Irregular Periods Treatment

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Naturopathic Treatment for Irregular Periods

If you suffer from one or more of the following symptoms and conditions, it is a clear sign of hormonal imbalances:

  • Heavy and/or painful periods
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Irregular periods (i.e. short, long or missed cycles)
  • Infertility
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – abnormal and male pattern hair growth, infertility, irregular periods, acne
  • Vaginal infections (e.g. thrush and BV)
  • PMS (e.g. mood disturbances, cravings, fluid retention, migraines, breast tenderness, hair loss, exacerbation of existing gut and skin issues)
  • Hypothyroidism

These symptoms and conditions may be common, but they are not normal. A “good” monthly cycle is a hallmark feature of a female’s health and wellbeing. This is because, more often than not, poor health can manifest in hormonal disturbances.

The above signs and symptoms are usually due to an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone (and excessive production of testosterone in the case of PCOS). Where estrogen is produced in excessive amounts and progesterone is not produced in high enough amounts.

Estrogen is extremely important for the female body, however too much of a good thing can actually be bad. When estrogen is excessively produced in the body, it can become pro-inflammatory and highly proliferative, leading to symptoms like heavy and painful periods, as well contributing to conditions such as fibroids and endometriosis.

High levels of estrogen suppress progesterone production by suppressing ovulation (ovulation is the only way progesterone gets produced). Low progesterone production leads to symptoms such as irregular cycles, infertility due to lack of ovulation and PMS. It also exacerbates heavy and painful periods because it helps to thin the uterus lining and decrease pain.

Progesterone is a calming and anti-inflammatory hormone that supports healthy skin, hair, nails, breast tissue, thyroid function, gut health, appetite, bone health, brain health and mood regulation. This is why lowered amounts affect these body systems quite profoundly, causing various uncomfortable symptoms. Progesterone production inevitably declines as a female gets older and reaches menopause, therefore, during a female’s reproductive years, they should try to optimise its production in the body to maximise its beneficial effects on various body systems. Maximising progesterone production in reproductive years is like putting as much money as you can in the bank before retirement.

Imbalances of progesterone and estrogen can be further exacerbated in PCOS cases where there is excess production of testosterone, which is usually due to insulin resistance or stress (i.e. psychological stress, anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, poor diet choices, alcohol consumption, smoking etc).

The standard treatment for hormonal issues is usually hormonal replacement therapy such as the contraceptive pill or IUDs. Other treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers and anti-hemorrhagics. These drugs can cause a vast array of unwanted side effects that can severely impact a person’s quality of life. They also fail to address the underlying causes of the hormone imbalance, which will keep manifesting and getting worse. This leads to symptom flare ups when these symptoms suppressing medications are discontinued.

Estrogen excess and progesterone deficiency (as well as excess testosterone in the case of PCOS) is usually driven by poor diet and lifestyle habits that cause inflammation in the body and disrupt the gut microflora. Also, food allergies and intolerances can play a large role in exacerbating hormone issues. These allergies and intolerances may not always manifest in digestive symptoms, but rather hormonal disruption.

If you are suffering from hormonal imbalances, call Oak Health today or book an appointment online to find out how evidence-based, sustainable and practical diet and lifestyle interventions, as well as herbal and nutritional supplementation can be used to actually bring your hormones back into balance. Even if you are still on the pill or IUD.

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