"Women's Health" in western medicine usually refers to health issues specifically for human female anatomy. Women's health issues include menstruation, contraception (Birth Control), maternal health, child birth, menopause and breast cancer. Research has demonstrated significant biological differences between the sexes, in terms of susceptibility, symptoms and response to treatment for many major areas of health, including heart disease and some cancers. Unfortunately, females go through different experiences in their lifetime than males, mainly Pregnancy and Postnatal. A female's lifetime can be divided into four important stages: Puberty, Pregnancy, Postnatal and Menopause. Each stage has different symptoms, concerns and ways to keep the body at "Homeostasis."
Puberty is the process of physical changes by which a child's body becomes an adult body capable of reproduction. Before puberty, body differences between boys and girls are almost entirely restricted to the genitalia. During puberty, major differences of size, shape, composition and function develop in many body structures and systems. The most obvious of these are referred to as secondary sex characteristics. The maturation (period) probably creates the most symptoms and problems for women.
Dysmenorrhea is a pain that may occur during different time frames of menstruation. It can be before, during or after the period comes at the lower abdominal area. Also, the breasts may feel swollen or painful, and one can experience vomiting, soreness around the waist, and diarrhea. Sometimes daily life can be affected by serious cramps. In TCM, we may diagnose these symptoms in four different categories: Qi deficiency, Qi stagnation, Blood stagnation, and Blood deficiency. However, natural treatments include:
- Avoiding any raw or cold foods like salad or ice water during the menstruation cycle.
- Avoiding spicy and deep fried food or any food with heavy flavor. During this time (3-5 days), your body actually tries to clean metabolic waste, almost like a detox process. All the organs are running their daily routine, but are doing an extra cleaning job. You should learn how to protect your body, so as not to slow down the detox process.
- Of course, avoiding smoking and drinking would be best for your health care.
During this time, your body is very delicate and weak, so nutrition suggestions would include more proteins, such as chicken soup. You may want to add some Chinese herbs like Dong Gui Dang San to help promote energy levels and speed up blood circulation. During winter, ginger with brown sugar would be a good combination. Rose Tea or Hawthorn Berry Tea are helpful during any season.