HOMEOPATHY FOR PERI AND MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS
Written by Nina Garrard
Homeopathy for Peri and Menopause Symptoms
Perimenopause and menopause are now topics that women are finally talking about out loud and not just in hushed tones behind closed doors. The recent publicity from Davina McCall’s television programmes on the topic, as well as other celebrities being willing to talk about their menopause, has caused a tidal wave of women now keen to openly discuss their symptoms linked to this normal transitional stage in women’s hormonal lives. That’s not meant, in any way, to suggest that because it is an integral stage in women’s lives that it makes it an easy one.
Quite the opposite can be the case as those who are suffering can well attest. I remember whilst growing up the term “The change” being used, which for me had connotations of someone turning into an alien monster. Having gone through the menopause myself in the last few years I can say that perhaps, at times, that description might not have been too far off the mark!! I much prefer the current descriptions now being coined including reverse adolescence and second spring! They are not only significantly more descriptively accurate but also more positive and optimistic.
What is The Menopause?
Here are some important terms useful to know and understand.
Perimenopause. This term refers to the period during which hormone levels (oestrogen and progesterone) in the body start to change and you may begin to experience some symptoms linked to menopause, but you are still ovulating and having periods (however irregular they may be). This may last 2-10 years with 5-7 years being the average.
Menopause. This term is used to describe the 12 consecutive months when your periods have ceased completely, and you are no longer ovulating and producing eggs.
Post-Menopause. This term describes the time in your life after the 12 consecutive months which have been without a period.
Why does the menopause happen?
Menopause occurs because as women age our ovaries make less and less of the hormones needed for ovulation to occur until it reaches a point where ovulation ceases entirely. This process starts with a lowering of progesterone production, fluctuating levels of oestrogen and then a reduction in oestrogen levels also. These changes in hormone levels are the cause of symptoms we experience as we move through perimenopause and menopause.
Did you know that humans, killer whales, and short-finned whales are the only known species to cease ovulating but continue to live for decades? It is thought that this was an evolutionary development giving more time to care for existing offspring rather than continuing to produce more.
Symptoms of Perimenopause and Menopause
Due to the fluctuating levels of progesterone and oestrogen the following list of symptoms are commonly experienced by many women to a greater or lesser degree depending on factors including genetics, lifestyle, levels of stress and their overall level of health.
What can I do to help myself adjust to these changing hormone levels?
This is a big topic which is beyond the scope of this blog but in short there is a lot you can do to ease yourself through this potentially turbulent time in your life. This includes eating certain foods for an easier menopause, targeted exercise to specifically counteract the effects of menopause, supplements to help our system with the imbalances that occur and ways to improve our relationships and mental health. During a homeopathic consultation I spend time discussing all this adjunctive advice as it is of great importance to support clients holistically alongside prescribing homeopathic remedies.
Some women opt for HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or MHT (menopausal hormone therapy) which is the new replacement terminology being used. This comes down to personal choice but for many the ever-changing opinions about safety and long-term health outcomes means more natural alternatives, like homeopathy, are often preferred.
Homeopathy works on a completely individual basis taking each woman’s unique experience of this hormonal journey into account by acknowledging both physical and mental/emotional symptoms whilst at the same time considering family history, genetic factors inherited from parents and full medical history. The result of gaining such a comprehensive understanding of my client’s overall health picture, and all the various influencers, gives me the opportunity to then choose a remedy which will bring the individuals system gradually back into balance and address the specific symptoms which are causing problems. Over time this promotes a gradual, holistic improvement in physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.
Homeopathic Remedies for Menopause
As in my blog on Painful Periods it’s important to explain that we prescribe homeopathy for an individual. As I discussed earlier this means that I consider everything about that individual from their health history, family health history, emotional state, and the way they are experiencing their symptoms before deciding on a remedy prescription. Because homeopathic prescribing is of such a highly individual nature it’s misleading to suggest ‘best’ or ‘top’ remedies for the peri- and menopause as, for example, the way one client’s hot flushes are experienced can vary hugely from what time of day they occur, where in the body they start and finish, how extreme they are and how they leave the client feeling afterwards. There are 120 remedies listed in our Repertory for hot flushes alone! There are, however, some remedies well known for their usefulness during this important transition. I’ve chosen 3 to look at in a little more detail.
This wonderful remedy was the one I prescribed for my first ever client suffering with menopausal symptoms. She had come to me with unbearable night sweats, sleep issues which had meant she’d not slept a full night in over 2 years, awful nightmares which she was finding upsetting and regular extremely debilitating migraines.
I prescribed Lachesis and I received a wonderful text a few days later exclaiming she’d slept for over 8 hours straight- something which hadn’t happened for over a year! Over the next 2-3 months the night sweats reduced to a negligible level and her nightmares went completely. In the last 4 years she has only had 2 migraines to my knowledge and has needed to see me and repeat the remedy twice. It was successes early in my career, like this case, which made me realise the powerful healing that could occur with these tiny white pills.
Lachesis maybe a good match if ….
- There is a general aggravation before your period but feel much better once flow begins
- You are generally a hot person and are aggravated by heat
- Hot flushes occur at night whilst asleep and they wake you up
- Headaches or migraines and these are worse before your period or worse now you are entering menopause
- You can’t stand anything tight around your neck including collars and roll neck jumpers or scarves
- Regular nightmares since start of menopause
Another amazing remedy I’ve seen work beautifully for my clients when the symptoms match well. Women are fulfilling so many roles these days and are pulled in so many different directions it’s little wonder this remedy comes to mind so frequently!
Sepia may be a good match if there are ….
- Feelings of being exhausted, worn out and overworked are central to the case
- Hot flushes with feelings of weakness in usually chilly individuals
- Sense of wanting to distance themselves from partner or children
- Experiencing vaginal dryness and loss of libido
- Dragging sensation within the pelvic area and possible prolapse
- If periods are still occurring, they may be experiencing flooding
This is a huge hormonal remedy where low mood is the main symptom. The description I hear is that it’s as if a ‘big black cloud” has descended on them. Many women suffer with mental health symptoms including anxiety, grief, panic attacks and depression during menopause and so I wanted to include an example of a well-known remedy that covers some of these aspects specifically.
Cimicifuga may be a useful remedy if…….
- You are having panic attacks as well as indifference and apathy.
- Changeable mood
- Patients may be experiencing issues with sleep
- A feeling of being ‘pushed down’ as opposed to Sepias feeling of being ‘dragged down’.
- There may also be a lot of aching feelings in the body especially in the back and neck
- Symptoms may alternate especially emotional and physical ones
- Continuous motion and being warmly wrapped will bring relief from symptoms
- Where periods are still being experienced, they may be very dark, clotty, and profuse.
I hope you find this blog useful and it answers some questions for you.