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Symptom tracking

Deanne asks: Can you recommend a symptom tracker?

My reply: The short answer is NO.


And here's why:

1️⃣ First, if you want to track your period, there are many free period-tracker apps available. Tracking your period is something many women do as a key health indicator, helps with planning and convenience, and, depending on your age, it can help highlight when hormones are beginning to fluctuate in perimenopause. If you are making decisions about contraception, please read the recommended guidelines from the International Menopause Society here. 

 

2️⃣ Second, I am not an advocate of “tracking symptoms." Here's why:

  • Any change to our health or adverse health experience is an invitation to find and treat the root cause.

  • A “symptom” is the same thing as the “check engine light” coming on in our vehicles = it's a signal not for you to track, but to take action! We don't track how many times our windshield wipers don't turn on in the rain…or how many times a tire looks flat…we simply take action; we investigate all the possible reasons why and what all of our available options are for treating and/or preventing.

  • In the hundreds of thousands of conversations I've had with members of the Menopause Chicks Community, it rarely matters the QUANTITY of times something (like vasomotor symptoms or sleep disruption or vaginal dryness) has occurred…but it ALWAYS matters how those experiences impact QUALITY OF LIFE.

  • And finally, {and this is TRULY what keeps me up at night!} I worry that apps and symptom trackers will inadvertently… take your money (maybe, but that's not it!)…sell your data…(likely, but that's not it either!)THIS is it: I worry that trackers will FAIL to educate and inform on what symptoms could be related to hormone fluctuation or decline (see page 14-16 of my book FEEL AMAZING) and which experiences could be related to something else! I would HATE for you to miss the opportunity to find and treat the root cause of what you are experiencing!

  • Could your current health disriuption be related to fluctuating or declining hormones? Might it be lifestyle? Is stress (cortisol) a contributor? Do you have a nutritional deficiency (FYI: fatigue, exhaustion and hair loss are all symptoms of iron deficiency)? Do you have another health condition/situation (i.e. thyroid is often overlooked and under-diagnosed!) that is making you feel the way you do?

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