Homeopathy for Menopause
Homeopathy for menopause management is the most obvious treatment procedure. Menopause is natural, can't be avoided; and hence a natural healing procedure like homeopathy is a perfect fit.
1.3 million women experience menopause every year in the United States alone.
The silence around menopause deprives a large number of women of accurate information about it. And so it becomes difficult for a woman to identify what’s going on with her and how to manage the situation.
Today we’ll look at a homeopathy with its holistic approach can make life bearable for women going through menopause.
Homeopathic treatment for menopause is holistic and natural. Ruth Apply, the author of 'Menopause: The Common Sense Approach', opines that homeopathy looks at one’s emotional, spiritual, and physical health as opposed to focusing on any one aspect of life. Homeopathy triggers your body’s natural healing system so as to offer relief from the symptoms of menopause in a more permanent and safer way.
Women are turning to homeopathy because it is safe, effective, and doesn’t have side effects.
When you approach a homeopath with symptoms of menopause, your homeopath is likely to have assessment of your entire life including your habits, family history, peculiar health issues in past and present, etc. A homeopath recommend remedies that can solve even the associated health issues. This improves your overall health and give you a better quality of life.
99 physicians from 8 different countries conducted a study on 438 women to assess the impact of homeopathic treatment in eliminating hot flushes brought about by menopause. The average age for the females was 55. Some of the women were put on homeopathic medicine while others were given non-homeopathic treatment. Results showed that 98% of women on homeopathy either had no hot flushes at all or less frequent ones by the end of the study. Their discomfort levels also dropped significantly. The women started experiencing these changes 15 days from the time they started taking the homeopathic remedies.
A clinical trial was carried out on 40 menopausal women struggling with hot flushes which frequently accompany this stage of life. 20 women were given homeopathic medicine (Malagueta) and the other 20 were on placebo. The study took 4 weeks and at the end of it, the women on homeopathy had less intense hot flashes compared to the ones on placebo.
From the results of these studies, it is safe to say that homeopathy is effective in managing menopause.
Menopause is the stage in a woman’s life where she stops experiencing her menstrual cycle. Thus, you don’t have your monthly period. For you to be diagnosed as menopausal, you must have not gotten your periods for a year.
Menopause is natural.
It is part of aging and so you should not feel ashamed of it or afraid to ask for help in managing the symptoms.
A woman's reproductive system is active since puberty. After you hit 30 years mark, the reproductive system gradually becomes less active with age. After 40, your body starts preparations to make your reproductive system completely inactive. The ovaries produce lesser hormones - estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for your female body characteristics like your hair, shape, and breasts and they also help you to develop strong bones. Hormonal imbalance brings about physical, mental and psychological changes. As you approach menopause, menstrual cycle becomes irregular. With menopause, the ovaries stop releasing eggs. Consequently, it stops the menstrual cycle.
Since the there is lesser production estrogen and progesterone during menopause, you can experience abrupt changes and discomfort in your body which are manifested as menopause symptoms. Estrogen is also responsible for maintaining calcium level. Hence low estrogen level during menopause often increases your chances of having osteoporosis (which is the weakening of the bones).
You do not wake up one morning and find yourself going through menopause. It happens gradually through 3 different stages.
Perimenopause is the stage where a woman’s body starts transitioning to menopause. So it means that you have not entered the menopause stage yet. Your body going through changes in preparation for menopause.
At this stage, your ovaries gradually lowers the production of estrogen. That means, you can start having irregular, heavier, or lighter periods. It is possible to achieve pregnancy at this stage.
Although the majority of females get into perimenopause in their 40s, some start when they’re in their 30s. The average duration of perimenopause is 4 years though it varies from one woman to another. Some have it for only a few months while others go beyond the 4 years mark.
At this stage, you may start experiencing some of the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and mood swings.
When you approach the end of the perimenopause stage (approximately 1 to 2 years before menopause) the estrogen production levels reduce significantly.
This stage ends when you enter menopause as your ovaries are no longer releasing eggs.
At this stage, your ovaries do not release eggs. You stop having your menstrual period. You cannot get pregnant. Your estrogen levels are also significantly low. And so, you’ll experience the full symptoms of menopause such as vaginal dryness, trouble sleeping, and hot flushes.
You may not know you’ve entered this stage until you stop seeing your periods for about 12 consecutive months.
As the name suggests, this is the period after menopause. That is, the time after you’ve not experienced periods for 12 consecutive months. You’ll be in post-menopause for as long as you live. The good news about this stage is that the symptoms of menopause you were experiencing earlier start to ease. You may have more energy, less hot flashes and you’ll start to feel like yourself again. However, since you’ll still have low estrogen levels, this puts you at risk of certain health complications like heart disease and osteoporosis. Again, the risk varies from woman to woman.
For the longest time, there was no particular test that could indicate that a woman is in the menopause stage. The most obvious sign was having no periods for more than a year without any medical cause if you were 40 years and above.
Today, we have three tests that healthcare professionals use to determine whether a woman has entered menopause.
Saliva testing is an accurate and non-invasive method of knowing the presence and levels of active sex hormones in a woman’s body.
Since a woman’s hormone levels change during menopause (estrogen and progestogen drop), Saliva Testing results can confirm whether or not you are in menopause.
Saliva testing is easy, convenient, and doesn’t involve discomforts.
FSH Testing | Follicle Stimulating Hormone Testing
This test is conducted to evaluate the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) existing in your blood. Therefore, it’s a blood test. Follicles are responsible for stimulating your ovaries in producing eggs and for helping the eggs in maturing.
When you are going through menopause, your FSH levels rise. Thus a high FSH level indicates you are in menopause.
Urine tests can also be used to detect the FSH level. Urine test kits are available over the counter. You can conduct the testing yourself at home. It is not considered a definitive test. If you find high FSH levels, you should discuss the results with a healthcare professional. Let the healthcare professional examine other indicators and give a confirmatory answer on your menopause.
PicoAMH Elisa Diagnostic Test
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this test 3 years ago and it helps a woman to know what stage of menopause she’s in or how close she is to menopause.
When a woman approaches menopause (around 5 years before she has her last period), her Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) levels drop considerably. In some cases, the levels may be so low that they are not detectable. The PicoAMH Elisa diagnostic test comes in to determine the levels of AMH in your blood stream and so it can tell when you are likely to go into menopause, taking into consideration your age too
AMH levels of <0.2 ng/ml detected in females between the ages of 45 to 48 indicates that the women will go through menopause in 5.99 years. Therefore, these women would currently be in perimenopause.
If women between the ages of 35 and 39 have the same AMH levels, they are also in perimenopause but would experience menopause in 9.94 years.
If your AMH values are above 1.5 ng/ml, you will be in menopause in 6.23 years if you are an older woman and 13 years if you are younger. According to the FDA, healthcare professionals should not make a diagnosis based solely on the PicoAMH Elisa diagnostic test and should instead use it together with other clinical assessments and tests done on a patient.
One of the most commonly asked questions on menopause is:
"How can I tell if I'm in menopause?"
It is vital to note not all women have the same experience. Some women’s symptoms are mild while others are severe. Also, you don’t need to have all the symptoms to be going through menopause. You may have some and not others.
Below are some signs and symptoms that usually accompany menopause.
When you’re entering menopause, your menstrual cycle starts to change. Your periods may come less frequently, they may take longer or shorter periods or become heavier or lighter.
This is the most common sign that you are entering menopause. You suddenly feel hot especially on your face, chest, or neck and the heat can move to other parts of the body. You can even sweat, especially at night, or also have red patches on your skin.
Your vagina becomes dry and so penetrative sex can be painful to an extent that you may get sores that expose you to infections. Some women also develop urine incontinence which is the inability to control one’s urine.
Frequent Urge to Urinate
Your visits to the toilet become a lot more frequent because you feel like urinating a lot more.
It may be difficult for you to fall asleep or you may find yourself waking up early. The hot flashes, sweating at night and frequent urge to urinate can also interrupt your sleep.
Two-thirds of females undergoing menopause have trouble concentrating or remembering things.
You View Sex Differently
Menopause affects women’s perception of sex differently. Some women lose interest in sex because it takes a lot for them to get aroused. Since there’s no fear of pregnancy during menopause, it makes other women feel free to have sex as much as they want. Therefore, you can have less or more sex at this stage of your life.
Your body can go through some changes when you’re in menopause. For instance, you can gain weight especially around your abdomen, your hair can become thin and lose volume, your skin can become thinner, your breasts can reduce in size and become tender, and your joints can become stiff and painful.
When going through menopause, you can be stressed, moody, or even get into depression. You can become easily irritated and experience other things related to menopause such as low libido, and insomnia. And the thought that you can’t get pregnant (if you still wanted to) can stress you up. You may find yourself crying from time to time.
The following causes can lead to menopause.
When a woman gets to the other side of 30s, her ovaries start aging. Which means they produce fewer reproductive hormones (estrogen and progesterone) than before.
As a result, a woman’s fertility levels also start declining.
When a woman gets to her 40s, the process speeds up until around 51 years when the ovaries completely stop releasing eggs and this process is accompanied by not having periods. This is how females naturally get to menopause.
In some cases, women might develop health conditions that require their ovaries to be removed surgically. This process is known as oophorectomy and is performed if a woman has ovarian cancer, ovarian torsion, cysts and tumors (noncancerous ones), endometriosis or if she wants to reduce her chances of getting breast or ovarian cancer.
Oophorectomy causes your body to go through menopause immediately. You will stop having your periods and you might start experiencing some of the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes.
Your symptoms may be severe in this case because of the sudden change in hormones as opposed to the gradual change that happens when you go through menopause naturally.
Radiation and Chemotherapy
Going through radiation and chemotherapy may cause a woman to go into menopause earlier. If the radiation therapy is related to your ovaries then the therapy may interfere with the function of the ovaries, hence causing menopause. However, if you have radiation on other parts of your body like your breasts, it won’t lead to menopause.
For chemotherapy, infertility and lack of periods may be temporary and so it’s advisable to continue with birth control if you don’t want to get pregnant.
Other Health Issues
Some diseases can cause a woman to go into early menopause. Examples of these include Addison’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and hypothyroidism.
Hot flashes refer to the sudden feeling of heat that comes over your body and is among the most common symptom experienced by women going through menopause. When you get this feeling during night time, we can say you’re having night sweats.
Women experience hot flashes differently. Some sweat when they get them. While some of you experience your faces turning red. And yet others feel chilly after the hot flashes have passed. Some women do not get hot flashes during menopause.
Some women get hot flashes for a shorter time while others have to deal with them for the rest of their life. The good news is that their severity reduces with time.
Some of the things that can trigger hot flashes include smoking, hot weather, alcohol, overweight, stress, caffeine, spicy foods, and wearing tight clothing.
Avoiding the following things can help reduce the symptoms of menopause and make life more comfortable.
- Trigger Foods: Some foods increase your chances of getting hot flashes especially if you eat them at night. You should avoid consuming alcohol, caffeine, deep-fried foods, and food with too many spices. You can keep track of what you eat to see what triggers your symptoms and then take less of those foods.
- Skipping Meals: Menopause is sometimes accompanied by weight gain and so you may want to lose excess weight. However, skipping meals makes this difficult. A study done on obese postmenopausal women showed that skipping meals reduced weight loss efforts by 4.3%.
- Stress: With all the changes that accompany menopause, it is normal to feel a bit stressed. However, stress is not good for you. Apart from all its negative effects like insomnia, having low energy, chest pains, and body aches, stress worsens the symptoms of menopause. Therefore, find ways to manage it whether it’s through journaling, meditation, or talking to someone.
While you cannot prevent menopause, there are foods you can consume to help relieve or reduce the severity of its symptoms.
Foods Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Some minerals such as boron and magnesium help to strengthen your bones and reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis. Examples of foods that contain boron include grapes, legumes, raisins, nuts, and apples. Vitamin D and calcium also strengthen bones and improve muscle function. You can get Vitamin D from salmon, mackerel, and liver and calcium from spinach, milk, and cheese.
Foods Rich in Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens refer to compounds found in plants that when you consume, your body responds to it in the same manner it does to the estrogen that naturally exists in your body. Since menopause is associated with less estrogen; phytoestrogens, (also known as plant estrogens) is a good way of boosting the estrogen your body needs. This helps in fulfilling the much needed estrogen deficiency. You can feel lesser severity of some of the symptoms of menopause like hot flushes. A study conducted on 543 menopausal women revealed that phytoestrogens helped them lower the frequency of their hot flashes. You can get phytoestrogens from soya milk, pumpkin seeds, celery, and soya flour.
A study was conducted on 483 women going through menopause to assess whether omega 3 supplements can help to alleviate the symptoms. Results showed that although there wasn’t a significant difference in other symptoms, the women on omega 3 experienced less frequent and less intense night sweats compared to the ones on placebo.
If you’re dealing with night sweats you can consume chia seeds, mackerel, flax seeds, and salmon to provide you with healthy fats.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits are filled with vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function well and they also have antioxidants that protect you from free radicals that can cause cancer and heart disease among many others. These antioxidants also reduce inflammation and help you have a healthy weight. They also contain fiber that can slow down the rate at which estrogen reduces when you’re going through menopause.
Research shows that menopausal women who eat fruits and vegetables experience less frequency of hot flushes and night sweats.
Cruciferous vegetables are highly recommended due to the positive outcomes from several studies. For example, a study on menopausal women who consumed broccoli (and other brassica plants) showed that they were at lower risk of getting breast cancer while another study on those who consumed dark berries daily revealed that they had lower blood pressure compared to those who didn’t eat them.
11,000 menopausal women were put on whole and refined grains. Results showed that the ones who were on 4.7g of whole grain for every 2,000 calories experienced a 17% lower mortality rate compared to their counterparts who ate 1.3 grams of refined grains for every 2,000 calories.
You can get whole grains from barley, brown rice, quinoa, and whole-meal/whole-wheat bread.
Yes, menopause is a normal part of aging. However, with some women it can come with some complications as discussed below.
Heart disease is the number one cause of deaths in America alone.
Estrogen performs the important role of making your blood vessels flexible to enable them to widen and narrow for blood to flow freely. When your estrogen levels are low (which happens during menopause) then the blood can’t flow as it should therefore putting you at risk of a heart attack when combined with other factors like an increase in blood pressure.
Estrogen also improves bone density thereby strengthening the bones. When your body produces low amounts of it during menopause, you are left vulnerable to fractures since your bones are weak and brittle. Therefore, menopause exposes you to osteoporosis.
As you age and go through menopause, your vaginal and urethra tissues become less elastic due to estrogen deficiency. This can lead to urinary incontinence which is whereby you have little to no control of your urinary bladder. Therefore, urine can leak out without your control when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or before you reach the toilet.
You also become less susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTIs) since you have thinner vaginal tissue and you may also have difficulty emptying your bladder as you age.
During menopause, the hormonal changes can make you gain weight. The fats tend to be deposited on your abdomen area as opposed to your hips and thighs. Another factor that adds to the weight gain is the slow metabolism during menopause. That means your body consumes calories at a slower rate. So if you continue to eat the same amount of food you’ve always had, then all of it won’t be used up and some of it gets deposited as fats in your body.
During menopause, your vagina loses its elasticity and you also have less natural lubrication. The dryness and loss of elasticity can make sex uncomfortable. Some women even experience minor bleeding during sex.
When you also have less sensation in your vagina, you may lose interest in sex.
Homeopathy refers to a type of medication that triggers the body to heal itself. It looks at one’s physical, emotional, and mental health and works towards improving all these and not just treating one symptom. The best part is that it is safe and doesn’t have side effects.
It is advisable to visit a medical homeopath who will look at your case as a whole and prescribe medication specifically suited for you.
Below are some of the most effective homeopathic remedies used to relieve the symptoms of menopause.
Homeopathic Remedy for Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
Lachesis mutus is what a homeopathic practitioner would likely recommend if you suffer from hot flashes and night sweats during menopause. If your face also turns red or you feel like the top of your head is burning then Lachesis can be of help.
You may also feel hot (especially around your throat and chest) when you put on tight clothes, feel like fainting, or have problems sleeping (often due to night sweats). Lachesis is the best remedy in these cases.
If you feel the hot wave particularly on your face but you’re cold on the rest of your body, you should try Pulsatilla.
If you sweat excessively and you have a stuffy nose, belladonna is recommended.
Graphites and sulphur also help to reduce hot flushes and sweating at night.
Homeopathic Remedies for Perimenopause
Perimenopause is characterized by lots of hormonal changes as your body prepares for menopause. Graphites is an excellent homeopathic remedy that helps to control hormonal changes so they don’t wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. It helps to make the transition to menopause smoother.
Oophorinum is another great homeopathic remedy that helps manage the hormonal changes you start to experience during perimenopause.
Homeopathic Remedies for Menopause Weight Gain
Calcarea carbonica is perfect for women who gain weight during menopause. If you feel like you’ve become flabby especially around your abdomen then this is for you. Sometimes, you even feel sluggish or mentally and physically exhausted yet you’re usually a hardworking person.
Another homeopathic remedy that can help you when you’ve gained weight is Graphites. This is especially helpful when you struggle to remain alert. This medicine is also known for its ability to control obesity.
Homeopathic Treatment for Premature Menopause
Folliculinum is a homeopathic medicine created from folliculin or estrogen. Since your estrogen levels go down during menopause, this is an excellent way of helping your body maintain estrogen level naturally. Therefore, it helps to treat early menopause by regulating your estrogen hormone levels.
If your body had been forced to go through premature menopause, for instance through hysterectomy where your uterus is removed, then Folliculinum is what you need.
Homeopathic Medicine for Heavy Bleeding During Menopause
If you notice that your periods have become heavier, or thicker and sometimes it’s black, you can use Lachesis.
Sometimes, the bleeding is not only vaginal. You can have nose bleeds too. Other times, you may also have hemorrhages or fibroids.
Lachesis can relieve you of these issues.
If your excess menstrual bleeding is caused by inflamed ovaries (a condition known as ovaritis) then a homeopath can prescribe platinum met.
Pulsatilla is also a useful remedy in managing vaginal bleeding.
Homeopathy for Insomnia During Menopause
During menopause, if you are unable to sleep because of any worries or overthinking or because you’re extremely sensitive to pain, you’ll need Coffea cruda.
If you become irritable especially at late hours in the night due to overconsumption of alcohol, tobacco, or food and thus unable to sleep, Nux vomica will come in handy.
If you get tired easily which makes it difficult for you to sleep, a homeopath may recommend Silicea. Particularly in conditions when you fall asleep and then wake up feeling hot in the head and it becomes difficult for you to go back to sleep.
If you can’t sleep because your body is itching or you feel extremely hot (particularly on your feet) when you get in bed to sleep, Sulphur can fix this.
Homeopathy for Menopause Bloating
Calcarean carbonica helps to solve bloating issues in women going through menopause. Most of the time, the bloating is a result of impaired digestion. If there’s an interference in how food is broken down or absorbed by the body, it leads to bloating.
If every food you eat gives you gas, then Kalium carbonicum is an effective option.
Another homeopathic medicine that helps to relieve bloating during menopause is Folliculinum.
Homeopathy for Menopause Constipation
Graphites is effective for relieving constipation in menopausal women. Sometimes, constipation can be accompanied by fissures in the anus. Graphites is still an excellent medication for such a scenario.
If you constantly alternate between constipation and diarrhea, Folliculinum is a better option.
There are several ways you can manage the symptoms of menopause naturally. Here are some of them.
Exercise helps you sleep better among many other benefits such as calming your mind, improving your mood, getting rid of digestion issues, improving memory function, and helping you to lose weight. You can engage in walking, swimming, dancing, jogging, or yoga as forms of physical activity.
Adjusting Your Diet
As we’ve discussed, some foods trigger menopausal symptoms and others make them worse. That is why it’s important to adjust your diet to reduce the frequency and intensity of the symptoms. You will have to consciously make note of your trigger foods and also the foods providing relief. Do some iterations in adjusting your diet to your peculiar need. For example, if your symptoms of menopause are triggered by spicy food, remove it from your diet. Similarly if a certain foods such as fruits are soothing your symptoms, you should make them part of your regular diet. In general, you can follow foods such as whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables and avoid spicy foods, deep-fried foods, and alcohol.
If you’re dealing with urinary incontinence and less desire for sex due to lack of sensation in your genitals, Kegel exercises are the perfect natural remedy. These exercises work out your pelvic floor muscles which make them stronger and improve your ability to hold urine. Also, Kegel exercises improve arousal and lubrication which makes sex more enjoyable.
Black cohosh is a plant originating from the family of buttercup. Native Americans have used this herb for years to manage menopausal symptoms. It is particularly helpful in reducing hot flashes.
Menopausal women were given black cohosh in a study and results showed that their hot flashes and night sweats went down by 26%.
Stress worsens the symptoms of menopause. Reducing stress can be of great help to you in managing symptoms of menopause, and improve your quality of life. Some of the ways you can manage stress include meditation, yoga, and being part of support groups for menopausal women where you can share what you are going through.
We go through different stages in life and menopause is one of these stages. When you think of it like this, you won’t feel like something’s wrong with you because it’s a natural part of life. However, the symptoms can take the joy out of life especially when they are severe. That is why it’s important to find ways to manage them and what better way to do that than through homeopathy; a practice that treats you naturally without any side effects. Many menopausal women have gotten back the spark in their lives through homeopathy and you can do the same.
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|About the Author|
|Dr. Sanchita Dharne is one of the best homeopathic doctors in Gurgaon, Delhi NCR area for treatment of menopause. She is a seasoned homeopath in delivering homeopathic treatment to health issues pertaining to women. The doctor practices classical homeopathy and believes in root-cause treatment with stimulation of body's natural healing mechanism.|