While reading an article on WebMD, a dialogue box popped up asking me if I would be willing to participate in a survey. Normally, I click, “No thanks” and proceed with my original task. This time I decided to give it a go since the survey would only take 5 minutes to complete. So, I began answering basic demographic info such as my age and sex. Given my responses, the survey began to ask me about my menses status. I selected the option, “post-menopause”.
The next question asked me how long I have experienced hot flashes. The options from which I could choose started with “less than 6 months”. There was no option for “Never”. What’s up with that?
Why does the team at WebMD assume I have had hot flashes? I offer an answer to my own question for which I have no proof (give me a few days and I will): the medical community assumes perimenopause and menopause will not go smoothly and that a woman in this phase of her life will experience symptoms.
To play nice, I selected the response, “less than 6 months”. The next question asked me to describe the severity of the hot flashes I experienced. At this point, I closed the survey. I was not going to play this game of manipulative surveying techniques. This survey had a blatant bias.
Had I continued to answer the questions of this survey, who knows how my inaccurate data would have been used by WebMD? I suspect they would use it to share statistics with the general public regarding the incidence and severity of hot flashes in post-menopausal women. Such a publication would continue to perpetuate the fallacy that all women will experience an undesired symptom(s) while making the transition from menses to menopause.
Based on the clinical trials, epidemiological studies, and other research conducted across the globe that I’ve read over the last 20 years, symptoms are NOT a given during perimenopause and menopause. The average American woman’s experience is not necessarily the experience of women in other parts of the world.
I won’t attempt to guess the game WebMD is playing with this survey. I’ll use this survey as the impetus to write a series of posts about the realities of what to expect in perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. I’ll back up what I write with validated science. Stay tuned.
If you have a specific nutrition question pertaining to perimenopause or menopause, please post it in the comments. I’ll do my best to provide an answer.
To your health,
1 thought on “Hot Flashes: WebMD, why is there no option for “Never”?”
Update: this survey prompted me to make my thesis all about what’s really going on in menopause and the role nutrition plays in a graceful (e.g., symptomless) transition. I’ll be publishing my thesis in the fall of 2018. Stay tuned. As a subscriber to my blog, you’ll receive an advanced copy of the final write up.
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