Menstrual Problems

Menstrual difficulties are extremely common today. This newsletter is concerned with nutri­tional aspects of menstrual cramps, amenor­rhea, irregular periods, and abnormal bleeding.

General Principles

Any natural approach to menstrual problems should begin with an examination of the person's diet and lifestyle. Too often an inadequate or unbalanced diet is overlooked. Factors including stress, adequate rest and sleep, emotional balance, moderate but not excessive exercise, and a health­ful diet can play a significant role in correcting menstrual problems.

Menstrual Cramps

Cramping during or before the menstrual period is a very common symptom. Hair analysis research can offer insight into the causes of this symptom.

One cause of cramping is a slow oxidation rate. Before and at the time of the menstrual period, in most women the oxidation rate slows. This has to do with higher levels of copper and estrogen, which in turn affect thyroid and adrenal gland activity. As the oxidation rate slows, tissue sodium and potassium levels decrease. The levels of these minerals in the tissues depend upon adrenal and thyroid hormone secretion.

One function of sodium and potassium in the blood is to keep calcium and magnesium in solution. As sodium and potassium levels decrease, it is more difficult to maintain calcium and magnesium in the blood in a soluble form. The result is a loss of available calcium and magnesium. This is often noted as a higher than normal level of hair calcium and magnesium.

Calcium and magnesium are needed in the blood, to prevent muscle cramps. Many women report relief from menstrual cramps by taking a combination of calcium and magnesium, or often just several magnesium tablets per day, whenever symptoms appear.

Another cause of menstrual cramps in some cases is a low sodium/potassium ratio. Once again, magnesium is particularly helpful for these cases.

One other pattern is a high sodium/potassium ratio. Women with this pattern may be helped by taking calcium, magnesium and zinc before and during the period. Evening primrose oil and natural progesterone cream or drops are other natural therapies that help some women with menstrual cramps and other menstrual symptoms.

The presence of fibroid tumors or other abnor­malities should be considered if cramps persist.


Amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual periods in a woman of child-bearing age. This is different from the occasional skipped period, which occurs due to stress. Common causes of amenorrhea include stress or excessive exercise. Nutritional deficiencies caused by conditions such as anorexia will cause amenorrhea. In many cases, however, the cause is impaired biochemistry.

Most often, women with amenorrhea are very slow oxidizers. Their low adrenal and thyroid activity is associated with low levels of female hormones. Amenorrhea may be a defensive measure to prevent pregnancy in a woman who is not ready or not healthy enough to carry a child.

Assuming other causes have been ruled out, correction of amenorrhea through nutritional balancing is often successful. These women usually need a complete scientific nutrition pro­gram. Six to twelve months on a nutrition program may be required, though at times results occur sooner.

Often, these women are copper-toxic and may have other toxic metals that contribute to their hormonal dysfunction.

Since stress and psychological factors can affect the menstrual cycle, these factors should also be examined, especially if the response to nutrition alone is not satisfactory.

Bleeding Difficulties

There are many types of menstrual bleeding difficulties including breakthrough bleeding, very heavy periods, very long or short periods, and bleeding several times a month. These symptoms are more common near the menopause, but can occur at any time.

Each person needs to be considered individ­ually. However, certain principles apply to every­one. Any obvious stress, dietary or lifestyle factors should be corrected. A general program of nutritional balancing will help glandular activity, remove toxic metals, reduce internal stress, and in general enhance vitality and health. Many times these measures are sufficient. Other natural health measures, from adequate exercise and deep breathing, to spending some time out of doors in the sunshine, may all be helpful.

At times these symptoms occur as part of the healing and rebalancing process. One client began to have a period every three weeks while on a nutritional balancing program. After about six months, as her body chemistry shifted, the periods returned to normal. This is not unusual.

Extra symptomatic support might consist of other natural therapies such as foot reflexology and other forms of energy balancing may also reduce symptoms. Herbs such as black cohosh and don quai have helped some cases of menstrual irregularity.

This material is for educational purposes only
The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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