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Heavy, Prolonged Periods: A Specific Diet Treatment That May Help

 

Yes, Your Diet May Make a Difference in Your Periods

The diet listed below is one that I've personally found helpful for prolonged, heavy periods. In my case I think my issues are sometimes caused by low vitamin K levels and sometimes by high estrogen levels, so the foods below were selected either for their high vitamin K properties or their reputation for lowering estrogen levels.

In any event, I've experimented with diet changes over the years for heavy periods, and as of this writing this is the best diet I've come up with to date. It does seem to work for me. I don't know if it will work for others since everyone is biochemically unique, but it may give others at least some ideas or a starting point to develop their own specialized food list to try.

Please check with your doctor before starting this or any other diet as this may or may not be a healthy diet for you depending on your specific circumstances and health conditions. This diet is high in vitamin K which is not appropriate for everyone, especially women who have had cancer (which is linked to blood clots) or are taking aspirin or other blood thinning medications.

My Diet for Heavy Periods

Food

 

Rationale
     
Romaine lettuce   for vitamin K, which helps the blood to clot
     
Plain baked or steamed chicken high in vitamin B6 to help lower estrogen levels
     
Peas   high in fiber to lower estrogen levels
     
Lowfat or nonfat Mountain High yogurt the active cultures in the yogurt help synthesize vitamin K. Other yogurts may work, too, but this is the one I've found to be the best. It's also great for upset stomachs and yeast infections.
     
Green beans   high in fiber to lower estrogen
     
Bananas   high in vitamin B6 to lower estrogen
     
White bread, pasta, rolls or English muffins wheat is thought by alternative health practitioners to lower estrogen levels, though personally I avoid whole wheat foods.
     
Annie's low fat ranch dressing   the helpful bacteria in the buttermilk helps synthesize vitamin K
     
Egg whites   good source of low fat protein
     
Pears   one of the few fruits that is low in salicylates

 

Foods to especially be avoided are fruits, spices and other foods high in salicylates as these can block vitamin K. See my section on foods that act as natural blood thinners for more on this topic. Also fats of any kind seem to raise estrogen levels, so I avoid them for a few days until the bleeding stops. In general, I try not to eat a lot of refined wheat products, but for times like these it does have its uses.

I've gotten a number of emails over the years from various readers of my web site and many have found that increasing vitamin K in their diets has helped with their heavy periods. Many doctors are unaware of the fact that a vitamin K deficiency is a possible cause of heavy menstrual bleeding in women. I actually had a gynecologist tell me once that "by no stretch of the imagination could diet impact your periods in any way." Lucky for me, I didn't believe him. I think diet should be the first line of defense people try for many disorders.

Please note that too much vitamin K can cause blood clots, so it is a vitamin we all need in the right balance. This diet works for me because I'm chronically low in vitamin K, but it might be too much vitamin K for someone else.

This isn't a diet to stay on long term, but through trial and error I've found that by only eating the foods on the above list for a few days will lighten and shorten my periods.

Remember, if you have suffered from heavy periods in the past you may have iron deficiency anemia. So be sure to get checked out for that by a doctor. If you are anemic, then once your bleeding is under control more high iron foods are advisable. I've found that cooking with newish iron pots is also helpful, as the iron from the pots gets absorbed into the food.

 

 

 

 

 

Related sections of interest:

Foods That May Thin the Blood - Vitamin E, salicylates, garlic, olive oil, onions and more

Health Conditions Linked to Vitamin K Deficiency

Foods and Environmental Factors That Cause the Blood to Clot

Frequently Asked Questions: Is there a link between nose bleeds and eating Chinese food?

Nose bleeds: Overlooked Causes of Epistaxis

Menorrhagia: Often Overlooked Causes of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Ovarian Pain from Vitamin K Deficiency

Natural treatment for ovarian cysts

 

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