Your medical doctor might define menopause as an elevated FSH level which causes a decline in estrogen. The elevated FSH level is caused by the aging of the kidneys. Because the kidneys no longer process FSH out of the blood stream as efficiently as they once did, FSH rises and estrogen declines. This imbalance in hormone levels causes the uncomfortable symptoms associate with menopause.
In Chinese medicine there are two classic patterns of menopause, ether Kidney Yin or Kidney Yang deficiency. The kidneys are primary while the liver, heart, and spleen systems are considered secondary. Depending on the type of menopause presenting, the acupuncturist will treat the kidneys, heart, liver, or spleen system.
Kidney Hormone (Yin) Deficiency
This is a classic pattern that presents with irregular menstruation, night sweats, ringing in the ears, insomnia, hot flashes, back achiness, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, and knee pain. Kidney Fatigue (Yang) Deficiency
Kidney Yang Deficiency
The symptoms of this pattern may include irregular menstruation, back pain, knee discomfort, dislike of cold weather, weight gain, edema of the face or body, insomnia, fatigue, depression, and decreased libido are all common complaints.
It is interesting to understand why we treat both the kidney and heart to stop hot flashes and night sweating. Menopause is triggered by an increase in FSH which causes a drop in estrogen. The sudden decrease in estrogen causes a slight elevation in heart rate and body temperature. This increase in heart rate and body temperature causes night sweating; night sweating leads to insomnia and fatigue. Insomnia and fatigue contributes to some patients becoming irritable and / or depressed.
By strengthening / treating the kidneys the acupuncturist causes a decline in FSH which causes estrogen levels to rise. With a slight elevation in estrogen the symptoms of menopause decrease. The heart is treated to slow things down so the patient can sleep and regain their strength.
Note: Patients with thyroid disorders and those undergoing chemotherapy require additional treatment(s).
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