Sudden hormonal changes can induce three distinct and common types of menstrual disorders in women; the first being known as the “cramps”-medical name dysmenorrhea, the second disorder is characterized by unusually heavy bleeding and by the prolonged nature of the periods-medical name menorrhagia, the third disorder is characterized by the presence of irregularly occurring or absent menstruation-medical name amenorrhea. Hormonal changes are the primary reasons for the onset of these conditions. These changes often strike women during adolescence or in the years preceding menopause in older women the disorders can also affect women at any time during their years of reproductive capability.
Hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins are agents responsible for triggering menstrual cramps. These chemical substances are often released during the period of menstruation by the cells which lie in the lining of the uterus also known as the endometrium or uterine lining. Menorrhagia can be said to affect those women who suffer from easy bleeding and who may bleed so heavily as to necessitate a continuous change of a tampon or pad once every hour-women affected by menstrual periods lasting longer than seven days can also be classified as suffering from the disorder known as menorrhagia. Heavy bleeding can also be sometimes caused by the presence of an abnormal growth in the uterus a fibroid- however; the most typical causative agents of such bleeding are the presence of some hormonal or nutritional imbalances in the body of the woman. Adding to the problem is the fact that all the blood vessels lining the uterus are very weak and have a tendency to rupture very quickly. Amenorrhea can also be brought on by the presence of such hormonal imbalances in the body; it can also be due to an extreme exercise regimen or a dietary routine lacking in essential nutrients.
Supplements and Herbs
The supplements that the woman must use will directly depend on the type of menstrual disorder experienced by her at that time. All of the supplements and herbal remedies given here can be used in combination with the over the counter or medically prescribed medications suggested by the doctor. The woman need not fear any adverse or side effects arising from the use of the supplements together with the medications.
Menstrual cramps in women can be alleviated by supplements consisting of the essential fatty acids; such compounds are found in large amounts in the oils of herbs such as the evening primrose and the flaxseed. The essential fatty acids block the production of prostaglandins within the body and alleviate the worst symptoms of the condition. Remedies made from the chaste berry herb can alleviate the PMS-like symptoms affecting the woman, this will aid in bringing about a balance in the hormone levels within the body. This herbal remedy is especially suited for those women who are also affected by the presence of breast tenderness along with the menstrual disorder. The effectiveness of the herbal remedy can be boosted by adding another herb, called the dong Quai, to the supplemental regimen. This Chinese herbal will enhance the beneficial effects of the herbs. The necessity for using painkillers such as ibuprofen and other anti pyretic’s will be removed if these three supplements are used properly, the level of pain will be reduced and the need for the pain relievers will not be as necessary during the treatment procedure.
For women who are not pregnant, amenorrhea can be relieved by taking herbal remedies made from the chaste berry and the dong Quai, these two remedies will bring a restoration of normal menstrual periods-pregnant women must not use these remedies. The herbal remedies here may help in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and at the same time, the herbs may bring a balance to the hormonal imbalances existing in the body of the woman. The first beneficial effects may only become evident following six months of continuous treatment using the herbs.
If bleeding is present while the treatment of menorrhagia is going on, the woman must take the herbal remedy made from the shepherd’s purse herb in combination with the essential fatty acids to reduce the bleeding in the women. Heavy losses of blood lead to a deficiency of the essential mineral iron in the body, supplementation with iron become necessary to the women who suffer from heavy blood flow as the loss can lead to a complete depletion of the stores of this mineral within the body, this is compounded by the paradoxical fact that low levels of the essential mineral iron in the body often promotes the onset of abnormal menstrual bleeding in the woman. Before self-treatment with iron supplements is initiated, the affected woman must first check with her doctor. In addition, the levels of the essential nutrient vitamin A are also often very low in the bodies of women suffering from menorrhagia, supplementation can correct this fact. At the same time, supplements of the vitamin C along with plant-based nutrients called flavonoids must also be used to strengthen the capillaries-these are the tiniest blood vessels found within the uterus. The extra supplementation will ensure that these capillaries do not suddenly rupture and bring about additional bleeding in the patient.
Topical treatments such as a hot bath or the use of a heating pad can bring about relaxation to the affected uterus. Such direct topical treatments help bring relief from the physical cramps and other sensations affecting the woman. The natural compounds called endorphins in the body are released during physical exercise or other physical activity these compounds are the natural pain relievers in the body and you must follow a moderate exercise regimen to aid in the alleviation of the condition.
- Dong Quai, 200 mg, or 30 drops of dong Quai tincture, thrice daily.
- Chaste berry (also called vitex), 225 mg daily.
- Shepherd’s purse, 3 ml of shepherd’s purse tincture (i.e. about sixty drops) thrice daily. This herb is good for spotting between menses and heavy periods.
- Flavonoids / Vitamin C, 500 mg flavonoids and 1,000 mg vitamin C two times daily.
- Vitamin A, 25,000 IU daily for three weeks, then reduce the dose to 10,000 IU a day. Do not exceed 5,000 IU daily, if you are considering pregnancy.
- Essential fatty acids, 1,000 mg evening primrose oil thrice daily; 14 grams of flaxseed oil daily. You can use 1,000 mg of borage oil one time daily for oil of primrose.
- Iron, 100mg daily for about six weeks.
Other Beneficial Herbs
- Black Horehound
- Blue Cohosh
- Colic Root
- Pink Rose