Written by Dr. Stefanie Trowell, ND – Insight Naturopathic Clinic
Women often wince as they think about their period – and with good reason! As a naturopathic doctor who loves helping women achieve optimal health, finding out about a woman’s cycles is essential in completing a thorough health assessment and helping them achieve their goals.
The condition of your skin and connective tissues, brain health, mood, and metabolism are ALL associated with your hormones, and achieving balance can help you feel your best at any age. It’s very common for women to seek help during times of hormonal turmoil and irregularity, such as when periods are just starting (menarche) or finishing (peri-menopause).
Irregular and unpredictable may feel like a trend of the teenage years, but thankfully we can expect the cycle length and amount of flow to regulate within two years. This is less true of periods during the perimenopausal years. Fluctuating hormones can mean lighter or heavier flow, changing PMS symptoms, and irregularity in the length of your cycle. Your first missed cycle typically means the bittersweet end of your periods will be in about three years.
Naturopathic medicine can help with cramps, heavy flow, cycle irregularity, and menstrual migraines during a patient’s reproductive years. Yes, you can have periods without any of these issues! During treatment, we take a deep dive into the root cause of diagnoses such as PCOS, infertility, endometriosis, recurrent miscarriage, and more.
The complexity of hormonal balance during the reproductive years means we have to look at more than just estrogen and progesterone to discover how they are being metabolized and how they interact with other hormones, such as FSH, LH, cortisol, and insulin. Thankfully, we get clues about where to look and what to do from the period itself.
Period flow (or lack thereof, a.k.a. “amenorrhea”) is the most obvious sign of how a woman’s body is functioning. We also get information from the cycle length and other symptoms around the period. Our naturopathic team thinks “outside the period” by considering your meal plan, lifestyle preferences, and daily activities to understand where we can make adjustments to balance hormones and optimize our overall well-being.
With a better understanding of what’s going on in our bodies and a plan in place, we hope to help you feel better and be ready to conquer the next item on your to-do list.