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Treated a patient recently in the last month suffering from menstrual pain. This is a female patient in the twenties. While menstrual pain affects just about every single female out there, the severity and degree varies widely. For this particular patient, the pain is focused on the first day only.
But it seems that is enough, as that alone incapacitates her for the entire day. As she still goes to school, there are times when that particular first day of her period happens to be when she's at home or when she's at school. If at home, she's able to at least rest and lie down to "weather through the storm", for lack of a better description.
Unfortunately if she's at school, then it becomes a nightmare. One would suggest she could just skip that day and stay home. However this is easier said than done. After seeing so many patients with menstrual problems it has occurred to me that most females do not really pay attention to their cycle pattern, as in how many days there are per cycle.
Most have only a rough idea. The reality is that it is frequently off by a day or even two. It is not really as exact as biology books tout it to be. The onset of the menstruation also varies. Sometimes it could be in the early morning, the afternoon, evening, or even during midnight somewhere between 12am to 6am. If there is pain in addition, then that would definitely be a nightmare, literally. Ergo, one can see it is not really possible to predict exactly.
The patient tells me the previous month when her menstruation came, she was at school. And the pain was so severe that her mind became muddy and she saw stars in her vision. Later on she apparently fainted. When her peers carried her over to the bench to lie down, she finally regained consciousness. Such things happen a few times a year according to her.
She's been to a Chinese Medicine practitioner before in the past. For two months of treatment she felt fine, but afterwards the problem came immediately right back. I explained this is because the "root" of the problem has not been dealt with and the treatment was only likely trying to mask the symptoms.
When I looked at this patient I noticed there is yellowish hue on the 2 corners of the mouth. After inquiry, the factor of food colouring could be eliminated, as the tongue did not show such colouring(which should be the case if there was colouring as a result of something eaten, given 99% of people do not brush their teeth after a meal). Patient's face looks a bit pale. Pulse is weak. After some other TCM diagnostic procedures I determined this is not that difficult to treat. In TCM we call this "blood deficiency", in other words lack of proper circulation in the female reproductive system.
Patient had assumptions about taking herbal medicine because she believes she just needs to take a little bit to get over with her problem. When I told her the opposite she felt a bit apprehended. I explained as she is still young, so even with this problem as is, there shouldn't be any real organic issues with the uterus and ovaries. But if she maintains the attitude that she just wants to get over the pain on a temporary basis without dealing with the "root" of the problem, then it won't be a surprise that years down the road there will likely be real physical problems with the reproductive system.
While I'm a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine but not a MD, I cannot diagnose any "disease" or "interpret" any exam reports, but based on the patients I've seen, ovarian cysts, chocolate cysts, endometriosis, fibroids and a plethora of other gynecological problems don't happen over night.
Usually these people have menstrual issues for years prior already, thinking it lasts for just a few days every month and therefore disregard it completely. After all even their MD likely says it is "normal" to have pain during menstruation. After I said this, she agreed, adding that she's also seen her family doctor in the past, who gave her pain killers, that she did not take. Smart girl.
And so she decided she wanted to take herbs for a longer time to correct the root imbalance. I prescribed herbal medicine for 2 weeks. And in the first few days she responded that there was abdominal pain and diarrhea. Both were transient and didn't occur later on. This is a result of the body readjusting itself, a good sign actually, no need to worry. She finished the herbs smoothly and came back for the 2nd visit. This time, the corners of her mouth didn't show the yellowish hue anymore. She looked much more energized and vibrant, a departure from the previous lacklustre visage. Herbal medicine was prescribed again for 2 weeks. At the end of the month she notified me that her menstruation came and there was no pain---she was very happy. Of course more treatment is required, and I will be continuing to monitor the progress.
Most people are told that menstrual pain is normal. This is a fabricated lie by the mainstream medical community because they do not know how to treat it. Technically speaking menstruation should accompany little to no pain. Any level of pain that causes noticeable discomfort should be paid attention to.
The modern medical community sadly fails to recognize the link between this problem and a host of more serious gynecological diseases that go as far as affecting fertility. Mainstream medicine may sometimes believe the pain is a result of organic anomalies such as endometriosis or cysts and fibroids, and decide to cut these out thinking that it will lessen the pain, in the process causing unneeded scarring in the reproductive system.
However they fail to realize this doesn't always work, because it is not really these organic changes that is completely causing the pain, but instead it should also be the body environment that lead to these organic changes that is causing pain. Not to mention, a significant percentage of females have fibroids and cysts to some degree, so why not just cut out everything?
The patient didn't come back for a couple of months already since her last visit in September, and I also didn't receive any reports in terms of subsequent periods. I decided to contact the patient to find out how things were. I then realized that the patient had smooth periods in September, October and November.
I discovered also that not much medicine was actually taken in October and November, since it was only for a 1-month supply for September only(most were finished in September, the rest taken sporadically later on). In other words, the herbs have helped the patient's body become able to have painfree periods, without any outside help. This is what I always say, the point of Chinese Medicine is to end treatment itself. I decided to tell the patient there was no need to come back anymore.