Are you soaking through tampons faster than you can say “Jack Robinson”? Are your visits from “Aunt Flow” feeling more like an extended stay?
You may have menorrhagia.
Menorrhagia, also known as heavy menstrual bleeding, affects about 10% of women. While it can be distressing and inconvenient, there are things you can do to find relief — and it starts with your diet. Believe it or not, making simple adjustments to your meals is one of the most effective ways to manage menorrhagia.
Here, our team of expert gynecologists at The Center for Women's Health highlights some of our favorite menorrhagia-friendly diet hacks you can start using today.
Heavy bleeding during your period can lead to a loss of iron, making you anemic. Filling your plate with iron-rich foods can prevent anemia or at least stave off some of its symptoms, so load up on leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collards, as well as meat, fish, and beans.
You likely know vitamin C as the powerhouse nutrient that protects your cells and plays a vital role in immunity. But did you know it's also essential to helping your body absorb iron? Pair iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, berries, or tomatoes to boost iron absorption and fight against menorrhagia-related anemia.
Hear us out on this one. Cast-iron pots and pans are rich in (you guessed it) iron. Sauteeing your chicken, flipping your burgers, and even simmering your sauces in iron cookware gives you an added iron boost in your diet. Pro tip: Stirring frequently can pull even more iron into your food.
Processed foods are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats and can contribute to inflammation in the body — not something you want to deal with when you’re feeling sluggish from heavy bleeding.
Instead, opt for whole, unprocessed foods rich in nutrients, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources like chicken or fish.
Drinking enough water is essential for overall health and crucial for menorrhagia sufferers like you. Water helps you maintain your blood volume during heavy flow and may even regulate your hormone levels.
Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water daily, and consider including other modes of hydration, like sports drinks. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol, which can cause dehydration and exacerbate menstrual symptoms.
Certain supplements can also help manage menorrhagia symptoms. For example, taking magnesium supplements relaxes muscles and reduces cramping. Similarly, omega-3 fatty acid supplements control inflammation and may be effective in regulating hormone levels.
Fortify your body with iron and vitamin C supplements, as well. Some believe that blackstrap molasses, a thick, syrupy cane sugar byproduct, can also be a good source of iron and other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and selenium.
During a heavy period, what your body needs most is iron. Check with us before you dive into a more iron-rich diet, as you can quickly overdo it and cause other problems.
We also know that diet changes aren't the only way to manage menorrhagia. Talk to us about our advanced treatments that address heavy bleeding at its source.
If you'd like help getting started with managing menorrhagia, don't hesitate to request an
appointment online or over the phone at our offices in Newport News or Hampton, Virginia.