Hot flashes or flushes as they are sometimes known, are one of the
symptoms of menopause. Some of the others include: anxiety, bladder
problems, breast tenderness, burning and discomfort during intercourse,
dizziness, dryness and aging of the skin, fatigue, headaches, heart
palpitations, insomnia, mood swings, night sweats and shortness of
All of these symptoms
are due to estrogen and progesterone deficiency. Over time, the depleted
supply of estrogen increases the likelihood of cardiovascular disease,
osteoporosis, and vaginal atrophy.
It is important
to remember that menopause is not an illness. It is a necessary and
natural transition in which a woman stops ovulation and menstruation,
indicating the end of fertility. While the beginning and completion
of menopause varies from woman to woman, the average age menopause
starts is fifty and the duration can be up to five years.
With a proper
diet, nutritional supplements, and exercise, most of the unpleasant
side effects can be minimized if not eliminated altogether.
According to Traditional
Chinese Medicine, menopause is diagnosed as agitated vexation of the
internal organs and the symptoms are grouped into three categories.
The first is related
to blood circulation and/or nerve disorders, including night sweats,
hot flashes, dizziness, deterioration of vision, and ringing in the
ears. The second is the mental/spirtual group: anxiety, depression,
inability to concentrate or focus, insomnia, mood swings, poor memory
and short temper. The third set of symptoms is related to the endocrine
system and metabolism, including fluid retention, irregular menstrual
periods, loss of bone mass, loss of sex drive, muscle/joint pain, pre-menstrual
breast tenderness and weight gain.
In Chinese Medicine,
the core of menopausal symtoms is kidney deficiency. Kidney energy
is the main source of energy and vitality, and is involved with the
endocrine system. A deficiency of kidney energy causes an imbalance
of yin and yang resulting in the symptoms listed above.