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On March 19, 1998, an interview was broadcast on Bay TV (local cable channel 35 in San Francisco) between anchor John Kessler and nutrition specialist Ann Louise Gittleman, M.S., C.N.S.  The following transcription was created by scott richie for Winky.

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John Kessler:  Today we're going to talk about perimenopause.  It is a phase that precedes menopause. But our guest says you don't have be to be a victim of hormone havoc.  Ann Louise Gittleman is a nutrition specialist and health writer and her new book is called Before the Change, Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause.   
It's what, about a ten year period we're talking about before the actual - - the change?

Ann Louise Gittleman:  It can even be longer and that's what we're learning.  Some women are going through the change before the change up to twenty years before they completely stop menstruating.

John Kessler:  Well, what is this?  What are they going through, what's happening to their bodies?

Ann Louise Gittleman:  It's hormonal shifts and primarily the hormone that we look at in perimenopause is the lack of progesterone.  When we get into menopause, it's the lack or declining amounts of estrogen.  So this is a whole different ball game, John, and it's very distressing to women who are suffering a bunch of symptoms and don't realize that the underlying problem may be hormonal.

John Kessler:  And then, there is actually something that they can do about it then?

Ann Louise Gittleman:  Yeah.

John Kessler:  And I would imagine, through the title here, this probably has something to do with diet containing progesterone, then?

Ann Louise Gittleman:  It does.  And so what we look at are foods that are higher in protein, that contain enough of the mineral zinc, that allow your body to make enough of its own progesterone...

John Kessler:  Like what foods?

Ann Louise Gittleman:  Well, like, believe it or not, eggs, red meat, which is a very high source of zinc, as well as pumpkin seeds. Many of us have gone fat free, and therefore haven't been eating those kinds of foods.

John Kessler:  Well, I was gonna say, the first two you named off were a couple of foods that a lot of people try to avoid, so...

Ann Louise Gittleman:  Right, right...because of misguided information...

John Kessler:  I can't imagine living on pumpkin seeds though.

Ann Louise Gittleman:  It's good for your prostate, just remember that.

John Kessler:  Is it really?  All right!  Pumpkin seeds for everyone!  O.K.  So, those are a couple of things.  Can you do it by supplements as well?

Ann Louise Gittleman:  You can, and that's where... certainly there are herbs that are on the market.  A lot of us have been hearing about dong quai lately, as a hormone balancer. There are herbs like black cohosh that are out there and one particularly that really raises progesterone levels, which is the wild yam.  There are oils that you need to take because oils are the precursor of many of our hormones - flax seed oil - evening primrose oil - I've put them together in a product that we have here called "The Essential Woman".  And I think it's important that we reduce sugar and a lot of carbohydrates.

John Kessler:  Is there a scientific basis to a lot of this?

Ann Louise Gittleman:  Absolutely.  There is so much evidence about the importance of flax seed oil and evening primrose oil that we should all be taking it, even the men in our lives.  Because as we go through this we certainly want the men, you know, to be balanced and to watch what's happening to us, and to assist us through this natural change before the change.

John Kessler:  What kind of symptoms are we talking about here now?

Ann Louise Gittleman:  Well, you can be talking about anything from depression to anxiety to mood shifts, as well as weight gain, problems with sleep, loss of sex drive and loss of hair, so these seem to be unrelated.

John Kessler:  And you're saying up to twenty years before?

Ann Louise Gittleman:  Some women.  It's occurring earlier, John, than we used to think.

John Kessler:  Now let me ask.  If you go and read the book and you do the things in the book, to - - it just basically controls the symptoms, right, or does it raise - - does it even out your hormones?

Ann Louise Gittleman:  No.  No.  If you do some of the things we talk about in terms of the progesterone, the foods, the vitamins, the minerals, the herbs, you'll balance your system, you'll really sail through perimenopause, and you won't be affected by the symptoms.

John Kessler:  O.K.  But, in doing that, will you delay the onset of menopause?

Ann Louise Gittleman:  You'll delay the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause.

John Kessler:  You're gonna get menopause anyway.

Ann Louise Gittleman:  Well, it's a naturally occurring life transition, absolutely, but we don't need to be uncomfort- able.

John Kessler:  O.K.  Great.  Well, thank you very much. The book is Before the Change, Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause.  It is Ann Louise Gittleman.  Thank you very much.  I appreciate it.  Thanks for coming in.

Ann Louise Gittleman:  My pleasure.

John Kessler:  A pleasure to meet you.

Ann Louise Gittleman:  Thank you.  Thank you.


[end transcript]

another great transcription (on menopause)
can be found here: www.5medicines.com/menopause.htm

Come to the Menopause and Black Cohosh Information Center for
informational articles regarding menopause, in-depth analysis of
treatment options, and researched methods of effectively dealing
with menopause.
http://www.menopause-black-cohosh.org


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