National HRT Shortage? Here's Some Support...
Sunday, 07 March, 2021

National HRT Shortage? Here's Some Support...

Ongoing lockdown and issues with Brexit mean that many menopausal women are concerned they may be left without their daily HRT medications and be unable to access local support groups. Food Scientist and Nutritionist Susie Debice suggests way to keep updated.

The pandemic has certainly created gaps in some of the support that is normally available for menopausal women. As primary care centres cope with the many challenges of winter infections and focus on responding to the pandemic and getting vaccinations underway, some menopausal women are left unable to get appointments with their GP to talk about their menopausal symptoms and treatment options.

HRT stock update

One national organisation that has become active in gaining information from pharmaceutical manufacturers about national stock levels of all the different HRT medications is The British Menopause Society (BMS). On their website you can find a comprehensive list of all these medications and their availability. The BMS has also created a document for GP’s to help them easily switch you to an alternative HRT if your current HRT is unavailable. You can access this document on the BMS website and easily email to across to your GP if needed.

Managing symptom flare-ups

Unfortunately, your lockdown lifestyle may have made it very easy to slip into unhealthy dietary habits! Since gyms are closed and the winter weather doesn’t make exercising outdoors very enticing, your fitness and activity levels could be at an all-time low! The stress and anxiety of juggling home schooling and working from home might also mean that you are drinking more caffeine and alcohol than normal.

Together, all of these lifestyle factors could make it challenging to keep on top of hormone balance giving rise to bursts of hot flushes, poor sleep, night sweats, mood swings and other menopausal symptoms. If this is the case, then it’s a good idea to get organised with your HRT medication. It may take much longer to renew your prescription, so don’t wait until you have run out to contact your prescription service. Be aware that if your HRT is unavailable you will need to have a virtual appointment with your GP, before you can be prescribed an alternative. You need to factor in additional time for this to happen, so think ahead.

Switch to online support

Local support groups are also struggling to provide the same level of service while lockdown continues. If you have become accustomed to the new normal of Zoom, Google meets, Facebook rooms, Microsoft teams and Skype video calls then you’re all set to dive right in with online support groups. However, if you’re not tech savvy or don’t always have online access from home then you’ll need to find other ways to de-stress and feel supported.

Start talking

Talking to your partner, family members or friends is a great way to unwind and if you chat to your friends who are also going through the menopause then you may be inspired by something that they found helpful. But don’t underestimate the positive impact that changing your diet and lifestyle can have on your symptom servery and frequency.

Helpful nutrients  

There are a few key nutrients which help support hormone balance and some of the common symptoms associated with the menopause such as anxiety, low energy, fatigue, mood swings, bone health etc. These natural remedies provide a level of essential daily support during this phase of your life and include omega-3 krill oil, vitamin B1, B2, B6 and B12 and also vitamin C for skin support and collagen renewal.

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