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Original Content at
https://www.futurehealth.org/articles/Amenorrhea-What-does-not-by-Dr-Kathleen-Alber-100829-55.html

September 1, 2010

Amenorrhea: What does not having a menstrual cycle mean?

By Dr. Kathleen Albertson, L. Ac., PhD

Amenorrhea means "no menstrual flow" (absence of menstruation). In Chinese medicine, it refers to "no moon." Today it is more important than ever to understand TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine which includes acupuncture and herbal medicine) as well as Western medicine. Today's reality integrates these two schools of thought to improve patient care. TCM gets to the root cause naturally with out the harsh affects of drugs.

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"A" in Greek is the word for "negative," "men" is the word for "month" and "rhea" refers to "flow." Amenorrhea means "no menstrual flow" (absence of menstruation). In Chinese medicine, it refers to "no moon."

Rudyard Kipling said, "East is east and West is west and never the twain shall meet."

Today it is more important than ever to understand TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine which includes acupuncture and herbal medicine) as well as Western medicine. Today's reality integrates these two schools of thought to improve patient care. TCM gets to the root cause naturally with out the harsh affects of drugs.

We know that gynecology in China goes back as far as the early 1500 BC. Gynecologists were called "breast doctors" who treated diseases "under the skirt."

By taking advantage of this ancient, successful medicine, we resolve many gynecological health problems at its source, earlier in the woman's reproductive life, and perhaps bearing her from a lifetime of medications, infertility, or lack of hope.

For most women TCM is not sought as the first line of medical resolution. They seek out acupuncture and herbal medicine when all else fails; when they are the middle of fertility procedures, or when someone recommends TCM to them. We owe it to the women in our lives to recommend TCM for this condition. It is normal for menstruation to cease during pregnancy and breast-feeding. So, unless it is a structural or congenital health problem TCM provides solutions and restores your health.

Failure to menstruate may cause the uterine lining to thicken putting you at risk for cancers.

Definitions

Primary amenorrhea

A young woman has reached the age of 16 (in some texts 18) and has not begun menstruating.

Oligomenorrhea or secondary amenorrhea

A woman who has started menses but has missed menstrual cycles for three consecutive months.

Secondary amenorrhea often occurs with extreme exercise such as long-distance running. Typically, leaner women have higher levels of protein which affect estrogen; therefore, less free estrogen is available to stimulate the reproductive cycle properly. Other specific causes include stress, nutritional inadequacies, hormonal imbalances, tumors, intrauterine infection, endometriosis, discontinuation of oral contraceptives, diseases such as diabetes mellitus or tuberculosis, anorexia nervosa, or obesity.

In hypergonadotropin amenorrhea, high gonadotropin any of several hormones that stimulate the growth and activity of the gonads, especially follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) and low estrogen levels create symptoms similar to those of menopause: atrophy of the reproductive organs, hot flashes, irritability and other changes. The patient may experience internal sensations of heat, thirst, irritability, low back pain, vaginal dryness or dryness of the eyes. This type is affiliated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or premature ovarian failure (POF).

TCM looks to:

  • overwork,

  • emotional and physical stress,

  • poor diet,

  • or constitutional weakness

    that creates deficiencies of Qi, Blood, Essence or Liver Blood. The Blood "fails to arrive" (menstruation) and becomes stagnant. Emotional stress, excessive physical work or overwork, poor nutritional choices, anger, sadness, anxiety and worry in today's busy world are common culprits leading to these disorders. Many women feel that they have busy lives, but handle the stress well. Many don't realize the imbalance this causes, many are reluctant to admit it, and many don't perceive it as a disorder.

    Other symptoms may include menses that stops after several months with decreasing volume of blood. Fatigue, anxiety or depression, or insomnia are also common symptoms.

    Some women may experience:

    Poor appetite.

    Bloating.

    Loose stools.

    Constipation.

    A woman may either express cold hands and feet, or heat sensations at night. Other women may experience secondary amenorrhea with the cycle lengthening gradually developing to amenorrhea accompanied by foggy thinking, obesity, or excessive vaginal discharge.

    These are imbalances that all can be treated with TCM. Your practitioner will determine which organ systems are the cause of your problems and create a treatment protocol specifically for you.

    TCM is underutilized and under valued as a primary resource for resolving your health problems. Educate yourself, your mother, sisters, daughters, and friends on the true importance of achieving optimum health naturally. This includes TCM. Integration of Western and Eastern medicine fosters the best medical care.



    Submitters Bio:
    I am a gentle and caring practitioner of acupuncture and herbal medicine.
    PhD in Holistic Nutrition.
    Author of "Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine for Women's Health: Bridging the Gap Between Western and Eastern Medicine"
    Solo practitioner for 15 years and love it!

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