2008-08-29 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

By Dr. Nancy Gahles

Harnessing The Hormones With Homeopathy, Part II

DR. NANCY GAHLES DR. NANCY GAHLES This is a continuation of a column that ran in the August 15 edition:

Rants and Rages Remedy

We are all familiar with the jokes about the rages of women who are "out of estrogen" during menopause. This more acute feature of the hormonal swing definitely requires harnessing. The person who is sharp, witty and charismatic can become violent, obstinate and quarrelsome on a moment's notice when the hormones surge. They are very sensitive, have high energy and are given to extremes so when the surge of heat from a hot flash comes over them they feel as though they are suffocating. They are normally loquacious and now the extremes of their symptoms cause them to be loud and opinionated, even haughty. They jump from one idea to another while telling of their complaints and they may shed tears of self-pity. This constant flow of words mimics their symptoms of heavy menstrual flow, the type that becomes much heavier as menopause approachnes. The remedy that fits this picture is Lachesis which is made from the venom of the Bushmaster snake and has hemorrhagic qualities. Characteristically, they feel much better once the flow has started, in both speech, menses, flushes of heat and rages. The headaches of menopause can be unbearable in this person for the very reason that there is no flow of menses anymore and there is no relief of the headache from onset of flow. This headache will often be the reason they have contacted you and careful questioning about their menstrual history will reveal this keynote.

A woman who needs this remedy, Lachesis, is a powerful, passionate person. They can have palpitations with fainting spells during menopause and are quite concerned about their reputation should this happen in public or at a meeting. I have prescribed this remedy to a top executive who was accused by her subordinates of being manic-depressive in menopause. These people are jealous and suspicious and are much worse for alcohol so one might imagine how difficult it could be to harness the hormones in this case especially when tempers flare after employees get together after work for drinks!

Empty Nest Syndrome Remedy

Pulsatilla, a remedy made from the plant of the same name, is one I have used frequently from adolescence on through menopause. It is a remedy that has an affinity for the genito-urinary organs, stomach and bowels. It is represented in ailments from all phases of menses from delayed onset at puberty, dysmenorrhea and irregularities of menses to issues during pregnancy, post partum, perimenopause and menopause. These I call my "hormonal people". They have the mood swings that we call "PMSing". Their moods are changeable, their appetites are changeable and their symptoms are changeable. In a word, they are very sensitive to change especially as it relates to the menstrual cycle. They are much worse before menses, during menses

and from suppressed menses. It is so easy to love the person who needs Pulsatilla. They are sweet, affectionate, and want to please you. When they enter the change zone they can become demanding and manipulative to get attention. They are emotional and cry easily and can become quite

depressed. I have prescribed Pulsatilla for the menopausal woman who experiences empty nest syndrome when the children leave home or college. The sense of abandonment and a forsaken feeling characterize her depression and she weeps often at the very thought of them leaving.

Physically, the gastrointestinal disturbances of irritable bowel syndrome are likely here with alternating states of constipation and diarrhea. Severe flushes of heat may accompany the bowel pains. Even though this person complains of being chilly, they can't tolerate any heat. You might note that they have a strong desire for fresh, open air. Once again, the case taking is important to differentiate remedies and in the case of Pulsatilla, she may mention that she has never been truly well since puberty. Chronic headaches, sinus infections, allergies, discharges, bladder infections, digestive disturbances, ovarian cysts and anxiety are conditions that she may encounter. The manner in which Pulsatilla relates her symptoms is one of a sweet, imploring tone, almost pleading for help and support.

Harnessing the hormones with homeopathy is largely a matter of taking a good case and doing your homework to find a remedy match. We call that finding the simillimum. In each case, you will be able to discern the return to homeostasis as the body regulates itself and symptoms disappear.

Integrative Practice

Lifestyle choices must also figure into the picture of healing. Stabilizing other hormones like insulin through diet and exercise and cortisol through stress management techniques is part of the totality of individualized treatment. Chiropractic care can lessen the muscles and joints aches and pains to bring balance to the central nervous system.

Removing subluxations, especially in the cervical spine, restores proper sympathetic/parasympathetic activity and can lessen the vasospastic phenomenon of the hot flash. Cranialsacral therapy has a positive impact on headaches and mood disorders among many other conditions of an imbalanced nervous system.

"There are more ways than one to skin a cat," as my grandmother used to say. Integrative practice in healthcare is a necessity when one size prescribing does not fit all. Expand your horizons, take a leap of faith, look outside the box, look inside your own heart. You may be surprised that all the answers are within. One simply needs an interpreter. That is the job of a true healer. (article from IP.com by Dr. Nancy Gahles)

May The Blessings Be!

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