Menopause is a transition period in a woman’s life which signals the end of her reproductive age. This end of the fertile phase of a woman’s life, comes with the cessation of ovarian functions.
The ovaries stop producing eggs, the body produces less oestrogen, menstruation becomes infrequent and gradually stops completely.
This transition is not sudden but occurs over a period of few years as a consequence of biological aging. In some women the difficulties encountered due this transition and hormonal shifts leads to disruption of their daily activities and comfortable living.
It is not a disease but a natural stage in a woman’s life where the body adapts to the changes due to ovarian decline. It occurs during the age of 45-55 yrs.
All the signs and symptoms of this transitional phase are cumulatively called “The Menopausal Syndrome“.
The symptoms encountered are mainly due to the pituitary hormones which are trying to over stimulate the declining ovaries, during which the adrenal glands should take over the ovarian functions. But due to the lifestyle imbalances and other factors the adrenals are already inefficient and hence the phase of transition doesn’t remain easy.
The transition through Menopause may happen in three phases:
This begins 5-8yrs before menopause and last until a year after the end of menstruation. During this period the ovary gradually produces less of oestrogen and a number of physical symptoms are experienced like irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, palpitations, sleep disorders, difficulty in concentrating or remembering things, malaise, headaches, vaginal dryness.
Some women may not experience any symptoms at all.
When the women goes without menses for 12 consecutive months then it’s the second phase of menopause where the ovarian function ceases altogether and ovary produces very little oestrogen.
Third phase – The Post Menopause
This is the period after the menses have stopped completely. During this time the symptoms of hot flushes, mood swings etc cease but the female body becomes susceptible to diseases like osteoporosis. As a result of the fall in the hormone levels changes occur in the whole of the female reproductive system like the thinning of the vaginal walls, reduced vaginal lubrication and the atrophy of the labia.
About 75% of the women experience one or the other of these symptoms.
- For symptomatic relief -lifestyles changes like intake of cold foods and fluids, staying in cool environments, comfortable clothing etc can be helpful to relieve hot flushes.
- Counselling sessions and other group activities to overcome mood swings and depressive episodes.
- Natural forms of oestrogen supplements instead of Hormone replacement therapies. The rich sources are soy products, wild yam, bioflavonoid from fruits, Chinese ginseng, black cohosh, fennel, licorice roots to name a few.
- Vit E, Vit B complex, Vit C, calcium citrate and magnesium are good supplements before, during and after menopause.
Homoeopathy is the safest treatment before, during and after menopause because it stimulates the natural hormonal balance without the use of harmful drugs. A trained homoeopath will use a systematic and structured approach in the form of a constitutional homoeopathic remedy to help the self healing mechanism of the body to restore the endocrinal disharmony of menopause and ease and cure the various accompanying symptoms.
We cannot consider the complex of these symptoms as separate from the whole individual, so the homoeopathic perspective will aim at analysing the causes which make one woman more susceptible to the symptoms than the others, for which the underlying cause of this individual susceptibility is established from a careful history taking where in the common major factors responsible could be stress, diet or previous hormonal intakes.
Most commonly used homoeopathic remedies to cure menopause are cimicifuga, aconitum, belladonna, calcarea carb, graphites, iodum, pulsatilla, natrum muriaticum, sepia, sulphur. Mostly the remedy is selected as the constitutional medicine for the individual unless a short acting acute remedy is needed for a severely distressing symptom to be relieved immediately.
Homoeopathy along with diet and lifestyle changes can rebalance the female hormonal system and ensure a comfortable transition through menopause, unlike the hormone replacement therapies which are laced with a number of harmful side effects.
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