Navigating towards Menopause and Beyond

The time in our life before “menopause” has a bad reputation. The good news is, menopause is NOT a disease, we are not innately sick or badly designed. Our body is simply learning to use the various hormones differently to allow us to proceed in dignity. Yes, we still need our hormones and organs to keep us in good health. The change is about realigning the processes in the body efficiently so we can continue to lead healthy and happy lives as we age.

Nowadays, many women have their children later in life. This could mean that we may go through peri-menopause or menopause when our youngest children are still small and the teenagers in the family are going through their own hormonal changes. So, we will definitely want to keep our wits and energy during this time!

Nowadays, some women suffer greatly during this time of their life and I want to acknowledge this fully. I do however, want to make a conscious effort not to be too gloomy about it. On the contrary, there is much scope for joy and humour (and some wisdom eventually). So, please forgive me the occasional silly comment, but wouldn’t it be better to look into our future with lightness and enthusiasm?

Peri-menopause and Menopause:

* Peri-menopause are the years leading up to the last menstrual period
* Peri-menopausal symptoms usually start in a woman’s 40s, or occasionally earlier
* Average length is 4 years, but may last much longer, or may only be a few months for some
* The final menstrual period is referred to as menopause
* The 6 to 13 years surrounding the menopause are called the “climacteric” (= Greek for ‘rung of a ladder’)
* It is a process of gradual change in ovarian functionHormonal balance ensues after that for most women (phew!)  

Yes, I think that if we can change our perception of this phase in our lives, we may also change our experience of going through it. It is about a change of life after all. In fact, it is a stage of development; we are simply moving on. Did you know that the term describing the transitional phase before and after menopause (“climacteric”) is derived from a Greek word meaning “rung of the ladder”? I would daringly suggest that this implies we are moving up in the world rather than down.

Early signs during peri-menopause:

* Irregular periods
* Weight gain
* Fatigue
* Dizziness
* Headaches
* Problems with digestion
* Forgetfulness, fuzzy thinking
* Unexplained anxiety, mood swings
* Libido changes
* Brittle nails
* Body odour
* Cystitis
* Hair loss or thinning
* Sleep disorders
* Irregular heartbeat

Common symptoms of menopause approaching:
 
·       Hot flushes
·       Insomnia
·       Digestive issues
·       Muscle tension, joint pain
·       Night sweats
·       Headaches
·       Itchy skin
·       Breast problems
·       Tingling extremities
·       Sensitivity to alcohol
·       Irritability
·       Unexplained anxiety
·       Feeling low
·       Loss of libido
·       Vaginal dryness
·       Receding gums

Relevant Remedies:

Homeopathy can help you with the transition into and out of menopause. If you already know a little bit about using homeopathy at home, you can try the below mentioned remedies and it might just make a huge difference to your life. Alternatively, you can contact me for a more individualized treatment plan. Here are examples of symptoms that can arise during menopause and some of the remedies affecting those areas:

  • Aconite: flushes of heat with air hunger, excessive bleeding, mood swings, sensitive eyes, drenching sweats, worse around midnight (oooh, ‘tis the witch’s hour!), anxiety and restlessness, sudden onset of symptoms
  • Lachesis: flushes of heat and feels better after sweating (!), panic attacks, palpitations, stiffness (this remedy is derived from a snake’s venom – so more witchcraft here!), irritability
  • Pulsatilla: this is a great remedy to support hormonal changes from the time of puberty, to pregnancy and to the menopause, uterine pains, mood swings, tearfulness, better for fresh air
  • Sepia: weight gain, weak dragging down feeling in pelvis, as if everything is going to fall out (charming!), dryness, stitching pain, loss of libido, irregular cycle, heavy bleeding, flushes of heat which rise upwards, with sweat and easily chilled, waking up to palpitations, low blood pressure and sluggishness, irritability
  • Sulphur: headaches, night sweats, insomnia, brought on by the heat of the bed, irritability
  • Calc carb: weight gain, fatigue, muscular weakness, chilliness, irritability
  • Lycopodium: irritability, low mood, weight gain, sugar craving, poor memory, symptoms moving from the right to the left side, lack of self-confidence
  • Silicea: hair loss, brittle nails, dry skin
  • Phosphorus: dizziness, poor concentration

Joint Health:

Homeopathy can offer excellent support in cases of menopausal arthritis by helping reduce acute inflammation, swelling and pain, or may halt further progression:

  • Aconite: SUDDEN shooting or tearing pain with tingling or numbness in red, shiny inflamed joints.
  • Belladonna: Red, hot, swollen joints, SPASMS, throbbing pain, worse for touch, motion and better for pressure and warmth

Individualized treatment from a professional homeopath may help you regaining elasticity, flexibility and function, as your overall health improves.

Bone Health:

Many women worry about osteoporosis in their post-menopausal phase, especially if it runs in their family. Some homeopathic remedies derived from minerals such as Calcium carb., Calcium phos. and Calcium fluor. can help prevent bones getting thin, curved, brittle or painful and may therefore prevent unnecessary fractures. These are also available as tissue salt combinations, which are readily available in health food stores and are meant to optimize the processing and absorption of the food we eat.

Integrative Approaches:

Homeopathy can be used alongside HRT and might even be able to help with some of the side-effects. As always, our approach to health should be an integrative one. There are other therapies that will help us along. For example, pilates is beneficial for helping to maintain bone and muscle strength, easing pain and improve posture. Traditional acupuncture can be used on its own or alongside HRT to help reduce symptoms, regulate hormones and increase the release of endorphins.

Your Choice:

Everyone is different and good health doesn’t mean the same for everyone. The ideas discussed above do not constitute medical advice. There isn’t one single right way to deal with symptoms during menopause. Please do consult with your doctor before making any decisions that affect your health, especially if you suffer from any medical condition or have any symptoms that may require medical treatment. The final decision when considering any course of action is always your choice to make.

Moving Forward:

We are all unique and therefore experience menopause differently, depending on who we are and how we live our lives. Life changes all the time, nobody wants to get stuck and so it seems like a good idea to move forward, adapt and get back into balance so we can reach our full potential. So, how about we are moving from our re-productive to our productive phase? We could embrace a transition to a more creative and ever bolder phase of our life.

If you have already gone through menopause and would like to tell other women and men about the light you found on the other side of the tunnel, please do get in touch. I would love to hear your stories (the good and the bad) and write about them, as to share some of your wisdom.

References:

Assilem, Melissa, MNCHM RSHom FBIH, Women Ripening through the menopause, Idolatry Ink, Berkeley, California, US, 1996

Hershoff,Asa N.D., D.C., Homeopathy for Musculoskeletal Healing, North Atlantic Book, Berkley, Califonia, US, 1996

Northrup, Christiane, Dr, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, Piatkus, UK, 2020

Pope, Alexandra, The Wild Genie – The Healing Power of Menstruation, Authors Online Ltd, UK, 2014

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Phone 00447379057264 E-mail nicole@homeopathichealing.net Hours Mon-Fri: 9:00 - 18:00 (other times on request)
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