Today, I’d like to open up a conversation about a female affliction that can drain the life out of you – literally. For all those women suffering silently from menorrhagia, abnormal bleeding – we at Naturna, feel your pain and have solutions.
What is Menorrhagia?
It is defined as bleeding heavily – soaking through a tampon or pad in less than 2 hours – and/or bleeding for abnormally long periods, such as more than 7 days per menstrual cycle. Clinically, I have seen a lot of women with various manifestations of this issue. For some, it’s related to their hormones; they may have hypothyroidism, PCOS, or menopause, which sometimes prematurely onsets. For others, they may have abnormal growths such as fibroids, polyps, or complex immune and hormonal issues like endometriosis. Many women are suffering from one or more of these issues but have never been diagnosed. This creates problems with finding the solution to menorrhagia as the cause has not been identified yet.
What’s the Usual Protocol in Conventional Medicine?
While one would hope that appropriate lab work would be conducted to determine what is causing the menorrhagia, it is rarely done. And if it is done, it is typically done with poor attention. Western medicine provides excellent diagnostic tools to conduct lab work and scans. However, physicians will often just prescribe birth control as the treatment for just about any ailment of female reproductive organs. When you see your doctor, one thing I highly recommend doing is to ask them if they would be willing to test you for hypothyroidism, PCOS, fibroids, polyps, menopause, or endometriosis.**
You can also consult with a practitioner who is either an Integrative Medicine Doctor, a Naturopathic Doctor, or a Chinese Medicine Doctor/Acupuncturist. A practitioner in any of these fields would approach the issue by trying to address the root cause. First, we investigate. As a practitioner, I’d ask a series of questions to figure out what exactly is going on in your body. I would then refer you to ask for specific blood work and scans, if warranted, and get you started on a treatment plan designed for you. For some women, it may only take 1-2 acupuncture treatments to get their reproductive organs back into shape. For others, it make take 6 months of herbs, dietary changes, and acupuncture to gain any traction. Diet and lifestyle considerations are paramount as many things can contribute to heavy bleeding. Examples:
- Cruciferous veggies and soy milk suppress thyroid function and can lead to irregularities
- Pollutants and hormones in food can lead to estrogen dominant conditions like fibroids or endometriosis
- Sugar, alcohol, and stress can exacerbate PCOS, leading to erratic bleeding
- Alcohol and caffeine exacerbate menopausal hormone deficiencies
One of the main points I want you to take away from reading this post is to listen to your body. Simply looking out for signs or feelings that seem unusual, and acting on that by consulting with a doctor or practitioner can save you from a lot of problems. You don’t want to be dealing with more severe issues down the road. You deserve the best.
Contact us at Naturna to find out more about acupuncture, nutrition, and herbal solutions for hormonal imbalance, fertility, and family care. Email us at [email protected] or give us a call at 646 609-4250!
**Note – diagnosing endometriosis involves doing a laparoscopic exploration and is not recommended as a routine test because of the level of invasiveness. Be your own advocate.