Health: The 12 Different Types of Change; Revolutionary New Thinking on the Menopause and How to Manage It Is Sweeping America. and Ulster Is about to Pioneer the Way in the UK for These New Management Programmes, Thanks to the Persistence of Local Health Guru Suzanne Chalkley. SANDRA CHAPMAN Investigates and Reviews a New Book on the Subject*

Article excerpt

OF ALL the afflictions nature imposed on women, the menopause must be the most unfair.

It has been known to reduce previously stable, healthy women to physical and emotional wrecks, has been the cause of marriage break-ups. affects libido, can lead to ill health and despite the best efforts of GPs they are not trained sufficiently in how to deal with it.

Suzanne Chalkley, who runs the Good Health Clinic in Belfast knew that many of her menopausal patients needed help. Hormone replacement therapy, designed to help them, often made them worse and doctors could not solve their problems. She felt there had to be another answer - and she has found it in Florida where women do not put up with doctors saying no.

Suzanne had heard of the work of Dr Joseph Collins, an America doctor and naturopath who had spent years researching the menopause and came to the conclusion that there were no less than 12 different types of it. If doctors were treating all women the same, no wonder many of them were not feeling better.

Dr Collins who has written an absorbing book on the subject is coming to Northern Ireland in May to address doctors at a major medical exhibition, and in April Suzanne will be offering women a service in how to determine their menopause type.

She says: "I'm just over the moon that we are at last defining this condition which is not an illness but which causes such grief to so many. When I observed Dr Collins' work in Florida I just couldn't believe it. Previously it was always thought that all women needed was either oestrogen or progesterone or both. No one understood the effects of the depletion of the other hormones like testosterone, for example.

"When Dr Collins identified the 12 different types he then set about designing 12 separate ways to deal with them, individualised for each woman. But first of all he had to determine the type and this is done by a saliva test. And it is this test which I have brought back to Northern Ireland. We are the first clinic offering it in the United Kingdom. I'm confident it will make a huge differences to women's lives.

"Dr Collins is not against what doctors have done up until now but he hopes that with training doctors will learn how to cope with this problem in a different way. However it is going to be sometime before patients can simply walk into their GP surgeries and ask for the test. It may not even be offered on the NHS but at least this new thinking is a major step forward and will end the experimentation which often causes women such grief.''

The test involves an input from the woman herself over a three day period. She will have to fill in an extensive questionnaire and collect saliva in phials over three days. …