What Causes Heavy Periods?
Where are my heavy periods suffers?
For the last few years I have suffered from such heavy periods I've required iron transfusions.
But it hasn't been the treatments that have left a lasting impression on me - it's been the hours and days wasted in bed and/or on the toilet in pain and bleeding so heavily that I could't even leave the house. As a mother to two young children, this became a big problem!
My doctors were quick to prescribe birth control and recommend surgical procedures. Neither of which were great options in my option, so I looked to lifestyle and nutrition to aid my hormones help prevent the heavy, painful periods.
Below is a short list of questions I complied and the best answers I could find.
1. What is a "heavy period?"
Experts agree that every woman can have her own definition of a heavy period. So, if you say it's a heavy period, it certainly is. Then again, you might not think you have heavy periods but you are suffering all the signs and symptoms of heavy periods.
2. Why do I have a heavy periods?
The reasons vary from woman to woman. Hormone changes, fibroids, endometriosis, a blood disorder, use of an IUD, certain medications, precancerous or cancerous cells all can cause heavy periods. Interestingly enough, if you've had your tubes tied, you may get heavy periods several years later. And then some women just bleed heavily without any underlying problem.
3. How can I reduce my menstrual flow?
Periods can be regulated with hormones and hormones can be regulated through nutrition and lifestyle. Below is chart of recommended foods to eat during each cycle of your period to naturally start regulating your hormones. Keep in mind the IUD may actually increase already heavy periods and doctors are always quick to prescribe birth control which can actually cause more damage. For women who are done with having babies, endometrial ablation may be helpful but only is about 50% of the cases. I personally do NOT recommend any of these medically induced options as they only create more underlining problems!
4. Can you lose too much blood with heavy periods?
Absolutely. A good way to find out is by checking your red blood cell level. If it's low, it means you've been losing so much blood fast that your body is struggling to keep up. This state is called "anemia." If you're tired all the time, cold when everyone else is hot, or start craving ice, you might have anemia and we'll need to get your blood levels checked.
5. As I get older, why are my periods getting heavier?
As women get older (hello forties), our periods may get heavier and occur more frequently. Unfortunately, this is also the time when abnormal precancerous cells or even fibroids could start to grow significantly. A change from light to heavy flow could be abnormal and should be investigated.
6. How to deal with heavy periods?
Drink plenty of fluids. Eat whole foods that help regulate your hormones. See a doctor for a workup and treatment plan for your unique situation.