Are you among the millions of women who want to know how to slow heavy menstrual flow? Has heavy bleeding and cramping become the norm for you? Many women experience blood loss and cramping severe enough to make it impossible to maintain a normal daily schedule. When menstrual discomfort becomes this intense, it is referred to as menorrhagia, and for lots of women it is considered a lifelong sentence. The good news is that you can slow heavy menstrual flow and effectively control cramps with tried and true natural remedies.
Normal menstrual flow occurs every 28 days but this can range anywhere between 21 to 35 days. Blood loss should be a total of two to three tablespoons. Bleeding in excess of this amount and time can lead to weakness, fatigue and feeling lightheaded.
Abnormal bleeding includes:
- Heavy bleeding accompanied by the passing of blood clots. Having to change protection during the night, or replace a sanitary napkin or tampon every two to three hours.
- Bleeding or spotting between periods.
- Bleeding after intimate relations.
- Bleeding for more than seven days.
- Bleeding after you have gone through menopause.
Several conditions that can cause abnormal flow during or between periods are: uterine fibroids, endometriosis, hormonal imbalance, polyps, thyroid imbalance, pelvic inflammatory disease, cancer, stress, a poor diet, and sudden weight loss or weight gain. Excessive bleeding can also be caused by intrauterine devices used to prevent pregnancy. Young adolescents who have just started to menstruate and those that are premenopausal may also experience heavy blood flow due to a disruption in the ovulation process.
Another cause of menorrhagia can be the commercial sanitary protection products used for menstrual flow. Sometimes chemicals used in such products can trigger an allergic reaction which results in heavy blood flow. Switching to cloth or menstrual cups may relieve the problem.
Herbs that slow heavy menstrual flow include black cohosh, ginger tea, yarrow, nettles, and shepherd’s purse. Small studies have found that a topical abdominal application of lavender, sage, and rose oil may help to relieve menstrual cramps. Applying heat to the abdominal area or soaking in a warm bath may also help to relieve painful cramps.
Those who are anemic may suffer from heavier bleeding. However, it is important to note that constant heavy bleeding can also cause anemia, making it necessary to supply more iron from the diet or from a supplement. Foods rich in iron are: whole grains, beans (lima, pinto, navy, black-eyed), lentils, vegetables (beetroot greens, mint, parsley, turnip greens), fruits (dried dates, watermelon, raisins), fish, and red meats. Foods such as beef liver, chicken liver, and turkey also have a good iron content.
A vitamin K deficiency can be responsible for heavy bleeding. If the heavy blood flow does not contain blood clots, this could very well be the culprit. Foods rich in Vitamin K are leafy, green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach, and parsley.
Making appropriate dietary changes may help relieve discomfort due to cramping and heavy blood flow. This means emphasizing, fresh fruit and vegetables, and ancient grains such as buckwheat and quinoa. Processed food and junk food should be avoided at all costs. Adding more potassium rich foods such as bananas and potatoes may help relieve bloating.
Getting plenty of rest and drinking extra fluids can help relieve the discomfort caused by menorrhagia. Choose water or teas, and avoid sodas and alcohol.
If you are suffering from excessive bleeding, it is a good idea to visit your healthcare practitioner to rule out any serious condition which may lead to further complications if not identified and treated.
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