In "Menopause, Don't Panic!" Katja Burkard reports on her own experiences. And also, as was the case with a partner when she was in menopause and her daughter was puberty, the presenter reveals in her new book. Because the hormones, the extra pounds, and the annoying "Botox, yes or no?" get to know everyone – sooner or later. The TV presenter describes how it was when menopause just occurred after her 50th birthday. The 54-year-old not only reports on her experiences but also lets a hormone expert speak. In the interview, she also tells us how her relationship with her partner Hans Mahr has changed.
It's currently "Menopause? Don't panic!" appeared. They were warned not to write this book. Why?
Katja Burkard: When I told a good friend about it, it actually meant that I should think twice because menopause would not have the best picture. Then I decided it was high time to correct this picture. Today's woman between the ages of 40 and 60 cannot be compared to women of this age 20 years ago. We live in a completely different time now, we have to stay young longer. Even visually, there is often no difference between 35- and 45-year-olds. So I think it's unfair that at this stage, which in some cases really bothers us women, we have to pretend that it doesn't exist and that women are left to themselves.
Why is menopause a taboo topic even for women?
I have been wondering for a long time. I truly believe it's because of this bad image. Who likes to say that now at this stage of thinking women are bitchy and unbalanced? Many fear that they will no longer be taken seriously and considered insane. For us women, it is certainly not easy to say goodbye to our fertility. It was the same with me. Of course I didn't want a baby when I was 50. But when I realized that I could no longer do without hormones, it made me a little sad.
Before you consulted your doctor, you noticed changes in yourself, you say in the book, among other things about Auschter in front of children. Have you never thought about menopause before?
Yes of course. I also noticed this with my mother. But for me, menopause was hot flashes – and I didn't. I meant depression, burnout, or nervous breakdown. Later, one doctor confirmed to me that many women in their 40s and mid-50s were consenting and taking psychotropic medications with a psychologist. In reality, they have menopausal symptoms and suffer from hormone deficiency. You do not need tranquilizers, you may need progesterone or estrogen.
You are taking bioidentical hormone preparations yourself. Do all the negative effects really disappear with that?
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So it was with me. I took those hormones and brought me back to life – purely physical, from her strength. But nature does not make it too easy for us. This hormonal cocktail in our blood has a huge impact on our psyche and should be right. On the other hand, this phase makes us thin, and many of the known problems are not completely dismissed. When I was returning hormone to Lot, I was still looking at my life and wondering where I needed to clean up.
Hormone replacement therapy has given you five pounds. Do you really get the craving for sweets?
Yes, that is true. I know from myself and many other women I've talked to: you can't go over carbs. I am inherently bad at sticking to diets, and at the stage I was definitely not able to pass the cookies. I just needed it and eventually gave myself to him. I was arguing with myself enough and knew that if I continued to ban chocolate, I would eat it. But weight gain has another reason: The cycle that ensures fertility every month is associated with high energy costs, calories are eaten. Of course, if you do, you will consume a lot less calories.
Speaking of calories: in the book you say you are addicted to chips and sometimes eat two bags a day. How do you keep your figure?
I do sports, I run about 20 kilometers every week. And I'm a good striker. With this one type of potato chips, it really can’t stop me. It makes me ashamed of my children as well. I know it's not good and I exaggerate it, but to me it's the greatest taste.
When you came to menopause, something happened in your relationship. How has that changed?
I took a closer look at my relationship and discovered some things that I couldn't resist. As a result, we had a major crisis. We couldn't help dealing with ourselves and doing do-it-yourself therapy. We talked a lot, argued and also laughed a lot. In the end, that phase saved our relationship. We went through a deep crisis through menopause, but also reunited because we had to deal with ourselves and our problems.
The daughter was also in puberty when you came to menopause …
Yes, because I became a late mother, my oldest daughter's puberty and menopause fell into the same time frame. In retrospect, that was really funny. My husband had to look wrong only once, then I was scared or she. That was definitely exhausting.
The subject of your book is also cosmetic treatments. Is this even more taboo than menopause?
Twice a year I let Botox fall on my forehead against swollen wrinkles and raise an eyebrow. Why not stand by him? We paint our hair, do fake nails, what's so bad about treating wrinkles? But of course, not every woman has to admit it now. We don't have to admit anything and every woman should keep her secrets. But I wanted to write the book as honestly as possible, and that was just part of it for me.
What advice do you have for menopausal women?
I would advise them to look for a gynecologist who knows the field of endocrinology, the science of hormones. Not every gynecologist can do this automatically. It is only around the age of forty that many women are experiencing their first crisis, realizing that they are no longer patient enough to experience a relationship crisis. Many then go to a psychologist. But then menopause is already quietly knocking. There is often a lack of progesterone. If you prevent it then, the actual menopause may not so much collapse over you. Women should definitely listen, we usually have a good gut feeling. And I can only advise you to move a lot, this is very important.