Your body, each and every day is talking to you in weird and wonderful ways. Sometimes gentle and other times it’s like a fog horn to our eardrums, the words it is speaking to us can be overwhelming at best, especially if we don’t really understand what in the world is going on. It was only a couple of days ago it was brought to my attention I hadn’t written in any depth about heavy bleeding. We’ve talked about bleeding by way of spotting previously, but never really dived into it’s big sister – bleeding or for some haemorrhaging.
Heavy bleeding is outlined as being a flow that is approximately 80ml or more. That equates to approximately 16 or more soaked pads or tampons in a cycle according to our recent Period Party Podcast with Robyn Srigley. That might seem like a lot to you, but bleeding is something that many women face each month and for some, it may continue for days at best sometimes weeks on end. It’s always important to get to the bottom of why this is happening to you and as a first rule, visiting your health care practitioner may help provide insight and discuss an appropriate plan of attack. As a first point of call, it’s good to tick off any discrepancies with a pap smear. We’ve talked about how to treat abnormal cervical cells before here and here.
But, why are my insides seemingly punishing me?
There are however a few common offenders that may be the reason behind your downpour (sorry for that visual!) These include;
You might wonder what PCOS has to do with Fibroids or what cysts or polyps have to do with endometriosis. They are all very different however they all have one underlying force. Oestrogen. It is as such, at the crux of so many women health issues is Oestrogen Dominance all because one of its key tasks is to take charge of your uterine lining and have its way with her. Oestrogen is responsible for the thickening of your lining and as a result if it has the chance to build and build big, the period is naturally going to be heavy as it sheds each cycle.
But it all comes back to one main issue…
Behind this may in fact be the state (or lack) of your gut health for several reasons. Remember that your gut is the epicentre of your health and so naturally if it isn’t in tip top working order we can see a host of issues develop. This may mean several things that may also be behind your heavy bleeding;
+ Nutrient deficiency. Because the gut can’t assimilate nutrients if it’s functioning poorly or is sluggish or ‘leaky’ (hello leaky gut). Common offenders are low Vitamin A and low iron.
+ Various strains of gut bacteria have been shown to metabolise oestrogen, one famous strain known as oestrobolome. If we can’t regulate oestrogen, it only adds to the pile meaning it begins to cause chaos. This also extends to the thyroid. Hypothyroidism may also be associated with heavy bleeding especially in combination with other hormone imbalance like oestrogen dominance or androgen issues and can be associated the the heaviness, flow and regularity of your body since your thyroid also plays a role in regulating and reducing oestrogen.
When oestrogen is pulling rank, poor progesterone has a really difficult time matching its efforts. As more oestrogen builds, more progesterone is required to match, but unfortunately this isn’t as easy as adding in more. If there is too much oestrogen, the real trick is working on ways to reduce it. One of the main reasons we may find ourselves with too much oestrogen is a result of excess stress and overwhelm in our day to day lives. In these instances, the body is also robbed of progesterone as it priorities this for cortisol, our stress hormone. It’s super important that we begin to place priority on lessening stress each and every day as many more serious conditions are related to excess oestrogen. Your heavy bleeding may just be your first and only clue, better to sort things out as the arrive rather than later on in life when they have really turned your internals upside down.
Most intervening treatments don’t necessarily address the condition at the root cause but rather provide a bandaid approach which may be fine to stop you bleeding to death (ok drastic but you get me) but not necessarily a long term solution. I’m all for the long term, because your bleeding may just be the first symptom of other issues that will arise if you don’t address this sooner than later.
Solutions – we love solutions!
To begin to treat heavy bleeding, regardless of the known cause there are some very safe things you can do be it in conjunction with other medications or as a starting point for long term health.
- Address gut health. It really all starts here!
- Use appropriate nutrients via the diet to increase fibre and reduce inflammatory foods (gluten, sugar and dairy). Fat’s and protein are your friend (your hormones are made of these) plus loads of plants. Now is the time to also draw on the benefits of supplements, a good multi vitamin, fish oil and probiotic are key especially if your diet has been lacking.
- Love your liver. I’ve got you covered right here.
- Address your stress. Whaddaya know, I’ve got your back here too! But finding ways to reduce this also via movement, mindfulness and gratitude is also so useful. You might also like to listen to our latest podcast with Angela Simson for some pointers too!
It’s so important that you watch your body closely each day to see the changes and progress you make. There are a number of wonderful apps that allow you to do this. I’m not affiliated or associated in any way, but my favourite is M.Cycles available on iTunes. It’s super easy to use, but equally if you’re a dairy kind of gal, you can easily write down information your body is telling you, especially throughout your period each month to allow you to see any change and compare from month to month. Truth is we’re all busy and we forget!
As mentioned, it’s always important to rule out anything serious or sinister. That said, these suggestions are easily made and can be applied easily and at any stage of illness.
And now, over to you…
I’d love to hear your thoughts about bleeding, if it happens to you or any questions you’d like answered further. As always, I believe wholeheartedly that these conversations are the key to us finding happier hormones for all.
Please share this with any special women in your life who might like to learn a little more about bleeding too. You may just make their day (and save their organic tampon collection!)
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