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Jill Herzig has spent her entire career communicating with women about health, wellness, and what’s really going on in our bodies. She brings her passion for learning and education to our content, user experience, and clinical care. This is her story of going through hormone transition:

Feeling sideswiped and confused

“I hit perimenopause on the earlier side, at 42, and the first sign was missing periods, but I had no idea what was causing that. I had just started a big new job as the editor-in-chief of a major women’s magazine. I was under pressure, and thought that the few pounds of stress-weight I’d lost might be the issue. So I went to a new ob/gyn with a great reputation, and he ran tests. When the results came back, he told me I was in menopause…and that was it. He didn’t ask me about possible symptoms, or help me understand all the potential things that might crop up for me, or talk me through treatment options. He just sent me on my way, feeling sideswiped, confused, and alone.”

Hot flashes, bathroom runs, and zero help

“Pretty quickly, I started to get hot flashes and night sweats. I’d find myself in staff meetings, with twenty or more editors gathered around me, trying to oh-so-subtly run my finger over my upper lip to wipe away the sweat. Not pretty. At night, I was up five times or more kicking off covers and pulling them back on, then trying to function the next day on fractured, frustrating sleep. I also got famous for running super-efficient meetings, but the real reason I cut to the chase was that I had to pee constantly! Now I know that estrogen depletion can cause a ton of urinary problems, in addition to hot flashes and a vast array of other symptoms. But because my doctor hadn’t said a thing about any of them, or told me to reach out for treatment, I suffered through with lots of lip-dabbing, bathroom runs, and coffee (which didn’t help with the peeing, but I was too exhausted to care).”

Missing out on long term benefits

“I soldiered on, but the symptoms took years to get better. I’m 55 now, and only began to feel noticeable relief three or so years ago. I now think that my memory was affected, because it’s sharper than it has been for ages. I wish I’d considered hormone replacement, and not just because it would have helped with symptoms. I’ve learned so much about the long term benefits of HRT, especially in protecting bones. On average, women lose up to 10% of their bone mass in the first five years after menopause. As a result, 1 in 10 post-menopausal women are affected by osteoporosis, and because I have other risk factors, I’m a prime candidate. It’s too late for me to start HRT, but one of the reasons I joined Midi is to make sure that other women don’t miss out on the preventive health benefits of treatment, the way I did.”

Refusing to simply accept new symptoms

“I know that without the protection of HRT for my bones, I have to pay extra close attention to osteoporosis prevention, so a lot of my daily routine is focused on that. Midi has taught me to lean into healthy eating, but also augment with supplements. I keep tackling new goals: My next one is handling stress better with the help of a “cortisol manager,” because lower estrogen means higher cortisol, and that makes me super reactive. I find it’s a matter of always noticing what’s going on, refusing to simply accept new symptoms, and trying different approaches until I feel a positive change.”

Jill’s regimen
  • Daily activity, with an emphasis on weight-bearing workouts like Pilates, plus bone-toughening cardio (jogging)
  • Magnesium, Calcium, and Vitamin D for bones
  • A diet rich in calcium, including tons of leafy greens and tinned fish (“sardines in salad—don’t knock ‘em til you try ‘em!”)
  • Cutting out added sugar wherever possible
  • Replacing cocktails with mocktails, for better sleep
  • Cortisol manager for stress

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