Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Approaching Menopause? - Facts You Must Know

As you reach menopause or the climacteric phase of your life, certain changes are bound to occur in your body. Proper knowledge and awareness of these changes or symptoms, helps you see this 'change of life' in a proper perspective and have a healthy menopause. Here is what you must know about menopause.

What is Menopause?

Menopause means, permanent stoppage of menstruation due to cessation of the ovarian function (resulting in low levels of oestrogen, the female hormone), at the end of reproductive life of a woman.

Normal Age of Menopause
  • Normally, menopause occurs between the age of 45 to 55 years.
Criteria of Clinical Diagnosis
  • Stoppage of menstruation for six consecutive months
Pattern of Stoppage of Menses

At the time of menopause, menstrual periods end in one of the three ways:

#1 - In some women, there is a sudden stoppage of menses

#2 - Some women experience a gradual decrease in the amount of flow and finally the periods stop.

#3 - Third pattern is a progressive increase in the interval between the periods. There is a gradual decrease in the frequency of the menses and then it stops.

If there is continuous bleeding or irregular menses with or without heavy bleeding, visit your doctor for investigations to exclude malignancy of the genital tract.

Menopausal Symptoms

Women who are physically and mentally fit will seldom have any symptom, apart from the stoppage of menses. However, women who are not strong constitutionally may have following symptoms:

1. Hot Flushes

This is the most common symptom that women have, when going through menopause. There is a sudden feeling of warmth or heat, mainly affecting face and neck. It lasts for about 2 to 5 minutes and is often followed by severe sweating. Several flushes occur in a day and may also disturb sleep at night. Anxiety and palpitation are often associated with the hot flushes.

2. Psychological Symptoms

A woman going through menopause may have:
  • Anxiety
  •  Irritability
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  •  Mood swings
  • Poor concentration
3. Neurological Symptoms
  • Some women may have a pricking sensation, as if from pins or needles, in hands and legs.
4. Genital Symptoms
  • Dryness of vagina may cause pain during coitus.
5. Urinary Symptoms
Some women may have urinary complaints, like:
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Incontinence or involuntary urination during laughing, coughing or sneezing
  • Frequent urging to urinate
Please Note:

1. Nutritious diet, exercise, yoga and meditation can help you have a healthy menopause.

2. Constitutional treatment with classical homeopathy cures the menopausal symptoms, like hot flushes, anxiety etc., in an efficient way. (That's my own clinical experience.)


As a woman reaches menopause, menstruation ceases suddenly or gradually, with progressive decrease in menstrual flow or frequency of the periods. She may have symptoms like hot flushes, anxiety, depression, pricking sensation in limbs and pain during coitus or urination. However, proper nutrition, exercise, yoga and meditation can help avoid these symptoms. Constitutional homeopathic treatment also gives significant relief from the menopausal symptoms.

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Osteoarthritis - What Are The Symptoms?

With the advancing age, degeneration of the movable joints occurs leading to osteoarthritis. Joint involvement is usually determined by the overloading or overuse of a particular joint. For example, osteo arthritis of the finger joints is more common in the females, while in males hip or knee are commonly affected. Joint involvement may also be determined by the occupational overload, for example: the osteoarthritis of the ankle joint is more common in the ballet dancers, than in common people.

Joints commonly affected by osteoarthritis include-

1. Osteoarthritis of Finger Joints
  • Most commonly, the distal inter phalangeal joints i.e. first finger joint from the finger tip, are affected (Heberden's nodes)
  • However, the disease may also be found affecting the proximal inter phalangeal joints i.e. second finger joint from the finger tip (Bouchard's nodes). 
  • Bony swelling of the affected joint occurs, along with pain and difficult movement of the joint. 
  • Disease, when involves the thumb base, gives a 'squared appearance' to it. Progression of the discomfort is gradual.
2. Osteoarthritis of Hip
  • Involvement of the hip is mostly attributed to some kind of congenital defect in the anatomy of the hip joint. 
  • While, more frequently, single hip joint is affected; however, the bilateral involvement, affecting both the hips may also occur. 
  • Pain is most often referred to the inguinal area, but may also be referred to the buttocks or the proximal thigh. 
  • Initially, there is difficulty in the internal rotation of the affected joint, followed by difficulty in extension and flexion. 
3. Osteoarthritis of Knee
  • Single or both the knees may be involved, leading to difficulty in motion. 
  • On palpation, the affected knee may reveal bony swelling and tenderness. 
  • Bony crepitus (sensation of bone rubbing against bone) may be heard on moving the joint. 
  • Involvement of the medial compartment of the knee may lead to varus or bow-legged deformity, in which the leg is turned inward and the person walks on the outer border of the foot. 
  • When the lateral compartment is affected, this leads to the valgus or knock-knee deformity, in which the leg is twisted outwards. 
  • A 'shrug' sign i.e. pain when patella is compressed manually against the femur during quadriceps contraction, indicates involvement of the patellofemoral joint. 
4. Osteoarthritis of Spine
  • Degenerative disease of the spine involves the apophyseal joints 
  • (P.S. spondylosis refers to degenerative disk disease). 
  • Symptoms include: localized pain and stiffness. 
5. Generalized Osteoarthritis
  • This term is used when three or more joints are involved (distal and proximal interphalangeal joints are counted as one group each). 
  • Symptoms may be episodic manifested as soft swelling, warmth and redness of the affected joint. 
  • Though ESR may be elevated, but the serum rheumatoid factor tests are negative.
Symptoms and Signs of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis usually affects a single joint or only a few joints and is clinically manifested by:
  • Patient often complaints of a deep aching pain in the involved joint.
  • Typically, the pain is aggravated by use and relieved by rest. As the disease progresses, the pain may become persistent.
  • Stiffness of the involved joint upon arising in the morning or after immobility (e.g. following a long ride in a car) may be prominent, but usually lasts less than 20 min.
  • Bony crepitus (the sensation of bone rubbing against bone, evoked by joint movement) is characteristic.
  • Systemic manifestations are usually not associated.

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Chloasma - Its Types And Causes

Brown patches or spots on your face may be suggestive of chloasma. Read on to find what exactly is chloasma, its various types, clinical manifestations and causes.

What does chloasma mean?

Chloasma (also known as Melasma or Seborrhoeic melanosis) is a term used for pigmentary skin discolorations, usually those occurring in yellowish-brown patches or spots, which are intensified by the exposure to the sun.

Types of Chloasma

Chloasma may be of following types:

1. Chloasma Gravidarum or Mask of pregnancy

Most commonly, chloasma occurs during pregnancy. Darkening of the skin, usually occurs after 16 weeks’ of gestation. The lesions may disappear after delivery, but appear again during the next pregnancy. More often, however, the lesions persist even after delivery.

2. Chloasma Idiopathic

Chloasma caused by external agents such as sun, heat, mechanical means, and x-rays.

3. Chloasma Symptomatic

Chloasma caused by various diseases, as syphilis or cancer.

4. Chloasma Traumaticum

Skin discolorations, following trauma.

5. Chloasma Uterinum

Chloasma associated with uterine conditions.

What Causes Chloasma?

Though the exact cause of this hyper pigmentation is not known; however, probable causes are:

1. The effect of oestrogen and progesterone

Its occurrence may be attributed to the effect of these hormones since:
  • It is commonly seen in association with pregnancy.
  • It can develop in females taking contraceptive pills.
  • It can occur in unmarried girls, in association with disturbances of the menstrual cycle.
2. Low levels of testosterone in men

Rarely, it is seen in men with low testosterone and elevated LH levels.

3. Persistent anaemia

Chloasma may be associated with persistent anaemia, either due to chronic gastro-intestinal infestations or due to excessive bleeding.

4. Liver disorders

Sometimes, it has been associated with disorders of the liver.

Clinical manifestations of chloasma

#1 Chloasma is manifested as patterned hyper pigmentation of the face, with rounded or oval patches, light yellow to black in color, having ill-defined margins.

#2 Lesions are asymptomatic and superficial in nature. Skin does not show any other change.

#3 The lesions are usually located on one or more of the following sites:
  • Bridge of the nose
  • Both the cheeks
  • The upper lip
  • The forehead (a linear area just above the eyebrows is frequently involved)
P.S. - An area of upper lip below the nose and skin around the eyes are, as a rule, spared. It does not occur anywhere else in the body.

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