Menopause symptoms and treatment ayurvedic view


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Menopause symptoms and treatment ayurvedic view

  1. 1. The definition of menopause is still a matter of debate among scientific fraternity. Technically, natural menopause can be explained as ‘the transition between perimenopause (approaching menopause) and post- menopause (after menopause), the entire period ending with the cessation of the menses, generally around the age of 50 years for most women. Phase prior to menopause, when ovarian hormone production starts declining and fluctuating, is referred to as perimenopause and causes a variety of symptoms. Based of different medical opinions, perimenopause can last for 1 to 4 years or even as long as 5 to 15 years just before actual menopause. Reportedly, a majority of women experience more symptoms during perimenopause rather than after menopause. However, the symptoms can often be
  2. 2. overlooked or ignored as these mostly occur during 35 to 45 years of age. Following are the most common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause as experienced and reported by women: • Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clamminess • Irregular heartbeat • Irritability • Mood swings, sudden tears • Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats) • Irregular periods, shorter, lighter periods, heavier periods, flooding, phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles • Loss of libido • Dry vagina • Crashing fatigue • Anxiety, feeling ill at ease • Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom • Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion • Disturbing memory lapses
  3. 3. • Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence • Itchy, crawly skin • Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons • Increased tension in muscles • Breast tenderness • Headaches--increasing or decreasing • Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea • Sudden bouts of bloating • Depression • Exacerbation of existing conditions • Increase in allergies • Weight gain • Hair loss or thinning on head, pubic area, or whole body; increase in facial hair • Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance • Changes in body odor • Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head • Tingling in the extremities • Gum problems, increased bleeding • Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
  4. 4. • Osteoporosis (after several years) • Changes in fingernails: softer, cracking or breaking easily • Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, whooshing, buzzing sounds Ayurvedic Management It has been documented that all the above symptoms respond to traditional treatments like Ayurveda and other alternative treatments. According to the ancient life science of Ayurveda, the problem or symptoms of menopause are categorized under disorders due to vitiation of Vata and Pitta dosha. Thus, the problem of menopausal syndrome can be a Vata-Pittaj disorder. Ayurveda recommends three-fold holistic approach through diet, lifestyle and medication to treat the disturbing symptoms. Diet and medication as per Ayurveda can be considered as supplements to offer relief from
  5. 5. varied symptoms. Following are some general suggestions on the same: Diet: Prefer: • Soy based food items • Whole grains • Fresh, colorful seasonal fruits and vegetables as salad servings 3-5 times a day • Healthy nuts like walnut and almonds • Sufficient dairy products- skimmed milk, yogurt, butter milk, cheese • Green tea 3-4 times a day • Cardamom, sweet fennel for chewing as these help to calm down Vata-Pitta Avoid: • Excess coffee, tea • Carbonated drinks, alcohol • Fast food • Fried, spicy, sour and irritant recipes • Ginger, black pepper • Black gram (Urd daal), colocasia, cauliflower, red meat Medicines: As described above, in case of menopausal symptoms,
  6. 6. Ayurveda medicines are in general aimed at pacifying the dual dosha vitiation, i.e. Vata and Pitta, along with those that help to calm down mental or psychic aspects of the problem. Following are some examples of single Ayurveda herbs that can offer desired benefits: • Asparagus root • Winter cherry root • Water chestnut • Black nightshade • Spreading hogweed • Indian sarsaparilla • Indian gooseberry • Cumin seeds • Sandalwood • Ashoka plant (Saraca indica) • Aloe vera • Bind weed • Ash gourd • Gotu kola • Bacopa • Himalayan spikenard • Staff tree seed oil • Licorice • Tinospora cordifolia (Guduchi)
  7. 7. Apart from single herbal medicines, some very useful classical compound (herbal/mineral/herbal- mineral) medicines are also prescribed by Ayurveda experts. Below are a few important medicines: • Shatavaryadi churna • Praval pishti • Kamdudha Ras • Sarivadyasav • Ashokarishta • Lodhrasav • Dashmoola kashaya • Dashmoolarishta • Sahnkha bhasma • Sutashekhara ras • Brahmi vati • Brihat vat chintamani ras • Vatkulantaka rasa • Sarasvatarishta • Balarishta • Himanshu taila (for local application on scalp) • Punarnava mandoora • Praval panchamrita • Yogendra rasa However, it is highly recommended that a woman
  8. 8. experiencing any of the menopausal symptoms, especially during 35-55 years of age, must seek personal consultation with a qualified Ayurveda doctor for a individual-specific advice to ensure proper benefits as self medication, even of Ayurveda herbs or medicines, can elicit adverse effects.