cover image Dr. Susan Love's Hormone Book: Making Informed Choices about Menopause

Dr. Susan Love's Hormone Book: Making Informed Choices about Menopause

Love, Susan M. Love. Random House Inc, $25 (350pp) ISBN 978-0-679-44970-6

For the menopausal or perimenopausal woman confused by conflicting opinions regarding hormone replacement therapy, Love (Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book) cuts through the maze of contradictory data to provide information without hype or pedantry. In her information-dense volume, Love lists symptoms from hot flashes and mood swings to migraine headaches and memory lapses, explaining that many may simply be signs of normal aging, not menopause. Also discussed are osteoporosis, heart disease, breast cancer and endometrial cancer; risk factors and how they can be mitigated are outlined. She explains the many alternatives to hormone replacement, including lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, stress reduction), homeopathic remedies, vitamin treatments, acupuncture and herbs, as well as the sometimes necessary drugs and surgery. In spite of all that is reported regarding treatment for menopause and related conditions, there remains, says Love, no definitive, or ""gold standard,"" research on hormones and postmenopausal women. The first such study, the Women's Health Initiative, is going on now but will not yield results until 2008. In the meantime, what should a woman do? ""You make your own rules, and you reexamine them as you get more information and your needs change."" Women seeking counsel that respects their concerns and allows them to make choices they feel safe with will find Love's reassuring, no-nonsense approach exactly what the doctor ordered. (Feb.)