Regulating your period through Naturopathy
For many women, having a regular menstrual cycle is essential for overall well-being and also ensures that our body is feeling nourished and calm and creating the hormones we need for overall healthy but also fertility. An irregular or unpredictable period can be indicative of something not quite right behind the surface such as a hormonal imbalance.
Naturopathy offers a holistic approach to regulating periods that addresses the root causes rather than merely suppressing symptoms. In this article, I explore how naturopathy can help women regulate their periods naturally and understand their bodies better.
Naturopathic Approaches to Period Regulation
- Nutrition and Diet
A vital aspect of naturopathy is understanding the impact of nutrition on overall health and hormonal balance. A healthy, well-balanced diet can significantly influence the regularity of menstrual cycles. Incorporating nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean animal proteins, can provide the body with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed for hormone production and regulation. Additionally, reducing or eliminating processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol can help support hormonal balance and decrease menstrual irregularities.
For women with painful periods, cutting out dairy can have a hugely positive impact. Women experiencing PMS can also notice benefits from cutting out caffeine
2. Herbal Remedies
Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to address various health concerns, including menstrual irregularities. As a women’s hormone naturopath, I often recommend specific herbs that possess hormone-regulating properties. Examples of herbs commonly used for period regulation include chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus), dong quai (Angelica sinensis), and black cohosh (Actaea racemosa). These herbs may help balance hormone levels, alleviate symptoms, and promote regular menstrual cycles.
Not all herbs are indicated for all women and that is why it is immensely important to work with your health practitioner. While Vitex can be a godsend, women suffering PCOS will find it makes their symptoms worse.
3. Stress Management
Stress can significantly impact hormonal balance and disrupt regular menstrual cycles. High levels of stress can affect the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, leading to imbalances in reproductive hormones. As a naturopath, I often emphasise stress reduction techniques, such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, getting out in nature and engaging in activities that promote relaxation. A menstrual cycle is the body thinking about and preparing for potential pregnancy and although it may not be something on our radar, it is for our body. A great way to look at it is if you are running on adrenals, feeling burnout and stressed your body is switched to fight and flight – the last thing it is going to be thinking about is procreation. What we see is a women’s libido will drop and sex hormones will change as a result of the heightened stress hormones. The cycle can be longer or shorter, lighter or heavier and often with symptoms of pain and discomfort.
4. Exercise and Movement
Regular physical activity plays a crucial role in maintaining hormonal balance and a healthy menstrual cycle. Engaging in moderate exercise can enhance blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote the production of endorphins, which can alleviate menstrual discomfort and regulate periods. However, excessive exercise or intense workouts can have the opposite effect and lead to menstrual irregularities. It is important to strike a balance and find an exercise routine that suits your body’s needs. Ideally, look to do something each day even just walking and aiming for 10k steps a day. Lifting weights is great for women especially as we age. If stress is an issue, opting for swimming, yoga or pilates is best.
Toxins and environmental pollutants such as endotoxins can disrupt hormonal balance and interfere with regular menstrual cycles. As a naturopath, I often suggest supporting detoxification via the liver and gut. This may involve dietary changes, drinking plenty of water, and incorporating specific foods or supplements that aid in detoxification, such as cruciferous vegetables, dandelion root, or milk thistle.
Consulting with a Women’s Naturopath
When seeking naturopathic support for period regulation, it is crucial to consult with a qualified women’s naturopath. Naturopaths have in-depth knowledge of hormonal imbalances, reproductive health, and how to support with herbs and nutrients. A women’s naturopath will conduct a thorough assessment of your health history, lifestyle, and symptoms to develop a personalised treatment plan that addresses the underlying causes of your menstrual irregularities. You can book an initial discovery call with me to discuss how I could help.