Reaching out to the world

Women dont hit pause button

THE only thing for a woman worse than having her monthly period and its associated problems of cramps, nausea, and premenstrual syndrome, perhaps, is not having it. Menopause, the permanent stoppage of periods in a woman's life, signifies the end of her reproductive cycle. It can be extremely traumatic.

Menopause manifests at different times and in different ways. Some women are lucky enough to get through the experience with no significant problems; but for others, it disrupts both their lives and their inter- personal relationships. The experience of menopause differs among women, depending on differences in diet and nutrition, general health and health care, and even how women are taught to think about menopause. Not all women go through the same sequence though.

The lining of the vagina and of the urethra become drier, thiner and less elastic with the onset of menopaus. Consequently, women tend to experience burning and itching. They have an increased chance of urinary or vaginal infections. A frequent urge to urinate is common with minior inconvinence especially when, laughing, sneezing, coughing. In addition, Sexual intercourse may become increasingly uncomfortable, even painful.

One of the most common menopausal symptoms, hot flashes, is a result of dropping oestrogen levels. This causes the blood vessels yo expand rapidly with a consequent increase in skin temperature. Generally, women experience sweating and have a flushed appearance. This may last from 30 seconds to several minutes and may also occur as often as once every hour.

Although hot flashes can occur at any time of the day or night, night sweats are a related problem that severely disrupt the sleep cycle. Women report waking up from deep sleep to find their night clothes and bed-ding soaked with sweat.

Most women gain some degree of weight during the onset of menopause, usually an average of five pounds. The in-creased weight is found around the waist and abdomen. Other changes in appearance can include fullness of the breasts, thinning of hair, wrinkles, adult acne, and coarse hair (usually on the chin, upper lip, and sometimes on the chest and abdomen).

After menopause, women are more vulnerable to bone loss and heart disease. In time, bones could become weak and break easily. This condition is called osteoporosis.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the new mantra touted as a quick and easy solution that supposedly prevents the natural aging process and its problems. However, HRT for menopause is somewhat controversial because of the serious health risks posed and side effects produced by taking artificial hormones. There is an increased risk of developing breast cancer (25% or more in women where there is already an existing cancer or a family history) and uterine cancer by up to eight folds in women with an intact uterus. Liver, pancreatic, and heart disease are some of the other serious side-effects of HRT. Homoeopathy, on the other hand, achieves the natural hormonal balance without the use of harmful drugs. This makes it the safest medical treatment for distressing symptoms before, during, and after menopause. Homoeopathy not only helps a woman to deal with her physical discomfort, gently, but it also helps her cope emotionally with this new phase of her life.

The homoeopathic treatment approach, being holistic in nature, calls for individualisation in every case, For example, a lady with intense hot flushes during menopause, along with a feeling of pulsation or pounding in the head, may need the remedy Glonoinum, whereas one with climacteric headache, palpitation, and anxiety may require Amyl nitrosum. Lachesis may be prescribed for menopausal women who are very talkative and irritable by nature, or present with symptoms like palpitation and hot flushes, which tend to worsen at night.

Lifestyle changes may also help in reducing the negative effects of menopause. These include eating a healthy diet, eliminating caffeine and alcohol, reducing sugar and salt intake, stopping smoking and taking vitamin supplements. Exercise helps to increase the conversion of androgens to oestrogen. It can also help alleviate menopausal symptoms. Periods may stop, all right, but with Homoeopathy life goes on for every woman, hill, vibrant, and fulfilling as ever.

For more information, you can call; 090.6683 8888; Homoeopathy Health line num-ber: 1800-209.6767; SMS: DB to 09757070707 or log on to: www.drbatras.com for health queries. You can also email us at drbatraCtdrbatras.com

Dr Mukesh Barta,

 

L.C.E.H (Mumbai),