We have found homeopathy to be highly effective in treating hot flashes and the other symptoms of menopause. The following are five cases from my practice which, I believe, speak for themselves. Homeopathy can be an excellent alternative to drugs, hormones and surgery.
Colleen, age 54, was a film director in Los Angeles whom we treated by phone. Her chief complaints were menopausal symptoms and uterine fibroids. She also had several small ovarian cysts. Because of the fibroids and cysts, she preferred to avoid hormone therapy. She was taking a menopause herbal formula with only slight improvement. She really didn’t know what to expect from homeopathy, but she had read an article we had written on menopause and knew she needed to try something different.
Colleen had no menstrual periods for the past four months. Prior to that she had long periods with a heavy flow. The flow became even heavier after her mid-forties. Over the past few years, she had one day of exhaustion about five days before the menses. Her hot flashes began six weeks before our first consultation. She described them as “warm waves.” She sweated at night. She woke clammy three times a night. It was worst at 5 a.m. Her sleep had become restless. She liked to stay up till l or 2 a.m. She needed only 6 to 7 hours of sleep.
“I’m a person who moves around a lot.” Up to three or four months ago, Colleen played tennis avidly, for three hours at a time three to four days a week. Recent she felt “really tired, as if she’d aged”.
Colleen’s usually high sexual energy was now 50% lower. “I’m jumpier. I start. I’m on edge.” She described her job in the film industry as very stressful. She faced a lot of prejudice against female directors. “I’m in there slugging.” “I’m a mover. I move a lot. I move fast.” “I’ve always been driven.” “I’ve been passionate about my work since childhood.”
She had mild acne rosacea, which she treated with topical cortisone. She had been on and off Minoxidil for the past two years for hair loss. She also applied a topical progesterone and Retin-A product to her scalp.
Colleen’s 67-year-old brother was being treated for multiple myeloma. Her maternal grandmother died at 75 of stomach cancer; her father at 86 of congestive heart failure. Several of her first cousins died of colon, pancreatic, and stomach cancer. She had gonorrhea once thirty years ago.
Colleen had always wilted in hot weather. Now she just covered herself with a sheet at night and uncovered her feet. She really liked food, especially spicy and really good red wine.
Over the past few years, she had noticed a fear of heights. “I can’t walk on high narrow bridges on foot.” “I don’t like elevators.” Colleen’s mind was always active. Since menopause, she found that she was distracted easily and scattered.
Colleen was given one dose of Sulphur 200C. Sulphur fit her hot flashes, 5 a.m. waking, uncovering her feet in bed, fear of heights, desire for spicy and red wine, and constant tendency to think.
When we spoke, again by phone, five weeks later, she was doing great. “I think your treatment is rather miraculous. I’m walking around saying how amazing it is that homeopathy can stop the force of nature of menopause. I’m 100% better. It’s now very hot in L.A. and I notice the teeniest, itsy bitsy warm flash. Not only did the hot flashes really go away, but I slept through the night like a real person. My libido bounced back like gangbusters. I can’t really think of any symptoms I still have that I would attribute to menopause.”
“My jumpiness is better. I’m definitely not as much on edge. I took my first vacation in ten years. I’m not as distracted or scattered. I’m not eating as much and am playing tennis a lot again. I haven’t gotten headaches from red wine like I did before.”
Sonya turned into a different woman at menopause. “My brain has been used up. I am starting my own business now. I feel pressure in my head, My mind does not want to function. I have burning hot flashes from the slightest excitement. They spread from my head and face to my whole body. My whole body sweats.
My mind is constantly thinking about business. I wake frequently. I am always figuring things out during my sleep. I’m always organizing things in my mind for work. I’m always taking care of business.”
Sonya continued: “My fingers and arms get numb easily on waking lately. It is worse from sleeping on my left side. I have an aching sensation in my forearms from the wrist up, worse on the right side. It is almost a burning, but kind of feels icy cold and tingles. My lower eyelids, back and legs are twitching lately.”
“I have a hurried feeling. It’s overwhelming. There’s not enough time. I have to tell myself to slow down. I can’t think. It’s an effort. Nothing connects. I lose my train of thought. I forget words. I get so speedy that I forget half of what I’m thinking about.”
“I’m bloated and have gas. My bowels are sluggish. I have an inner gnawing feeling. If I get hungry, watch out and don’t get near me. I have a tightness in my larynx. It feels tense.”
Sonya had had no menses for the past five months. She was generally much warmer since the hot flashes began. She couldn’t find a comfortable sleep position because her mind was “chewing” all the time. She desired sweets and spicy and was thirsty for cool drinks. The sun and light were bothering her again lately and she noticed recently that she was more afraid of heights. Sonya felt like a menopausal basket case and wanted help…fast!
Jessie, 50 years old, was clearly not herself since menopause hit. She loved her work as a vocation rehabilitation counselor, but didn’t have the energy or patience to enjoy it anymore. She felt fatigued and could not sleep at night. “Life isn’t much fun. I’m changing a lot personality-wise and I don’t like it. I’m tired and irritable. I don’t think clearly. There are so many exciting things I want to do in my job and I can’t because I don’t have enough energy.”
She had gone to a number of M.D.’s and N.D.’s over the past three and a half years without getting the help she wanted. She felt that turning 50 was a milestone for her and that it was time to get hold of her life again.
Jessie had suffered from dysmenorrhea since her period first began. She was not aware of ever having had PMS. She had felt nauseous a lot with her menses and would even turn yellow and get chills. She had a hysterectomy at 30 for endometriosis. At that time, she had complained of profuse bleeding with large clots and dyspareunia. Since the hysterectomy, she complained of incontinence on coughing and sneezing.
Jessie had hot flashes five or six times a day and many times during the night. She woke at l:00, 3:00, and 4:00 a.m. The heat started in her solar plexus and rose upwards. She experienced a slight nausea. There was a strange sensation in her head as if electricity radiated from the temples upward. Her scalp became really hot. She also felt heat in her face, chest, arms, and legs. She had a feeling of burning in her head. “I feel I’m on fire.” She perspired on these parts of her body as well. In fact, she awakened at night with wet pajamas. Her sexual interest was decreased.
She had been on .075 mg Synthroid for the past month. Since starting the thyroid, her T4 had risen from 4.0 to 8.9. She was experiencing heart palpitations, more hot flashes, and a weird numbness in her hands. She said she had chosen the Synthroid route because she wanted quick results but would gladly discontinue the medication if homeopathy could help her.
Jessie had terrible headaches. She woke every morning with a frontal headache. It was as if her temples were pressed in a vise. Along with the headaches, she experienced a sensation of heat and electricity in her head. She also became very sleepy with her headaches. She had taken Benadryl nightly for the head pain for the past year.
Jessie had begun to develop musculoskeletal symptoms. Her forearms felt weak and she dropped things. She had stiffness in her hands on waking. She was developing arthritic nodules on her fingers.
She had been diagnosed with gallstones five years earlier but had avoided surgery. She still felt some right upper quadrant pain periodically.
Since childhood she could not eat a lot of fat without vomiting.
Jessie had breast cancer in the left breast four years before. She was treated with a lumpectomy and some axillary nodules were removed. She had decided against chemotherapy and radiation. Her subsequent mamograms were normal.
A right-sided goiter was diagnosed recently by an endocrinologist.
Jessie tended to constipation and had suffered from gas, bloating, belching and abdominal pain for years. She ate all the right things before the cancer, but felt she had gotten it anyway. Since then, she decided to eat whatever she wanted.
Her comfort range was narrow: “70 to 70-3/4”. She used to be chilly until menopause. Now she was really warm and wore light clothing. She disliked tight clothing around her neck.
Jessie liked chocolate, ice cream, tamales, enchiladas. salty, and pickles. She disliked raw fish. She was generally thirsty for cold drinks.
Her patience had worn thin. She swore in traffic and was extremely snappy at work. “I’ve always been really nice to everyone in the past and kept my dissatisfaction inside.” Now she lamented, “I’m so tired of stupid people. I don’t have the energy or interest to contact people. It seems like too much of a bother. It’s too much trouble to have people over for dinner. I’m not as compassionate as I used to be. I have a harsh attitude.”
Jessie cried easily without cause. She was forgetting things more than ever before. “I’m more scattered. I don’t concentrate as well as I used to.” She was afraid of her husband dying, of ending up poor, and of the wind, particularly the sound of it.
As a child, she described herself as emotionally, intellectually, and materially deprived. Her family lived on tortillas and beans three times a day until she was in junior high school. There were eight children. Her parents were orphans and raised Jessie and her siblings as orphans.
This case is a perfect representation of Iodum. Iodum, iodine, is a remedy for people whose metabolism is exaggeratedly high. They are hurried and hyper. It is as though their engines were revved up to maximum speed. They feel they must be busy all the time and are anxious when they are quite. They become very warm and can have flushes of heat all over the body, red cheeks, and profuse perspiration. They often have voracious appetites, as did Sonya, as well as constriction of the larynx and a gnawing sensation in the stomach.
Sonya called several weeks later to say the remedy worked, but did not actually come in for a return visit until four months after the Iodum was given. The rushed feeling in her mind and restlessness were gone within twenty four hours. Within two weeks, the rest of her was “back on track”. The hot flashes disappeared completely and have not returned. The numbness in the fingers and arms were gone, as well as the aching of the wrist. She did have another period three months after the remedy and only spotting at the time of her menstrual flow the other months.
Jessie: Jessie discontinued her Synthroid, then took one dose of Sepia 200c three weeks later. Sepia (Squid Ink) is an excellent hormonal remedy, particularly for menopausal women with hot flashes, irritability, weepiness, and general disinterest in sex and life. We asked her to wait several weeks before taking the remedy so that we would not confuse her response to the remedy with her reaction to eliminating the thyroid supplementation.
We saw her again five weeks after she took the remedy. She reported that her hot flashes and insomnia disappeared almost immediately after taking the Sepia. “I felt good. I had energy. I started exercising.” She had no headaches. “My body feels so good I didn’t think it was possible. I could think better. I felt powerful.” She had felt 85 to 90% better overall. Jessie had felt dramatically better for two weeks, then she was exposed to strong remodeling fumes and her symptoms returned to pretty much where she began. She was really disappointed, especially after remembering how good she could feel.
Another dose of Sepia 200c was given. To Jessie’s and our discouragement, there was no response. When a remedy has acted well, then stops acting, it is wise to increase the potency of the remedy. We gave Jessie Sepia 1M.
When we saw Jessie seven weeks later, she was herself again. “I’m just doing a whole lot better.” Her hot flashes were again 80 to 90% improved. Her hot flashes were so much better that when a friend recently saw her fanning herself for the first time in weeks, she commented, “Jessie used to do that all the time. ”
Her tiredness was much better. She felt really good again emotionally. “Life looks a whole lot better. I’m enjoying my work more. I’m only working four days a week instead of five. I can see how some of the things in my life were needing to be changed. I was working too hard, pushing myself too hard. I was working harder instead of smarter.” Her headaches were gone again. She was not crying. She felt more affectionate with her husband. The impatience was a whole lot better. She thought, “Oh well, that’s the way they are. Who cares?” She had started seeing friends again and going out to lunch. She had gone out canoeing. “That’s new. I really look forward to it. I couldn’t even think about it before.” She was no longer bothered by fears.
She was no longer experiencing pain and weakness in her forearms.
She had no stiffness in her hands on waking. She was no longer dropping things. She still had occasional gall bladder pain. Her constipation was much improved.
Colleen became “a real person” again. Sonya regained her peace Jessie enjoyed life again. Homeopathy can provide a welcome relief for women who want to “change back” after their change of life.
Published with Permission of The Townsend Letter for Doctors
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