Thursday, August 18, 2011

Menstrual Conditions/Irregularities- Irregular Menstruation in Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective

All women experience irregular period sometimes during their child bearing years, before menopause. While Western medication has never viewed that irregular menstruation is a problem of women reproductive system, traditional Chinese medicine looks at this problem seriously, if left untreated, it will disharmonize the women ecosystem, leading to nervous tension and other health problems, including infertility. Girls in South East Asia have learned in their early women life from grand mother wisdom, that they do not engage in any activity, distorting their regular period.. Irregular period should be treated immediately, otherwise, it may cause wide range of women diseases, such as infertility, according to Traditional Chinese medicine.

Irregular menstruation or period in conventional medicine is defined as condition in which a woman is experience abnormal variation of length of the menstrual cycle. While the normal menstrual cycle is 28-35 days, women who are experience with irregular menstrual cycle can have a length variation between 8 and 20 days or shorter than 21 days, or longer than 36 days.

Symptoms and signs
1. Menstrual bleeding
Menstrual bleeding for women with irregular menstruation is last more than 7 days.

2. Length of period
A length variation of one period to the next is between 8 and 20 days or shorter than 21 days, or longer than 36 days.

3. Heavy bleeding
Heavy bleeding that soaks menstrual pad or tampon every two to three hours is a sgin of irregular menstruation.

4. Amenorrhea
If a woman is experience with absence of period for more 90 days may be a sign of irregular menstruation.

5. Heavy bleeding with Blood clot
In answering the question of irregular period, thick blood, light flow, and clotting, Dr. Dr Rajesh Ramuka indicated that Hello, you need not to worry about your period because passing clot during menses is totally normal as during menses your body release anticoagulant to keep blood thin and prevent it from clotting,but during heavy period blood is released rapidly but anticoagulant do not get enough time to do his work so clot is formed.If you are getting clots of very large size on regular basis then consult your gynecologist.

6. Infertility
Women who are experience irregular menstruation are st higher risk of infertility. According to the article of "Irregular Periods and Getting Pregnant" posted at WebMD, Reviewed by Mikio A. Nihira, MD. the author stated that irregular or abnormal ovulation and menstruation accounts for 30% to 40% of all cases of infertility.

7. Etc.

Causes
1. Hot and spicy foods
Hot and spy may be needed to improve the immune system, increase blood flow to the reproductive organs and warm the uterus for natural conception, but over intake of them may distort the kidney function in nourishing and moistening the body tissue and increase the blood flow, causing over reproduction progesterone and testosterone, resulting in heat accumulated in the body and irregular blood flow.

2. Cool and cold foods
Over eaten some cool and cold foods such as cold drink, icy drink and raw foods over prolong period of time will decrease the yang qi in the body, leading to reducing the qi and energy flow to the reproductive organs. In some sever case, it blocks the flow of energy and increases the risk of accumulation of cold in the body, distorting the the yin phrase of menstrual cycle, causing painful irregular period and increasing the risk of infertility.

3. Occupation
People who work in cold or hot environment may cause the lost of their underlayer of yang or yin weather in the body, because our body need to divert our yang or yin weather to fight the constant cold and hot temperature accordingly. Over a long period of times, if diet can not support the lost of energy and flow in the body, it causes either yang or yin deficiency that distort the normal menstrual cycle, leading to irregular period. In some severe cases, it causes infertility.

4. Rigid exercise
Moderate exercise is alway good for our body, rigid exercise may cause blood moving upward to the organs other than the productive organs, leading to not enough to sustain a menstrual period, thus causing irregular period and infertility in some cases.

5. Raw food diet
Raw food diet is healthier, if compare with the typical American diet. According to traditional Chinese medicine, raw foods are considered yin pathogen, if over intake of them for a prolong period of times will cause yang deficiency, distorting the yang phrase of the normal menstrual cycle, resulting in irregular period and sometimes infertility.

6. Diet against internal weather
Eating slightly opposite to the internal constitution is always recommended. For example, if your internal constitution is yang, then you should eat a slightly more cool foods than people with neutral constitution.

7. Stress
Stress can impair the proper functions of the spleen in food digestion and transporting blood and qi to the reproductive organs, leading to abnormal menstrual period and increasing the risk of infertility.

8. Artificial sweetener and Processed foods
All these foods exhibit the yin and dampness in the body, according to TCM. While deficiency of yang causes the constriction that interferes with spleen function in food digestion and transport nutrients to our body, making our qi flow sluggish, leading to irregular period, weight gain and lack of energy.

9. Imbalance or blockage of the internal organs
Damage or unhealthy diet or emotional stress affect the effectiveness of zhangfu organs to carry theirs function in transformation and distribution of body' fluid, essence, blood, qi, etc. due to excess or deficient pathogens.

10. Blockage of Internal channels
It is caused by the zhangfu organs' inability to move qi along theirs channels.

11. Etc.

Types of irregular menstruation
There are many different causes of irregular period in traditional Chinese medicine but the most common of them are
1. Long Term Irregularity
Women with prolong period of irregular menstrual month after month, such as delay of menstruation, prolong period bleeding, very painful period, etc. should consider to see their doctor immediately. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it is a serious condition, because the entire ecosystem may be distorted, including function of spleen, kidney and liver. If it is left untreated, it not only causes hormone imbalance and other reproductive disorder such as damaging liver, abnormal thyroid function, kidney dysfunction, etc, but also increases the risk of infertility.
Normally, women with long term irregular period may need to harmonize their imbalance for period of at least 3 months by herbs, acupuncture, acupressure, exercise, etc, depending to types of deficiency (spleen, kidney, liver, energy flow, qi and blood deficiency or stagnation,etc.)

2. Sudden or short term irregularity
Short term irregular period may be caused by sudden change in diet or activity that diminishes the spleen function in food digestion and energy transportation caused intake of high spicy food or too much cold drinks, or exhibits the blood or qi stagnation caused by over drinking or toxins accumulated in the liver, reducing the liver function in blood formation, leading to little for menstruation, or decreasing the kidney function in moistening and nourishing the reproductive organ caused the activity or occupation, leading to irregular period. Normally, women with
this type of condition is easier to treat, if you pay attention to your diet and adjust them oppositely to your body internal constitution, you will be fine.

Treatments
A. Kidney Qi Deficiency
A.1. Symptoms
1. Dizziness
2. Ringing in the ears
3. Weak or sore lower back
4. Fatigue
5. Pale complexion
5. Frequent urination
6. Premature ejaculation in men
7. Asthmatic panting upon exertion
8. Weak legs
9. Water retention in the legs
10. Poor appetite
11. Loose stools
12. Amenorrhea
13. Etc.

A.2. Treatments
A.2.1. With herbs
1. Ren shen (Ginseng)
Ren shen is considered as one of most powerful herbs in strengthening the original qi in the body. Besides improving the spleen function in qi absorption, thus reducing the symptoms of distended chest and abdomen cramps and pain, it also enhances the lung qi by moistening the channels.

2. Xi yang shen (American ginseng)
Besides promoting the lung and spleen qi, it also increases the digestive system in absorbing vital energy and reducing the heat causes of qi stagnation by moistening the all qi transportation channels.

3. Dang shen (Pilose asiabell root)
Dang shen is a spleen and lung tonic herbs. It improves the lung function in moving qi smoothly through its channels and spleen function in absorbing qi after foods entering the stomach.

4. Etc.

A. 2.2. With Foods
1. Sweet potato
2. Watercress
3. Cherry
4. Chestnuts
5. Walnuts
6. Mussel
7. Lamb
8. Basil,
9. Black pepper
10. Cinnamon bark
11. Fennel seed
12. Garlic,
13. Ginger
14. Peppermint
15. Sage
16. White pepper
17. Jasmine tea
18. Etc.

B. Liver Qi Stagnation
B.1. Symptoms
1. Heavy or scanty menstrual blood
2. Menstrual blood is either normal or purplish color,
3. Menstrual flow comes and stops with clot
4. Breast tenderness and sore
5. Cramps and pain relieve when menstruation arrives
6. Nervous tensions
a. Depression,
b. Axiety
c. Irritability
d. Frustarte easily
7. Hiccup
8. Sigh
9. Difficulty swallowing
10. Bitter taste in mouth
11. Constipation
12. Etc.

B.2. Treatment
B.2.1. Herbs
1. Xiang Fu (Nut grass rhizome)
It is one the herbs helped to regulate the qi flow by smoothing the liver and congestion of Spleen qi caused by excessive yin or yang, thus reducing qi stagnation caused by disharmonization of liver and Spleen causes of abdominal cramps and pain. It is said that xiang fu also has a function impromoting regular menstruation.

2. Wu Yao (Lindera Root)
Wu yao is one the warm with the main function of warming the kidney caused by kidney yang defieciency. It is only used for patient with evidence of liver qi stagnation caused by prolong intake of cold foods or working in a cold environment. Since its function is to restore the liver qi flow due to cold constraint, it reduces the blood stagnation causes of menstrual pain.

3. Zhi Ke (Ripe fruit of zhi shi)
Zhi ke promote healthy liver, it promotes a strong liver qi function, thereby, increasing its function in blood formation and transportation to the heart for circulation.

4. Bai Shao (White Peony Root)
White peony root nourishes the blood and tones the uterus, it reduces the symptoms of yin deficiency causes of abdomen cramps and pain.

5. Dang Qui (Angelica Root)
Angellica root is considered as a queen herb in TCM, beside helping to tonifies the blood and qi and regulate the women menstruation, it also promotes blood flow to the abdomen, thus reducing the risk of liver qi stagnation.

6. Etc.

B.2.2 Foods
1. Garlic
2. Turmeric
3. Cherries
4. Chicken
5. Tofu
6. Squash
7. Sweet potato
8. Dates
9. Red bean
10. Onions,
11. Mustard greens
12. Watercress
13. Etc.

C. Spleen Qi Deficiency
C.1. Symptoms
1. Weakness
2. Breathing Low
3. Nutrition deficiency
4. Little desire to speak
5. Poor appetite
6. Dizziness and tiredness
7. Headache
8. Abdominal discomfort
9. Indigestion
10. Bloating and gas
11. Etc.

C.2.Treatments
C.2.1. Herbs
1.Ren shen (Ginseng)
Ren shen is considered as one of most powerful herbs in strengthening the original qi in the body. In spleen, it improves the spleen function in qi absorption, thus reducing the symptoms of distended chest and abdomen cramps and pain.

2. Xi yang shen (American ginseng)
Xi yang shen is yin in nature, besides promoting the lung and spleen qi, it also increases the digestive system in absorbing vital energy and reducing the heat causes of qi stagnation by moistening the all qi transportation channels, especially for qi stagnation caused by deficiency of yin.

3. Dang shen (pilose asiabell root)
Dang shen is a spleen and lung tonic herbs. It improves the lung function in moving qi smoothly through its channels and spleen function in absorbing qi after foods entering the stomach. It also helps to restore the qi which is damaged by heat caused by infection, inflammation or heat generated due to excessive fluids accumulation.

4. Tai zi shen (pseudostellaria root)
Besides helping to increase the spleen and lung qi, it also improve the blood transportation and spleen and stomach in absorbing vital energy for our body cells and generates fluids to prevent the heat causes of qi stagnation.

5. Huang qi (astragalus root)
It is one of the herb that helps to increase the function of liver in generating more blood and liver qi in blood transportation due to excessive blood loss during menstruation.

6. Da Zao (Jujube Dates)
It is a good herb for tonifying spleen qi and short of breath and nourishing blood.

7. Etc.

C.2.2. Foods
1. Asparagus
2. Cabbage
3. Peas, potato
4. Pumpkin
5. Sweet potato
6. Yam
7. Cherry
8. Date
9. Tofu
10. Black sesame seeds
11. Oyster
12. Tuna
13. Beef
14. Chicken
15. Lamb
16. Etc.

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