Transcript for Private Facebook group with over 11K members a safe haven for women with menopause
change in Tay flash taking a closer look at menopause and how it affects roughly 30 million American women at any given time and, Amy, this is experience that a lot of women have gone through alone but that is changing. That's right. Menopause is not widely talked about as we know leaving a lot of women with so many questions about what's really going on in their bodies and whether others are going through the same things too but now we are seeing a new kind of support group. In "Sex and the city 2." I need to speak to an ambassador or embassy or someone in menopause. And "House of cards." I hate how they just hit you like that with no warning. You get night sweats too? Reporter: Fictional characters but a very real topic, menopause. The time in which millions of women experience the end of their reproductive periods. In the U.S. It starts for most around 51. I had heard about menopause but absolutely had no idea that it was going to be something that would be so scary and lonely. Reporter: At 54 years old Seattle resident Gwen Harris was hit hard. The menopause symptoms made me feel like I was kind of from another planet. Reporter: Instead of stuffer suffering alone she started a private Facebook group to share experiences and support. People don't have a problem talking about it. Reporter: On Facebook women asking questions like what is the most drastic change to your body and have you ever been cold and hot at the same time? And members describe their symptoms which include weight gain, thinning of hair, changes in mood and the most common, hot flashes which occur when changes in the hormone levels cause blood vessels in your skin to dilate. A woman will feel intense heat in the face, neck and cause sweating and increased heart rate. It's to provide loving support to each other as well as offer solutions. Reporter: The support network helping over 11,000 members around the world. I was not the only one going through this. That I was not the only one feeling these ways so that was just a comfort. Yes, you are not alone. This one Facebook group has members in more than 0 countries and experts agree that most women can benefit from talking about their experiences with others and, Gwen encouraging them to join by contacting her on the group's Facebook page, menopause support group and you can also look for menopause support groups online or in Y own community. In yeah, wonderful that they have each other to help. It is very important. You know this all too well. Yep. And just talking about it and it's just -- it's more than just the symptoms. What it does to a woman's body. Absolutely and to be clear, this affects 75% of women. This is not fluff or something to laugh about. It goes head to toe in terms of the symptoms that women can experience. The big ones heart disease, a lot of the risk factors for heart disease we see go up in the perimenopausal period and a recent study found severe increase in African-American women, osteoporosis, we know we lose bone density which can be serious, weight gain is almost universal and it's not about eating more or backing away from the food. This is a hormonal and metabolic change and mental health and this transition can be associated with depression and other emotional problems. You're reporting, what did you find to be the biggest challenges and misconceptions I think a lot of women think it's something older, older women get and we talk to women who were in their 30s. I went into it at 40 because of chemotherapy so whether it's drug, medication, genetics. This can happen so much earlier than people anticipate and no one wants to talk about it because it's almost as if they don't want to transition into this other phase and there's a stigma to it. But just talking about it is so freeing, it was so beautiful to see everyone sharing. Me too. Me too. It feels better knowing that you're not alone. It's not an older woman's condition. I went through it too through keep thee therapy. Wasn't that an extra bonus. Okay. Odessa has this. She says I love how she says besides hormone therapy which I'm scared of, what else can be used for what I call power surges. Listen, treatment options more than ever, there are hormonal, nonhormonal option, the biggest one is off label use of certain antidepressants which are incredible effective for treating vase so motor symptoms and no woman can go through her day gained with sweat turning red. I don't care whether you're in the boardroom or kitchen. That is not a way to live. What do we have here? I'm so excited. A lot of options in terms of treating. A lot of these obviously off label but let's start with things in our environment that are cooling mattress, fan, certain pajama, sheets that are helpful for a woman at night and things that are really off label but have been very promising. One is called thermiva. Radio frequency and has $1300 a treatment but nonhormonal and online reaction has been positive and then something called relaven. Bee pollen extract and sleep and hot flash, you order it online, about $50 a month and cancel any time. Incredible. Both of those more options than ever. My partner amber started using essential oils that really help with the symptoms. It's about individualizing treatment and speaking to your health care provider. Suffering is out. This is 2018. Women have options and we need to stick together. You're going to have more reporting on this tomorrow. Yes, and it's very eye opening. So many of the things you touched on. Women weren't expecting and, you know, just to know it's coming is so helpful. All right. Some more tomorrow. Dr. Jen will answer your questions live on our Facebook page this morning.
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