IHCAN magazine Podcast

S2 Ep 1: 'Mitigating menopause health risks' featuring Sally Duffin Reg.Nutritionist MBANT rCNHC

June 30, 2023 IHCAN magazine Season 2 Episode 1
S2 Ep 1: 'Mitigating menopause health risks' featuring Sally Duffin Reg.Nutritionist MBANT rCNHC
IHCAN magazine Podcast
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IHCAN magazine Podcast
S2 Ep 1: 'Mitigating menopause health risks' featuring Sally Duffin Reg.Nutritionist MBANT rCNHC
Jun 30, 2023 Season 2 Episode 1
IHCAN magazine

Sally Duffin is a registered nutritionist and nutritional therapy practitioner and writer, and author of “Natural Nutrition for Perimenopause: What to eat to feel good and stay sane”.

In this episode we focus on post menopausal health risks such as cardiovascular health, dementia and bone strength, and Sally shares how we can mitigate some of those risks with lifestyle and nutrition. This brings up topics of gender inequality in healthcare, the role of HRT, and the amount of research that still needs to be done.

“It also comes back to this shift that needs to happen about how women see themselves, how the medical system is treating women, how society is treating women, and it’s all connected to reframing it all, actually, and making sure that we get the healthcare that we deserve, that funding is given, training is given to medical professionals about menopause and perimenopausal care, post menopausal care”

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This podcast is sponsored by Wild Nutrition. 

Wild Nutrition scour the earth for Mother Nature’s most revered ingredients for their pioneering Food-Grown® supplements. Inspired by over 20,000 consultations with women at every life stage, from puberty to postmenopause, their naturally sourced supplements are formulated to support you through every twist and turn of your life journey.  

www.wildnutrition.com/collections/menopause-supplements/products/botanical-menopause-complex  

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The IHCAN magazine Podcast is produced by IHCAN magazine. For more information, and to start your subscription, visit www.ihcan-mag.com.

--

Interested in sponsorship/advertising opportunities? We have options for all budgets. Email sales@targetpublishing.com.

--

The IHCAN magazine Podcast is provided for professional education and debate and is not intended to be used by non-medically qualified individuals as a substitute for, or basis of, medical treatment.

Show Notes Transcript

Sally Duffin is a registered nutritionist and nutritional therapy practitioner and writer, and author of “Natural Nutrition for Perimenopause: What to eat to feel good and stay sane”.

In this episode we focus on post menopausal health risks such as cardiovascular health, dementia and bone strength, and Sally shares how we can mitigate some of those risks with lifestyle and nutrition. This brings up topics of gender inequality in healthcare, the role of HRT, and the amount of research that still needs to be done.

“It also comes back to this shift that needs to happen about how women see themselves, how the medical system is treating women, how society is treating women, and it’s all connected to reframing it all, actually, and making sure that we get the healthcare that we deserve, that funding is given, training is given to medical professionals about menopause and perimenopausal care, post menopausal care”

--

This podcast is sponsored by Wild Nutrition. 

Wild Nutrition scour the earth for Mother Nature’s most revered ingredients for their pioneering Food-Grown® supplements. Inspired by over 20,000 consultations with women at every life stage, from puberty to postmenopause, their naturally sourced supplements are formulated to support you through every twist and turn of your life journey.  

www.wildnutrition.com/collections/menopause-supplements/products/botanical-menopause-complex  

--

The IHCAN magazine Podcast is produced by IHCAN magazine. For more information, and to start your subscription, visit www.ihcan-mag.com.

--

Interested in sponsorship/advertising opportunities? We have options for all budgets. Email sales@targetpublishing.com.

--

The IHCAN magazine Podcast is provided for professional education and debate and is not intended to be used by non-medically qualified individuals as a substitute for, or basis of, medical treatment.

Speaker 2

Hi I'm Kirsten Chick nutritional therapist and author and I'd like to welcome you to series two of the ICAN Magazine podcast on today's episode. I'm talking with Sally Duffin, registered nutritionist and health writer, on the theme of mitigating menopause health. Risks. Hi, Sally. Thanks for sharing some of your wisdom and insights with us today.

Speaker 1

Hi Kirsten. It's lovely to be here.

Speaker 2

So, Sally, your book natural nutrition for perimenopause is one. I recommend all the time. It's so clear. It's practical. It's really well written. Not surprising as you're a health writer. But tell me. More about your career so far as a nutritionist. As a writer, as a teacher, sum it. All up for us.

Speaker 1

Ohh. OK. Well thank you for recommending my book. That's lovely to hear. I've been in practise since 2009, which seems like a very long time ago now. Kind of back in the midst of time. And then you wrote from the start. When I went into practise that I really enjoyed working with clients, but I also wanted to do other things as well. I didn't want to just see one to one clients, so I I set up my blog and then after a few years I started working at new to gold, which is where I met you. We both worked there and we on the education. Team and then I joined the team at the Northern College of Acupuncture, working on the MSC programme in nutrition there and a beginners clinic supervisor and then became module leader. Ended up as assistant cost director. So and and it's a lovely small team. Uh, really, really enjoyed working there and I then took a couple of years sort of slightly out of my 1:00 to 1:00 practise so I just didn't take on any new clients for a while. I just kept on with one that I had and I did that while I was finishing writing my book. Because by that point I realised I was I was triggering too many things. You know, there's only so much one brain can hold. And so I had to just pause a bit with my clients carried on with the teaching finished the book that happened to coincide with the lockdown. That was no forward planning on my part. I just ended up having a lot more time at home as well and still doing all the teaching and everything but a little bit more time to to do the writing. And then last year I've just moved, moved away a bit from the teaching side of things and focusing back on my 1:00 to 1:00 clients and more, more writing work. Really I've kind of got the seed of my next book in. My head and and just yeah doing writing for different Wellness brands and other therapists and things.

Speaker 2

Brilliant. I'm really looking forward to that.

Speaker

Going to get it out of.

Speaker 1

My head first.

Speaker 2

Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's the challenge, isn't it? And it? Yeah. Carving out the time to. Actually do it.

Speaker 1

Yes. Yeah.

Speaker 2

Is a big challenge. So yeah, congratulations on that first book. So that offers these sets you up as a specialist in perimenopause and menopause. So what led you to want to specialise in that area?

Speaker 1

I think it was a combination of things. So I had started noticing changes in my own health around that time. And and I was actually trying to write a different book, but then I had this idea for one about perimenopause, and it just kept wiggling away at me. So I just had to park the other book and I still haven't gone back to it. Get this one out of my head. And I thought I want to get. This out and I'm going. To self publish it so that it's available faster. I am a lot of conventional publishing routes take a bit longer so I. I did that and self published it and and I think. I managed to kind of catch the very beginning of this sudden swell in menopause awareness, which is fantastic and I'm so pleased that there is more awareness about it and I had a lot of clients at that time who really needed the book and loved the book. Really got a lot from it. And and yeah, just kind of followed on in that vein ever since really. So it's probably because of the parallel with my own. Health that could be the main driver, but also seeing what friends, colleagues, clients have been going through as well.

Speaker 2

Mm-hmm. So really good timing because the conversation around. Menopause and perimenopause really has grown in recent years.

Speaker 1

It has, yeah. Even so much system is now a hashtag on Twitter for perimenopause, which then wasn't when I first started reading. About the book.

Speaker 2

Well, this is it. And I said to somebody recently that had, had she considered that she might be in perimenopause and she said what's that? So there's still pockets that it's not reaching, but it it's very much growing and we we definitely need people like you talking. About perimenopause and and and menopause and post menopause and everything that whole conversation around it and the conversation is broadening as well, isn't it? So it used to be just about, you know, hot flashes and Bone house. Whereas more recently, we've been talking more about libido, we've been talking more about cardiovascular health. We've been talking more about dementia, so massively broadened. I guess the bottom line for all of this is do we need HRT to avoid all of this?

Speaker 1

Good question and I will say no to that because we've had. Centuries and centuries of women going through menopause without HRT, we have a lot of women who can't take HRT for whatever reason, who go on to lead perfectly lovely healthy lives post menopause. So it is very, very helpful for a lot of women. I get that it can be an absolute lifesaver and some some women just would not be without it. And I totally respect that. And I'm. And please, they found the thing that's helping them through this. UM, but for me, the danger in the message that is out there at the minute is that it's becoming a lot more polarised and also there seems to be this undercurrent of menopause as a hormone deficiency disease. We need to cure it. We need to repair it by taking these hormones and you have to take these hormones for the rest of your life. Otherwise you will get dementia. Otherwise you will get cardiovascular disease, otherwise your bones will fall apart like it's a certainty. And that's just not the case. There are no studies that. Really show the benefit of using HRT for cardiovascular health. For example. We can't say take HRT to prevent cardiovascular disease in later life. We can't say take HRT to prevent dementia, it just doesn't work like that and there's so many other variables involved. So I think there is a big danger in thinking that HRT. Is this magic? Bullet does work for a lot of women. It doesn't work for a lot of women as well. I see see many, many people in, you know in in chat forums on on threads in my own clinic who said no, I tried it and actually did nothing for me. Or I felt worse. In it and I think those voices aren't heard enough either. And and we mustn't lose sight of everything else that we can be doing to support our health in the long term. And this is where for me, and I know we're both biassed here. Being nutritional therapists, but we're going to be eating for the rest of our lives. This is the most powerful tool that we have at our disposal is choosing what foods. And drinks we put in our body and we can choose to make the sort of choices that are going to support our health for the rest of our life. So to me, that's an absolute no brainer.

Speaker 2

This is it and I I couldn't agree more with everything that you've just said and this is a wonderful opportunity, isn't it? For us to increase our self empowerment and to find the strength and the wisdom that comes with this big bit with with having had so much experience of life really stepping in. To that and anything that kind of takes that away. So calling this a disease disempowering. The the the. People that don't find benefit from HRT and then feel lost from that the the conversation does need to start including a lot more and be a lot less polarised. Totally grim.

Speaker 1

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And for some women, it's even an issue about financial outlay that they can't afford the prescription. I know you can get the the prescription form now that entitles you to, is it three months worth of HRT or something? So they have to. Have brought the cost down a little bit, but still for some women that is prohibitive. There's an absolute post code lottery about GP training in Menopause, GP awareness and some women are visiting the doctor and they're just being told to wait and see or have some antidepressants and things like that. So it's not a given and even that you will get the right kind of HR. The advice if you do see your doctor.

Speaker 2

Yeah, absolutely. And again, somebody the other day said that they asked their their GP whether they were in perimenopause and their GP said there's no such thing.

Speaker

Ohh my goodness.

Speaker 1

Well, I did read about the statistic that said there was a survey done of medical schools and of the medical schools that responded, 41% did not have menopause on the curriculum. So that's, you know, a health issue that's happening to 51% of the population is not even being taught in some medical schools. That's absolutely shocking. And the most glaring example of this gender inequality.

Speaker 2

Yeah, I I read some. Well, there's been some amazing surveys done recently by Doctor Joyce Harper. Really incredible results. And there's younger women and older women and all sorts of people being interviewed for the survey. And there was one quote I read, and it was from the GP. Who wanted to find out more? There was like some, you know, some specialists because of her own health risks. She wanted to bring out a little bit more about how to prescribe HRT for her. Herself and her own GP didn't know, and she ended up having to pay to see a private specialist and pay private prescriptions.

Speaker 1

Oh my God.

Speaker 2

And she was saying, this is something that I as a GP, should be able to, to have the knowledge about, to share with people and instead I'm having to pay to access this.

Speaker 1

Yeah, yeah, that is shocking.

Speaker 2

We've got a long way to go still, but we're getting there and in no small parts to people like you, Sally. So let's let's just.

Speaker 1

Keep chipping away.

Speaker 2

So let's come back to cardiovascular health again, because that is seems to be the hot topic at the moment with menopause. So what's the increased risk and how can we seek to mitigate that with lifestyle choices?

Speaker 1

Very good question. I think overall I haven't come across. So I'm not even sure if there is one a figure for the overall risk because there are so many variables at play here. But we have various statistics about the risks for certain factors that contribute towards cardiovascular disease. So for example. The rate of high blood pressure, hypertension in postmenopausal women is twice that of pre menopausal women, and we know, for example, that things like the weight gain and our risk of of diabetes can start to increase slightly after menopause because of our shift in metabolic health, and we know that the there's almost a twofold. Increase in ischemic heart disease in diabetic women compared to non diabetic women.

Speaker

So there's.

Speaker 1

These kind of strands, basically that that feed into that overall picture of cardiovascular health, that show this increased risk for women so before menopause, uh men are much kind of greater numbers of getting heart attacks and things like that. But after menopause we very quickly catch them up in the ratings. But also we've got a lot of more gender disparity and inequality at play here as well. So we know, for example, that black women are up to 8 times. So they go into menopause about 8 times sooner than white women do, so therefore that affects their long term health risk by post menopause. We know that women are half as likely as men to receive effective and recommended heart attack treatment, even if they do get to see a doctor, and this is largely because women experience. Different symptoms when having a heart attack than men do, and these symptoms are often not picked up by medical professionals. And according to the British Heart Foundation, they estimate that more than 8000 women have died unnecessarily over the past decade because of these inequalities in health care. Because women are less likely to be believed when they go to the doctor and talk about pain or discomfort or, you know, heart attack symptoms, their symptoms are different. We don't have that classic. Clutching the chest pain down the left arm kind of thing, we're more likely to get discomfort, nausea, pain. Maybe in the back or up into the jaw region. These kind of symptoms are often mistaken for indigestion, so they may not even get an ECG when when you're in the ER room. So therefore it's not picking up that there is a problem with the heart. And so all these different kind of. Small inequalities feed into this bigger picture. That then means more women are dying of of heart disease. I know that more women die of heart disease than they do of breast cancer.

Speaker 2

And I think it's the number one cause, isn't it?

Speaker 1

I think so, yeah. But I think that things like breast cancer quite rightly get a lot of public awareness and publicity and campaigns around that, and that's that's good. But equally, that should also be the case for heart disease, because this is the biggest killer for women after menopause. So. That that, that message doesn't come across and and that isn't seen, that's not reflected in the way women are treated for heart disease.

Speaker 2

Yeah. So what can we what can we put in place to to set a really kind of to set the scene so that this is gonna hopefully be less likely for. Us as an individual.

Speaker 1

I think raising awareness of the symptoms, the risks that that we face post menopause and and really just coming on with this conversation about other things that we can be doing to support our health. So the importance of nutrition, the importance of exercise mindful. Us actually encouraging and supporting women to put their own health needs first, because this is something that comes up time and time again, and I'm sure you see it with clients as well. But they say, oh, you know, I just, I can't be bothered to cook two meals, you know, because my family wants to eat this and I want to eat this. And yet, if if it was their child or their partner or their parent who needed to eat differently, they'd be. Bending over backwards to make a second meal for them. Or to take those steps or whatever. So women are really putting themselves at the forefront in their own life. A lot of their time and and giving themselves the time and space to to make health changes, to have time out to, to get counselling or whatever kind of therapy they need to support themselves. So I think there needs to be a big shift. There and and obviously we still need to dismantle the patriarchal medical system, but that's. That's a really. Big task that's not going to be achieved overnight, unfortunately.

Speaker

Right.

Speaker 2

Yeah, you're so right. And that classic. Ohh, I'd love to eat earlier, but my partner doesn't finish work till late. So and we like to eat together. And you know, there's there's lots of reasons that we we move our lives around and in ways that aren't necessarily serving us. Yeah. So any. I need quick fix tips there or any top tips for women wanting to support their cardiovascular health. Obviously everyone's gonna need personalised tailored advice, but are there any easy quick wins that we can all? Be looking at.

Speaker 1

Probably the quickest one is around exercise and movement, because that is something that has a huge effect on things on the risk factors. So for example, on high blood pressure on the weight gain and metabolic health on insulin sensitivity, so all these things are positively affected by regular exercise and movement. So even if that's little pockets of. I read a post recently, it was about activity snacking. So fitting in those little kind of 10 minute pockets of activity throughout the day just so that you're moving consistently and getting more movement into the day, that's going to have a really big effect and and then looking at your your foods, so even if it's just adding in. One or two more servings of vegetables a day. That overtime will have a positive effect on you got microbiome on the nutrient status in your body on fibre intake, which is all going to have an A positive knock on effect on your cardiovascular health. And so even if it, that's. Grabbing bags of frozen vegetables from the supermarket and having a, you know, a couple of handfuls of those with your evening meals. That's going to be a step in the right direction.

Speaker 2

That's it. And we've gotta make it easy for people, haven't we? We've. Gotta make it achieve. Great. I like that exercise, snacking thing and it's quite a nice if you know, when people are reaching for snacks out of habit or boredom or just to break the day up as well to think of exercise as a as an alternative snack as well maybe you know.

Speaker 1

Yeah, absolutely. Working from home, I just make myself go in the garden and do some movement. If I haven't got time to walk around the block or if I haven't got time. To do a longer. Walk in the area where I live. It's just fitting those little bits of. Activity into the day.

Speaker 2

Yeah, brilliant. OK, So what about Alzheimer's disease? Other forms of dementia? Because that has also been a topic of conversation, hasn't it? Take HRT to reduce your risk of dementia and and it becomes, you know. A little bit. Closer to home when when you're getting brain fog, for example through menopause. And it's the whole conversation around is this signs of early dementia or if not, that is it just? Is this what it's going to feel like, am I is this a sign that I'm going to get dementia? Is there something I can do? Tell us a bit more about that, Sammy.

Speaker 1

Yeah, because it is terrifying. I totally understand that. And I've been getting some really funny about some brain fog lately. Was just completely disappearing, or even just a word I'd said two minutes previously to my partner. I'm like, what did I just say? To you, I can't remember. UM, so yeah, I get how disturbing that can be. And you're right, for a lot of women, if this is one of the early signs of perimenopause and they're not getting hot flushes or they're not getting another classic symptoms, then they start to think this is it. I've got early onset dementia, when really it's more to do with this hormonal shift and the brain just takes. A while to get used to the new hormonal landscape and it's not that your brain fog is going to last forever. This is not the end of the road, it's just your brain needs time to adjust to this, to what's happen. Think. And again I think this idea of HRT will stop you getting. Dementia is very misleading and and dangerous. It's not proven it that you know the research isn't there about that. And also you know you've got women who live to ripe old ages who've never taken HRT. I think my grandma, for example, lived in 96. No HRT sharp as a P. And so it's not the case that if you don't take heart, you will get dementia. There's so many other risk factors in there and. And I know for us in the nutrition world where we're familiar with the work of Doctor Bredeson and and the Book Institute, and he's showing just how important all these different variable factors are. For supporting cognitive health, which just completely undermines this whole narrative in the pharmaceutical world, where they're looking for this magic bullet drug that will cure Alzheimer's, they will never find it. They're just wasting billions and billions of pounds and dollars is just not. There and that he's showing us the importance of the anti-inflammatory diet, very Mediterranean style diet, vitamin D exercise using the mind so using. You know, keeping mentally stimulated so that that helps with their development of new neurons in the brain, exercise, hydration, oral health. So that we're looking after the oral microbiome, the gut microbiome, because they all have an influence on our cognitive health. So it's so much more complex than just. If you don't have enough oestrogen, you will get dementia. That's. Very untrue.

Speaker 2

And there's there's a lot of crossovers between to the cardiovascular risk factors, the dementia risk risk factors, the diabetes risk factors, what we have called in the past, these metabolic diseases, but they all share these. These themes of UM, inflammation and uh despiau asis in the microbiome and various other factors that are going on insulin. Umm, so it makes sense to address those kinds of underlying symptoms, doesn't it?

Speaker 1

Absolutely yeah. Because if you addressed one, you're addressing them all. Like you say, they've all got these really common pathways. And for us, as nutritional therapists, we're less about the labels, aren't we? We're more about what's going on underneath. What are these underlying pathways? And you're right, if we can start looking at exercise, for example, or vitamin D or having an anti-inflammatory diet. It's going to reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, all those things. So it's it's an absolute win to be taking these steps.

Speaker 2

Absolutely so. So yes, so far what I'm getting then is that HRT isn't a magic bullet, just like this drug that they're looking for for dementia isn't a magic bullet either. We need to be supporting these various different pathways, and it's quite interesting, isn't it? Because oestrogen fluctuation. And oestrogen and progesterone levels dropping. We do lose some protection against all of these factors. We do lose some protection against inflammatory processes and all the rest. So it's it's no surprise that going through menopause, we're going to have to. Put extra layers. In all of those, but it doesn't have to be HRT, and the science seems to be backing that up so far. Or this. Or is it just that the science is absent?

Speaker 1

I think we're still waiting for the science to to catch up a bit here, yeah. But and it may be that there's more things that we discover about HRT and that will be fantastic. And we were already a lot further on with HR. Than we were 20-30 years ago. You know the patches, for example, the gels, these kinds of forms that you can take it in, have opened it up to a lot of women, which is great if that's helping them. But we still just mustn't lose sight of everything else that we can be doing. And like you say, we just. It's it's time when we need to up our game. Basically, nutritionally. Putting our own needs first, looking after our health if we want to have the next third of our life to be as in in good shape as it can be.

Speaker 2

Fantastic. And let's kind of talk about one of the classics that almost seems to be being swept under the carpet now. So bone strength, so that was always the the prime focus, wasn't it? Take HRT so that you don't get osteoporosis now that that dialogue is obviously still there, but it's been overshadowed in recent years. But let's talk about it. Anyway, because it's still a concern for many. So what would you say about that?

Speaker 1

Yeah. So HRT has been shown to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Osteopenia the the bone weakening. We are more at risk of what are called fragility fractures after menopause. So this is where we can fracture a bone just from falling from a standing height rather than if we're dancing on a table and we fall off. We probably will break a bone. But we shouldn't, you know, just fall over and bake. But we should be able to get back up from. UM, but again, it's just one of many different things, so the classic advice has always been around. You gotta drink a pint of milk a day as well if you're at risk of osteoporosis, you have to drink a pint of milk a day and eat lots of cheese. It's all about the calcium from the dairy products. That's been the message. That's about as much nutritional advice as a lot of people get from their doctor at this point in life. And particularly if you're unable to take HRT, it's about you gotta have all these dairy products and things. And yet, research shows that actually countries that have high consumption of dairy products also have high rates of osteoporosis. So it isn't as straightforward as that, and yes, that is one way in which we can get some calcium and a little bit of vitamin D but as we know, there's lots of other factors involved in bone health and there's been encouraging. Studies that have looked at, for example, the effect of isoflavones, particularly from the soy foods on bone health, and they've been shown to have that protective effect on bone health. So increasing those kinds of foods in the diet can help. I was reading a study recently about collagen and specific what are called bio active collagen peptides. So very small hydrolyzed collagen peptides that go to a particular target tissues and they've been shown to mitigate loss of bone mineral density. And there was even a follow-up study done that showed that even after four years of taking it, the effects. Continued. So it wasn't just kind of a short term thing at all. So we have to look at collagen and bone strength because of the way it builds up matrix within the bone structure. Magnesium vitamin D again comes back to vitamin DA lot, doesn't it? Thyroid health, lots of things involved there and exercise and movement because that's one of the the biggest ways to help stimulate that new bone formation is to be taking regular impact exercise. So think that yes, HRT has its place. Again, it's one of many things. It's like a whole buffet of things that we can be doing to support our bone health, and it mustn't just be about well, I can take some HIT and then sit all day and eat rubbish and expect my bones to be healthy. That's just not gonna work.

Speaker 2

But we like. We like these one thick, single minded things, isn't it? Even with just the calcium, it's like, OK, buying Spence, just focus on one nutrient. It seems an odd way to do things to to just focus on one very small component of what makes up very small. It's quite significant.

Speaker 1

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2

Component, but it's by far not the only component that makes up our bones. Of course collagen is gonna have an impact, it's connective tissue. So why do we get so stuck on? This just one thing.

Speaker 1

I think possibly it's because of the way that nutrition has either been taught or not taught very well in medical schools, really because they it is very much about A1 pill approach. And what can we do to fix things? And if they've got a little bit of information about calcium for bone health, yes, that's true. They've kind of. Run with that and then you've got the dairy industry backing that while dairy is a good source of calcium. Therefore, drink a pint of milk a day to support your bones and it just goes on from the. Yeah, but really, they're not kind of keeping it in the context context of that wider landscape of nutrition, which, as nutritional therapists, we're taught much more of a holistic approach. So we see calcium and its team mates, don't we? We see calcium with magnesium and zinc and boron and vitamin D and it needs all these things to work vitamin K2 so that. The little osteocalcin enzyme can work to latch the calcium into the bones, whereas that holistic viewpoint is lost in conventional medicine, and they're just seeing it as well. Here you go. Here's your prescription for calcium. Carbonate. Say great. I'll go and suck some chalk for the next 10 years of my life and home. But but my bones will get better. But it it's it's not seen in that wider context of everything else that's needed and and how everything is connected.

Speaker 2

Yeah. So hopefully anyone listening to Sally today, we can have more confidence in what we're doing. I think that's maybe clear message that's coming through from you, so that's brilliant. And are there any other areas or key areas of concern around those menopausal risks that you'd like to talk about today?

Speaker 1

Hmm, I think I think. I think it's just about the awareness of them all really, because I think a a lot of the time people are fixated on HRT to help with the menopause now kind of what is happening to me now. My hot flashes are really bad. My anxiety is really bad, you know, I'm not sleeping, so it's it's thinking. Very much in that short term, and I think perhaps we're losing sight. This next third of our life that we have and steps that we can be taking to UM to continue and have a healthy life after menopause. So it's not just about that kind of short term thing and you know the the research is very mixed around whether you can take out your teeth for the rest of your life. You've got some doctors saying, oh, you need it for the rest of your life because it's a hormone. Efficiency, whereas you know others are, they actually know it should just be for this short term there's timings involved. There's the health risks involved, so I think we need to keep an eye on that, that wider picture. For me it also comes back to this shift that needs to happen about how women see themselves, how the medical system is treating women, how society is treating women, and it's it's it's all connected to kind of reframing it all actually and making sure that we get the healthcare that we deserve, that that funding is given. Training is given to medical professionals about menopause and. Kind of perimenopausal care postmenopausal care so that we're not having these problems where we're going to the doctors and the doctors are saying perimenopause doesn't exist, or it's all in your mind. You know those kinds of things it needs to be that much, much bigger shift. So to me that is an. Ongoing concern, and I think the tide is turning slowly but. Very slowly, not fast enough for me. I'm very impatient.

Speaker 2

Well, yes. Say let's bring the conversation to you, then, Sally seeing you. Each be yourself. There's a couple of questions that. I like to ask. Everyone on these podcasts and one is, is there anything or anyone in the nutrition world right now that's really grabbing your attention?

Speaker 1

Oh yeah, I really like the work of uh Doctor Deanna Minich again. I just find a lot of her social medias are so visually attractive. She really cause her whole thing is about colour and using colour and the transformational effects of colour and food and things like this. And so I love following her stuff. And she's always backing it up with research, and she's done a lot of research herself. UM, like many of the people in the menopause arena, I love following the work of Doctor Lara Briden. I think she translates stuff so well and I think she's got another book coming out next year or something. Not that most to read all her other books yet, but she'll have another book coming out. So I think she's fantastic and I really enjoyed reading. A mind of your own by Doctor Kelly Brogan. That was a really great insight into the effects of things like the contraceptive pill. On women's mental health and it also touches on health disparities as well. Kind of gender inequalities you I think you're doing great work. I love your book. I talk about that with clients and things like doing this podcast, for example. It's it's bringing this sort of information to people who might not otherwise engage with it. And so some people find out, you know, a lot through podcasts, but they're not likely to read a book or a paper or something like that. So I think that's really important work as.

Speaker 2

Yeah. Thank you. And so your my final question to you, Sally, what do you love most about what you do?

Speaker 1

Oh, I was thinking about this because I heard you ask it to other people on the podcast. I was like, oh God, I don't think there's one particular thing. I love it when the client has a light bulb moment, or if you're doing a talk to a room of people and somebody suddenly tells in their bag for a notepad to write something down because you've you've really hit home with something. So whenever people get a key. UMI find that really encouraging because I think I see myself just as someone who can do the work, read the research and everything. But my job is to share it with others and to help other people to make those changes in their. Life and I love the way that what we do is is connected to to everything else so. Of outside of the nutrition world I enjoy nature writing and reading, nature writing and things like that, and I see the two worlds has been intrinsically linked. So food what we're eating, how we're nourishing ourselves, that links in with. The world at large. Nature, you know, ecosystems, things like this. And I just love how it's connected to everything.

Speaker 2

Lovely. And you? I I just on that note want to talk a little bit more of your happy tea about the other writing that you do because you've mentioned nature writing, but I I know that you you write poetry you you have this really lovely connexion with nature and your surroundings and that all comes into play.

Speaker 1

Thank you. Yeah. Yeah, I do enjoy that very much. So I love hooking a tree. Which, to my family's disappointment, she's doing it again.

Speaker 2

But you actually took time out as well for that, didn't you? You took time off to to further that your your creative writing a little bit.

Speaker 1

Yes, I'm just coming to the end of an MA in creative writing, so I'm on my final portfolio project now, which I have chosen to do as poetry. So at the minute I'm writing about 300 lines of poetry. Got about 260 to go, but yeah, it's focusing on nature and kind of creation myths and things like that. So I just find that sort of. Thing is, is what inspires me and and even if I try to write about something that isn't connected with nature, it always ends up being connected with with nature in some way. And so I'm just like, well, this is, yeah, surrender to it. So they just just write about it. Love the poetry of people like Mary Oliver, for example. She just. Yeah, totally gets it.

Speaker 2

Yeah. Amazing. And it's, I guess that's partly what you're talking about when you're saying about putting your needs first. So thinking of your that you know you're somebody I think of when I think, OK, here's somebody he's going to the stage of life. He's not just really bogged down with work and family. He's actually. You know, making space for other things in their life that they feel passionate about. So that's a a really good example of how you. Can do that.

Speaker 1

Yeah, and it does take a bit of, UM, upheaval. You know, it's not without its challenges, but I got to the point where. Uh, I just. I wanted to do this ever since I was young, you know, as a teenager, I wanted to to study creative writing, but never had the confidence to do it. And I thought, well, can't keep missing about. So you're in middle life now, you know, time is ticking. And my son is is now older. He's in, you know, early 20s. So he doesn't need me in the same way. As much and so. I just announced to the family that I was doing this MAUM I've done it part time for the last couple of years so I can fit it in around work and things. And yeah, it's just still kind of a bit of a challenge to fit it in in a lot of ways, but I absolutely love it and I'm so glad I've done it and it makes you realise, actually I can fit. Things in and I, you know, the world. Doesn't fall apart if I put my own needs first. In fact, people will say well done you you know, and the people want to support you in doing that. And it's not selfish at all. It really isn't. And I think a lot of women get wrap. Stopping that, oh, I can't be doing that. You're spending all. That money on myself. That's terrible. And no, it's not, you know, really. You you are here to make the most of your life and to shine just as much as everybody else. So absolutely put. Your own, but your own desires. First for once.

Speaker 2

Brilliant. Yeah. Like I said, a shining example. So thank you. Thank you for sharing that and and thank you for being as eloquent and interesting as as usual, sharing your experience and your expertise with us.

Speaker 1

Ohh thank you for having me. It's been an absolute pleasure.

Speaker 2

So that was Sally Duffin registered nutritionist and health writer, chatting with me. Kirsten Chick, I hope you enjoyed listening. Please follow us for more fascinating podcasts and rate and share away.