Case Study: Menopausal Problems

Patient: Linda
Age: 47
Ocupation: Housewife with 2 children  age 16 & 19

Health history: experiencing menopausal problems.

Linda’s periods started to become more irregular a couple of years ago. The gaps between them became longer and she would miss some altogether. These didn’t particularly concern her and she just assumed it was her age until she started to get hot flushes. These would come on suddenly during the day, when she would become very hot and flushed, and break out into a sweat. As if this wasn’t awkward enough, she started to become anxious in situations that would never have bothered her before and her sleep became more and more restless. She also found that sex was difficult because of vaginal dryness. Her doctor recommended that she start to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but she was reluctant to do this as she was concerned about the side-effects.

Linda’s menopausal problems are not just a matter of hormone imbalance, as her doctor might imply, but are linked to the normal depletion of her inherited or reproductive Qi. This Yin weakness is associated with a weakness in the water Element, resulting in an over-abundance of Fire. Simply providing cooling. Moistening herbs would relieve some of her symptoms, but would not treat the underlying cause of the problem. Her red tongue pinpoints the problems as Yin Deficiency syndrome, which is very common in menopausal women. It can be treated with suitable formulas and tonic herbs, such as Dihuang. Using cooling herbs (to combat the flaring of Fire) with herbs to nourish the Blood and Yin replenishes the K

Kidney energy and control the over exuberance of Yang. Fire is, of course, related to the Heart, so excessive activity here can lead to Heart energy disturbances such as the emotional upsets, irritability and restlessness which some women may experience during the menopause.