As everyone jumps on the “New year, new me” bandwagon and flocks to the gym for the next couple weeks, why not focus on a more meaningful and impactful resolution? With over 15 years of medical experience, Dr. Melissa (Mel) Irvine, DNP, offers a self-care solution that will bring lasting change and have a positive impact on every aspect of your life.
“Self-care isn’t all about spas and pampering. Women are often so busy taking care of everyone else and juggling responsibilities at home and at work that we neglect to take much time for ourselves at all,” said Dr. Mel. “Our needs are important too, and it’s not selfish. The more we reserve time and space to accomplish things for ourselves, the happier, more resilient and better we will be when we show up for others.”
According to Dr. Mel, many of the women she sees visit her office because they feel they have a good life but don’t know why they can’t feel good about it and they feel disconnected from others and can’t fully engage in everyday activities or their relationships.
“This is about a woman’s overall well-being. Self-care includes the physical, mental and emotional aspects of wellness,” said Dr. Mel. “It often turns out to be a hormonal imbalance or that presents as lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy, lack of intimacy with your partner, and unfortunately this can be accompanied by feelings of guilt, disappointment and shame.”
Some of the most common signs and symptoms to look for are fatigue, decreased energy and libido, irritability, anxiety, depression, frequent bladder infections, hair loss, sleep disturbances, orgasm changes, vaginal changes, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, memory issues, difficulty concentrating, brain fog, and hot flashes.
“There’s a lot of anxiety for women going through this because they feel like something’s wrong with them,” explains Dr. Mel. “If they only knew, the challenges they’re facing are often simpler to fix than they think, and we can work together to resolve them.”
Dr. Mel sees patients of all genders but feels it’s especially important for women to understand their bodies and prioritize self-care, including hormone therapy if needed. She says these changes can occur long before menopause, and once menopause sets in, they will worsen.
“This is a reality for every woman, regardless of age, because without even realizing, it will creep into our life at some point and we often find ourselves making excuses as to why we feel the way we do, like being super busy, taking care of the kids and a career,” Dr. Mel explains.
Changes in a woman’s anatomy happen over a long period of time. According to Dr. Mel it is very important to monitor these changes, because some women will self-medicate with alcohol or other distractions and are often placed on antidepressants as a band aid when no one has evaluated their hormone levels.
“All that’s going to do is numb you,” says Dr. Mel. “It’s not going to help you regain a genuine connection to the people and things you love. So many women tell me that as soon as they get on hormones, they feel like they got their life back. They often say they didn’t realize just how miserable they were. It’s about your overall health and wellbeing and a hormonal imbalance will seep into every area of your life.”
Hormone levels begin to decrease for both men and women as a natural part of the aging process. Dr. Mel focuses on balancing three essential reproductive hormones: Estradiol, Progesterone, and Testosterone.
For about the cost of that annual gym membership, Dr. Mel can help you improve your overall health. Make a real commitment today by scheduling an appointment at drmelirvine.com, or by calling 239-351-5663.
About Dr. Melissa (Mel) Irvine, DNP
Dr. Mel has been in the medical field for over 15 years and is a board-certified Nurse Practitioner. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Brenau Women’s College, in Gainesville, Georgia. She received her Master of Science in Nursing at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and her doctorate degree at Florida Gulf Coast University. Dr. Mel is passionate about empowering and educating women so they can be their own advocates and make the best-informed decisions regarding treatment options and quality of life. As a Sexual Medicine provider, she takes pride in providing high quality personalized care to meet the sexual health needs of both men and women. Her interest in Sexual Medicine took her to San Diego where she completed a preceptorship with the leading Sexual Medicine provider in the U.S., Dr. Irwin Goldstein. She is an avid learner and regularly attends educational trainings and conferences to stay up to date on the latest and most innovative treatment options available.