ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Menopause

Just the Facts Ma'am

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

On July 22 2002 the landmark study called The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) published in the Journal Of The American Medical Association (JAMA) motivated millions of menopausal women to flush toss and clear their shelves of various medications of hormone therapy. Authors Boland and LaVelle in their book Menopause: Just the Facts Ma’am take on the Herculean task of clarifying what the WHI study really revealed about women and their health and together they demystify the study and menopause with their sense of order being the redeeming feature over style.

It is primarily Doctor Boland who clarifies menopause and the WHI data. The fallacy he says of the study is that “the WHI population were older more obese sicker” and had therefore had more cardiovascular risks. These women are not typical of the general population of menopausal woman. In a fervor to win back hormone replacement patients Boland then lays out recent findings in great detail which mostly support the non-typical patient claim. “An additional analysis study of estrogen only patients (JAMA 295; No 14; April 2006) … demonstrated a continued 23 reduction in breast cancer after approximately 7 years of follow-up which was non-statistically significant.”

Boland continues to support traditional medicines to reduce the distress anxiety and physical distresses of menopause rather than alternative nontraditional therapies. “The entire field of alternative therapies is fascinating. However serious research in this field to date is sparse especially as to how these medications compare with hormonal therapy. …Hormonal therapy remains the gold standard for hot flash therapy.”

Co-author LaVelle leverages personal anecdotes and client case study evidence of what menopausal effects show through the skin. Because the skin is a visible indicator of menopause in action she uses many launching points to demonstrate the need to make light of some of the deleterious effects of aging. “Besides losing collagen fibers and elasticity you will find hair growing in the most unlikely places… areas you never thought a hair could grow it does!”

Boland Board-Certified is in the field of obstetrics and gynecology and currently in private practice has delivered over 5000 babies and was recently credentialed by the North American Menopause Society as a Certified Menopausal Practitioner. This balances LaVelle’s 35-year career in aesthetics as well as dozens of certifications in all areas of cosmetics skin care and hair care and spa ownership. Photos of the Wizard of Oz along the way distract—as this sentence may— more than help to tie together the two authors’ disconnected writing styles. Yet they each make the point perfectly clear in their own particular style that traditional medicine still helps alleviate the distressing symptoms of the menopausal woman both safely and effectively.