Every month millions of pre-menopausal women dread the effects of menstrual bleeding they experience due to heavy bleeding and cramps. Although heavy bleeding and cramping are common during menstruation, many women experience blood loss and cramping so severe that they find it impossible to maintain a normal daily schedule, a condition known as "menorrhagia". Many women may consider menorrhagia to be a lifelong sentence; however, heavy bleeding and cramping can be effectively controlled with tried & true natural remedies.
by Luella May
Normal menstrual flow occurs every 28 days but can range anywhere between 21 to 35 days. Total blood loss should be a total of two to three tablespoons. Excess bleeding can lead to blood loss of five tablespoons or more, causing the sufferer to feel weak and lightheaded.
Abnormal bleeding includes:
• Heavy bleeding during menstruation and passing blood clots. Having to change protection during the night, or replace a sanitary napkin or tampon every two to three hours, then the blood flow is too heavy.
• 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 menstruation 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 bought 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 have been used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding include black cohosh, ginger tea, yarrow, nettles, and shepherd's purse. Small studies have found that a topical 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 that are anemic may also suffer from heavier bleeding. However, constant heavy bleeding can also cause anemia. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the body receives plentiful iron. Foods rich in iron are: whole grains, beans (such as lentils, lima beans, pinto beans, navy beans, black-eye beans), 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 also 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, cauliflower, spinach, and parsley.
Making the appropriate dietary changes may help relieve discomfort due to cramping and heavy blood flow. The diet should consist of whole grains, fresh fruit, and vegetables. Processed food, junk food, and saturated fats should be avoided at all costs. Limiting salt may help relieve bloating.
Getting plenty of rest and drinking extra fluids can help relieve the discomfort caused by menorrhagia. Fluids should consist of water and natural juices. Sodas, caffeine, and alcohol should be avoided.
Note: If you are suffering from excessive bleeding, it is a good idea to visit your healthcare practitioner to rule out any serious conditions which may lead to further complications if not identified and treated.