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Put your Hot Flashes on Ice: Natural Solutions for Menopausal Symptoms

Posted Feb 08 2010 8:33am

Have you been disappointed by the quality of life that you’ve experienced since beginning menopause?  While this is a natural progression of women’s hormones, the symptoms are described by many of our patients as uncomfortable, intolerable, and seemingly unnatural.  Fortunately, Chinese medicine has numerous solutions that can bring comfort and calm to your life. This transition into menopause while natural, brings with it a number of new challenges that can affect a woman’s quality of life.  You might experience both emotional and physical symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, anxiety, depression, insomnia, tiredness, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.  The time tested help of Chinese medicine may be the solution you’ve been seeking.

What’s All the Fuss About

Conventional medical research has proven that menopausal symptoms arise from a decrease in ovarian function leading to the decline in the production of hormones estrogen and progesterone.  As a result, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is frequently prescribed to replace these hormones.  In essence, this therapy confuses the body into believing that the ovaries are still properly functioning.  This method of treatment has been effective in stopping many of the aforementioned symptoms. However, there has recently been controversy surrounding the use of HRT, with studies showing that its use may lead to an increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer. Because of conflicting studies for and against HRT, many women face uncertainty in choosing between either HRT while risking potential health hazards or using nothing which may lead to unwanted symptoms.

A Time Tested Safe Alternative

Chinese herbal medicine has been around for thousands of years and has been used effectively to treat the symptoms of menopause. The strength of Chinese medicine lies in the way in which it assimilates each individual’s signs and symptoms into clinical patterns that have a variety of solutions already worked out. Your care is always customized. By addressing the person as a whole, practitioners of Chinese medicine are able to put together landscaped pictures of each individual’s constitution.  Once we have the picture, we are able to treat the condition.  Thus not all women suffering from menopause are treated the same.  In fact we may have ten different patients with similar symptoms related to menopause, and yet when we step back and see the whole picture we notice their patterns to be completely different, and thus require different modes of treatment.

A Case of the Hot Flash Blues

When Mrs. R. came to see me, she looked weak, pale and in need of respite from hourly hot flashes, which she called her “personal summers”.  Her hot flashes would happen frequently and at the most inconvenient times, during meetings with her boss, while out with friends, anywhere.  The “personal summers” would come on fast and furious causing her fan herself in attempt to cool that heat rising from somewhere inside her chest up to her face.  But that wasn’t all.  At night she would have hourly hot flashes and night sweats.  Sometimes the sweating was so bad that she would need a change of clothing.  Every night it was the same thing, over and over: the heat, the sweats, the lack of sleep.  Eventually her discomfort became unbearable.  She was exhausted; she even felt her bones ache.  She couldn’t concentrate, and she often seemed to snap at her husband.  Willing to try anything, she began a course of Chinese herbal medicine that I recommended.  Within two days of taking the herbs, her symptoms disappeared.  Mrs. R. took the herbs for two months. After the second month, she was able to go off the herbs for two months until her hot flashes returned, at which time we resumed treatment.  Mrs. R. has told me that she feels like she has her life back.

An Herbal Recipe for Success

While not all women will respond as quickly as Mrs. R. most women should see changes within the first month of treatment. As the symptoms alleviate we will be able to slowly decrease your herbal dosage.  Once the symptoms are minimal to non-existent we can stop treatment and resume on an as needed basis.

Every year 1.3 million women in the United States enter menopause. Some women experience little to no changes in life, whereas others are affected from anywhere between 4-8 years.  Using Chinese medicine will give you the benefit of thousands of years of experience treating menopause to help you get your life back under control.

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