By Kalpana Sampath
I was an active person right from my school age. I had a healthy body, due credit goes to the dancing classes as I was very regular. But over a period of time with two children at the age of 36 my exercises and dancing had taken a back seat. I was doing everything except taking care of myself, which included my teaching and training job as well. Gradually, my menstrual cycle became irregular. Before and after every cycle, the water retention was high. Weight gain was a slow and gradual process. By the time I was 38, I had put over 12 kilos my normal weight and I looked bloated like a puffed up balloon.
I went from doctor to doctor. All allopath had their own version of diagnosis for my weight gain. It even went up to asking me to see a psychiatrist since it is just in my mind they said. I felt as if I was stuck in a labyrinth of problems that were together harming me internally. I was helpless as I could not convince them that I do not feel well inside and something was wrong.
This took nearly two whole years and by then I had developed endometriosis. My bleeding began to increase and it would go on for nearly 14 to 18 days a month and within next 15 to 20 days again it would start. I was a working woman and a full house with children and elders. I would be exhausted. I felt like a superwoman managing everything; my home, children, elders and then my work. It was chaotic.
After suffering for almost two year, I decided to find the solution in homeopathy. That initially showed a bit of relief, but just after 6 months, things came back to the square one. I had to undergo the same scans and tests again. A DNC was done. I felt medically harassed as my problem was only increasing. I felt weak and exhausted. Gradually, the situation got worse. It had been nearly 60 days of spotting every now and then, and my friends took me to hospital and admitted me. The doctor after all tests confirmed serious endometriosis. They gave me advice on methods of treating it. Then, I was taken to a senior specialist known to my friend. She informed me about Mirena, which I thought might help because it helps in reducing menstrual bleeding. I came back hoping to get better.
Later, I realised dancing was no longer easy and I just did not have any interest to push my body. Over a few months, I was feeling better. But the more I read I realised that Mirena has the possibility of several side effects since it works on my horomone regulation extraneously. I was developing issues of weight. I went and met the doctor again. She said there was no choice but to remove my uterus. That would be the best and simple solution.
I had no fibroids and no cancer. Why remove? No answer. I was told it will have to be done in next three to four days as an emergency. That was it! I decided I have had enough and called my Ayurveda doctor. He immediately put a stop to hysterectomy plans. He asked me to start on kashayams and arishtams. Since I was exhausted and weak internally with a haemoglobin count of eight, he also changed my diet and gave me medicines to replenish absorption of minerals from food. After a month, I was advised to go for complete 21 day Panchakarma treatment.
The 28 day stay under the constant care of the doctor was a great detox and healing experience. It not only removed my unwanted water retention, fat, and settled my triglycerides, cholesterol and BP into normal levels; it also healed me internally by working on my navarasas and emotional repressions releasing my body of stress and strain. I lost three kilos, felt energetic, happy and hopeful. It gave me a way of life. It shrunk my eating and made it timely. Ayurveda looked at holistic health and at causes. It never treated my symptoms or just gynec issues.
When I came back I took kashayams and arishtams for next six months, tapering it slowly. I also took some replenishing medicines that strengthen my uterus. My immediate problem of hormonal imbalance was solved. My cycles became regular.
After two years, I went for follow up treatment of a round of snehapanam, dhara and cleansing. Thereafter, I went for it twice, once in three years. In between, my body had become lighter; my cycles were regular till I was 46. Then, it began to slowly reduce. I had my periods once in two to three months. This went on for two years. What is more important is that in last eight years I have been very active, my body is hardly feeling and looking obese and the gradual process of menopause has set in. I have had no so called troubles of hot flushes, mood swings, exhaustion, pains and aches to complain on regular basis.
Ayurveda is a way of life. It does not offer a quick-fix solution to your problem, but offers you a complete solution, gradually with time. My uterus is healthy and shrinking gracefully. I ensure abhyangan three to seven times a month. I regularly get panchakarma done for 21 days every two to three years. My other parameters are largely maintained, though my sugar levels are a bit higher sometimes due to genetic tendency. But it is easily brought under control with minimum medication. I also travel, work for over 12 hours a day. Walk for nearly 8000 steps and do meditation and simple yoga for an hour in the mornings for five days a week. I largely follow vegetarian and satvik timely food habit.
Thanks to a healthy lifestyle and my Ayurveda physicians and therapists.
AS Blogger Kalpana Sampath is Director of Punarnava Trust & Arpitha Associates Pvt. Ltd.