Book report: "It's My Ovaries, Stupid!"

Nords

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Stay with me, guys.  This is one of the best books I've read in months.

First, even if you're too much of a he-man to be caught dead with this on your reading pile, at least look at the cover on Amazon.com.  Those are six of the most pissed-off women you hope you'll ever see outside of a courtroom.  The author does have a biting sense of humor and she writes in a very clear & straightforward style.  Several of the women on this board have already alluded to the topic of this book, and it's a subject that deserves more public education.

Second, think about the women you've spent significant time with.  (I know, for some of you this won't take long.)  Chances are that one day you said something seemingly innocuous and found your face peeled back by the subsequent detonation.  Wouldn't you like to know how to avoid repeating the experience?

Third, perhaps an important woman in your life has had major symptoms or even health problems that seem to be very difficult to diagnose, let alone to treat.  Wouldn't you appreciate a little more insight?

OK, while the testosterone-poisoned are busy writing their thread hijacks using words like "That's nothin", "cheerleader", and "her grandmother", let me speak to the rest of the inquisitive & enlightened audience.

I have an old chemistry degree but even I had no idea how much has been learned about hormones in the last couple decades.  Not just women's hormones, either-- again, guys, try messing with your thyroid or your testosterone levels and see what happens.  Heck, I've never even seen the word "estradiol" before, but it's a pretty important molecule.  Dr. Vliet spends a couple chapters discussing how the human body manufacturers and uses hormones, in both genders, and how minor variations can have major health effects.

Then she lays into the medical community (the reason for the cover of the book).  If you see a doctor when you're suffering from typical hormone-related symptoms, there's a very good chance that you'll be patted on the head, diagnosed as stressed & depressed, and given a prescription for Paxil or Zoloft.  This happens to guys almost as frequently as it happens to women.  Many "mental-health" medications mess with serotonin & dopamine levels even worse than the hormones are already messing with them, so in addition to a hormone problem you've now started a medication problem.  At least one of the hormone effects will seriously deplete your skeleton of its bone structure, leading to osteoporosis & fractures well before you're in middle age.  Again this is guys as well as women, despite the book's title.  OB/GYNs are trained more as surgeons than as endocrinologists, so they tend to see a complex surgical solution for "simple" cyclical hormone swings.  Although menopausal hormone replacement therapy gained a lot of bad press for its effect on breast cancer rates, it turns out that this was one specific subset of a number of hormone replacement medication choices.  HMOs do not want to pay for hormone blood tests (saliva tests are cheaper though much less accurate) let alone testing of daily or even hourly hormone-level changes.  They certainly don't want to pay for unconventional therapy like estradiol patches.  I even learned that the major estrogen replacement medication is not a biologically identical version of human estrogen.  It's made from... horse piss.  (Yup, it's not just for Corona bottles anymore.)  Although Premarin is a lot cheaper than "bioidentical" estrogen, needless to say the human endocrine system has a little trouble adapting to the equine urinary estrogen equivalent.  At this point in the book I was sure glad that proctologists & urologists don't get to deal with hormones.

Again, speaking as a guy, I thought that the phrase "birth control pill" described a generic product.  It turns out that there's a tremendous number of different formulae & brands on the market, each with a specific purpose, and many women's hormone levels change with age.  One BCP will not suffice from ovulation to menopause, but most doctors are unaware of the difference.  They also tend to be blissfully ignorant of the side effects of all the various mixes & doses.

The rest of the book is directed mostly to women, but if you've ever felt that your relationship has turned into an uncharted minefield then you'd be wise to read up.  The connection between mental/physical well-being and hormone levels has been pretty thoroughly dissected and is more pervasive than previously thought.  Dr. Vliet documents women who have serious heart attacks in their 20s-- tachycardia leading to comas-- due to hormone swings.  Other severe symptoms have included chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoporosis (in their 20s and even teens), psychosis, clinical depression, severe weight gain, encysted acne, and a host of other syndromes that many doctors attempt to treat with reassurance or anti-depressants. 

Even if you don't want to catch cooties from reading the whole book, peruse the chapter on symptoms & self-diagnosis.  You may recognize a lot of odd symptoms that seem unconnected or even "personality quirks" that are actually being driven by inappropriate birth-control pill doses or changing hormone levels. I never knew that vertigo could be caused by rapid changes in hormone levels.

Our librarian, a good friend, just found out that her left heel is broken.  It kept swelling up and was too painful to walk or to shift a clutch, and an osteopath finally found the break on a scan.  She has no idea how she broke it-- it just did.  She's also been working extra hours, short on staff, a bit stressed out over juggling budget cuts, looking fatigued, losing weight & drinking too much coffee.  In her mid-30s she's already been diagnosed with osteopenia, which used to be thought of as an "old lady syndrome".  That was the first time I'd ever heard of ostopenia, and the second time occurred when I read this book.  Now I just have to find a way to tactfully direct her attention toward it...
 
Nords said:
Stay with me, guys. This is one of the best books I've read in months.

This is a great example of what happens when a guy spends months underwater in a metal tube, just a few feet away from a nuclear reactor... :-\
 
REWahoo! said:
This is a great example of what happens when a guy spends months underwater in a metal tube, just a few feet away from a nuclear reactor... :-\
Could be worse.  I grew up in house filled with 6 women. Despite shared genes, I'm sure they were all pissed-off at me at one time or another.

But what I want to know is why Nords ended up reading this book in the first place?
 
REWahoo! said:
This is a great example of what happens when a guy spends months underwater in a metal tube, just a few feet away from a nuclear reactor... :-\

:D :D :D :D :D

Jarhead, who agrees with ReYahoo, that Texas
has the best college football team in the country.
 
My book report is going to be on "When Milk Squirts Out Of Your Nose." Thanks a lot, REW.

And, my lord, a book referral from Nords on polycystic syndrome. I could tell you guys stories that would make your nose hairs curl ...

... but I won't.
 
LOL! said:
But what I want to know is why Nords ended up reading this book in the first place?
Self-defense.

You should see what was done to the only other male in our household...
 

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He was turned into a bunny?

I have some leftover pancakes from yesterdays breakfast in the fridge.

But thats nothing...let me tell you about my grandmother the cheerleader...
 
Nords,

Good for you! There is nothing wrong about being prepared. I have lived through "the change" with two different women. :eek: I am sure St. Peter will have a special place there for me.

My company makes both male and female hormone replacement drugs. There is a huge amount of research that goes into these and a ton of FDA oversight. We learn a lot from clinical trials as well as clinical data from other studies of similar drugs over time in the "real world." It is a controversial topic and there are as many who support the use of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) as there are that don't. It all comes down to quality of life for the patient. There are risks for certain but it there has to be an informed choice in their use.

No drug is completely safe and HRT has its' own unique side effects and drug interactions. The levels of testosterone and estradiol in the respective dosage forms are standardized so the doctor can prescribe the minimum dose that will work for the individual patient. The amount of drug is very controlled by the product; the problem is that many times if comes down to trial and error in finding the right strength to achieve a clinically significant effect.

Living with low levels of sex hormone is traumatic and creates a myrid of complex physical and emotional problems over time. HRT can help some people with these where there are no other potential negative outcomes (breast cancer, etc.)

Learning about both male and female menopause is as Nords say, "self defence" in many ways and can help many of the testosterone poisoned guys here as well as the estrogen poisioned females too. It is never too late to get some appreciation for what the "other" sex is/will/has gone through.
 
Nords,
Thanks for the thorough report. I had heard of the book but didn't really know what it was all about.

As SteveR points out - when it comes to HRT it's about choices - specifically are you miserable enough to accept possible solutions with possible negative side effects. It's good to be prepared with all the information before you're at a point of desperation.

Although I'm sure many of the popular medications out there are made from things we don't really care to think about, when I found out Premarin was made from PREgnant MARe urINe I was pretty grossed out. :p
 
Sheryl said:
Nords,
Thanks for the thorough report.  I had heard of the book but didn't really know what it was all about.   

As SteveR points out - when it comes to HRT it's about choices - specifically are you miserable enough to accept possible solutions with possible negative side effects.  It's good to be prepared with all the information before you're at a point of desperation.

Although I'm sure many of the popular medications out there are made from things we don't really care to think about, when I found out  Premarin was made from PREgnant MARe urINe I was pretty grossed out.   :p

If that grossed you out then don't ask about where Urokinase (a blood clot busting drug) comes from.  :eek:

A hint: in the old days it came from a collection tank from a nearby Navy base.  Now it is made from tissue culture.  Don't ask about where the tissue comes from.   :(
 
Thanks Nords, I'll pick up that book and shove it at my dh.

As for the Premarin...well ..let's just say I won't take something that's made from an animals misery. Do I throw blood on fur coats, no...I'm not that crazy yet but I make no predictions about the future. If any of the women here want to know just how Premarin is gathered and what happens to the by products feel free to pm me.
 
Thanks Nords for the great book report. You seem to be a voracious reader on a lot of different subjects. I admire that you actually read a book that seems geered more to women and had the courage to do a book report on it. To me that shows that you are secure in your maculinity!!!

Dreamer
 
Dreamer said:
Thanks Nords for the great book report. You seem to be a voracious reader on a lot of different subjects. I admire that you actually read a book that seems geered more to women and had the courage to do a book report on it. To me that shows that you are secure in your maculinity!!!

Dreamer

Even though I've had some fun with Nords on this subject, I agree with you Dreamer.
However, there are some here (not me, of course ::)), who think the real truth is in your above reference, highlighted in bold. When Nords picked up the book in the "Human Sexuality" section of the library, his macular degeneration problem and resulting poor eyesight caused him to read the book title as: "It's My Oven, Stud!"
 
Dreamer said:
Thanks Nords for the great book report. You seem to be a voracious reader on a lot of different subjects. I admire that you actually read a book that seems geered more to women and had the courage to do a book report on it. To me that shows that you are secure in your maculinity!!!
Outtahere said:
I'll pick up that book and shove it at my dh.
Thanks, Dreamer, but Outtahere has a more accurate description of how that book came to my attention.

I read a lot. Two-three hours/day on the internet and another hour or two of books/magazines. (Currently reading Hackworth's "Steel My Soldiers' Hearts", which shortly will be sent to my USMA nephew.) Add in the parenting, the chores, the home-improvement projects, and the tae kwon do... the daily schedule pretty much writes itself.

REWahoo! said:
When Nords picked up the book in the "Human Sexuality" section of the library, his macular degeneration problem and resulting poor eyesight caused him to read the book title as:  "It's My Oven, Stud!"
I sure hope you don't walk around your house with a pair of glasses shoved up on your head & another pair clipped in your shirt collar muttering "Now where the @#%$ are my &*^$ing reading glasses?!?"
 
Good Lord! I can't believe this is even being discussed ... ! Maybe we should call Oprah and Dr. Phil into the discussion. Perhaps get a group encounter session going?

Luckly I am a doctor. Here is my presciption:

1 - Buy a case of beer. Not that designer stuff, but real man beer like Miller or Bud. The worse the taste the better. Get about 5 lbs. of buffalo wings while you are at it.

2 - Sit down tomorrow and watch a playoff game. Not important which one. Choose a team to root for. Doesn't matter which. The important thing is to drink the beer, yell loudly and throw empty cans at the TV when ever the other team scores. If you really want to be cured, invite over a couple of buddies. But, make sure they are dirty and stinky. Maybe you can get them to dig a couple of ditches before they come over. An old smelly dog is also a good addition. Be sure to burp loudly and often, and when you eat the wings wipe your hands on your pants, furniture or the dog.

If you follow these directions you will be cured in no time.

(Just don't tell my wife).

ha ha
 
I can hardly believe an MD would dismiss the effect of hormones on the health of either gender.  Thank God you aren't our health care provider!!

Historically women have been expected to manage the behaviorial impact of males who have hormone issues.  I appreciate it when a male takes the time to learn about women. 

The other area of bio-chemestry that is taking leaps is brain chemistry.  We see the impact in Parkinson's, MS and addictions. 
 
REWahoo! said:
Even though I've had some fun with Nords on this subject, I agree with you Dreamer.
However, there are some here (not me, of course ::)), who think the real truth is in your above reference, highlighted in bold. When Nords picked up the book in the "Human Sexuality" section of the library, his macular degeneration problem and resulting poor eyesight caused him to read the book title as: "It's My Oven, Stud!"
:LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
 
Brat said:
I can hardly believe an MD would dismiss the effect of hormones on the health of either gender. Thank God you aren't our health care provider!!

Don't worry, I believe Bearlyworking is bullsh!tting us.
 
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