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We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
October, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 10
Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
The New York Times recently cited a 2008 report which showed that birth rates for women over 40 years of age rose 4 percent over the previous year and a 2009 survey indicated that 14 percent of people in their prime childbearing years decided to delay becoming pregnant due to the economic recession. For some of these women, this decision may have dire consequences on future pregnancies.
For nearly 1 in 1,000 women (1 percent to 4 percent, or 250,000 to 1 million) between ages 15-29 years old who delay pregnancy, it may already be too late. These women may have a condition called premature ovarian failure (POF). It is also referred to as primary ovarian insufficiency, premature menopause, or hypergonadotropic amenorrhea.
When girls are born, we generally have enough eggs in our ovaries to menstruate monthly from puberty until the supply is depleted and menopause ensues. But in women with POF, there either aren't enough eggs at birth or there is something genetically wrong or dysfunctional with the ones they have. (There is also a possibility of surgical intervention, such as removal of the ovaries, and radiation or chemotherapy that can bring on early menopause.)
When this occurs at an early age, it is considered a natural, yet premature menopause and the symptoms are the same as in older women: cessation of menstruation, hot flashes, night sweats, decrease in breast size (or lack of breast development in puberty), vaginal dryness, mood swings, loss of energy, dry eyes, low sex drive, painful sex, bladder control problems, and insomnia. While these symptoms usually accompany POF, some women with the condition have periods and hot flashes, or no periods and no other symptoms.
A simple blood test to check the levels of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) can indicate the presence of POF. High levels of FSH usually confirm the diagnosis. However, that same blood sample can be used to test for other genetic causes of POF, and these should not be overlooked. A positive result for any genetic causes may have a significant effect on the carrier's long-term health, if not her immediate fertility.
Genetic or chromosomal causes of POF may include: Turner syndrome (the absence of two functioning X chromosomes affecting 1 in 2,500 women), Swyer syndrome (a condition also called XY gonadal dysgenesis or the lack of functioning gonads), Androgen Insensitivity syndrome, or premutation of Fragile X (the most common inherited cause of cognitive impairment, global developmental delays, seizure disorders, carried by 1 in 259 women worldwide [and 1 in 800 men]. Approximately 20 percent of women who carry the defective gene have POF).
There may be a family history of early menopause or some enzymatic or metabolic defects such as galactosemia (when the body is unable to metabolize galactose), thalassemia major (an inherited blood disorder where the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin), or hemochromatosis (wherein the body cannot break down iron and blood levels escalate).
Autoimmune diseases may also be causative for POF: thyroid dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, polyglandular failure I and II, diabetes, pernicious anemia, adrenal insufficiency, vitiligo, and lupus erythematosus.
But missing a period and its fertility sequelae are only part of the concern with POF. Women with POF are at higher risk for osteoporosis and heart disease. And of course, infertility, although 6 percent to 8 percent of women with POF can become pregnant.
The current medical treatment for POF is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The dose generally starts out low to give the woman's body a chance to acclimate itself. Then the dose is gradually increased to a level higher than menopausal women. Sometimes birth control pills are prescribed in lieu of hormone replacement therapy. About 1-2 months after the start of HRT, a menstrual cycle may begin, accompanied by increased breast size, cramps, and even PMS.
Acupuncture and massage can have palliative effects on the symptoms of POF, helping reduce the discomforts associated with this condition. Points that support the reproductive system and hormone production are very useful.
Having a baby is still not out of the question, however. IVF with donor eggs may work for some women, while adoption may be the better choice for others. And while there is no current cure, support groups can be a great help and benefit. With so many young women experiencing this dramatic change in their lives, it's wonderful to know you are not alone.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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