Hormone imbalances can have a major impact on our menstrual cycle causing irregular menstruation and affecting how heavy as well as such issues such as bloating and cramps.
Our cycle is controlled by our reproductive hormones, specifically oestrogen and progesterone. Ensuring these hormones are being produced, released and utilised in the body optimally can help to regulate your cycle and reduce flooding from heavy periods and symptoms of PMS.
You don’t have to go down the route of hormonal contraceptives to fix your menstruation problems. In fact all that does is mask the symptoms and not deal with the root cause of the issue. Dietary and lifestyle changes can help improve the delicate oestrogen / progesterone balance and alleviate the symptoms.
Here are my tips for the best ways to help fix your menstruation problems by making diet and lifestyle changes:
a) Cut out sugar
Sugar increases your blood glucose levels which affect how your body metabolises oestrogen and therefore can make your menstruation problems worse. Focus on eating real, whole naturally sweet foods such as fruit and dates which have fibre in to help reduce the increase in blood sugar levels.
b) Reduce your caffeine intake
Caffeine increases your bad prostaglandin hormones, which when we have excess levels of can cause or increase period pains. Reducing your caffeine can help eliminate the symptoms during your menstrual cycle. Try having herbal and fruit teas or green tea as an alternative.
Dairy can affect your body’s own oestrogen production by introducing artificial growth hormones. It also contains antibiotics which negatively impact your gut microbiome and affect how oestrogen is metabolised in the body. Swap dairy products for plant based milks such as almond, coconut and oat milks.
d) Increase your vitamin D levels
Low levels of Vitamin D have been found to be associated with irregular menstrual cycles and therefore increasing them can help to regulate your menstruation cycle. Aim to be out in the sunshine for a minimum of 15 mins a day to help boost levels. If you’re struggling with getting enough then try taking a supplement during the summer months.
e) Boost your intake of essential omega-3 fats
Lack of omega-3 fatty acids, can contribute to irregular periods as well as worsening symptoms of PMS such as mood swings and depression. These essential nutrients can be found in fatty fish and some nuts and seeds, can contribute to irregular periods.
A rise in levels of the stress hormone cortisol signals to the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that helps regulate your menstrual cycle) to stop releasing the reproductive hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Reduce stress by removing yourself from stressful situations, taking time out to relax and rejuvenate and trying not to take too much on. This is of course always good advice that sometimes we have to be reminded of!
If you make these changes it can really help to fix your menstruation problems and relieve the symptoms of irregular and heavy periods, PMS and mood swings.
Connect here with Watchfit Expert Rebecca Boulton.