As women, our menstrual cycle can be crucial to understanding and monitoring our health. The length and quality of our cycle can give us insight into our stress levels, hormonal rhythms, gut health and detoxification efficiency. Each month menstruating women are given the opportunity to connect to their bodies and take note of anything out of alignment. In reality, however, this monthly cycle can cause significant pain and discomfort for many women resulting in loss of work, motivation, sex drive, emotional stability and physical comfort.
Naturopathic doctors are astutely interested in understanding the underlying cause of discomfort to support and rebalance the body to its natural state. By working from a place of least harm, ND’s will start by ruling out any disease processes such as hypothyroidism, uterine fibroids or cysts that could be underlying your menstrual woes or contributing to your symptoms. Then, by gathering more information through assessing your lab work (blood, urine and/or saliva), performing physical exams, and understanding you as an individual, a treatment plan will be developed that meets your health goals.
Typically, the first step is to assess gut health, as this is crucial to metabolism pathways, particular of estrogen. Next, we may utilize antispasmodic and analgesic herbs such as cramp bark (Viburnum opulus), that are specific to your constitution to provide natural pain relief. Then, we will focus on reducing your exposure to chemicals and toxins that may interfere with the way that your hormones are metabolized and utilize a diet that includes flavonoid-rich food to support optimal hormonal balance.
Lastly, depending on your specific hormone status, we may use herbs, specific nutrients, mind-body techniques, dietary interventions and/or bioidentical hormone therapy to meet your specific needs and re-establish your optimal health.
If you’ve ever wondered, “what the heck is happening with my period?”, and questioned whether your symptoms are “normal” consider booking an appointment with one of our student interns or naturopathic doctors and start your journey towards an empowered menstrual cycle.
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For more information on Endocrine Disruptors visit: https://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors