Natural Relief from Heavy Bleeding and Menstrual Flooding

Yarrow tincture

The underlying cause for heavy bleeding and estrogen-dominance for most women is blood sugar dys-regulation. 

Heavy bleeding or menorrhagia is pro-longed and/or heavy periods that disrupt a woman's regular activities.  This can occur in women at different life stages for various reasons which relate to hormone imbalance.

There is hope for relief from heavy bleeding using a natural approach.

*Stop the bleeding using herbal extracts
*Recover through nutritional assessments
*Change diet and lifestyle to address the root cause of hormone imbalance

The following natural approaches are effective in stopping the bleeding, helping the woman recover from the blood loss (heavy bleeding is often a cause of anemia or anemia-like tendencies), and normalizing hormones so that heavy bleeding does not return. 

1. Stop the heavy bleeding. 

There are herbs with an astringent quality that stop menstrual flooding.  I have found different women do better with one or the other, so if one does not work for you, try the next one. My favorite herbs for this are single herbal extracts of Shepherd's Purse and Yarrow tinctures. I suggest Herbalist and Alchemist's brand as an excellent source of quality extracts. Start with 5-10 drops of one of the herbal extracts, such as Yarrow tincture, every hour. Add it to a little water and drink. If one is sensitive to alcohol in the extract then add it to hot water or hot tea to burn off some of the alcohol. The bleeding should stop within the hour. If it does not, take another dose one hour after the first. Repeat this dose hourly until the bleeding has stopped. Once the bleeding has stopped, then stop taking the herbal extract.

2. Once the bleeding is under control, it's time to do the repair work:

It's down-right exhausting to experience heavy bleeding and unfortunately many women suffer from this before getting the right help. I typically suggest basic blood work to decide if blood builders or iron are helpful due to a history of heavy bleeding and, in some cases, low iron absorption from the diet.  The blood tests I like to review include CBC with Differential and Ferritin. I will also review other tests for general nutritional status. I do not use standard medical ranges to review the blood work but instead use functional ranges based on healthy people and most current nutritional research and functional medicine practices. This helps develop a plan for nutritional support to not only stop the heavy periods but also to address other imbalances that may be present. 

It's important to address the root cause of the bleeding.  Heavy bleeding typically is caused by an estrogen-dominant state of the body. Female hormones may be measured to assess this but are not always necessary. (In many cases, I find just a dietary change is adequate to balance hormones). When tested, progesterone and estradiol blood tests may be used and the ratio of progesterone to estrogen can help assess if an estrogen-dominant situation is present. This ratio may be used in future monitoring with other tests to assess progress. Saliva hormone testing may also be used but in many cases, the blood tests are more affordable and just as helpful.

The underlying cause for estrogen-dominance for most women is blood sugar dys-regulation. This means she experiences blood sugar swings and this has the end result in higher levels of inflammation and a shift in estrogen and progesterone ratios.  I will typically ask these questions to ascertain if a client feels the blood sugar swings;
* Are you ever tired after meals?
* Do you feel much better after meals?
* Do you experience energy crashes any time during the day or need coffee/chocolate or a snack, etc. to keep going?
* Do you have cravings after a meal?
* Do you get "hangry" if you go too long without eating between meals? (Such as getting low blood sugar tendencies in less than 5-6 hrs)

If a client answers "yes" to even one of the questions above then that is a helpful marker for her to be able to observe when blood sugar swings are happening in daily life. Not all people are aware of their bodies in this manner and fasting glucose, lipid panel and hemoglobin A1C are blood tests that can help identify dysfunction when obvious symptoms are not noticed.

The diet may need some adjustments to correct the imbalance in blood sugar and the sensitivity to carbohydrates and sugars if this is a potential cause for a hormonal imbalance. It may be that a carbohydrate-cycling diet or a ketogenic diet may be most appropriate and this should be assessed on an individual level. Women with low blood sugar tendencies may also tend to have a low mineral status which will need to be addressed through diet and special foods.

Depending on the degree of hormonal imbalance, herbal extracts may be used to help raise progesterone levels naturally.  Lifestyle approaches may be taken to help reduce exogenous estrogens from plastics and chemicals in self-care and house-hold items. 

There is hope for relief from heavy bleeding using a natural approach. In summary, it involves:

*Stop the bleeding using herbal extracts
*Help with recovery through nutritional assessments
*Change in diet and lifestyle to address the root issues of hormone imbalance

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