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Menopause, More than Hot Flashes with Shannon Kenrick-Rochon NP

healthy lifestyle menopause obesity medicine weight loss women's health Sep 04, 2023

Today, we're delving into a topic that's often misunderstood and under-discussed: menopause and its impact on women's health. 


This week on the High on Life Podcast, I interviewed a special guest: Shannon Kenrick-Rochon, NP.

Shannon is a strategic thinker that has been drawn to healthcare for as long as she can remember. As a lifelong learner, she expanded her nursing career with a Masters of Nursing and moved into the role of Nurse Practitioner. 

She brings her passion for women in health and leadership across her work in research, education, concussion medicine, hormone replacement and MSK pain management. Shannon shares her enthusiasm for the outdoors with her 2 children and husband on adventures paddling, skiing, trying new sports and discovering new places along the way.

Join us as we explore the intricacies of menopause, its symptoms, hormone therapy, and invaluable insights on maintaining a healthy lifestyle during this transformative phase. 

When we think of menopause, hot flashes and weight gain may come to mind. However, Shannon, our guest expert, sheds light on the multifaceted nature of this experience. 

Menopause triggers shifts in various bodily tissues due to declining estrogen levels, resulting in a range of symptoms. Beyond hot flashes, these symptoms encompass emotional fluctuations, cognitive fog, disrupted sleep, heart rate challenges, and muscle discomfort. Additionally, vaginal and urinary symptoms, though prevalent, often go untreated. It's crucial to address these symptoms for holistic well-being.


Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Misconceptions

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a topic that generates numerous questions and concerns. Shannon debunks the myth that HRT directly influences weight gain or loss. However, it significantly impacts symptom management, which, in turn, affects behaviors influencing weight. 

Hormones play pivotal roles in mood, sleep, and other factors critical for a healthy lifestyle. By alleviating menopausal symptoms, hormone therapy facilitates the engagement of positive behaviors that support overall health.

HRT is often considered for women grappling with menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, urinary issues, and vaginal dryness. Yet, the decision to pursue hormone therapy is nuanced and influenced by several factors, including personal health history, prior medication experiences, and the presence of other symptoms. A comprehensive assessment is advised to determine the most fitting course of action, accounting for each woman's unique circumstances.


Debunking Weight Loss Myths During Menopause

Contrary to popular belief, the notion that weight loss becomes unattainable after 50 is dispelled. 

Our expert clarifies that menopause signifies a transformative phase, and weight loss remains achievable through holistic approaches. She employs a wagon wheel metaphor to illustrate the intricate interplay of behaviors such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, and hormonal health. Sustaining muscle mass and adopting comprehensive coping strategies prove pivotal for metabolic health and overall well-being during and post-menopause.

The lack of adequate menopause care and support stems from multiple angles. Shannon highlights how the medical system's focus on illness, rather than wellness, alongside societal ageism, compounds the challenges faced by women during menopause. She emphasizes the necessity of a broader viewpoint that encompasses the holistic well-being of women navigating this transitional phase. An all-encompassing approach considers physical, emotional, and contextual factors shaping women's quality of life.


It's evident that menopause is a journey encompassing more than hot flashes and weight concerns. By prioritizing comprehensive care, adopting holistic strategies, and addressing symptoms and well-being, women can navigate menopause with strength and vitality. With knowledge and support, women can traverse menopause's complexities, embracing this phase as an opportunity for personal growth and sustainable health.


Listen to our insightful conversation on the High on Life Podcast.

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