Heavy Periods: Understanding the Causes & Naturopathic Solutions

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Women who have heavy periods are well aware of how the flow and painful menstrual cramps can get in the way of your day-to-day life. What causes heavy period flow, and what solutions are there to make your period more manageable?

Many doctors will recommend prescriptions or over-the-counter medications for relief from heavy bleeding and menstrual cramps. There are, however, other naturopathic solutions available to reduce and relieve these symptoms. Understanding the cause for your heavy periods, or even irregular periods, can help determine the most effective holistic treatment options for relief, allowing you to live your life on your own terms, even during that time of the month.

What Is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?

Heavy menstrual bleeding, or menorrhagia, refers to an excessive flow, resulting in the need to frequently change your tampon or pad every two hours or less. You will also pass blood clots larger than a quarter or even have a period lasting longer than seven days. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should discuss these symptoms with a professional women’s health doctor.

Things to Keep in Mind About Heavy Periods

There are a few points to keep in mind about the causes and symptoms of heavy periods. Here’s what you should know so you can find the most effective solution.

Who Is Affected by Heavy Bleeding?

Heavy periods and excessive bleeding is one of the most common problems women report to their doctors. An estimated 10 million Americans experience a heavy menstrual flow each year, or one in five women. It can occur at any age and can come about because of many causes, such as hormonal imbalances or uterine fibroids

What Complications Can Arise from Prolonged Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?

Many different complications can come about if you have a prolonged heavy cycle, including anemia iron-deficiency due to excess blood loss, fatigue, weakness, and severe menstrual cramping and pain.

What Are Common Causes of Heavy Periods?

Heavy periods can have any number of causes. Some of the more common causes include but are not limited to:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid issues
  • Dysfunction of the ovaries
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Polyps
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Liver or kidney disease
heavy periods

No matter the cause, there are holistic solutions that can treat heavy bleeding and allow you to live your life without painful cramps or the need to change your pad every hour.

Taking a Naturopathic Approach to Excessive Menstrual Bleeding

Women dealing with excessive heavy periods will reach for prescription drugs and medications to decrease their flow and painful cramping. These forms of pain relief, however, can come with side effects, such as:

  • Blood clots
  • Strokes
  • Changes in vision
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Joint pain
  • Digestive issues
  • Inflammation 

Taking a naturopathic approach to relieving your symptoms is an effective, non-invasive, and drug-free solution that comes with virtually zero risks of adverse side effects. 

What Is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine focuses on treating the whole person to provide healing throughout the body. The body is a complex, interconnected system in which one minor issue can cause several other symptoms. It’s important to consider the whole body rather than just focus on the main outward symptoms.

This holistic, natural approach to medicine and treatment involves specific, personalized therapies that pertain to a person’s lifestyle, nutrition, genetics, exercise, and unique needs. By taking the whole patient into account, a naturopathic doctor can pinpoint the specific causes and reasons for your heavy menstrual bleeding to find an effective, natural solution.

Treating heavy bleeding and menstrual cramps with an all-natural, holistic approach has incredible benefits. Some natural ways to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding are:

1. Eating the Right Foods 

Certain foods can reduce heavy periods and menstrual cramping while providing your body with the nutrients it needs to support overall function and wellness. Some of these foods may include:

  • Ginger 
  • Leafy greens
  • Seafood
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oranges
  • Broccoli

These foods are high in vitamin C and iron and have anti-inflammatory qualities that will decrease your painful period symptoms. It’s also important to avoid foods high in processed sugar, trans-fat, and starchy carbs because they can make menorrhagia symptoms even worse.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

2. Nutritional Supplements and Herbal Remedies

You can take supplements that may reduce the symptoms of heavy periods. These can include iron supplements, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and selenium.

While these nutrients can be found in certain foods, your body may struggle with absorbing some of these nutrients. You may not be getting enough from the foods you are eating. Supplements can be highly beneficial in getting the right amount of these nutrients that work to decrease your menstrual bleeding.

3.Making Lifestyle Changes

Ensuring that you practice healthy habits, such as getting plenty of rest, regular exercise, and hydrating, benefits a healthy flow. When you take care of your body, it often reacts positively to life changes.

4. Balancing Your Hormones

Hormonal imbalances are caused by several factors, including lack of sleep, stress, or die. Getting them back into balance is an effective solution for your heavy menstrual bleeding. By making lifestyle changes, you can bring the body back into balance. For more severe cases, hormone therapy is a viable option to bring your hormones back into harmony so they can function how they were meant to. 

All-natural solutions such as these help reduce your heavy period and menstrual pain and promote overall health and wellness. By taking a naturopathic approach, you can focus on the body as a whole to figure out the root cause of your heavy bleeding and find the best all-natural treatments for you. 

Live Life on Your Own Terms

Heavy menstrual bleeding can make that time of the month difficult and burdensome. It can be tough finding the right solutions for your heavy bleeding while taking care of your body as a whole. Holistic, naturopathic medicine can help you find the root cause of your heavy period symptoms and discover the most effective solution for your unique needs.

If you are ready to start living life on your own terms even during your period, contact Dr. Karen Threlkel today to schedule an appointment and discuss your options for naturopathic care to reduce and relieve your heavy flow. 

About The Author:

Picture of Dr. Karen Threlkel, Naturopathic Physician, Washington DC

Dr. Karen Threlkel, Naturopathic Physician, Washington DC

Dr. Threlkel received her degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from The National College for Naturopathic Medicine (now called The National University of Natural Medicine) in Portland, Oregon. She also holds a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology from The University of Maryland. She is licensed in Naturopathic Medicine by the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health. Dr. Threlkel is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, past president & current member of the Washington DC Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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