Heavy Periods - What's My Body Telling Me?

female fundamentals menstrual cycles periods what's my body telling me? Jul 01, 2024

Understanding Heavy Periods: What's My Body Telling Me?

In today's blog, we are focusing on heavy periods, what they mean, and how to address them by understanding what your body is trying to tell you.

What is a Heavy Period?

Heavy periods can be confusing to identify. Here are some key indicators:

  • Double Protection: Needing to use two types of menstrual products simultaneously (e.g., pad and tampon) to manage your flow.
  • Frequent Changes: Changing a tampon or pad more frequently than every two hours.
  • Duration: Periods that last longer than seven days.
  • Leaking: Experiencing frequent leaks through your sanitary products.

If you identify with any of these signs, you are likely experiencing a heavy period.

Understanding Your Life Cycle Stage

Your age and life stage play a significant role in your menstrual cycle:

  • Puberty: During puberty, heavy periods can be common as the brain and ovaries develop their connection. This phase requires support for establishing a healthy hormonal balance.
  • Reproductive Years: If you are not in puberty or perimenopause and still experiencing heavy periods, this suggests high estrogen levels and that your body fundamentally needs support
  • Perimenopause: Hormonal fluctuations during this stage can also lead to heavier periods, as your brain hormone FSH is increasing which can lead to heavier cycles in the beginning of peri-menopause. It’s important to support your female fundamentals to support your body in balancing your hormones in this stage. 

Medical Causes of Heavy Periods

Several medical conditions can contribute to heavy periods:

  1. Endometriosis: This condition involves the growth of endometrial like tissue outside the uterus, leading to heavier menstrual bleeding.
  2. Thyroid Dysfunction: An underactive thyroid can cause elevated estrogen levels, leading to heavy periods.
  3. Uterine Fibroids: These are non-cancerous growths in, on or within the uterus that can cause heavy bleeding and clotting.

If blood loss is persistent and heavy, medical attention is required to stop the bleeding, otherwise blood loss will severely affect the bodies ability to function. This may involved medications, uterine ablations or in some cases hysterectomies. When these methods are indicated, it is also important to look after the function of your whole body because even though the bleeding is stopped, the reason why the heavy bleeding is present is still operating in the rest of the body. 

Functional Health and Heavy Periods

Understanding the root causes of heavy periods from a functional health perspective can help you address them more effectively. Here are four key areas to focus on:

1. Nutrients

  • Xenoestrogens: These are chemicals that mimic estrogen and can be found in plastics, pesticides, herbicides, and fragrances. Reducing exposure to these can help balance estrogen levels.
  • Detoxification: Support liver and gut health with sulfur-rich foods and fiber to help remove excess estrogen from the body.
  • Potassium: This mineral supports thyroid function and helps regulate hormones.

2. Blood Sugar Balance

High blood sugar levels can lead to increased estrogen production. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels helps in managing estrogen levels and reducing heavy periods. Signs of blood sugar imbalances include:

  • Feeling hangry (hungry and angry)
  • Darker skin in creases (e.g., armpits, neck)
  • Skin tags
  • Feeling tired after eating
  • Waking up thirsty at night

3. Nervous System

Stress plays a significant role in hormonal balance. Chronic stress can lead to high cortisol levels, which in turn affect progesterone levels. When progesterone is low, estrogen appears higher, leading to heavier periods. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, meditation, and proper rest is crucial.

4. Metabolism

A slow metabolism can lead to higher estrogen levels. Symptoms of a slow metabolism include weight gain around hips and thighs, fatigue, and feeling cold. Regular physical activity and a balanced diet can help maintain a healthy metabolism.

Practical Steps to Manage Heavy Periods

Here are some actionable steps to help manage heavy periods:

  1. Detoxify Your Environment: Reduce exposure to xenoestrogens by avoiding plastics, pesticides, and synthetic fragrances. Opt for organic foods and natural products.
  2. Balanced Diet: Incorporate sulfur-rich foods, fiber, and potassium into your diet to support detoxification and hormone regulation. Examples include cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower), leafy greens, and whole grains.
  3. Blood Sugar Management: Eat balanced meals with protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Avoid refined sugars and processed foods.
  4. Stress Management: Practice stress-relief techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and ensure adequate sleep.
  5. Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity to boost metabolism and support overall health.
  6. Medical Evaluation: If heavy periods persist, seek medical advice to rule out underlying conditions such as thyroid issues, fibroids, or endometriosis.

In the end…

Heavy periods can be a sign that your body is trying to communicate an imbalance. By understanding the underlying causes and addressing them through the four female fundamentals—nutrients, blood sugar balance, nervous system regulation, and metabolism—you can work towards achieving a healthier, more balanced menstrual cycle.

Your body is always communicating with you. Listen to these signals, and take proactive steps to support your overall health and well-being. If you have any questions or need further guidance, join our community and check out the resources available to support you.

Remember, your body knows what it needs, and by giving it the right support, you can help it function optimally.

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