Cessation of the Menses. Turn of Life
By helping nature and bearing in mind that the generative organs must be kept in health principally through the nutritive and nervous systems, b guarding against every cause which acts unfavorably upon either of these two systems, we shall do much to lessen the discomfort and danger of this period. Those who live well and exercise but little should change their mode of life; while it is equally true that those who are habitually overworked or underfed, should fortify themselves with more rest and a fuller diet.
Suffice it to say that except in those cases in which there is an established tendency to a certain disease, no woman who has led a normal, active life, and who has enjoyed a normal degree of health need fear to approach this period of her existence.
Nervous Complications. It is the duty of the physician to look carefully after those females who come under his care at this critical time. For, in addition to the organic and malignant diseases which attack her at this time, she is exposed to a host of nervous irritations, which, if neglected or badly managed, make her life a cross and a burden. The symptoms of these imitations are in number, legion.
Age at which the turn of life comes. As a general rule, the turn of life comes between the ages of forty and fifty; but occasionally occurs at other periods, varying from thirty to seventy. If the menses appear early in life, they terminate early.
Symptoms. When there is a tendency to corpulency at this period, the symptoms are headache, dizziness, and a sense of suffocation. It is common, when the period of cessation approaches, for deviations from regularity to occur. At one time the menstrual discharge will be profuse; at another, scanty. It will now disappear for a time, and be replaced by the whites. Then it will appear for a few times with considerable regularity. Next will come a suspension for several months, to be followed by a flow of such profusion as to amount almost to flooding.
Mixed up with these irregularities will be palpitations of the heart, constipation of the bowels, a variable appetite, and broken sleep, weakness and inquietude, timidity, a dread of impending evil, irritability of temper, hysterical attacks, bad feelings in the head, with sounds in the ears, as of the rolling of carriages, sparks before the eyes, and an unsteady gait.
Treatment. If there be, at this period, fullness of habit, with dizziness, headache, sparks before the eyes, a sense of suffocation, etc., there is a plain indication that the brain is oppressed with too much blood. Give at night three of the compound cathartic pills, and then keep the bowels regular with prescription (18), a wine glassful to be taken occasionally. The diet should be spare, and strictly vegetable: to which should be added much daily exercise.
For the flushes and sweats to which women are subject at this time of life, ergot often answers admirably, in teaspoonful doses every few hours. Atropia in 1/100 grain doses not infrequently helps the sweating.
Purging should not in any case be carried too far.
The more simple remedies only should be resorted to for relieving distressing symptoms as they appear from time to time.
For keeping the bowels active a good formula is (18). The ,hot flushes " or “dizziness" if not too severe are best controlled by footbaths of hot mustard water. For the various “wandering" neuralgia p . s apply a mustard plaster or paste.
Henbane is a valuable herb in disorders of the nervous system and may be used according to directions on pages 1015 6.
Or an infusion or tea made as follows: two teaspoonfuls of the powdered root of Star Grass; one ounce of Scullcap (whole herb); one ounce of tops and leaves of Catnip; one half ounce of Valerian root; one quart of water. Steep till quantity is reduced to one pint; strain, cool and take wineglass 3 or 4 times daily. This will be found an admirable remedy to soothe and strengthen the nervous system. In some cases it is necessary to resort to a rigid diet, excluding all red meat A good tonic is (75).
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