May 10, 2009
Coffee causes hot flushes
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) experts answer your queries in this fortnightly column. Remember, you should not self-medicate. Always consult a practitioner.
By Gerard Yeo
I am 49 years old and my menstrual cycle is irregular. I would sometimes miss my period for two months. How can TCM help?
You are likely approaching menopause. This is when a woman, usually between the ages of 45 and 55, stops menstruating permanently. Besides an irregular menstrual cycle, some women may experience symptoms such as hot flushes, sweating at night, poor quality of sleep, thinning of the skin and bone loss.
This is due to a deficiency in the functions of the liver, kidney, spleen and heart, as well as insufficient yin and yang of the kidney and liver. It is also due to weak qi and blood circulation.
Chinese medicine such as processed Rehmannia Root (shudihuang) and Chinese Angelica (danggui) are used to increase qi and blood, while White Peony Root (baishao) and Common Yam Rhizome (shanyao) are prescribed to increase the kidney's yin and yang.
To treat hot flushes and insomnia, Lily Bulb (baihe), Oyster Shell (muli) and Chinese Wolfberry Root-bark (digupi) are prescribed.
Eat high-protein food, which includes soya bean, lean meat, fish and poultry such as chicken and duck.
Take less oil, sugar and salt as these create heat and dampness, which weaken the spleen and kidney. Instead, take more vegetables and fruit to strengthen your digestive system. Avoid spicy food, caffeine and alcohol, which are heaty, to reduce the occurrence of hot flushes.
Information provided by Ms Lim Lay Beng, a TCM physician at YS Healthcare TCM Clinic at The Adelphi.