Perhaps one of the most frightening experiences a person can have is when they think they are experiencing a medical emergency.
The sense of panic that comes with such an event can feel overwhelming, no matter whether it’s the average person out there just living life, or a well-known person such as Oprah Winfrey.
The symptoms she was experiencing apparently started out as just feeling restless and unable to focus. Then they progressed to heart palpitations, which was when she really began to fear for her life, according to Daily Mail.
She said there were times when she wrote in her journal that she feared she wouldn’t make it to the morning.
Her frightening ordeal caused her to visit five different doctors in an effort to determine what was causing the heart palpitations.
After being put on heart medication and given an angiogram by one of the doctors, she eventually found out that the cause of her health issues was menopause.
Oprah said she didn’t have the typical symptom of hot flashes that is perhaps most associated with the change of life condition, but the palpitations were so severe that there were times she thought she was going to die.
Oprah sat down with Maria Shriver on an episode of Paramount Plus’ “The Checkup With Dr. David Agus” in which they discussed her health scare and her thoughts that menopause needs to be destigmatized and normalized.
In People’s clip of the episode, 67-year-old Shriver and 68-year-old Winfrey encourage women to talk about the challenges they face in connection to menopause.
Shriver especially hit on the idea of helping women and all of society to realize that menopause is, “not something to fear,” and especially helping women to understand that they aren’t going crazy, in spite of how the symptoms may make them feel.
“Especially black women,” said Winfrey. “I know we have been known for bearing a lot and being the strong ones and keep moving no matter what.”
In a survey that AARP conducted back in 2018, it was discovered that three out of four women going through menopause said the symptoms interfere with their daily lives.
For about 9 percent, the symptoms were so bad that they were debilitating for them.
About one-third of American women who are between the ages of 40-89 don’t receive any information about menopause, and of those who do, about 44 percent say their physicians and healthcare providers are the primary source of that information. Typically, any discussion with a healthcare provider needs to be initiated by the woman.
The survey found that women’s feelings about entering menopause are largely varied, with 31 percent feeling indifferent, 20 percent feeling concerned, 18 percent feeling relieved, 17 percent feeling anxious, and 14 percent feeling depressed.
Women’s feelings about hormone therapy also varied widely, with 27 percent feeling negative about it, 21 percent feeling neutral, 6 percent participating in hormone therapy, and 36 percent saying they don’t know enough about it to have an opinion.
There are alternatives to hormone therapy, but not all healthcare providers are aware of alternative or natural treatments.
A few natural possibilities to consider, according to WebMD, are soy, herbal choices, dietary adjustments, and exercise.
Of course, any questions or concerns should definitely be discussed with one’s healthcare provider or a possible referral that the healthcare provider can provide.
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