WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?
Menopause is the natural and permanent stopping of the monthly female reproductive cycle. The word is derived from the Greek roots 'meno' (month) and 'pausis' (cessation). This is indicated by a permanent absence of monthly periods or menstruation. It is very important to understand what Menopause actually is.
Menopause is the slow and gradual process in a woman’s life where the ovaries shut down. This involves a remarkable phenomenon wherein the entire reproductive functioning cascades, inducing change in almost every part of her body. Menopause is perhaps most easily understood as the opposite process to menarche.
Menopause can be triggered naturally due to age, or due to faltering (disease) or surgical removal of ovaries.
It is important to remember that the menopause transition is a natural life change, not a disease state or a disorder. The transition itself can be challenging for a number of women, and it does not have to be that way.
(Women of certain communities do not even experience any symptoms of Menopause). It is indeed a great time to enjoy life and even develop creative and powerful energies, now that the energies from the sacral centre are no longer required for reproduction.
The normal age range for the occurrence of menopause is somewhere between the age of 45 and 55.
Clinically speaking, menopause is a date: for those women who still have a uterus, menopause is defined as the day after a woman's final period finishes. This date is fixed retrospectively, once 12 months have gone by with no menstrual flow at all.
HOW DOES IT OCCUR?
Menopause occurs in three phases. 1.) Premenopause which describes the years leading up to the last period ever, when the levels of reproductive hormones are already becoming lower and hormonal changes start to impact on the body. 2.) Perimenopause, meaning ‘around menopause’ when the production of most of the reproductive hormones, including the estrogens, progesterone and testosterone, diminishes and becomes more irregular, often with wide and unpredictable fluctuations in levels. 3.) Post menopause which is all of the time in a woman's life after the point when her ovaries become
It is during and after Perimenopause that many women find that they undergo symptoms of hormonal fluctuation, such as hot flashes, palpitations, mood changes, insomnia, depression, anxiety, irritability, lack of concentration, fatigue, aches and pains, headaches, memory problems, insomnia, reduced sex drive and atrophic effects like vaginal dryness, urgency of urination, urine incontinence and other "symptoms" that may cause them to seek medical advice.
Post-menopause can be determined by a blood test which can reveal the very high levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) that are typical of post-menopausal women.
Any period-like flow that might occur during post-menopause, even just spotting, must be reported to a doctor. (The fact could be minor or as drastic as endometric cancer).
Hormone Replacement Therapy, Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), Low Dose anti depressants etc are the normal treatment methods in place under traditional medicine. These can provide symptomatic relief but their side effects like High blood pressure, heart attacks, tumors, cancers etc are well documented. These treatments should be considered only if
alternative treatments are not helpful.
Growing number of women today are dissatisfied with the harmful side effects of Conventional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and are on the lookout for safer, more Holistic ways of approaching the symptoms of menopause.
Classical Homeopathy provides that alternative.
Homeopathy treats the menopausal symptoms by using remedies to address uniquely, a woman's totality of her symptoms and her physical, mental and emotional state. This strengthens the body's vital defenses and restores a healthy balance and sense of well-being.
Homeopathy is the safest and well recommended treatment before, during, and after menopause because it stimulates the natural hormonal balance without the use of harmful drugs.
FOOD, EXERCISE AND LIFE STYLE:
Certain life style changes and as I always say, good food, gentle and regular exercise and safe natural medication is unbeatable.
Drinking cool liquids, keeping body cool, using fans, cotton clothing, removing excess clothing layers when a hot flash strikes, and avoiding hot flash triggers such as hot drinks, spicy foods etc help hot flushes.
Weight loss will be at bay if a brisk walk for atleast 30 mts a day becomes a part of your daily routine. It also protects against
cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other conditions associated with aging. Pelvic floor muscle exercises, called Kegel exercises, can improve some forms of urinary incontinence.
Low fat, high fibre foods, calcium rich foods and plenty of water are vital. Soy products contain compounds called Phytoestrogens that are related in structure to estrogen. A cup of soy milk and eating 4 ounces of low fat tofu each day helps relieve menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, depression, diminished sexual vitality and decreased bone mass.
• Avoiding caffeinated drinks, alcohol. These beverages can make the blood vessels dilate and worsen hot flashes. Quit smoking.
Counseling, Homeopathic medicine and meditation are helpful in tackling depression, anxiety etc.
Other health problems related to women that can be successfully treated with Homeopathy are Premenstrual symptoms, Menstrual disorders, Menstrual cramping, Cystitis (Bladder Infections), Vaginitis (Vaginal inflammation due to infections), Cysts & Fibroids, Endometriosis, Fertility and Contraception, Pelvic Inflammatory disease, Prolapse, Pregnancy problems
like morning sickness, varicose vein, etc., Postpartum depression, Breast Infections during breast feeding, Depression, Anxiety, and many more.
Homeopathy is helpful for both physical and emotional aspects of menopause, and most women, in addition to relief from their discomforts, experience an enhancement in self-awareness and well being after the treatment.
Thus you can rely on Homeopathy to achieve optimal health during menopause and into the later years of your life.