15 May Are You In Heavy Period Hell?
Is this you?
“My period is like clockwork – it comes every two weeks.”
“Seven days of hell, that’s what I call it.”
“It’s like a crime scene every time I go the bathroom.”
You don’t put up with horrible periods because you have some twisted relationship to pain and misery. You don’t know what else to do.
You’ve worked with your doctor, tried multiple combinations of hormones, maybe even put yourself through major or minor surgery looking for solutions.
The Queen of Period Problems
One of the most distressing and exhausting problems for women is heavy periods. What does heavy mean?
- Super absorbent tampons are a joke
- Backup pad protection is no guarantee you’ll contain the overflow, especially at night
- Embarrassing stains are so common that you never, EVER wear white pants
- You make frequent bathroom visits to check for leaks
Excessive bleeding can make it feel like the life is draining out of you, ounce-by-miserable-ounce. And often it comes with a crampy, dull, aching sensation, like your pelvic cavity is being turned inside out.
Now You See It, Now You Don’t
If you’re a client of mine, you’ve probably heard me talk about Qi [pronounced ‘chee’]. Qi is an elusive but vital energy source your body uses to support every breath, digestive function, and blood cell. It’s like wind – you can’t describe what it looks like, but you can see it’s effects.
You can see the effects of weak Qi in heavy bleeders. Strong body Qi keeps blood in the vessels. When blood is flooding out, and for that matter, when skin sags and the bladder or uterus prolapse, these are signs that your Qi isn’t doing its job of holding things in place.
Why does Qi Get Weak? It’s a bummer, but heavy blood loss, from childbirth or trauma, or even periods themselves, can deplete Qi. You end up in the proverbial vicious cycle. Blood loss takes Qi away, which weakens blood.
Number two, you pay a heavy price for long-term emotional and physical stress. Be honest with yourself – do you get regular exercise, uninterrupted sleep, healthy groceries? Have you dealt with the emotional issues behind the anti-depressant you’re taking? All this takes time, money, and commitment to self-care, and let’s face it – that’s a hard prescription to swallow. It’s easier to ask your doctor for a pill.
The Downside of Hormones
Hormone therapy can regulate monthly blood flow, but it doesn’t address what caused the problem. It’s symptomatic relief at best.
Tinkering with hormone levels, and procedures like ablation and hysterectomy, can and do halt heavy bleeding, usually for good. Months later, some women find that symptoms they ignored, like fatigue, insomnia, and weight gain, take the place of period problems. The symptom went away, but the nagging root cause is still there.
Here’s Where Herbs Do Their Magic
The herbal approach to hormone imbalances nudges your body’s built-in capacity to heal, without the risks associated with hormone replacement.
A classic Chinese formula for deficient Qi, Four Gentlemen, can relieve the most common side effect of excessive menstrual bleeding, fatigue. When you’re feeling bone tired, tonic herbs restore strength, improve digestion, and bring back your luster.
Blood loss starves the heart and mind of vital nutrition, robbing you of restful sleep and weakening your memory and focus. Blood tonics like the well-known Dang Qui, and lesser known rehmannia, white peony, and ligusticum, restore blood to a rich, nourishing fluid needed to keep your heart and mind sharp.
Relief from insomnia, poor memory, fatigue, and digestive weakness is a lot to ask from any hormone supplement or surgical procedure. Fortunately, this is where herbal and natural therapies do their best work.
Yes, Girl, Herbs Can Do That
While Chinese herbal formulas help rebuild Qi, herbs like yarrow, shepherd’s purse, raspberry leaf, eclipta, ladies mantle, tienchi ginseng, and even our kitchen friend, cinnamon, can lighten blood flow and tone the female organs. These herbs individually, or in combination, give you hour-by-hour relief from heavy bleeding.
Mineral rich herbs like nettle leaf and oatstraw gradually replace lost nutrients and freshen a sallow complexion. Yellow dock root releases stored iron into the blood, relieving mild anemia.
“Let Food Be Thy Medicine”
Naturally, food also helps to gently restore Qi and blood.
A nourishing diet of warm root vegetables including squash, beets, and sweet potato, fill your plate with color and your mouth with the mildly sweet flavor that strengthens Qi. Dark, leafy greens restore iron and other minerals to a weak, depleted blood supply. Beef and lamb are a protein power duo when you feel wiped out by your periods.
Self-Care is NOT a Luxury
Rebuilding Qi takes some time and patience. In the meantime, light exercise, rest, extreme self-care, and major de-stressing maneuvers have to be moved to the top of the list.
Start with something as simple as letting those calls rollover to voicemail and taking a few moments for a power nap. Do you have a supportive family member who might alternate meal prep or shopping duties with you?
Can you fit in a 20-minute walk after dinner? Exercise, rest, and support are not luxuries when you’re exhausted and weak; they’re a prescription for recovery.
Qi deficiency by itself isn’t a life-threatening matter, but ignored long enough, it morphs into a depleted immune system and lower resistance to disease.
Today is always a good time to start new habits that support a long, healthy life. If you’re tired of heavy, draining periods every month, choose something safe, natural, and effective for long-term relief.
Reach out for an appointment that could change the way you think about health care. Period.
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