Dr. Sharon Malone and First Lady Michelle Obama Talk Menopause
Last week on The Michelle Obama’s podcast, First Lady Michelle Obama and our very own Dr. Sharon Malone discussed opening up about menopause. Many people who experience menopause are reticent about openly sharing their personal stories and this is a problem according to Michelle Obama.
“What a woman’s body is taking her through is important information. It’s an important thing to take up space in a society, because half of us are going through this, but we’re living like it’s not happening.”
Obama’s comments reflect expert opinion on normalizing conversations about women’s health to ensure people are getting the help they need during an especially challenging and overwhelming part of their life. Menopause is no exception, there are a number of safe and healthy ways to manage the disruptive symptoms that accompany this change in life but if we don’t start talking about this among families our communities, and most importantly our healthcare providers, we will not be able to find ways to manage it.
Obama recounts one of her first encounters with menopause during the podcast, describing the uncomfortable feeling of heat sweeping over her body, it was though someone had put a furnace in her core.
“I’m dressed, I need to get out, walk into an event, and literally it was like somebody put a furnace in my core, and turned it on high, and then everything started melting. I thought, well, this is crazy. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t do this.”
Although these symptoms can appear without warning, causing extreme discomfort and self-consciousness, there are ways to manage their impact.
- Find the right doctor and do not be afraid to open up and ask questions. Doctors are here to guide you through the process and work together to find solutions.
- Think about nutrition and get regular exercise. Nutrition and exercise are not proven to help with symptoms but are useful for maintaining a healthy weight and a sense of wellbeing.
- Practice self-care. Whether it is taking a moment to yourself to take some deep breaths. or practicing mindfulness, managing stress is critical.
- Prioritize rest. Although sleep can be challenging during menopause, practicing good sleep hygiene is the first step to getting a more restful night’s sleep.
- Plan ahead before going out. Dressing in layers can be helpful for temperature changes and think about bringing along a small portable fan.
We encourage our patients to listen to the full podcast here, it touches on everything from puberty to menopause from body image to hot flashes. These are conversations that might help open eyes and foster some great conversation. As always, your Foxhall family is here to have that conversation with you every step of the way throughout your health journey.