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Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life and not an illness or pathology. Menopause is the stage of a woman’s life when she ceases to have monthly periods. This is due to the decrease in the production of sex hormones by the ovaries. Eostrogen, progesterone and androgen stop releasing eggs, and when this occurs for 12 consecutive months, a woman is menopausal. This normally occurs in a woman’s late forties to early fifties. Premature menopause however, usually occurs when it is induced by surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
Approximately 70% of postmenopausal women in the UK and Canada suffer with symptoms or conditions associated with menopause. Symptoms do not necessarily arise at the same time, and may be experienced for hours, weeks, or even years.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) may help reduce or elimate many of the symptoms as well as harmonise the hormonal imbalances which are the underlying cause of the many uncomfortable symptoms you many experience.
TCM treatments such as acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines combined with diet/ nutritional and life-style modifications may be very effective in addressing menopause.
And thereby, helping women to enjoy the best years of their lives.
Menopausal symptoms and conditions include:
- Vasomotor symptoms: Hot flushes and night sweats
- Genital atrophy: Vaginal dryness and irritation, painful sexual intercourse, reduced libido, urinary tract infections, urinary urgency, stress incontinence
- Increased bone loss/ Osteoporosis: Lower back and knee pains/ weakness, increased risk of fracture
- Psychological symptoms: depression, irritability, anxiety, mood swings, panic attacks
- Cognitive disturbances: forgetfulness, reduced concentration
- Others: palpitations, insomnia/ sleep disturbances, headaches, fatigue, itchy skin, dizziness, blurred vision, tinnitus, digestive problems, hair loss, altered body image, increase risk of coronary artery disease.
Some women who suffer with some of the symptoms may require medical treatment. The most commonly prescribed western medicine is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT has proven to reduce many of the unwanted symptoms, however it has also been demonstrated to have many potential health risks. These include, increased risk of breast, endometrial, ovarian cancer; increased risk of gallbladder disease; increased risk of thromboembolitic disease, and dementia (in those 65 and over). Possible side effects include nausea, bloating and fluid retention and negative effects on mood. Due to the health risks, women are currently advised to take HRT only if their symptoms are very severe, and then to take it for a very short duration. Those who are in the higher, ‘at risk’ category, are not recommended HRT.
Hence, women who suffer with menopausal symptoms and associated conditions certainly require an alternative to HRT to be able to live life more comfortably.
TCM aims at relieving symptoms, restoring health and improving the quality of womens’ lives.