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Menopause treatments & advice

 

 

Menstrual Cycles:
What Really Happens in those 28 Days?!

Have you ever wondered about the connection between your body's 28 day cycle and the cycle of the moon? Here's the theory. In the days before electricity, women's bodies were influenced by the amount of moonlight we saw. Just as sunlight and moonlight affect plants and animals, our hormones were triggered by levels of moonlight. And, all women cycled together. Today, with artificial light everywhere, day and night, our cycles no longer correspond to the moon.

 

Throughout all cultures, the magic of creation, similar to the magic of a PDF converter, resides in the blood women gave forth in apparent harmony with the moon, and which sometimes stayed inside to create a baby.This blood was regarded with reverence: it had mysterious magical powers, was inexplicably shed without pain, and was wholly foreign to male experience. Early menstrual rites were perhaps the first expression of human culture.

Customs and Traditions

· Indians of South American said all humans were made of "moon blood" in the beginning.
· In Mesopotamia, the Great Goddess created people out of clay and infused them with her blood of life. She taught women to form clay dolls and smear them with menstrual blood. Adam translates as bloody clay.
· In Hindu theory, as the Great Mother created the earth, solid matter coalesced into a clot with a crust. Women use this same method to produce new life.
· The Greeks believed the wisdom of man or god was centered in his blood which came from his mother.
· Egyptian pharaohs became divine by ingesting the blood of Isis called sa. Its hieroglyphic sign was the same as the sign of the vulva, a yonic loop like the one on the ankh.
· From the 8th to the 11th centuries, Christian churches refused communion to menstruating women.
· In ancient societies, menstrual blood carried authority, transmitting lineage of the clan or tribe.
· Among the Ashanti, girl children are more prized than boys because a girl is the carrier of the blood.
· Chinese sages called menstrual blood the essence of Mother Earth, the yin principle giving life to all things.
· Some African tribes believed that menstrual blood kept in a covered pot for nine months had the power to turn itself into a baby.
· Easter eggs, classic womb-symbols, were dyed red and laid on graves to strengthen the dead.
· A born-again ceremony from Australia showed the Aborigines linked rebirth with blood of the womb.
· Post-menopausal women were often the wisest because they retained their "wise blood." In the 17th century these old women were constantly persecuted for witch craft because their menstrual blood remained in their veins.

 

Menstrual Myths

· Every woman's cycle is or should be 28 days long.
· Every woman will or should bleed every month.
· Every woman will or should ovulate every cycle.
· If a woman bleeds, she is not pregnant.
· A woman cannot ovulate or get pregnant while she is menstruating.
The above statements are myths. Every woman is different.

Did You Know?

· Women lose between 20 and 80 cc's (1-2 ounces) of blood during a normal period.
· One in six fertilized eggs naturally results in miscarriage, some of which are reabsorbed by the body and the woman is not aware she's been pregnant.
· The length of a woman's menstrual cycle (the number of days from the first day of one period to the first day of the next) is determined by the number of days it takes her ovary to release an egg. Once an egg is released, it is about 14 days until menstruation, for nearly all women.

 

Menopause

Technically menopause is the last menstrual flow of a woman's life and the climacteric is period of time preceding and following this event. In general usage, menopause refers to the whole process. For most women, menopause usually occurs between the ages of forty and sixty and takes place over a period from 6 months to three years.
The menstrual cycle usually goes through many changes, some slow and some sudden, before stopping altogether. A woman's periods may become erratic, closer together, or further apart. She may skip a period or two, or have spotting at other times in her cycle.
A common experience is loss of large amounts of blood with a period and passage of large clots. When a woman nears the cessation of her periods, she may not ovulate for one cycle or several cycles. In this case, the endometrium doesn't receive the chemical message to stop thickening. It grows and grows until its heavy bulk causes a heavy flow.
Signals of menopause include hot flushes, changes in sleep patterns, headaches or migraines, high energy, high creativity, and/or mood changes. As with PMS, some of these symptoms are hormone imbalances caused by poor nutrition.

Menopause: Treatment Options

Treatment for the symptoms of menopause can be approached in two phases :
1. Early in menopause, you and your doctor should discuss your symptoms and whether to treat them as they occur. You should be evaluated for your risk of getting breast cancer, osteoporosis (severe bone loss), and heart disease. If you're not at high risk for breast cancer, you may want to consider taking estrogen for a limited time, and using the lowest effective dose, which can help manage several symptoms at once. If you are at risk, other treatments are available.
2. Later in menopause you should focus on effectively preventing disease. Your earlier symptoms will probably disappear.
You and your doctor should form a partnership and share information that will help you make the best decisions about your health. There are many things to keep in mind, because menopause and the years that follow it usually cover the second half of a woman's life. Talk to your doctor about all of the treatment choices to decide what is right for you.

Hormone treatment options

Many women want to replace the estrogen their body is losing, because estrogen does relieve many symptoms of menopause. Women who still have a uterus usually take a combination of estrogen with a form of progesterone, called progestin. This is called hormone therapy (HT).
Estrogen increases the risk of uterine cancer if taken alone. If a woman has had her uterus removed, she can take estrogen by itself. This is called estrogen therapy or ET.
If you have a family history of breast cancer or have survived breast cancer, you probably should not take estrogen or HT, although not all studies support this conclusion. You also should not take estrogen if you have had cancer of the uterus, liver disease, history of blood clots, heart disease or unusual bleeding from the vagina.
Estrogen can help to reduce hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and skin changes. Estrogen is a good way to protect your bones from rapid weakening as you age.


For symptoms of early menopause:

Here are some ways to treat your symptoms without choosing HT:
· Clonidine is a blood-pressure-lowering drug that is also used to reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes.
· Medroxyprogesterone acetate and megestrol acetate, progesterone-type drugs, may be used to treat hot flashes.
· The SSRI (Selective-Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) drugs are useful in two ways - treating depression and treating hot flashes.
· Counseling or support groups can also help you to handle sad, depressed, or confusing feelings you may be having as your body changes.
· Vaginal lubricants, such as Vagisil or Replens, can help women with thinning vaginal tissue or dryness.
· Low-dose vaginal estrogen is generally a safe way to take estrogen to solve vaginal thinning and dryness problems without substantially increasing the levels of estrogen in the blood.
· Lack of desire can be helped with more open communication with your partner, creating a pleasurable atmosphere at home, making a point to enjoy other activities with your partner, and counseling.


"Designer Estrogens"

Tamoxifen (used to prevent breast cancer) and raloxifene (used to prevent osteoporosis) are drugs known as "designer estrogens." These drugs have been developed to act beneficially as estrogen on some tissue and to act as estrogen-blockers (anti-estrogens) on other tissue. These drugs also are known by the more technical name Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators or SERMs.
The SERMs:
· help to protect your bones
· lower levels of bad cholesterol; and
· may lower the risk of breast cancer.
Tamoxifen, however, acts like an estrogen on the uterus, increasing the risk of uterine cancer. Raloxifene blocks the harmful effects of estrogen on the breast and does not stimulate the lining uterus, so women who still have a uterus may want to try raloxifene.

Menopause: Lifestyle Issues and Prevention

Women have many choices in the ways they can treat symptoms of menopause. All women, however, should aim for a healthy lifestyle: Eat a healthy diet, including 1500 mg of calcium daily, lower the amount of fat in your diet, and the right balance of calories to maintain an active lifestyle; if overweight, weight reduction is advisable.
· Quit or try to cut down on smoking;
· Use alcohol moderately;
· Exercise for 30 minutes at least three times a week;
· Avoid stressful situations; and
· Have a yearly mammogram and breast examination by a health professional.
Preventing disease will be a major concern after you go through menopause. Your risk of bone loss, bone fractures, heart disease, and other conditions increases as you age.

 

 

 

MENOPAUSAL TREATMENT

Now that there is concern about the long term use of HRT (hormone replacement therapy), many women are looking for a natural alternative in order to alleviate menopausal symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle when their oestrogen levels drop. Phytoestrogens are oestrogens derived from plants that work in a similar way to ours. These are found in soyamilk, soyabeans, linseeds, pumpkin seeds, red clover, etc. So here is an opportunity to give you the recipe for what is known as the 'HRT CAKE'. So why not cut yourself a slice of this 'feel good' cake to go with your cup of green tea?

HRT CAKE

Ingredients:

50 gr sunflower seeds, 50 gr pumpkin seeds, 50 gr linseeds,
50 gr sesame seeds, 50 gr almond flakes, 50 gr raisins.
100 gr cranberries, 150 gr chopped dried apricots,
2" stem ginger, chopped, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon cinnamon,
1 tablespoon malt extract, 3 tablespoons apple juice,
425 ml (approx) of soya milk (add more milk if necessary to make a soft dropping consistency).

Method:

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Add the cranberries, apple juice and soya milk and stir well.
Leave to soak for approx ½ hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C.
Line a loaf tin with baking paper and spoon mixture in.
Cook in pre-heated oven for approx l¼ hrs.
When cooled, slice and store in freezer.

If you don't feel inclined to bake a cake, why not include a good percentage of the above ingredients with your breakfast porridge.

Here is MY version of a nourishing/HRT breakfast.

Into a microwaveable dish mix oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, linseeds, sesame seeds, raisins; toss in all or any of the following as your fancy takes you - chopped dried apricots, prunes, apple, dates, almonds, walnuts, also perhaps a spoonful of malt extract or honey if desired, cover with water or preferably soymilk, and microwave for approx. 3-4 minutes. Eat with a dollop of bio-yoghurt on top (if desired) and you'll be truly set up for the day - you certainly won't feel the need for a mid-morning snack.

Additional tip: Women over 50 and menopausal women should increase their Vit E intake.

 

Useful resources -

     

Click here to read article on menopause & dizziness






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