Heavy Periods (Menorrhagia, Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding)

What is Heavy Periods?

Excessively heavy bleeding during your menstrual cycle can occur for a variety of reasons: hormone imbalances, infection, miscarriage of a pregnancy, or tumors in the uterus (womb). Because the causes vary so widely, any unusually heavy or prolonged bleeding demands the attention of your personal physician. But once you're sure the bleeding is not because of infection, pregnancy, or a tumor, nutrition can offer some help.

Heavy PeriodsWhat helps Heavy Periods?

•  Women with heavy menstrual bleeding are often found to be slightly low in vitamin A. Supplementation helps to return their cycles to normal. Recommendation: Take 25,000 IU of vitamin A for no more than 15 days. If your next cycle has not returned to normal, vitamin A deficiency probably wasn't the problem. Do not continue to supplement the vitamin beyond this point If your cycles did become normal, you may continue to take the vitamin A forerunner, beta-carotene, in a dose of 25,000 IU (15 mg) per day. Your body will slowly convert this nutrient to vitamin A as it needs it, so you don't risk vitamin A toxicity from continuing to use this vitamin in high doses.

• Even when you are not deficient enough in iron to develop anemia, the relative lack of it may contribute to heavy periods. The heavy bleeding improves for many such women when they supplement with iron. Recommendations: Take a chelated iron, such as iron glycinate, in a dose of approximately 30 mg per day through at least 2 menstrual cycles to assess your response. If you cannot find this form of iron supplement, you can use a combination of 45 mg ferrous sulfate along with 500 mg vitamin C twice daily. (The vitamin C "chelates" the iron and makes it easier to absorb.)

•  Manganese deficiency may contribute to your developing heavy menstrual periods. When your manganese levels are low, you also will lose more iron, copper, and zinc in the menstrual blood. Recommendation: Take manganese aspartate (or amino acid chelated manganese) in a dose of 20 to 30 mg per day through at least 2 menstrual cycles to assess your response.

•  Vitamin C plus bioflavonoids helps to reduce the heavy menstrual flow in some women. The action of vitamin C in improving the ability of your intestine to absorb iron from foods may account for part of this effect; however, the primary role of vitamin C in strengthening capillaries and other blood vessels probably plays the major role. Recommendation: Take 500 mg vitamin C in combination with the bioflavonoids (you can purchase them in combined tablet form) 2 to 3 times daily. If you already supplement vitamin C for other purposes, you can add a 1000 mg tablet or capsule of bioflavonoid complex to your daily dose of vitamin C.

Heavy Periods Herbal remedies

• Lady's mantle lessens the severity of bleeding and can be taken as a tea made from 1 cup water mixed with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the dried herb. Take for as long as the period lasts.

What makes Heavy Periods worse?

We know of no nutrient that worsens this problem.

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Heavy Periods
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