This episode of covers the traditional homeopathic remedies used during menopause.
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Welcome to the Drop, and my name is David Haubenschild. This episode is about menopause, and specifically, showing how homeopathy can be used as a support through times of change such as this.
Menopause literally means ‘stop of the monthly period’, coming from the Greek words ‘menos’ meaning ‘month’, and ‘pause’ meaning to ‘cease’.
But taking broader view, menopause can be thought of as a number of stages the first being perimenopause – which is where the transition into menopause begins. Perimenopause literally means ‘around menopause’. The second is menopause itself – this where the final menstrual period has occurred. And, after 12 months of no period, you will then be considered having reached the third stage, postmenopause.
So lets take a look at these stages, and the issues of each.
Perimenopause commences as the production of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone by the ovaries starts to slow down. This occurs as the eggs left in the ovaries decrease quickly, and ovulation occurs less regularly until mensuration stops.
This usually happen over months or even years, and during this time a women may notice changes in their menstrual cycle due to the fluctuating levels of these hormones.
Symptoms during this time may include:
- hot flushes and night sweats
- aches and pains
- changes in mood, such as irritability, lack of self-esteem and reduced sex drive
- sleeping problems
- vaginal dryness.
Its important to note that some women are still able to conceive during this transition, and if not wanting to become pregnant, contraception should be continued until at least twelve months after the final period.
Once a spontaneous, permanent stop to menstruation has occurred – that is, not having been induced artificially, such as through surgery or cancer treatment – menopause has been reached. Menopause is confirmed by twelve consecutive months absence of menstruation after the final period.
Following this time is postmenopause. For many women, this will mark a third of their life, or more.
Due to the decrease in female hormones after menopause, there may be increased risk of other health problems, such as:
- cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke.
This is a time where lifestyle becomes increasingly important with good nutrition and exercise.
Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, the average in Australia being around 51.
You may have heard the terms ‘early menopause’ and ‘premature menopause’, both of which refer to the age of onset – if menopause occurs before 45, its called ‘early menopause’, and before 40, ‘premature menopause’.
Experience of menopause
Like most aspects of life, the experience of menopause can vary, based on personal and cultural factors.
Taking culture as an example, the main symptoms in West tend to be hot flushes and night sweats, but for some Asian women, body and joint aches and pains are more troublesome.
Other factors that may influence the experience of menopause include:
A women’s perspective of ageing
Attitudes regarding the end of reproductive life
Other parts of their life, such as career.
For some women, it may be a relief to have finished with menstruation – after some 400-500 periods in the average Australian women’s lifetime – but some find it difficult to deal with the symptoms.
So how are symptoms managed with Homeopathy?
There are a broad range of homeopathic remedies to help ride through from perimenopause to postmenopause which I’ll discuss in a moment. At an organ-level, an additional strategy may be to support both the adrenal glands and liver as the adrenal glands can partially take over hormone production for the ovaries, and the liver has a role in hormone metabolism.
Homeopathic remedies and their indications
The remedies I’ll mention feature hot flushes as part of their picture – this is because about 80% of women who experience this during menopause. But before I go through them, I should state that homeopathy always selects remedies that best match the unique situation of the individual, and although I’ve picked out some of the main remedies, one of the many other remedies may be more appropriate, and for a tailored treatment plan, visit your local homeopath.
So here they are:
|Sepia||Sudden hot flushes, with momentary sweat. Tendency to faint.
Weakness and exhaustion.
When personality change dominates, together with melancholy and depression.
Great dryness of the vulva and vagina after menopause, causing a disagreeable sensation when walking.
|Lachesis||Flashes of heat (without perspiration). Flushing and other symptoms are worse on waking from sleep, external pressure (even that of clothing).
Rush of blood to head. Hot vertex. Headache. Fainting spells.
Constriction, sensitive to touch at throat, waist.
Mood: Intense, suspicious, talkative. Memory loss.
Circulatory problems. Pain in the left ovarian region (but can be in right too).
Worse heat, sun, after sleep, alcohol, coffee.
Mood: Sad and gloomy. Sighing.
Flushing, heat on top of head. Breast and ovary pain. Flooding periods.
Weak, faintness, palpitations, insomnia.
Worse cold, damp, greater blood flow. Better warmth.
|Sanguinaria||Flushing, red cheeks. Sensation of blood rushing to head.
Feels hot – as if whole body is throbbing.
Burning of palms of hands and soles of feet.
Menses profuse. Whitish or yellowish discharge of mucus from the vagina, which is foetid, corrosive and continues after menses. Painful discharge.
Painful enlargement of breasts.
Feels helpless. Lethargic, averse to work.
|Sulphur||Hot flushes, with heat in head, hands and feet.
Mild perspiration – tending towards face, scalp, back and thighs. Fatigue, faintness.
Feeling of emptiness in stomach.
Profuse menses, swollen breasts, insomnia.
Worse getting hot, 11am, night, full moon, sweets, bathing, standing.
|Belladonna||Sudden flushing with red face, throbbing headache, dialated pupils, followed by sweats.
Uterine bleeding, vaginal discharge, nosebleeds, heat.
Mood: rage, violent anger, starts in fear. Impulse to run. Feverish delirium.
Worse: night, light, noise, drafts, lying down.
If you’re interested, I’ve got an infographic available for download at www.holisticnotion.com, where I also list some of the remedies useful for vaginal dryness, as well as for some of the aches and pains that may occur.
Of course, I urge you to see your doctor if you are troubled by your symptoms, worried about heavy bleeding, have symptoms that interfere with daily life, or symptoms depression and anxiety.
And this takes us to the end of this episode, and I hope you found this informative. The references used in this episode are available from the show notes at www.holisticnotion.com/thedrop