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There are as many different experiences of menopause as there are women. For some women, menopause arrives like a gentle breeze with barely a feeling of warmth or any other bothersome symptom, while others experience menopause like a Class 5 Tropical storm with overnight drenching hot flashes and night sweats, mood changes and a complete disruption in life.
While many clinicians understandably and appropriately focus on hot flashes and night sweats, many women may be more concerned with sleep disturbances, weight gain, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, incontinence and mood changes.
Menopause is that one magical day when a woman hasn’t had any menstrual bleeding for 12 months. The following day, she is considered post-menopausal. Women may experience menopause starting in their 40s or 50s. The average age is 51.
What most of us consider menopause is actually Peri-menopause, or as I call it, the Hormonal Roller Coaster. This is the time in life when periods are erratic, symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats begin and women start to feel more fatigued, notice some leaking urine, less sex drive and more wrinkles. (more…)
Some women barely have any symptoms and sail right through. Others have more severe symptoms. How do you know if you’re heading toward menopause, in the midst or past it. Here are the 10 questions that will help you determine where you are.
If you answered YES to 2 or more of these questions, then honey, you’re in the midst of the hormonal roller coaster that is also known as Menopause. (more…)
Are you waking up in the middle of the night because you’re too warm, or notice sweat on the back of your neck? Maybe you’re drenched and have to change your PJs? If you’re thinking that there are too many blankets on the bed and turning down the thermostat to arctic levels just to sleep, then you may be having Night Sweats.
Sorry to say, but these pesky personal saunas and steamy nightmares that are making a full night’s sleep just a fleeting and unfulfilled dream are one of the first signs that you may have just jumped aboard the hormonal roller coaster known as Menopause.
Lori* called me the other day because she is having horrible night sweats and wanted to get advice about hormone free remedies that might help. She is desperate to have more sleep at night and feels as if she’s popping up out of bed every hour to stand in front of her fan or the open fridge. She’s given up on changing the sheets, but has been running cold water on her wrists to try and get some relief.
Lori’s in her early 50’s and is still having regular periods, so was surprised when I mentioned that her night sweats sound suspiciously like she’s in the midst of what I affectionately call the wild hormonal roller coaster ride of Peri – Menopause.
Here’s the scoop on Hormone Free Black Cohosh for hot flashes and night sweats
The studies done on Hormone Free Black Cohosh for the hot flashes and night sweats of menopause have not shown consistent results. In a few, it is better than placebo, and in others, it’s no better than placebo. However, one thing I explain to my patients, is that with ANY menopause treatment, the placebo response can range from 30-50%, so if if works for you, then it works.
Part of the problem when looking at Black Cohosh, is that there are so many different formulations and it’s available in different strengths. It also seems that some women do very well with it, while others are left scratching their heads wondering what the big deal is.
This is part 2 of the series on Menopause and Acupuncture from Ted Ray, L.A.c., DNBAO
Last time we talked about the “kidneys” and the energetic role they play in fertility and menstruation. Now we can get down to the details with answers to the questions my patients always ask.
Why Women Get Hot Flashes
Women handle incredible workloads. They raise families, manage households, and work full time. But without adequate rest, they must pull from their reserve tanks to get through the day.
Lynn* came to see me with severe hot flashes and night sweats. She worked in sales and had resorted to bringing extra blouses in her car because she inevitably sweated through at least one each day. She was beyond irritable and hadn’t slept through the night in months. “I feel like a different person,” she said. “I can’t live like this.” Lynn wanted to know about all of her options for treatment.
Herbs, Soy and Acupuncture
I began by explaining how yoga, acupuncture and deep breathing had been shown to be effective, then moved into the research on black cohosh and soy. She wasn’t interested in hormones, but did want to discuss other prescription remedies. She had tried increasing her soy already and wanted something more effective than the herbs and yoga breathing we discussed. (more…)
This is the 1st in a series on Menopause, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
All of these articles are by Ted Ray, L.A.c., DNBAO
Using acupuncture and herbal medicine can be a great way to manage the transition into menopause. This series of short articles will help you make an informed decision about the process.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
While it is fairly well understood that the symptoms associated with menopause relate to shifting hormone levels, Chinese Medicine looks at this issue through a different lens. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the kidneys are largely responsible for the development and decline of female fertility. In fact, the kidneys are so important, that TCM breaks them down even further in to kidney yin, yang, qi, and essence.