Elizabeth came to us at the age of 50. She had hot flushes, night sweat, and sleeping problems.
“I came to TCM and after two months. My symptoms improved a lot. I feel like myself again.”
Ke Mez was 43. She lost her period; her FSH was 57 and oestrogen 40. She had hot flushes and night sweats.Her doctor said she was perimenopausal. She told us this after just over a month of treatment.
“I got my first proper period on 15 January; prior to that I had a small bleed that didn't really resemble a period but I still felt hopeful that my body was recalibrating. I finished my course of treatment on 3 February and on 11 March I ovulated.”
Menopause is diagnosed if a woman has no periods for more than 12 months. The average age for women to be diagnosed with menopause is 51 in the UK. It occurs when the hormones your ovaries have been producing since puberty begin to gradually drop off, until they stop altogether: Oestrogen and progesteroneare no longer secreted, meaning ovulation stops and your periods end.
Menopause isn’t an overnight thing. It’s a natural transition that can take a little time to set in. This intermediary period generally happens in your mid-forties and spans several years — at this point, you’re what’s called ‘perimenopausal’. The symptoms of menopause can be unpleasant — we at TCM Healthcare can help alleviate them without the side effects of hormone replacement therapy as we only use natural herbs.
Early signs of menopause can include:
Other signs of menopause include:
Other changes to the body affected by menopause include:
In western medicine, the main medicine used for menopause and perimenopause symptoms is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which replaces the hormones that are at low levels.
HRT involves using oestrogen to replace your body's own levels around the time of the menopause.
Oestrogen comes as:
Some doctors may prescribe progesterone to protect your womb lining from the effects of oestrogen. Taking oestrogen and progesterone together is called combined HRT.
Progesterone comes as:
The main benefit of HRT is that it may help relieve most menopause and perimenopause symptoms, including hot flushes, brain fog, joint pains, mood swings and vaginal dryness.
Taking HRT can also reduce your risk of hormone-related health problems including osteoporosis and heart disease.
The following is a direct quote from a paper published in Lancet:
Menopausal Hormones: Definitive evidence for breast cancer, Joanne Kotsopoulos. August 29, 2019. Lancet Open Access
“In The Lancet, the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer reports their study in which they combined data from 58 studies, including 24 prospective cohort studies, using a nested case-control study design to focus on the long-term effects of MHT (Menopausal Hormone Treatment) while taking into account age at first use, duration of use, and time elapsed since last use. They compared oestrogen alone versus never use and combination therapy versus never use.
The meta-analysis included 108,647 incident invasive breast-cancer cases within the cohorts (mean age at diagnosis was 65 years) who were matched to up to four controls by age, year of birth, and geographical location.
The data show that compared with never users, women who initiated MHT shortly after menopause had a significantly increased risk of invasive breast cancer. The relative risks were greater for combination therapy versus never use than for oestrogen alone for similar durations of use. The longer women used MHT, the greater the risk. For example, the hazard ratio associated with 1–4 years of use was 1.17 (95% confidence level: 1.10–1.26) for oestrogen alone and 1.60 (1.52–1.69) for combination therapy, whereas the corresponding estimates for 10–14 years of use were 1.43 (1.37–1.50) and 2.26 (2.16–2.36). In past users of HRT, the relative risks were lower than in current users, but risks remained elevated more than 10 years after stopping — the risk being greater the longer the duration of previous MHT use. Unlike the WHI study, few women initiated hormone use after the age of 60 years.
The authors also estimated the absolute risk of breast cancer up to age 70 years associated with 5 years and 10 years of use of MHT, starting at age 50 years for women of average weight in developing countries. The estimated incidence of breast cancer was 6.3% for never users of HRT versus 8.3% for 5 years of use of the continuous combination MHT — an absolute increase of 2%, or one extra cancer for every 50 users.”
There is some evidence that both oestrogen-only and combined HRT slightly increase the risks of ovarian cancer. But when HRT is stopped, the risk starts to go back to what it would have been had HRT not been taken.
We treat menopausal symptoms by using Chinese herbs. We believe the unpleasant symptoms of menopause are due to an imbalance of systems in your organ systems as a whole which is a result of substantial changes occurring as your body is in transition from one biological phase to the next. Since the transition is a major one, imbalance almost invariably occurs. When the imbalance is substantial, it can upset your body system in a major way.
Our aim is therefore to reduce imbalance thereby making the transition more smooth and easier to handle. As a results, symptoms would reduce. Since no synthetic hormones are used, the risks that are associated with HRT will not apply.
We do a first consultation lasting 30 to 40 minutes, in which we carry out non-invasive and pain-free Chinese medical diagnostic procedures, in order to understand your particular condition and circumstances thoroughly.
Our specialist prescribes a unique herbal formula, usually consisting of around 20 kinds of herbs, from which you will make drinks and consume twice a day for 18 days in a month.
A month after the first consultation, you will be done with the first round of herbal remedy. We do a second consultation, lasting 30 minutes, doing another diagnostic procedure to see how well you’ve responded to the treatment. Another prescription will be written.
Most patients report significant reduction of symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, irritation, sleeping issues as a result after the first course of treatment. They may embark on a second course with reduced intensity to ensue the benefits are sustained longer term.
The fees come to about £450 to £500 a month on average. Given our success rate, the fees of our treatment programme compares very favourably with IVF — all 3 courses (9 months) of our treatment comes out to between £4,000 and £4,500 whereas the minimum all-inclusive fee for one IVF cycle stands at £6,000.
Once a month. Most patients come from 3 to 6 months. Some combine our treatment with further IVF cycles.
A traditional Chinese medical consultation involves the following steps.
The practitioner may scrutinise your complexion, eyes, tongue, and movements to gain insight into how your organs are functioning. The tongue is a particularly important source of information, and its colour, body, coating, and moisture will all be taken into account.
The practitioner assesses the patient’s energy and general condition by taking into account your body heat, odour, skin sensitivity, and uses other senses to gain an insight into the your condition.
To gain a full picture, the practitioner will ask detailed questions about your complaint and your medical history. They will want to find out whether your problems vary at all according to the time of year and your diet, feelings or emotions.
This can provide a highly sensitive and detailed picture of your general health. The practitioner will take a number of different ‘pulses’ using three fingers put on the wrist of each hand of the patient. This enables him to gain further information about the quality and functioning of the five major organs. The practitioner will take account of your general health and strength, as well as all of your symptoms, whether they seem to you to be connected or not. This will be the basis for deciding on the best treatment.
Monthly consultations are required to gauge your progress. The prescriptions will be devised accordingly — for treating a changing condition, a fixed single herb or formula is unlikely to be effective over time.
Patients want to know how long they need to see us for. We say after 3 months of treatment, we will review progress, retesting hormones (should this be appropriate) and check if symptoms are significantly reduced.
If they are better but still need further improvement, patients may need second course of treatment at the same or less intensity.
Typically, women see us for 2 courses of treatment, i.e. 6 months total.
The point is that the way we treat patients means they should not rely on our treatment for too long. Their improved health and function should stay with them if they look after their health.
We have just launched a second opinion service where you can send us your hormone test results, sperm test results and other results. Consultations will be done on the phone and it will not be a face-to-face medical consultation.
Since we work with IUI, IVF, ICSI, egg and sperm freezing specialists, we can explore a full range of options with you prior to your committing to a course of actions that may be best for you. There is no charge for this service.
We offer this service in good faith based on our clinical experience and our work with partner agencies such as IVF specialists. We do not accept any liability and we will urge you to triangulate opinions given with your own doctors before you decide what may be best for your circumstance.