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SHINING THROUGH THE MENOPAUSE

 

THE JOURNEY BEGINS

 

As I approached menopause I felt like I was in the throws of hormonal hell. My health was suffering, I felt depressed, lethargic, irritable, frumpy, and my bits were going south. My relationship suffered as the once submissive and compliant doormat became a force to be reckoned with. I went to University and did a four year BSc (Hon) Course in Homeopathic medicine, studied herbal medicine, flower remedies, Nutrition and health and Bereavement Counselling Following this I completed a teacher training course to give me the knowledge and confidence to lecture on the subjects I was passionate about. I started to care about how I looked and felt, this was ‘my’ time and I would like to share the knowledge I gained with you, anyone experiencing the same or similar symptoms.

 

So if you are feeling frumpy, unhealthy, have low self esteem and lack the confidence to grow and develop through this change in life. If you want to feel liberated and sexy then read on.

 

The menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life one that signals an end to child bearing years. Some women sail through with little difficulty, others experience a range of symptoms varying in severity from mildly annoying to completely disrupting. It is a decline in Oestrogen that results in the symptoms that many women suffer and the average age a woman goes through the change is 51 yrs but can occur any time from 40 to 55. Before 40 is considered premature.

 

It is no secret that relationship crises are a common side effect of the menopause. The hormonal changes affect the brain and gives women a sharper edge for injustice and a voice that insists on speaking about it, a kind of wisdom. A youthful fire and spirit can be rekindled together with desires and creative drives that demand an outlet. If a woman holds herself back from pursuing these urges the result can be equivalent to plugging the vent on a pressure cooker something has to give, in many cases it is the woman’s health.

 

All the changes we women undergo during this change are supported and spurred by the complex and intricate brain and body changes that are unheralded and can be overwhelming for many women. There is much more to this midlife transformation than ‘raging hormones’ the hormonal shift means an end to our childbearing years, our bodies and also our nervous systems are being, quite literally rewired. The menopause does not have to be the end as many women call it but an exciting developmental stage - one that, when participated in consciously, holds enormous promise for transforming and healing our bodies, minds, and spirits at the deepest levels.

 

During mid life many women whose world revolved around their family and home begin to direct more of their energies towards the world outside the home and family, which to many is inviting and exciting. Men on the other hand, who also go through a sort of menopause of their own, are often feeling world weary; they are ready to retire, curl up and escape the battles of the workplace and may feel their priorities shifting inwards towards home, hearth and family.  The woman in menopause, known

mythologically as the ‘crone’, finds herself at a crossroads of life, torn between the old way she has always known and a new way she has begun to dream of.

 

Three types of menopause

 

Natural menopause

Occurs between the age of 45 – 55 in women with at least one ovary, the duration usually 5 – 10 years but can take up to 13 years. Periods may stop for several months then return and may increase and decrease in duration and intensity and flow.

Premature menopause

Occurs somewhat faster as well as earlier at least 1 in 100 women complete menopause transition by the age of 40. may have an illness like autoimmune disease, nutritional deficiency, chronic stress, excess athletic conditioning that has affected hormone related reproductive functions etc

Artificial

Can occur abruptly, induced by surgical removal of the reproductive tract, by radiation or chemotherapy. Many women who undergo hysterectomy with preservation of their ovaries can experience symptoms of hormonal changes that can be debilitating.

 

What you may experience

 

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Heart palpitations
  • Migrain headaches
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Fibroids
  • Loss of libido
  • Vaginal dryness or painful periods
  • Urinary symptoms
  • Mood swings, depression, low self esteem, anxiety, inability to cope etc
  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Dizziness.

 

Essential Nutrients

Vit B complex – reduces anxiety and irritability

Vit C complex – maintains skin elasticity

Vit D complex – controls calcium absorption

Vit E – helps reduce flushes

Calcium – to maintain bone density

Iron- increases energy

Magnesium – works with calcium to keep bones strong

Selenium – reduces hot flushes

Zinc – helps regulate hormonal levels

Omega 3 fatty acids – helps maintain hormones

Omega 6 – relieves symptoms

Bioflavanoids – help relieve hot flushes

Co-enzyme Q10 – helps improve energy.

 

Risks of hormone replacement therapy

Women are always being treated by their doctors with harmful drugs to control their reproductive system and natural cycles, this is especially true during the menopause. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) being the favourite quick and easy solution to supposedly prevent the natural aging process and its problems. HRT for menopause is quite controversial, even in the allopathic world. Its long term safety remains a matter of great concern. Their own list includes:

The most common side effects

  • Bloating and weight gain
  • Irritability and depression

Serious risks:

  • The increased risk of developing breast cancer by 25% in women with family history of cancer
  • Uterine cancer by up to eight fold
  • Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
  • Acute liver disease
  • Gall bladder disease
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Blood clots
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack

Relative risks:

  • Hypertension
  • Benign breast disease
  • Benign uterine disease
  • Endometriosis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Migraine headaches

Subjective complaints of

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Bleeding
  • Depression
  • Fluid retention.

 

Homeopathy for menopause

Homeopathy is the safest treatment before, during, and after menopause because it stimulates the natural hormonal balance without the use of harmful drugs. Constitutional homeopathic treatment is best during the transitional period of menopause in order to balance hormonal levels and cure the accompanying symptoms.

Remedies indicated for Menopause

 

Folliculinum

This is the most beneficial remedy for general use during menopause. It stimulates the

continuing natural production of oestrogen by the ovaries and by the other organs which also make small amounts of Oestrogen including the adrenal glands, liver and kidneys. LM’s are the fastest and most gentle, and deepest acting of potencies.

Folliculinum is made from ovarian follicle the natural hormone secreted by the ovaries and also known as oestron. Folliculinum can be alternated daily with any other appropriate remedy.

Folliculinum for hormonal symptoms:

  • Hot flushes – night sweats, feels hot and bothered, facial flushing
  • Vaginal dryness – yellow or brownish vaginal discharge
  • Menstrual irregularities – too short or prolonged, flooding PMS
  • Fibroids
  • Cystitis – recurrent
  • Candida – yeast infections
  • Hair loss
  • Cardio vascular problems – angina, palpitations etc
  • Dizziness – faintness
  • Weight gain – without over eating. Both obesity and fluid retention
  • Abdominal swelling – heaviness, bloating, rumbling
  • Cravings for sugar and wheat
  • Allergies
  • Skin rashes.

Feel drained emotionally and physically, over estimates her energy reserved. Can have panic attacks, hyperactive, worse for resting.

Amylenum Nitrosum

Hot flushes that come on suddenly and unexpectedly, with congestion to the head, heat of the face followed by profuse sweating, with anxiety and palpitations. Flushing of the face, provoked by least emotion and which can spread to other parts of the body; profuse perspiration of female genitals during menopause. Throbbing headaches with burning sensation in head and ears, surging of blood to head and face, face fiery red, migraine worse left side, congestion of female organs.

Hysterical tendencies with great anxiety as if something bad might happen. Cannot sit still and constant stretching of limbs.

Argentum Mitricum

Heat, flushing, flooding, haemorrhage of non menstrual bleeding, involuntary urination, depression during menopause, with feelings of being neglected or forsaken, abandoned and isolated, oversensitive, feel as if enveloped in a dark cloud. Worse from being over-dressed, better for fresh air, cold air, cold bathing.

Aurum Metallicum

Mild heat flushes, Depression feels as if surrounded by darkness, in a black cloud. They crave sunlight and dislike cloudy days. Feel hopeless, despairing and doomed, and there is a sense of utter worthless, which is followed by self destructive attitudes.

Belladonna

Hoy flushes especially in the afternoon, sweaty face, red and burning, with profuse perspiration of female genital. Vaginal dryness, non menstrual bleeding, headaches with pain in temples, left – sided migraines, tinnitus, yeast infections; ovarian cysts. Boils, fast pulse, palpitations, intolerance of pressure and touch, weakness, insomnia, weight gain with fluid retention, arthritis, osteoporosis.

Excitable mental states with intensity of symptoms and the desire to escape. Sensitive nervous disposition. Changeable moods, over excitable, restless, confused, fearful.

Bryonia

Hot flashes as if warm water was poured over the body.

Fast pulse, vaginal dryness, atrophic vaginitis, thinning of vaginal walls, faintness in a warm room, headaches before periods, right sided migraine, constipation with hard burnt looking stools, easy bruising, swollen finger joints, arthritis, rheumatic knee pains, dry cough or sore throat, difficulty breathing, fluid retention, ovarian cysts.

Mental confusion, morose, prone to anger over small matters, anxiety with insecurity about future and poverty. Have great desire to be still, for peace and quiet. Worse from slightest movement and physical exertion.

Calcarea Carbonica

Hot flashes moving upwards with hot sweats and perspiration on face and hands. Fatigue and chilliness without cause. Flooding and menstrual periods, cramps in limbs during the night, dry skin, legs fall asleep, backache especially in damp weather, arthritic lumps, swelling of finger joints,  osteoporosis, tinnitus, weight gain, yeast infections, cervical erosion, varicose veins. Feelings of inadequacy, anxiety in pit of stomach, fearful  with claustrophobia and agoraphobia. Cannot bear to be observed

Graphites

There is obesity/ real noted weight gain, hot flushes esp on face, sweating on front of body from slightest exertion, sweats with offensive odour. Nosebleeds, cutting pains in lower abdomen, skin symptoms, red discoloration of the face, numbness of hands, brittle fingernails, skin eruptions, skin rashes on back of neck, itchy scalp, Warm hearted, indecisive, fickle and cautious. Anxious, moody and full of fear especially about the future. Depression, weepiness.

Lachesis

Sudden heat flushes and clammy sweats, heat and burning pain in vertex, constricted fealing around abdomen worse pressure of cloths, stomach feels empty, sensation of ball in throat, weak empty feeling in stomach, diarrhoea, difficulty breathing, nose bleeds, dizziness, palpitations, convulsions, violent and burning headaches on top of head, worse on waking,  high blood pressure, heart feels too large, chest congestion, heavy feeling in chest, night cramps during night, neuralgia, ovarian fibroids, cysts,  flooding, heavy menstrual periods with black and thick offensive blood, desire for coffee, hives and boils. High sexual energy.

 

Depression, irritability, strong tendencies to unwarranted suspicion, envy, jealousy, insecurity and jealousy. Insecurity and resentment, they can be excitable, forgetful, hysterical and behave like a crazy person, over talkative changing from subject to another, anxiety on waking and are compelled to hurry in everything they do.

 

 There are other remedies indicated during menopause but it is not in the scope of this article to name all. Following are some of the remedies used and a good Materia Medica will contain information about each one.

 

Lycopodium, Nat Mur, Nux Vomica, Phosphorous, Psorinum, Pulsatilla, Sepia, Staphysagria, Sulphur, Sulphuric Acid.

 

Herbal Supplements

 

Natural forms of Oestrogen

In addition to homeopathic treatment, natural phytoestrogen supplementation can be

helpful. Phytoestrogen stimulates oestrogen production  if your levels are low. It also lowers hormone levels that are too high. Estriol, one of the natural forms of oestrogen which occurs in plants, cannot be patented and has therefore, been ignored by pharmaceutical companies because they cannot make vast amounts of money producing it.

 

Natural forms of oestrogen’s are available from:

Soy products, wild yams, and many plant species containing phytoestrogens including: Chinese Ginseng, Black cohosh, Liquorice root, Sarsaparilla, Dong Quai, Damiana, Motherwort, Mexican Yam, Chaste berry, Red Clover, Alfalfa. These do not overload your body with oestrogen, nor do they stimulate the growth of oestrogen sensitive tissues in your breast and uterus which can cause cancer.

 

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The website is copyright of Lynne Wheatman 2007 - 2009

fairies through the site,  courtesy of Gwynneth and Artist Amy Brown