How your menstrual cycles can tell you about your current health
To be honest, I never ever thought I would one day write about menstrual cycles in a blog.
I have enjoyed symptoms free menstruation most of my life. So, I did not pay much attention to it until I started learning about how our bodies work while completing my degree.
It so happens, that menstruation can tell you a whole lot about how your body is functioning, or not functioning. It is your monthly report card of how you are going health wise for a woman (who is not on oral contraceptive pills).
The questions I ask around the menstrual cycles goes like this
- How many days is your typical cycle? (normal being somewhere between 21 to 34 days)
- What is the duration of your cycle? (2 to 7 days is considered normal)
- The colour of the menstruation (bright red usually signifies easy of flow, brown may indicate stagnation of the flow)
- Are there any clots? (small clots are considered normal but large clots and discomfort may indicate something else)
- Do you have any PMS symptoms such as migraine, cramps, bloating, tenderness of breasts, cravings, mood change, skin changes?
- Do you experience any spotting?
The answers to these can assist in investigating the root cause of problems in women’s reproductive systems. Some of the common conditions of the female reproductive systems are
- PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
- PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
- Uterine Fibroids
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Keeping a menstrual symptom diary can give you an insight into your female reproductive health. It is also empowering to know what is happening in your body and possibly draw a link between cause and effect.
Some of the nutritional medicine strategies for keeping your cycle healthy are
1. Reduce sugar and refined carbohydrates
2. Reduce trans fats
3. Reduce consumption of alcohol
4. Increase fibre
5. Increase vegetable intake (especially brassica family such as broccoli, kale & cabbage)
It is actually more complex than this, but it is a good start. Have a go at keeping an eye on your cycle for at least 3 months and see if you can notice any pattern. Do you tend to get teary or go on a sugar binge right before your cycle begins? Are you more productive in mid cycle? It is amazing to notice the effect of how our hormones can influence us.
Do you want to find out more about your female reproductive health? Please send me a message to discuss further.