous situation that does you a huge disservice. Hours invested in Google research does not give anyone expert status. Most herbs, essential oils and even progesterone are safe, but there are certain products that require a good working knowledge of drug/herb/supplement interactions.
Second, people who advise you have done one experiment. On themselves. This does not equal good science! Some remedy may have changed their life, and that’s wonderful. But that doesn’t mean it will change yours. I know the temptation when you feel horrible is to grasp at anything, but you really CAN make things worse if you don’t know what you’re doing.
If you are experiencing menopause symptoms and want to avoid going the hormonal route, it is best to find ONE person to help guide you, then PICK A LANE AND STAY IN IT for at least 3-6 months. Herbal and/or alternative therapies usually take much longer to work than pharmaceutical alternatives. I tell my clients this…and yet, I still have a few that throw up their hands if something doesn’t work in 2 or 3 weeks. It’s unrealistic to expect that any management strategy will provide instant relief.
Support groups are designed to provide just that…support. I speak to women every day whose lives are severely impacted by perimenopause or menopause, and I know that being able to connect with others who are in the same boat is really important.
We all want relief, and they want it now! I totally get that. But if real help is what you want, please pay a professional to work with you. I understand that it’s expensive, but I’d encourage you to think about what the misery you’re experiencing is costing you beyond the dollars we are talking about. It is an investment that pays dividends long after the work is done AND working with a pro can SAVE you a lot of money in the long run.
Visit Dr. Anna’s website at www.drannagarrett.com.
Dr. Anna Garrett is a menopause expert and Doctor of Pharmacy. She helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. Her clients would tell you that her real gift is helping them reclaim parts of themselves they thought were gone forever.
Find out more about working with her at http://www.drannagarrett.com/work-with-me/.