One of the first things to remember is that the menopause is not an illness, simply a hormonal change, just like puberty. Normally our hormones balance out, but when we have menopausal symptoms we are suffering from an hormonal imbalance.
At the menopause, oestrogen and progesterone levels fall in varying amounts from person to person. As the oestrogen levels fall and/or there are sudden changes in hormone levels, many women experience symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, headaches, emotional mood swings, a lowered sexual drive and increase in facial hair.
Remember that menopausal symptoms vary from woman to woman, so you are unlikely to get all of the symptoms mentioned. It can be hard if mood changes are making you feel like you're going crazy. This feeling can be compounded by unsympathetic reactions to your distress.
Peoples’ experience of menopause doesn't seem to be related to how problematic their periods were. I have seen clients who had absolutely no problem with their periods and then found themselves sobbing with despair or experiencing road rage during their menopause.
Any woman over forty years old knows that the menopause is coming sometime in the near future. There has been a lot of publicity about HRT and how, through taking this hormonal replacement, all your worries are over. The facts, however, are not as clear cut and you might well want to consider your options.
The decision whether to take replacement hormones remains a very personal one. A woman should discuss this with her doctor before reaching any conclusions. Although not for everyone, HRT may provide relief of some of the annoying symptoms of menopause but women should be aware that potential risks exist and that some of the benefits are temporary.
It's important to know that, when they finish their treatment, those who choose HRT are still facing symptoms of the menopause. In other words, hormone replacement therapy merely postpones the symptoms. Although it is claimed that HRT prevents osteoporosis, once you’ve stopped taking it your bone density declines rapidly.
Homeopathy is a safe and effective method for treating the menopause more naturally, especially when used alongside changes in your lifestyle and diet. Hormonal imbalances respond very well to homeopathic treatment. A remedy or remedies will be chosen by your homeopath from a variety of natural sources.
The choice of remedy is highly individual and requires expert help, so it's not advisable to try and choose your own remedies in a shop to treat your menopausal problems. I’ve seen remarkable benefits from homeopathic remedies, not just effective treatment of menopausal symptoms but also a big boost to a person’s general well-being and level of energy. For example, one client came with hot flushes and joint pains. The remedy helped enormously and she found that her allergies had gone!
I have experienced quite a few women trying out various remedies from the chemist and ending up getting very confused, so I would advise getting help from an experienced, qualified practitioner.
One of the most common symptoms and the main problem causing clients to contact me is the hot flush. Hot flushes are not caused by a lack of oestrogen, but by a sudden drop in oestrogen. This is why flushes usually stop once the level of oestrogen stabilises.
This can not only become a problem during the day, especially if you are working, but can cause problems at night with constant waking up because of flushes of heat.
Women can have hot flushes on the neck and face, upper arms, torso or the entire body. Hot flushes may last a few seconds or a few minutes and they can be strong or mild. Increased blood flow to the area raises the skin temperature and this creates a flush - red, blotchy skin. Sweating is the body's way of trying to cool down.
Here are some practical pointers to help:
Copyright 2008 Daphne Nancholos. For the past eleven years Daphne has specialised in supporting menopausal women. After a four year training in homeopathy at London Classical College of Homeopathy and Purton House College of Homeopathy, she made the female cycle her speciality. She ran a successful clinic in Bristol from 1996-2004, helping many women through the menopause. Since moving back to Cornwall, she now offers advice and support online and on the phone. Her websites are: www.menopausesupport.co.uk and www.daphnehomeopath.co.uk
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