Menopause is the cessation of a woman's menstrual periods and usually occurs between ages 35 and 55. It is the end of a woman's ability to become pregnant. Many women experience such unpleasant symptoms as hot flashes, depression, anxiety and insomnia related to this physiological process.
Until recently physicians routinely prescribed estrogens for women past 35 who complained of hot flashes and other symptoms associated with menopause. Unfortunately many women have had their chances for developing cancer, thrombophlebitis, strokes and heart attacks greatly increased by this medical practice. Most physicians now are aware of this danger and prescribe psychotropic drugs instead.
Psychotropic drugs, such as Valium, Librium, Thorazine, and Mellaril, apparently do not promote cancer, but there is evidence that they may damage heart muscle and the brain. These tranquilizers impair coordination and cause drowsiness, make a person incapable of driving a car efficiently. In many cases they increase depression. The antidepressant drugs, with which the tranquilizers are often combined, are seldom very effective and produce many serious side effects.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective substitute for drugs in treating menopausal symptoms. It makes a woman feel more energetic and capable of coping with her life situation. A person usually begins to feel better after the first few treatments but should take at least six for lasting relief. Women who have been taking estrogens and have persistent hot flashes may require more treatments.
Nutritional therapy should be given along with acupuncture. To avoid osteoporosis, Vitamin C 2 gm. Vitamin D 800 International Units, and Calcium lactate 2-6 gm. should be taken daily. Pantothenic acid 200 mg. and Vitamin E 400 International Units help relieve hot flashes and prevent strokes and heart attacks. Other vitamins and minerals are also important.