When Maddy began to experience menopausal symptoms around the time she turned 50, she did what many women in her situation do and went to see her GP to explore her options.
In turn, her GP did what many doctors do and advised her to begin conventional hormone replacement therapy – and so, quite understandably when presented with clinical advice from a trained professional, that’s exactly what Maddy did.
Conventional HRT is a synthetic hormone replacement programme – that is to say the hormones that make up the treatment are produced en masse as a generic ‘one size fits all’ solution for all women, rather than being matched to an individual – and Maddy was prescribed HRT that she now describes as “bog-standard oestrogen replacement”.
It didn’t work. The symptoms – insomnia, weight gain, anxiety, mood swings and loss of muscle – all continued, and began to worsen as she aged.
Unwilling to revert to conventional hormone replacement therapy, she began to make changes to her lifestyle. She ate well, got the right amount of rest, went to yoga classes.
Eventually, Maddy’s nutritionist told her she would never regain a normal life without balancing her hormone levels.
Still unwilling to revert to conventional treatment, she began to research other alternatives. She quickly found herself at The Natural Doctor website, reading about our bioidentical hormone replacement therapy – or BHRT – which involves creating a hormone compound that is uniquely identical to that produced naturally by the individual in question.
“I liked the look of what Dr Eccles was doing,” Maddy says. “From what I could see he seemed to be genuinely interested in women’s health, so I made an appointment and went to see him in the summer of 2018. We had a consultation, did some blood tests and started a preliminary treatment to set what I call a ‘baseline’.
“That was modified over the next four months to get the right balance for me personally and I feel really well now.”
The first thing Maddy noticed was her weight reduced. She lost 5 inches from her waistline and, with a background of her own in medicine, knew she was losing internal fat. The hiatus hernia she had been suffering with disappeared.
“One of my menopause symptoms was anxiety,” she says now, “and that was really odd for me because I had never, ever been anxious before. I’d get up dreading the day ahead, whereas before I’d bounce out of bed and look forward to whatever the day held in store.
“Now I feel like that person all over again.”
So, what would she say to anyone who is enduring menopausal symptoms but is reluctant to try bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
She answers quite simply: “Don’t put up with all the bad feelings. BHRT is totally safe and people should try it for themselves and make up their own minds.
“Quite apart from the physical toll it takes, it’s impossible to underestimate the mental impact of the menopause. And not only do I not worry about things any more or have mood swings, I also feel 20 years younger.
“It’s worked wonders for me, thanks to Dr Eccles.”