Heavy periods

14 June 2016  |  Editor

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About Heavy Periods

Excessive menstrual bleeding is a common complaint which is usually preventable through proper nutritional measures, so long as the cause is determined. The most common cause is the body producing too much arachidonic acid, which is hormone-like substance (called prostaglandin series 2). This excess prostaglandin series 2 is probably the main reason for excessive menstrual bleeding and menstrual cramps.

Other factors in heavy periods include iron deficiency, underactive thyroid, vitamin A deficiency, vitamin K deficiency, essential fatty acid deficiency (omega 6), endometriosis, fibroids and birth control devices.

It’s easy to imagine that a woman may develop an iron deficiency if she is bleeding heavily during menstruation, but it’s not so well recognised that chronic iron deficiency can actually be a cause of heavy bleeding.

Nutrition facts & Diet Advice for Heavy Periods

The following nutrition guidelines should be considered:

  • Increase green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almonds and other nuts, all of which will provide omega 6 essential fatty acids, which also have the effect of keeping arachidonic acid levels down.
  • Eat oily fish, pumpkin seeds, linseeds (flaxseed) and walnuts for their omega 3 content.
  • Eat sprouted alfalfa seeds for their vitamin K content.
  • If not pregnant, eat organic liver for the vitamin A content – if you can’t get organic, leave it alone, and get a vitamin A supplement instead.
  • The green vegetables and nuts and seeds mentioned above also contain calcium and magnesium which will help relax muscles and relieve cramps.
  • Reduce animal fats which lead to an increase in arachidonic acid.
  • If you also have PMS, avoid sugar and alcohol and all refined foods.
  • Take regular exercise.

Health Supplements and Heavy Periods

Often, a combination of supplements may help in alleviating this condition.