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Sandy Simmons'

Natural Health Site

Life is not living, but living in health. - Martial,
Roman poet

 

Medicine is a collection of uncertain prescriptions, the results of which taken collectively, are more fatal than useful to mankind. Water, air and cleanliness are the chief articles in my pharmacopeia. - Napoleon Bonaparte

 

 


Click here if you are looking for the page Menorrhagia: Overlooked Causes and Treatments" that was formerly at this URL.

 

Menorrhagia

Due to High Estrogen Levels

 

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There are a number of possible causes of menorrhagia. It is a condition that should always be checked out be a doctor as known causes include fibroids, cancer and bleeding disorders such hemophilia and von Willebrand disease. However, in my experience, doctors may not always be aware of some of the nutritional causes of the disorder. As such, they may recommend drug or surgical options before exploring less costly and less risky treatments for their patients. When I mentioned to one of my gynecologists years ago sensed my bleeding problems were linked to my diet, he told me that there "was no possible way" for my diet to influence my menstrual cycles. At the time I thought he was incorrect, but I didn't have the Internet back then and all of it's online medical databases to back me up.

Since that conversation with the gynecologist years ago, I've learned that my diet has everything to do with my menstrual cycles. In fact, it seems to be the number one influence. When I was younger I learned that I had bleeding problems due to a vitamin K deficiency. Menstrual bleeding problems run in both sides of my family. At least two, and I suspect more females relatives whose medical histories I'm not aware of, even had to have hysterectomies for uncontrollable menstrual bleeding. However, I've been able to keep my problems under control through pretty simple diet changes.

Initially I found that I could stop my bleeding from eating a big salad every day with lots of leafy green vegetables, as these are high in vitamin K, the vitamin needed to coagulate blood. A deficiency of vitamin K is a well documented, yet not well known, cause of menorrhagia. I also took an acidophilus tablet occasionally, as this is the bacteria that help synthesize vitamin K internally. Avoidance of antibiotics and salicylates was also important. (For more information on this subject click on the link at the top of this page for information on vitamin K deficiencies and other overlooked causes of menorrhagia.)

As I got older, however, I noticed that I would still have problems with menorrhagia despite my salad eating. So it seemed as if there must be a different cause this time around. Eventually I found that there was. At this time in my life my problems stemmed from too high estrogen levels, a condition also linked to breast cancer. My iron levels were very low at this time because of the bleeding, so my doctors were having me take iron pills. In hindsight, I think this was making my bleeding worse. After a lot of research, this is what I found:

  • My blood was actually coagulating too much now instead of not coagulating easy enough like it had when I was vitamin K deficient. I found this out from looking at the "out of range" section on one of my blood tests. This provided me with a good clue as to what was going on, as women who take hormone replacement therapy, are at higher risk of blood clots. So this was my first clue that my body was making too much estrogen. Even though I wasn't taking HRT, I think I had the same problem. My estrogen levels were just too high because of my diet.

  • My second clue was that I was putting on weight easily. I had been thin most of my life before, but now, since I corrected my vitamin K deficiency, I was having a hard time losing weight. I found out that estrogen makes it easier to gain weight. I also found many studies linking vitamin K, blood clotting and high estrogen levels.

  • I looked up the effects of taking iron on the Internet and in my collection of health books. What I found was that too much iron can cause deficiencies of other nutrients such as vitamin D. Interestingly a lack of vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) has been linked recently in a number of studies to higher estrogen levels and breast cancer. Another interesting study I found was that children who suffered from iron deficiency anemia also tended to be low in vitamin D. So by taking iron alone for my anemia, and not in conjunction with other supplements, I may have inadvertently been worsening an existing vitamin D deficiency. From reviewing research on online medical databases, I found many interesting links between a lack of sunshine, vitamin D deficiency, breast cancer and high estrogen levels.

After doing this bit of research, it seemed clear I needed to lower my estrogen levels and increase my intake of vitamin D (or get more sunlight to help my body manufacture more vitamin D). This did work, and my bleeding problems stopped again, this time from making very different diet changes from when I was vitamin K deficient. The changes I made this time were to:

  • I started getting more exercise out in the sunshine. Both sunlight on the skin and exercise have been linked in a variety of studies to lower estrogen levels. It's also a good way to lose weight from having the higher estrogen levels. On rainy days I would take a teaspoon a cod liver oil, one of the few foods that which supplies the RDA of vitamin D.

  • I decreased the amount of fat in my diet, especially saturated fat. Saturated fat has been linked to blood clots and higher estrogen levels. Instead I switched to olive oil, which tends to thin the blood.

  • I ate more fruits and non-leafy green vegetables and high fiber grains.

  • I started eating wheat or spelt, a form of wheat, again. One of my natural health books referred to wheat as an "estrogen blocker". I wasn't sure that was true, but by experimenting with my diet I think the author was correct.

  • I cut back on taking acidophilus supplements and foods containing high amounts of vitamin K.

  • I ate more foods containing vitamin E. Vitamin E, as a nutritional antagonist of vitamin K, tends to thin the blood. In the past I'd avoided ingesting foods with vitamin E in order to stop my bleeding, but I may have gone too far in my diet and created a vitamin E deficiency which then caused other health problems. Vitamin E deficiencies have been linked to being overweight, to high estrogen levels and blood clots -- all conditions I was having problems with after cutting back on vitamin E. Doctors have long noted a link between obesity and blood clots, but I've never heard a logical reason for this connection. Knowing what I know now, I suspect a common factor between the two types of problems may be a vitamin E deficiency.

I don't know if these changes will help other people with menorrhagia due to high estrogen levels, but I personally found them very helpful in getting my bleeding problems under control.

 

Related Pages from my new site: Menorrhagia: Overlooked Causes and Treatments

 

 

If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.
Hippocrates

 

If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.
Hippocrates

 

 

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