Amenorrhoea (lack of periods)
Amenorrhea is the name for “absent periods”. If you are a reproductive age woman, menstrual periods should occur monthly (approximately every 28 days), unless you are pregnant, or breast-feeding. If you miss three or more expected periods, you are experiencing amenorrhea.
Amenorrhea can be caused by:
- Ovulation abnormalities (Polycystic Ovaries)
- Eating disorders
- Lack of body fat
- Over exercising
- Underachieving thyroid
Traditional Chinese Medicine understands amenorrhea as resulting from a blood deficiency, often caused by deficient kidney, spleen and liver energy. Exhaustion from overwork and overexercising, along with a consumption of a “cold” energy diet can lead to lack of menstrual periods.
Blood tests and an ultrasound may be recommended to investigate the possibility of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Treatment involves a combination of naturopathic medicine and acupuncture. Dietary change will usually involve the consumption of a “warming and blood building” diet. Protein intake may be increased, along with omega 3 fats and iron rich foods.
Traditional Chinese or Western herbal medicine is prescribed.
Acupuncture treatment is usually weekly, and involves blood building and tonifying acupuncture points, along with moxibustion (warming the needles). It is common to experience a first period in the first 4 – 8 weeks of treatment.
Anaemia -low Iron in your blood
Anaemia is a condition resulting from an abnormally low number of red blood cells, or a lack of the oxygen carrying protein, hemoglobin in red blood cells. It is an extremely common condition, especially in reproductive aged women with heavy periods; or pregnant and lactating women.
Anaemia can occur if the bone marrow is producing too few red blood cells; or if these cells are being broken down too quickly; or if there is heavy bleeding and loss of red blood cells.
While iron deficiency anemia is the most common form, different types of anemia can occur with vitamin B12 and folate deficiency.
Symptoms of Anaemia may include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Palpitations and/or rapid heart beat
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Pale complexion
In Chinese medicine blood is considered to be a vital energy, along with Qi. Blood not only nourishes the bone, nervous system, skin, muscles and organs, but is considered to also house the spirit or psyche. Blood deficiency is often seen in women diagnosed with anaemia, but sometimes the symptoms of “blood deficiency” can occur in women who are not anemic.
Symptoms of blood deficiency in Traditional Chinese Medicine include:
- Blurry vision
- Scanty or absent periods
- Hair loss
- Falling hair and thin nails
- Poor appetite
Treatment involves tonifying, strengthening acupuncture, often with the use of moxibustion (warming of the needles). Blood building traditional Chinese herbal formulas are usually prescribed, along with a “warm” energy diet to strengthen spleen function and blood production.
Nutritional supplementation may include iron, folate, B12 and vitamin C.