A Case of Menopause and general feeling of unwellness
Menopause is defined as the cessation of ovulation. Most medical professionals will consider a woman post menopausal if she has not had a menstrual flow for over 1 year. There are many health conditions associated with being post menopausal. Some of these conditions include, increased cardiovascular risk, vaginal dryness and irritation, mood alteration, insomnia, and bone weakening.
However, when discussing menopausal symptoms, most people mean hot flashes or night sweats. For some women, these are absolutely debilitating, for others, they barely notice a transient temperature increase.
Conventional Medical Treatments to Hot Flashes and Night Sweats:
Low dose Hormone Replacement Therapy with progestin as well as estrogen. Studies demonstrate HRT to have significant protective effect on the bone density for women who are on it for over 7 years. Once HRT has been discontinued for over a year, bone loss will resume. HRT will increase incidence of breast cancer, stroke and heart disease, but improve the odds for colorectal cancer.
When is HRT relative contraindicated:
-gall bladder conditions
-poorly controlled high blood pressure
-chronic liver dysfunction
-history of thrombotic disease
When is HRT absolutely contraindicated:
-estrogen sensitive cancer
-undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
-active liver disease
-active clot forming disease
Natural Approach to Hot Flashes and Night Sweats:
Decrease environmental chemical exposure, decrease food sources of chemical exposure, minimize liver stress, improve sleep, herbal or nutritional support of adrenal/liver/reproductive organ, balancing mood through homeopathic remedies if necessary, and finally hormone balancing.
If done right, the patient will feel better even before we get to the hormone specific treatments. Instead of adding hormones through compounded bio-identical hormone creams or herbal hormone stimulants, we take away excess hormones. Once excess hormone is removed, then we can see what is truly lacking.
Case: 55 year old retired teacher going through hot flashes and night sweats that occasionally soak through her bed sheets at night. At the recommendation of her family physician, tried hormone replacement therapy with very low dose birth control pill. The pills helped control her symptoms but started to give her migraine headache with aura. On our first visit, she felt tired all the time, have very irregular periods, have infrequent and irregular bowel movements, and is taking medication for seasonal allergies.
1. through blood testing, we determined a list of foods she is reactive to and eliminated them from regular consumption
2. to heal the digestive system we used probiotics, gallbladder toning herbs, nutritional and herbal “bandage” to protect the intestinal cells from food irritants
After 2 weeks, patient was excited to tell me that she is feeling 80% better. More energy, feeling less moody, more restful sleep, less seasonal allergy symptoms, more regular bowel movements.
3. complex homeopathic treatment to modulate hormone levels
After 1 treatment, no noticeable hot flashes or night sweats for 2 weeks
4. repeat the homeopathic treatment
After the 2nd treatment, menopausal symptoms absent for 3 months. We recently did a 3rd treatment.
This patient may need 1-2 more treatments before she completes her perimenopause transition.
Note: you will sometimes hear about women who have “menopausal symptoms” up to 10 years. These women are not abnormal, they simply have more metabolic waste build up. They too will get relief of their symptoms when their body is functioning optimally. It is never too late to improve body functions.