Heavy Menstrual Bleeding & Prostaglandin Imbalance
In part two of this series, we will discuss prostaglandins and how they impact heavy menstrual bleeding. Prostaglandins are a natural substance found in the body, they are activated in the inflammatory response to injury, as well as aid in smooth muscle contraction during ovulation, the menstrual cycle, as well as labor. They are imperative for overall body function, but having too many prostaglandins involved in menstruation can lead to problems.
Having too many prostaglandins is caused by having chronic inflammation within the body, whether this be from diet, chronic illness, or stress. Prostaglandins are created at times of inflammation or injury, and if there is too much inflammation, the prostaglandin synthesis response goes into hyperdrive and creates an overabundance of the otherwise helpful substance. Since prostaglandins encourage smooth muscle contraction, heavy cycles caused by this imbalance can be accompanied by painful menstrual cramping.
How to address prostaglandin imbalance naturally?
1. Address your stress. Identify stressors and create a plan for reducing them. Yoga, meditation, cutting out unnecessary activities or commitments that add to your overall mental load are just a few ways to do that.
2. Decrease inflammation. Cut out foods that are inflammatory (sugar and dairy, I’m looking at you). Processed foods, gluten, and some starches can also pose problems for certain individuals. Identifying inflammatory foods can help to Contact me if you’d like food sensitivity testing! Improving overall gut health can also help with reducing inflammation, starting with a good quality probiotic and eating fermented foods is a great stepping stone.
3. Supplements for inflammation. There are supplements that help to reduce overall inflammation in the body that could improve heavy menstrual bleeding.
Fish Oil (Omega-3) is one of those supplements. 1,000-3,000 mg daily has been shown to be beneficial.
Magnesium glycinate has been shown to help regulate prostaglandin levels as well as improve overall body functions. Magnesium is an essential nutrient that many of us are deficient on due to diet and over-farming of our soil.
Vitamin-D3 is essential for everything in bodily functions from inflammation to mental health to improving immunity. Many of us in Iowa are deficient in Vitamin D (optimal levels are between 60-80 ng/mL). The sun is a natural source of vitamin D, and due to winter or working indoors, we miss out on a lot of the benefits of free vitamin D from the sun. Oftentimes, supplementation is necessary. It’s important to have your vitamin D levels checked so that you know how much you should be supplementing.
For further questions about prostaglandin imbalance or anything else I’ve touched on in this post, feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org