Article

Homeopathic treatment of hot flushes: A pilot study

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Abstract

Hot flushes are a common problem, especially for menopausal women for whom hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is contra-indicated or who prefer not to take it and patients receiving Tamoxifen. Some seek homeopathic treatment. We report an uncontrolled, pilot outcome study, conducted at the Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital (TWHH) in 1998-1999. The study was conducted in out-patient consultations booked in the usual way. Thirty-one patients referred to the Department for menopausal flushes and seen for an initial consultation and at least one follow-up review, were assessed in three groups: Hot flushes: No history of carcinoma of the breast. Hot flushes: Treatment for breast carcinoma, not receiving Tamoxifen. Hot flushes: Treatment for breast cancer including Tamoxifen. For all patients, the initial and follow-up assessments included review of hot flush frequency and severity. Patients also completed their own self-assessment rating after follow-up consultations. The results indicate useful symptomatic benefit for all three groups of patients.

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... The intervention studies represented 8 reports evaluating acupuncture, 23-30 1 on magnetic therapy, 31 1 on reflexology, 32 and 2 on homeopathy. 33,34 No articles on acupressure for menopausal symptoms were found. ...
... Results of 2 uncontrolled, open-label studies suggested that individualized homeopathic treatments for hot flashes may be effective. 33,34 Clover and Ratsey 33 provided homeopathic treatment to 31 women, 20 of whom were breast cancer survivors. Hot flashes were measured (1) at baseline as the recalled average frequency during the past month and recalled average severity during the past month using a 3-point rating scale (slight, moderate, severe), and (2) at the end of an unspecified treatment period as average recalled frequency and severity during the treatment period. ...
... Limitations were that neither study proposed a mechanism of action, provided specific details regarding homeopathic treatment type or dose, or discussed side effects or negative reactions. 33,34 Summary This review suggests that there is some evidence to continue to investigate acupuncture and homeopathy as potential treatments for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. However, insufficient evidence of efficacy exists to support use of the other modalities reviewed here for menopausal symptom management. ...
... Overall, at least 73% of patients reported improvement in both severity and frequency of symptoms, with a reasonable agreement between doctorand patient-assessed outcomes. 13 In another prospective observational study on 45 patients with breast cancer, 38 had hot flashes. Other symptoms such as mood disturbances, joint pains, fatigue, sleeplessness, and so on were also present in these patients. ...
... Each symptom in DDCYSS was quantified considering its frequency, duration, and intensity by attributing scores 0-4. Depending upon the baseline symptom score, the intensity of the distress was classified into mild (4-11), moderate (12)(13)(14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21)(22)(23)(24), and severe (25)(26)(27)(28)(29)(30)(31)(32)(33)(34)(35)(36). Also, every patient was subjected to per vagina and/or per speculum examination as required at the baseline. ...
... Homeopathic treatment was found to be effective in HF, [13][14][15] vasomotor symptoms, emotional/psychologic symptoms, and fatigue. 16 It was observed that the medicines found frequently indicated and useful were Sepia, Lachesis, Sulphur, Pulsatilla, Nat.mur. ...
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The purpose of this study was to ascertain the usefulness of homeopathic therapy in the management of distressing symptoms encountered during climacteric years in women (primary objective) and also the changes brought about in the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and lipid profile in these women after homeopathic treatment (secondary objective). An open, multicenter, prospective, observational study was carried out to ascertain the usefulness of homeopathic treatment in distress during climacteric years (DDCY). Patients were enrolled from the general outpatient department of the six Institutes/Units of Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) and were required to complete a follow-up period of 1 year as per the protocol designed by the CCRH. A uniform questionnaire assessing 15 predefined symptoms of menopause was adopted, with assessment of each symptom at every visit. Levels of serum FSH and lipid profile were monitored at entry and at completion. Effect size of the study was also calculated. CARA Software was used for repertorization of the presenting symptoms of menopause along with the characteristic attributes of each patient to arrive at a simillimum. The selected medicine was prescribed in a single dose as per the homeopathic principles. The assessment of the results was made through statistical analysis using the Wilcoxon signed rank test on Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) comparing symptom score at entry and completion of 1 year of treatment and t test for analyzing improvement in laboratory findings. Homeopathic therapy was found to be useful in relieving menopausal distressing symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, palpitation, depression, insomnia, and so on. Influence on serum levels of FSH, high-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein was not significant but serum levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and very-low-density lipoprotein decreased significantly. Effect size of the study was found to be large. The medicines found to be most frequently indicated and useful were Sepia, Lachesis, Calcarea carb., Lycopodium, and Sulphur. This study proves the usefulness of homeopathic medicines in relieving DDCY.
... Six studies reported no side effects related to the intervention drug (Frass et al. 2015;Frass et al. 2020a, b;Freyer et al. 2014;Karp et al. 2016;Lotan et al. 2020;Pérol et al. 2012). Further four studies (Clover and Ratsey 2002;Gaertner et al. 2014;Schlappack 2004;Steinmann et al. 2012) gave no information on side effects of the study remedies. Because the studies assessed the homeopathic treatment during cancer care, it was often impossible to define the exact cause of the reported AEs. ...
... Further seven studies were included for side effects (Clover and Ratsey 2002;Forner-Cordero et al. 2009;Freyer et al. 2014;Gaertner et al. 2014;Schlappack 2004;Thompson and Reilly 2002;. Of these, two studies reported no information about AEs and were, therefore, mentioned in the listing above (Gaertner et al. 2014;Schlappack 2004). ...
Article
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Purpose In this systematic review we included clinical studies from 1800 until 2020 to evaluate evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy on physical and mental conditions in patients during oncological treatment. Method In February 2021 a systematic search was conducted searching five electronic databases (Embase, Cochrane, PsychInfo, CINAHL and Medline) to find studies concerning use, effectiveness and potential harm of homeopathy in cancer patients. Results From all 1352 search results, 18 studies with 2016 patients were included in this SR. The patients treated with homeopathy were mainly diagnosed with breast cancer. The therapy concepts include single and combination homeopathic remedies (used systemically or as mouth rinses) of various dilutions. Outcomes assessed were the influence on toxicity of cancer treatment (mostly hot flashes and menopausal symptoms), time to drain removal in breast cancer patients after mastectomy, survival, quality of life, global health and subjective well-being, anxiety and depression as well as safety and tolerance. The included studies reported heterogeneous results: some studies described significant differences in quality of life or toxicity of cancer treatment favouring homeopathy, whereas others did not find an effect or reported significant differences to the disadvantage of homeopathy or side effects caused by homeopathy. The majority of the studies have a low methodological quality. Conclusions For homeopathy, there is neither a scientifically based hypothesis of its mode of action nor conclusive evidence from clinical studies in cancer care.
... The results were good. Homeopathy was useful [5]. ...
Article
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Homeopathy utilizes the body's own resources and homeopathic preparations, for example, strengthen the immune system. A strong immune system plays a very important role in the treatment of cancer. Therefore, homeopathy is widely used in the treatment of cancer and there is plenty of clinical research evidence. Cancer is treated differently in established medicine compared to homeopathic methods. Both methods are needed to complement each other. For example, after cancer surgery and radiotherapy, the treatment can preferably continue utilizing homeopathic methods, since cytostatic drugs can lead to a patient poorly recovering from cancer surgery or cancer radiation due to an immune system not working properly. Homeopathic methods offer a gentle and effective solution for those who are recovering from cancer.
... Sepia along with other medicines is also mentioned as first-grade medicines under the rubric "menopause" in the Synthesis Repertory [11]. In a pilot study [12] on "homoeopathic treatment for hot flushes", Sepia was found as one of the most effective medicine. In a prospective observational study [13] on the "Homoeopathic approach to the treatment of symptoms of estrogen withdrawal in breast cancer patients", Sepia was found as the one of the most effective medicine. ...
Article
Background-Climacteric is the phase in the ageing of women marking the transition from the reproductive phase to the non reproductive state. According to a survey, 44% of post menopausal women used hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). Aim: The present analysis is of the cases prescribed with Sepia officinalis to evaluate its efficacy in DDCY. Method-An open prospective observational study was undertaken by a research institute at six centers for a period of 4 years (including a follow up period of 1 year) as per the protocol. The cases where Sepia (n=53) was found indicated and prescribed were taken up for analysis. The data was analyzed statistically by using the "Wilcoxon sign rank test" on SPSS for the symptoms score and gynecological findings and "t test" for laboratory findings. Results-The mean symptom score at the base line was 13.68
... [6] Observational studies revealed the positive role of Homoeopathy in alleviating the menopausal complaints and improving quality of life. [7][8][9] An audit report of National Health Service community menopause clinic through homoeopathic intervention suggested greatest response in those patients who reported headaches, vasomotor symptoms, emotional or psychological symptoms and tiredness or fatigue, respectively, as their primary symptoms. [10] Randomised-controlled trials (RCTs) on Homoeopathy for menopausal symptoms and oestrogen withdrawal symptoms in breast cancer survivors did not show statistically significant results. ...
Article
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Background: Based on the results of Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy's previous study, wherein Sepia was indicated and prescribed in maximum number of cases, this study was planned to further validate efficacyof Sepia in the management of menopausal symptoms. Objectives: The study was conducted with the objectives of evaluating the efficacy of homoeopathic medicine – Sepia in the management of menopausal symptoms using 'The Greene Climacteric Scale' (GCS) and the quality of life using Utian Quality of Life (UQOL) scale. Materials and Methods: A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study was conducted from April 2012 to September 2014 at four research centres of Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy. Perimenopausal cases were screened (n = 471), and those fulfilling the eligibility criteria (n = 88) were enrolled and randomised to receive either homoeopathic intervention, i.e., Sepia (n = 44) or identical placebo (n = 44) and followed up for 6 months to assess them on predefined clinical parameters. The primary outcome was the change in the menopausal complaints assessed using GCS and the secondary outcome measure was change in UQOL scale. Results: Eighty-eight patients were considered for primary outcome analysis. The primary outcome measure, i.e., total score of GCS, when compared after 6 months, was reduced from 30.23 ± 8.1 to 7.86 ± 4.6 in Sepia group (improvement of 73.9%) and from 30.05 ± 8.9 to 12.73 ± 8.3 in placebo group (improvement of 57.63%) (P = 0.001). There was a statistically significant difference between both the groups, when compared after 6 months (P = 0.001). With respect to secondary outcome, the total UQOL score was 59.09 ± 7.74 for Sepia group and 57.39 ± 7.80 for placebo group at baseline, and 62.43±7.71 for Sepia group and 63.48±7.53 for placebo group after treatment indicating slight difference in quality of life after 6 months. Conclusion: Sepia is able to allay the menopausal symptoms when prescribed on symptomatic indications as per homoeopathic principles.
... Clinical studies have shown homeopathy to potentially reduce many of the toxic effects of oncology treatments, while improving global health and well-being. 10 These include cancer-related fatigue, 11 hot flashes due to hormonal treatment in patients with breast cancer, [12][13][14][15][16] and radiation-induced dermatitis. 17,18 A 2009 Cochrane review on the benefits of homeopathy identified 8 clinical trials that were of adequate quality (n = 664), and though the review did not find any clear evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy for treatment-related outcomes (ie, survival), it did suggest a beneficial impact in reducing radiation-induced dermatitis and chemotherapy-induced stomatitis. ...
Research
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Background: Homeopathy has the potential to reduce symptoms related to cancer treatment. The present study examined the feasibility of a homeopathic consultation and treatment program, provided as part of an integrative oncology service. Methods: The electronic medical files of patients undergoing a homeopathic consultation in an integrative oncology service clinic were examined retrospectively. Adherence to the homeopathic treatment regimen and perceived response to the treatment were evaluated. Results: The files of 124 patient (34 males, 90 females) were examined, of which two-thirds reported acquiring and self-administering the homeopathic remedy as prescribed, and nearly three-quarters reporting a beneficial effect. Adherence to the homeopathic treatment regimen was greatest among patients attending a second visit, as opposed to having only telephone/e-mail follow-up (P < .005). An association was found between a perceived beneficial effect of treatment with attending a follow-up visit (P = .04), female gender (P = .02), younger age (P = .048), diagnosis of breast cancer (P = .014), and current radiation treatment (vs chemotherapy; P = .003). Patients reporting chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy were also more likely to report a beneficial effect (P = .004), as were female patients reporting hot flashes (P = .005) and those referred by an oncologist (P = .046). No adverse effects were attributed to the homeopathic treatment. Conclusions: Homeopathy can be successfully incorporated within a supportive care integrative oncology service. In addition to demographic and cancer-related characteristics, as well as symptoms, patients attending a second visit (vs only telephone/e-mail follow-up) were more likely to adhere to and perceive a beneficial effect from the homeopathic regimen.
... Clinical studies have shown homeopathy to potentially reduce many of the toxic effects of oncology treatments, while improving global health and well-being. 10 These include cancer-related fatigue, 11 hot flashes due to hormonal treatment in patients with breast cancer, [12][13][14][15][16] and radiation-induced dermatitis. 17,18 A 2009 Cochrane review on the benefits of homeopathy identified 8 clinical trials that were of adequate quality (n = 664), and though the review did not find any clear evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy for treatment-related outcomes (ie, survival), it did suggest a beneficial impact in reducing radiation-induced dermatitis and chemotherapy-induced stomatitis. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Homeopathy has the potential to reduce symptoms related to cancer treatment. The present study examined the feasibility of a homeopathic consultation and treatment program, provided as part of an integrative oncology service. Methods: The electronic medical files of patients undergoing a homeopathic consultation in an integrative oncology service clinic were examined retrospectively. Adherence to the homeopathic treatment regimen and perceived response to the treatment were evaluated. Results: The files of 124 patient (34 males, 90 females) were examined, of which two-thirds reported acquiring and self-administering the homeopathic remedy as prescribed, and nearly three-quarters reporting a beneficial effect. Adherence to the homeopathic treatment regimen was greatest among patients attending a second visit, as opposed to having only telephone/e-mail follow-up ( P < .005). An association was found between a perceived beneficial effect of treatment with attending a follow-up visit ( P = .04), female gender ( P = .02), younger age ( P = .048), diagnosis of breast cancer ( P = .014), and current radiation treatment (vs chemotherapy; P = .003). Patients reporting chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy were also more likely to report a beneficial effect ( P = .004), as were female patients reporting hot flashes ( P = .005) and those referred by an oncologist ( P = .046). No adverse effects were attributed to the homeopathic treatment. Conclusions: Homeopathy can be successfully incorporated within a supportive care integrative oncology service. In addition to demographic and cancer-related characteristics, as well as symptoms, patients attending a second visit (vs only telephone/e-mail follow-up) were more likely to adhere to and perceive a beneficial effect from the homeopathic regimen.
... According to these studies, homeopathy can be used to reduce the discomfort of vasomotor disturbances [50,51]. For this symptom, more recent researches have been conducted. ...
Article
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Background: According to the literature an increasing number of cancer patients demand for complementary therapies during their disease. Research has demonstrated that some of these therapies are effective and safe as adjunctive treatments in specific symptoms of these patients. Methods: The aims of the paper are to review the main and recent papers of international literature on the effectiveness of complementary medicine (CM) therapies on side effects of anti-cancer protocols and improvement in the quality of life of oncological patients, and to describe the integration of evidence-based acupuncture, herbal medicine and homeopathy treatments in Public Cancer Network of the region of Tuscany. Results: After the review of literature and the approval of a Regional Resolution, some CM will be introduced in Cancer Departments in Tuscany to additionally treat cancer-related symptoms and side effects of conventional cancer therapy: acupuncture for nausea and post-chemotherapy and post-surgery vomiting, pain, hot flashes of iatrogenic menopause, xerostomia; homeopathy for hot flashes of iatrogenic menopause and the side effects of radiotherapy; herbal medicine for cancer-related fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, mucositis, anxiety, and depression. Conclusions: The integration of evidence-based complementary treatments allows for an effective response to the demand coming from cancer patients and combines safety and equity of access in public health systems. View Full-Text
... Homeopathy: The homeopathy approach to treating hot flashes usually involves a consultation with a homeopathic practitioner who prescribes an individualized homeopathic remedy. The ingredients and doses of the homeopathic remedies reported in several studies were unclear or lacking (Clover & Ratsey, 2002;Jacobs, Herman, Heron, Olsen, & Vaughters, 2005;Thompson & Reilly, 2003) making it impossible to replicate the intervention in clinical practice or truly evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention (Rada et al., 2010). ...
Article
Hot flashes are a distressing symptom frequently experienced by survivors of breast cancer or prostate cancer who are receiving estrogen or androgen-deprivation therapies. The frequency and intensity of hot flashes can lead to diminished quality of life and decreased adherence with prescribed antineoplastic therapies. This evidence-based review synthesizes and updates the findings of the highest quality evidence-based studies of interventions to manage hot flashes resulting from cancer therapies in patients with breast or prostate cancer since the initial Putting Evidence Into Practice review of hot flashes in 2011. Recent studies involving a variety of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions were evaluated and, as reported in 2011, the drugs gabapentin and venlafaxine were the only therapies rated as likely to be effective. In addition, a strong placebo effect was noted in several studies that included a placebo intervention and should be considered when reviewing interventions for hot flashes.
... Patients also completed their own self-assessment rating after follow-up consultations. The results indicated useful symptomatic benefit for all three groups of patients (99). This report was followed by a prospective observational study on homeopathic approach to the treatment of symptoms of oestrogen withdrawal in breast cancer patients. ...
Article
Hot flushes affect approximately 75% of postmenopausal women and are one of the most distressing symptoms that women experience as they enter the menopause.The treatment of hot flushes is a common clinical challenge. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) effectively reduces vasomotor symptoms by 80-90%, however, many patients may be unable or unwilling to undergo hormonal treatment. Publication of the results of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) and the Million Women Study (MWS) has led to considerable uncertainties about the role of HRT among health professionals and women. The estrogen and progestin arm of the Women's Health Initiative and other recent reports suggest that HRT may increase the risk for coronary heart disease events, strokes, venous thromboembolism, and invasive breast cancer. Many expert groups recommend that combination hormonal therapy for the management of vasomotor symptoms should be limited to the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and benefits versus risks for individual women. All of these concerns have generated interest in non-hormonal treatment of hot flushes. Such therapies, readily available for the menopausal patient could become a therapeutic nightmare -especially when taken without physician supervision. Data for these therapies are limited, and most of the studies have been conducted in women with a history of breast cancer. In this review we discuss the evidence underlying the commonly used non-hormonal therapies for hot flushes in terms of efficacy and safety.
... An initial pilot study of 31 patients showed that homeopathy was associated with a 48% to 75% reduction in the subjective frequency of hot flashes. 209 In an additional uncontrolled study, 45 breast cancer survivors showed improvements in vasomotor symptoms and quality of life. 127 A third observational study of 438 women without cancer showed a reduction in the frequency of hot flashes and in daily discomfort. ...
Article
Answer questions and earn CME/CNE Hot flashes are prevalent and severe symptoms that can interfere with mood, sleep, and quality of life for women and men with cancer. The purpose of this article is to review existing literature on the risk factors, pathophysiology, and treatment of hot flashes in individuals with cancer. Electronic searches were conducted to identify relevant English-language literature published through June 15, 2012. Results indicated that risk factors for hot flashes in cancer include patient-related factors (eg, age, race/ethnicity, educational level, smoking history, cardiovascular risk including body mass index, and genetics) and disease-related factors (eg, cancer diagnosis and dose/type of treatment). In addition, although the pathophysiology of hot flashes has remained elusive, these symptoms are likely attributable to disruptions in thermoregulation and neurochemicals. Therapies that have been offered or tested fall into 4 broad categories: pharmacological, nutraceutical, surgical, and complementary/behavioral strategies. The evidence base for this broad range of therapies varies, with some treatments not yet having been fully tested or showing equivocal results. The evidence base surrounding all therapies is evaluated to enhance hot flash treatment decision-making by clinicians and patients. CA Cancer J Clin 2013;. © 2013 American Cancer Society.
... The first was a pilot study from the United Kingdom. While no comparator or placebo group was included, the investigators found a decrease in hot flushes from baseline in the women using Homeopathy (Clover & Ratsey, 2002). Jacobs and colleagues (2005) conducted a small (N=83) placebo controlled, double blind clinical trial that examined two types of homeopathy for the treatment of menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors. ...
... On retrouve également des méta analyses (Commission Européenne, 1996;Cucherat et al., 2000;Jonas, 2003;Kleijnen et al., 1991;Linde et al., 1994;Linde et al., 1997;Mathie, 2003;Reilly et al., 1994;Smith, 2003), des études sur le développement de la recherche (ECCH, 2007;Eisenberg et Kaptchuk, 2003;Fisher, 1995 La preuve de l'efficacité d'une thérapeutique passe également par les recherches fondamentales. En homéopathie, on retrouve entre autres des études sur le mécanisme 31 On peut donner comme exemples les recherches sur des conditions comme les diarrhées chez les enfants (Jacobs, 1994;Jacobs et al., 2000), les otites (Frei et al., 2001;Friese et al., 1997;Hanison et al., 1999;Jacobs et al., 2001), problèmes musculo squelettiques (Fisher, 1986;Gibson et al., 1980;Shealy et al., 1998), la fibromyalgie (Bell et al., 2004;Fisher et al., 1989), les allergies (Kim et al., 2005;Reilly et al., 1985;Reilly et al., 1994;Taylor et al., 2000), les blessures (Schneider et al., 2008), les céphalées (Muscari Tomaioli et al., 2001), le désordre de déficit d'attention (Coulter, 2008;Frei et al., 2005;Kenyon, 1993;Lamont, 1998), les troubles reliés à la ménopause (Bordet et al., 2008;Clover et Ratsey, 2002;Relton et Weatherley-Jones, 2005;Thomas et al., 2001;Thompson et Reilly, 2003), la dépression (Bell, 2005;Makich et al., 2007;Pilkington et al, 2005), les troubles reliés à la période prémenstruelle (Yakir et al., 2001;Jones, 2003), les problèmes de fertilité (Bergmann et al., 2000), la fatigue chronique (Weatherly- Jones et al., 2004), les affections du système respiratoire (Adler, 1999;Riley et al., 2001;Trichard et al., 1994;Trichard et al., 2005), les troubles cutanés (Itamura, 2007;Keil et al., 2008), la sclérose en plaques (Saine, 1987;Whitmarsh, 2003), la paralysie cérébrale (Sajedi et al., 2008), les soins palliatifs, le cancer (Bhattacharjee et al., 2007;Ramakrishnan et Coulter, 2001). d'action du remède, en immunologie ou en physique (Bastide, 1997(Bastide, , 2001Belon et al., 2004;Coulter, 1980;Gray, 2000;Halm, 2005;Lorenz et al., 2003) et des travaux théoriques sur des nouveaux modèles d'analyse (Bastide, 1999;Conte et al., 2000;ECCH, 2005;ECH, 2005;Lagache, 1997b;Walach et al., 2005). ...
Article
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La médecine homéopathique fait partie de ce que certains auteurs nomment maintenant « les systèmes complexes » propres aux médecines non conventionnelles (MNC). Ces médecines ne s'inscrivent pas de la même manière que les médecines alternatives et complémentaires (MAC) dans la réalité médicale ou sociale. Certaines recherches sociologiques ont été faites à propos des MNC ou des MAC, toutes thérapies confondues, mais très peu exclusivement sur la médecine homéopathique. L'homéopathie est à la fois, la plus controversée des MNC et la plus utilisée dans le monde. Comme dans la plupart des sociétés occidentales, le recours à la consultation en médecine homéopathique est en croissance constante, mais n'a pas chez nous de légitimité juridique. Dans ce contexte social, comment les gens arrivent-ils à consulter un homéopathe et pour quelles raisons ? Pourquoi adoptent-ils par la suite, cette pratique de santé? Quel en est l'impact médical et social sur leur santé à long terme et dans leur vie? Pour répondre à ces questions il est nécessaire de considérer d'abord le paradigme holiste selon lequel la médecine homéopathique aborde la santé, la maladie et les soins de santé. Ensuite, il convient de tenir compte de la façon dont l'homéopathe s'adresse à la personne qui consulte en l'envisageant comme un sujet actif, savant et compétant. Cette recherche, prenant la perspective du constructivisme social féministe et se servant de l'analyse thématique descriptive, présente le résultat de l'étude d'entrevues menées auprès de mères québécoises qui ont consulté un ou une homéopathe pour elles-mêmes et leurs enfants. En redonnant la place à leur discours et à leur expertise, ces femmes nous révèlent la complexe démarche qui les a conduites à la consultation en médecine homéopathique, les transformations qui s'y sont opérées à travers un empowerment et leur perception sur l'efficacité sans équivoque de cette médecine face à leurs divers problèmes de santé. Cette étude dévoile ainsi la singularité de la consultation homéopathique comme espace social unique, laquelle autorise un partage des savoirs, un apprentissage incomparable sur le couple santé-maladie et pourrait représenter une solution à long terme pour les besoins de santé d'une population. ______________________________________________________________________________ MOTS-CLÉS DE L’AUTEUR : Santé, Médecine homéopathique, Efficacité, Sociologie, Pratique de santé, Mères, Constructivisme social féministe, Consultation médicale.
... 24 An uncontrolled, pilot outcome study, conducted at the Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital (TWHH) in 1998-1999 examined outpatient consultations. 25 Thirty-one patients with menopausal flushes were assessed for hot flush frequency and severity in three groups (no history of carcinoma of the breast; treatment for breast carcinoma, not receiving tamoxifen; treatment for breast cancer including tamoxifen). Results indicated useful symptomatic benefit for all three groups of patients. ...
Article
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Homeopathy is a system of therapeutics placed outside the boundaries of orthodox medicine and regarded as a complementary and alternative medicine. Homeopathy has been used to alleviate menopausal symptoms both in the climacteric and in breast cancer survivors. Individualized treatment by a homeopath, regarded as the gold standard of homeopathic care, is a complex intervention where the homeopathic medicine is matched to the individual using holistic principles. This review article describes and interprets the existing evidence from observational studies and clinical trials and makes recommendations for trial design in the future.
... In addition, there were no statistical differences noted in hot flash frequency or severity. Two uncontrolled observational studies of homeopathy for menopausal symptoms have been reported, and the authors of one article have stated that they have completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of homeopathy in symptomatic breast cancer patients [60,61]. ...
Article
There is a great need for alternatives to hormone therapy for use by symptomatic menopausal women. Alternatives to estrogen can en-compass lifestyle change, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and prescription nonhormonal therapies. The use of CAM therapies for menopausal symptoms is widespread and has been increasing. In recent years, there has been an increase in the quantity and quality of research related to CAM therapy use for menopausal symptoms. A highly effective and safe CAM therapy for menopausal symptoms would be valuable but has remained elusive to date. This article reviews randomized controlled trials examining the efficacy of CAM therapies for menopausal symptoms.
Article
Background: Menopausal complaints are frequently treated with homeopathy in daily practice worldwide. Recently, vasomotor symptoms have been understood to have implications as predictors of other important and long-term outcomes, causing increased risk of mortality and/or disability. Methods: A comprehensive search of the literature was conducted to investigate whether homeopathic treatments for menopausal women with vasomotor symptoms have a positive effect on other important health outcomes associated with menopause, such as cardiovascular disease, neurocognitive impairment, metabolic and mood disorders, or osteoporosis. Results: Though observational studies have shown encouraging results in reducing the severity and frequency of hot flashes in women treated with homeopathy, few randomized controlled trials have shown positive results. In most of the studies using homeopathy, the primary outcome is reduction in the frequency and severity of hot flashes, and other menopausal complaints are assessed secondarily as a part of the symptoms evaluated in the menopausal scales. Quality of life improves with homeopathic treatments for hot flashes, but there is scarce evidence of the effect of homeopathy on other health outcomes associated with menopause. Limited evidence exists in the case of menopausal women treated with individualized homeopathy for depression and metabolic disorders. Conclusion: A more comprehensive approach for treating menopause in routine homeopathic practice constitutes a valuable opportunity to increase knowledge and high-quality research in this field. Future homeopathic research for menopause should be focused on well-designed, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trials as well as on pragmatic trials to show whether homeopathic treatments for vasomotor symptoms can also improve outcomes that are well-known to increase the risk of mortality and/or disability.
Article
Introduction In 2003, the Homeopathic Clinic for Women at Campo di Marte Hospital (now Cittadella della salute) was opened in Lucca, Italy. Over an 11-year period women mostly with gynaecological diseases were followed up. This paper explores the socio-demographic caracteristics, main complaints, most commonly used integrative therapies, and the clinical results of women presenting over this period. Methods An observational, longitudinal study was conducted on 1388 women consecutively examined from 2003 to 2013. The ORIDL (Outcome in Relation to Impact on Daily Living) was used to assess outcome. All patients were treated with individualized homeopathic treatment (single remedy), without excluding other integrative treatments when necessary. Results Patients mean age was 42 years, most were office workers (23.9%); 33.4% had already used conventional therapies and 38% homeopathic remedies. The most frequently observed gynaecological diseases for 750 of the cases (54%) were: menopausal disorders (21.6%) and menstrual irregularities (11.9%), and among non gynaecological diseases, psychological disorders (12.9%). A homeopathic prescription was followed by herbal therapy for 42.2% of the patients with menopausal disturbances; 402 (53.6%) women with gynaecological problems, received follow-up and 38.1% were women with menopausal disorders. An improvement was obtained in 298 (74.1%) patients; major improvement or resolution (ORIDL = +2, +3, +4) was seen in 246 (61.2%) women, 89 (66.9%) of these with menopausal disorders. Conclusion Homeopathic treatment was sometimes integrated with diet, botanicals, and psychological counselling and support in psychopathological conditions and demonstrated positive therapeutic effects, particularly for women with menopausal disorders.
Article
Clinical trials in homeopathy have almost exclusively been performed on the efficacy of the homeopathic remedy. They have generally documented little, if any, effect. The few studies on homeopathy as a system have, however, generally shown a clinical effect. Researchers would claim that if the remedies do not work, their use should be terminated. This is applicable to homeopathic remedies used exclusively as alternatives to medicinal drugs. For use within the homeopathic paradigm, however, it is hardly imaginable that a homeopath can practice homeopathy without prescribing homeopathic remedies. Can the homeopathic remedy more be characterized as a meaningful symbol than a biologically active treatment? If this symbol is removed from the treatment »package«, an important effect of the system of homeopathy might be lost. The future of homeopathy can thereby imply an important medical ethical issue of the acceptability of using symbolism to achieve a therapeutic goal.
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This 2nd edition gives every health professional and pharmacist the broad information they need to dispense and counter-prescribe homeopathic methods with confidence. Designed as both a complete source of initial information and an everyday reference, Homeopathic Pharmacy provides detailed information on the procedures, principals, and applications that are essential in the practice of homoeopathic medicine. It describes the application of homeopathy for both general situations, such as first aid, dentistry, sportscare, and petcare, and for specific situations, such as allergies, infections, and teenagers problems.
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Background. Several large studies have showed higher risk and less benefit from hormone replacement therapy (HRT) than assumed, and sales figures have been reduced by almost a half. Several non-hormonal treatment alternatives for climacteric complaints are available. The object of this study was to determine the occurrence of climacteric complaints, and to study the use and efficacy of hormonal and alternative therapies among Norwegian women. Material and methods. 150 participants in the Norwegian Mammography Screening Programme in Trondheim were interviewed about climacteric symptoms, use of HRT, and of alternative therapies. Results. 81 % of the participants had experienced vasomotor symptoms. The prevalence was highest among women aged 55 - 59 years. 23 % of the women were current users of HRT, 27 % were past users. 75 % of the HRT users reported good effect. 25 % of the participants were current users of alternative therapies, while 17 % were past users. Soy was most frequently used as an alternative therapy. 42 % of the alternative therapies were reported to be effective. Interpretation. Half of the participants had used HRT, and most of these reported good effect. A corresponding number of women had used various alternative therapies, but the perceived efficacy of these was significantly poorer.
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Introduction: Postmenopausal symptoms in breast cancer patients undergoing antihormone treatment lead to high drop-out rates from the therapy. From the therapeutic point of view, methods of both conventional and complementary medicine are concerned. Interactions are being discussed in cases of natural substances. However, they are also relevant for conventional medical substances. The aim of this analysis is to answer the question as to what extent potential interactions are taken into account in clinical studies and reviews on supportive therapies. Materials and Methods: Clinical studies and reviews were identified by means of a systematic search and analysed with regard to the consideration of potential interactions. Results: Altogether 46 clinical studies and one Cochrane review were found. Among the 35 studies on conventional drug therapies, 5 (14%) took possible interactions into account. Among the 17 studies on complementary medicine, there were 2 (11.7%) such publications. The Cochrane review did not mention interactions. Discussion: For future studies in which interactions cannot be excluded, a strategy to control for their clinically relevant consequences should be developed. The present authors suggest that the use of survival and recurrence data as secondary endpoints, also for studies on purely supportive therapies, is a reasonable approach. The resulting considerations for study routines are listed thematically.
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Acute skin reactions are expected in patients receiving radical radiotherapy to the breast. Side effects of other adjuvant treatments such as chemotherapy and hormonal therapy can further impact upon patients' well being. As a result these patients are routinely monitored throughout their radiotherapy treatment at a review clinic. Previously the domain of doctors, radiographers are expanding their existing role and becoming more involved in review clinics. This paper highlights the key side effects reported by actual patients from their adjuvant treatment and strategies to alleviate these side effects. It also reflects upon the experience, both positive and negative, of undertaking clinical review and role expansion in general.
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Survival rates for people treated for breast or prostate cancer have increased steadily since 2000, which has been attributed to advances in early detection and improvements in treatments. However, breast and prostate cancer therapies that target estrogen and testosterone production are associated with hormone-deprivation symptoms--most commonly hot flashes--that may have a significant negative impact on quality of life. Compared to the healthy population, hot flashes occur most often in these two groups, so the authors conducted a literature search specifically for evidence-based interventions to manage hot flashes experienced by women treated for breast cancer and men treated for prostate cancer. The interventions reviewed were divided into two broad categories--pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions--and categorized according to Oncology Nursing Society weights of evidence. Most of the interventions were rated effectiveness not established or lower; however, two drugs, venlafaxine and gabapentin, were rated likely to be effective. In addition, the placebo effect was noted to produce a high percentage of positive results in mitigating hot flashes.
Article
The menopause is seen as a highly variable adjustment phase where for some women difficult symptoms can significantly impact on quality of life and in breast cancer that adjustment phase can be intensified and prolonged by anti-oestrogen medication. Homeopathy, defined as one of the many complementary and alternative medicines which women use to manage this transition, has been delivered within the National Health Service since its inception and has been used to alleviate menopausal symptoms both in the climacteric and more recently in breast cancer survivors. Individualized treatment by a homeopath, regarded as the gold standard of homeopathic care, is a complex intervention where the homeopathic medicine is matched to a woman presenting with a range of symptoms such as hot flushes, sleep and mood disturbance, joint pains and fatigue. These symptoms are thought to represent a whole system disturbance and the homeopathic medicine chosen reflects this disturbance. This article describes the delivery of homeopathic care within the UK, as part of an integrated approach to difficult symptoms, basic science that might offer a potential model of action, and reviews available data from observational studies and randomised trials in this clinical setting.
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Complementary and alternative medication (CAM) use during menopause is a growing public and women's health issue. The use of CAMs is increasing and evidence of CAM use in the general population suggests that women in the menopausal age range are more likely to use CAMs. In the context of menopause, preliminary research has indicated that women are using a number of CAMs to address symptoms. In a study of American women aged 45 to 65 years, 22% of women used CAMs during menopause, specifically herbal or naturopathic remedies (13%), relaxation techniques (9%) and dietary soy supplements (7%). Fourteen percent (14%) of women strongly agreed with the proposition that approaches such as nutrition and vitamins were better than hormones (Newton et al., 2002). The term 'menopause' is a concept of varying perceptions and perspectives. From the biological perspective, menopause is constant, however from the individual perspective, menopause is a unique experience shaped by cultural, emotional, psychological and physical characteristics. Symptoms commonly cited during menopause include hot flushes, night sweats palpitations, irregular menses and muscle and bone pain. The use of CAMs during menopause has the potential to address current symptoms and promote long term health and wellness. The reviewed literature indicated that while a preliminary understanding of CAM use during menopause is evident, further research is needed to clarify and contextualise current prevalence rates and types used. In addition, an understanding of the reasons and factors that influence women to use CAMs during this transition is crucial to understanding women's menopausal experience. This project aimed to explore the prevalence of CAM use during menopause and to identify the reasons that influence women to use these therapies during the transition. To address this question, a two phase study was designed to incorporate both quantitative and qualitative research methods. For Phase 1, a secondary data analysis was undertaken on a dataset that explored women's menopausal experiences and therapies used to address symptoms and for phase 2, focus groups were used to explore women's personal experiences and perceptions of CAM use during menopause. The secondary data analysis was undertaken on a population based sample of 886 women aged 47-67 years. Women were randomly selected from the electoral roll on the basis of gender, age and postcode, which were selected to ensure representation of urban and rural and varying socioeconomic status. From this analysis, the findings indicated that 80% of women used at least one type of CAM with therapeutic techniques (activities such as walking and swimming) the most commonly used (83.0%), followed by nutrition (66.8%), phytoestrogens (55.8%), herbal therapies (41.3%) and CAM medications (25.1%). Women who used CAMs were more likely to experience anxiety and vasomotor (hot flushes and night sweats) symptoms, have higher education levels, be low to middle income earners, be aged under 55 years, be previous users of hormone therapy (HT) and have participated in self breast examinations. CAM users were 40 to 90% less likely to be currently using HT or to smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day. The results of the secondary data analysis indicated the prevalence and factors associated with CAM use, however the factors that influence women to use CAMs during the menopause were unclear. A series of three focus groups and two telephone interviews were undertaken with a group of 15 women, who were current users of CAMs, aged 47-67 years and fluent in English. Women were recruited through an advertisement placed in a newsletter distributed by a large metropolitan hospital; a flyer displayed on noticeboards of libraries and shopping centres; and a media release through the local community newspaper and on a state wide radio station. Analysis of the transcripts indicated that a number of factors interact to influence a woman's decision to use CAMs. Influences included relationships with family, friends and health practitioners, effects of symptoms, information on CAMs and menopause, current menopause research, personal perceptions of health, wellness and effectiveness of CAM therapies to alleviate symptoms. Taken together, the results of the Phase 1 and 2 combined with the literature indicated that women were using multiple forms of CAMs. A post hoc analysis was undertaken and the CAM questions analysed in Phase 1 were critiqued within this new knowledge of CAM use. As a consequence, CAMs were redefined into four groups to enhance current understandings. After reclassification, the use of at least one CAM was 71.6%, with the most commonly used dietary phytoestrogens (60.0%), followed by dietary supplements (47.0%), herbal therapies (35.9%) and phytoestrogen supplements (33.0%). Sociodemographic, health and symptom characteristics were further profiled against the redefined categories of dietary phytoestrogens, dietary supplements, herbal therapies, phytoestrogen supplements and users of multiple CAMs. The consistency of associations varied according to the CAM category with no significant association present across all four CAM categories. This post hoc analysis clarified CAM categorisation and highlighted the high prevalence of women who were using multiple forms of CAMs. Additionally, multivariable analysis validated and confirmed the results of Phase 1 as similar profiles of a CAM user were found. This research has identified the prevalence of CAM use during menopause in Queensland women and has begun to elucidate the reasons that influence women to use these therapies during this transition. The utilisation of both quantitative and qualitative methods has provided a comprehensive and holistic depiction of women's use of CAMs during menopause. The results and conclusions drawn from this research have highlighted areas that need addressing within the research and health service domain. For future research, development of a comprehensive CAM survey instrument is required and clarification of the definition of CAMs is also needed. Multiple definitions are currently used to describe CAM use, creating confusion in classifying types of CAMs and comparing prevalence rates between studies. With regard to health service recommendations, there is a need for increased access to information on menopause and alternative therapies for women. Open, active and participatory relationships between health practitioners and menopausal women are essential and health practitioners need to be aware women are using a variety of CAMs during the menopause and are likely to continue to do so even if health practitioner support is not apparent.
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This paper reports on an investigation of the homeopathic approach to the management of symptoms of oestrogen withdrawal in women with breast cancer. Forty-five patients entered the study. The most common presenting symptoms were hot flushes (HF) (n=38), mood disturbance (n=23), joint pain (n=12), and fatigue (n=16). Other symptoms included sleeplessness, reduced libido, weight gain, cystitis, vaginal dryness and skin eruptions. The active intervention was an individualised homeopathic medicine. Forty women (89%) completed the study. Significant improvements in mean symptom scores were seen over the study period and for the primary end-point 'the effect on daily living' scores. Symptoms other than HF such as fatigue and mood disturbance appear to be helped. Significant improvements in anxiety, depression and quality of life were demonstrated over the study period. The homeopathic approach appears to be clinically useful in the management of oestrogen withdrawal symptoms in women with breast cancer whether on or off Tamoxifen and improves mood disturbance. A placebo-controlled trial would be the next stage in this line of inquiry.
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To critically evaluate and synthesize intervention research related to hot flashes in the context of cancer and to identify implications and future directions for policy, research, and practice. Published, peer-reviewed articles and textbooks; editorials; and computerized databases. Although a variety of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments are available, they may not be appropriate or effective for all individuals. The large and diverse evidence base and current national attention on hot flash treatment highlight the importance of the symptom to healthcare professionals, including oncology nurses. Using existing research to understand, assess, and manage hot flashes in the context of cancer can prevent patient discomfort and improve the delivery of evidence-based care.
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To critically evaluate and synthesize multidisciplinary research related to hot flashes in the context of cancer. Topics include the definition, scope, and impact of hot flashes; physiologic mechanisms; and measurement issues. Published, peer-reviewed articles and textbooks; editorials; unpublished data; and computerized databases. Hot flashes can affect a diverse group of men and women diagnosed with or at high risk for certain cancers with a resulting negative impact on quality of life. Although the exact physiologic mechanisms underlying hot flashes remain unclear, a complex interplay of thermoregulatory, gluconeuroendocrine, genetic, and behavioral factors appears to be involved. Measurement of hot flashes should be considered carefully because they can be operationalized objectively and subjectively. The large and diverse evidence base and current national attention on measurement of hot flashes highlight the importance of the symptom to healthcare professionals, including oncology nurses. Careful attention to assessment and measurement of hot flashes in patients with cancer is needed.
Article
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was introduced in order to overcome the problems associated with tissue catabolism to which postmenopausal women are particularly prone. However, it is widely accepted that estrogen is essential for breast tumorigenesis. Therefore, the question is raised as to whether HRT in a long perspective can increase the risk of breast cancer development. Moreover, the results of many observational studies do not fully support the protective effects against e.g., cardiovascular diseases. This mini review summarizes the results of recent studies indicating the benefits and risks related to HTR.
Article
Given the problems associated with hormonal therapy, and the prominent problem of hot flashes in menopausal women, there is a need for nonhormonal agents to alleviate hot flashes. Several compounds that appear to act on the central nervous system have been investigated. Potential mechanisms for their effects on hot flashes have been described. Bellergal (no longer available on the US market, where it was known as Bellergal-S), a combination preparation sedative that consists of low-dose phenobarbital, ergotamine tartrate, and levorotatory alkaloids of belladonna, is an old agent that was popular approximately 20 years ago; however, there is limited suggestion of efficacy for this agent. Clonidine, an older antihypertensive drug, is another centrally active agent that has been studied. Randomized trials have demonstrated that it clearly works for reducing hot flashes, but the magnitude of efficacy is somewhat limited. Toxicity from this agent limits its utility in the clinic. Methyldopa is another centrally active agent that has been studied but to a more limited degree. It appears to have minimal efficacy and too much toxicity to make it clinically useful. Anecdotal observations from a number of sources suggested that newer antidepressants can alleviate hot flashes. This led to pilot trials of venlafaxine and paroxetine, with results suggesting benefit from both drugs. Subsequently, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials of venlafaxine, paroxetine, and fluoxetine were conducted. All 3 of these clinical trials demonstrated statistically significant reductions in hot flashes with these newer antidepressants compared with placebo. Pilot trials of citalopram and mirtazapine, 2 other newer antidepressants, have also suggested efficacy. Toxicity evaluations have suggested that these agents are, again, well tolerated by the majority of patients. A recent trial, however, was unable to demonstrate any benefit for fluoxetine or citalopram over a placebo. Anecdotal observations also suggested that gabapentin was helpful for alleviating hot flashes. This led to pilot trials that again suggested efficacy. Subsequently, 2 large placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind clinical trials were conducted. Both of these demonstrated statistically significant efficacy for gabapentin compared with a placebo. This drug is relatively well tolerated by most patients. Thus, centrally active nonhormonal agents clearly do decrease hot flashes in women. The most efficacious and clinically appropriate agents for use are newer antidepressants and gabapentin. Continued evaluation of the efficacy and toxicity of these agents is ongoing.
Article
We sought to evaluate evidence for the benefits and risks of acupuncture, magnets, reflexology, and homeopathy for menopause-related symptoms. Search strategies included electronic searches of online databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, Medline), direct searches of target journals, and citation-index searches. A total of 12 intervention studies were identified for review. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments resulted in few side effects. The design, study populations, and findings across acupuncture studies varied. In uncontrolled studies, acupuncture improved subjective measures of hot flash frequency and vasomotor, somatic, physical, and psychological symptoms; however, improvements were not consistent. Controlled studies of acupuncture yielded even less consistent findings. Overall, controlled studies of acupuncture did not reliably improve hot flashes, sleep disturbances, or mood when compared with nonspecific acupuncture, estrogen therapy, or superficial needling. Homeopathy significantly improved subjective measures of hot flash frequency and severity, mood, fatigue, and anxiety in uncontrolled, open-label studies. Controlled studies of magnets and reflexology failed to demonstrate any increased benefit of treatment over placebo. There is a need for additional investigations of acupuncture and homeopathy for the treatment of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. However, existing evidence does not indicate a beneficial effect of magnets or reflexology in the treatment of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Understanding whether, for whom, and how these interventions work is crucial to building the evidence base needed to evaluate any potential for these CAM therapies in the management of menopause-related symptoms.
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A variety of symptoms are reported frequently as being part of a menopausal syndrome. These include hot flashes, night sweats, menstrual irregularities, vaginal dryness, depression, nervous tension, palpitations, headaches, insomnia, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and dizzy spells. The question of whether and how symptoms occur together is important for women who want to know which symptoms can be attributed to menopause and which to aging generally or to other physical or psychosocial factors. To address this question, the present article examines the following avenues of research: (1) the clustering or grouping of symptoms; (2) the temporal association of different symptoms with stages of the menopausal transition; (3) the consistency of symptom reporting across cultures, race, and ethnicity; and (4) the consistency of risk factors for symptoms. Results of the factor analysis studies do not support a single syndrome consisting of menopausal and psychological or somatic symptoms. The prevalence of symptom reporting across the transition also argues against a menopausal syndrome because vasomotor symptoms follow a unique pattern that differs from that of other symptoms. Cross-cultural differences suggest that symptom reporting is not universal. Finally, although there is some overlap in risk factors for symptoms, menopausal status is more consistently related to vasomotor symptoms than to psychological or physical ones. Results of these investigations all argue against a universal menopausal syndrome. Future research should focus on how symptoms are interrelated, what factors are uniquely related to vasomotor symptoms, and identifying whether there is a subgroup of women who are more likely to report symptoms.
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There is great controversy concerning treatment for menopausal symptoms. We evaluated homeopathic treatments for hot flushes and their effect on quality of life in menopausal women. Open, multi-national prospective, pragmatic and non-comparative observational study of homeopathic treatments prescribed and their effectiveness, observing their impact on quality of life. Ninety-nine physicians in 8 countries took part in this study and included 438 patients with an average age of 55. Homeopathic medicines were prescribed to all patients; 98% of the prescription lines were for homeopathic medicines. Lachesis mutus, Belladonna, Sepia officinalis, Sulphur and Sanguinaria canadensis were the most prescribed. A non-homeopathic treatment and/or food supplement prescribed for 5% of the patients. This observational study revealed a significant reduction (p<0.001) in the frequency of hot flushes by day and night and a significant reduction in the daily discomfort they caused (mean fall of 3.6 and 3.8 points respectively, on a 10cm visual analogue scale; p<0.001). Ninety percent of the women reported disappearance or lessening of their symptoms, these changes mostly taking place within 15 days of starting homeopathic treatment. The results of this observational study suggest that homeopathic treatment for hot flushes in menopausal women is effective. Further studies including randomized controlled trials should be conducted.
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We report an outcome study concerning patients treated by homeopathic medicine at the Tunbridge Wells Homoeopathic Hospital for the whole of 1997. The study aimed to assess: (a) the range of diagnoses presented by patients, and (b) patients' own impressions of benefit. 1372 questionnaires were completed by patients after consultations to record their impressions of the effects of homeopathic treatment. Patients were asked to score their responses on a + 3 to - 3 scale. The three main diagnostic groups were, dermatology, musculo-skeletal disorders, and malignant disease, especially carcinoma of the breast. Overall, 74% of patients recorded positive benefits, with 55% recording scores of + 3 or + 2.