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Menstrual Cycle Disorders

Menstrual Cycle Disorders:

Irregular menses, No menses, Heavy menses, Painful menses, PMS

Irregular menses and amenorrhea:  

Irregular menses, amenorrhea, heavy menses, painful menses, and PMS can all be related to a variety of hormonal imbalances including in sex hormones, thyroid or adrenal hormones, prolactin, and/or insulin resistance.  Amenorrhea refers to the absence of menstrual cycles.

In addition, nutritional imbalances and deficiencies can result in many of the same issues.  Sometimes even toxic environmental exposures might be contributing to hormonal dysregulation.  

  • Obesity contributes to hormonal imbalances as well, and if that is your issue, we will happily help you shave some pounds to start feeling better!
  • Environmental exposures can also contribute to hormonal imbalances.  For instance, PCBs can mimic estrogens and disrupt hormonal regulation in the body.  

 

Are you getting close to perimenopause?  You might be surprised at how early that phase can start.  During that phase menstrual irregularities are normal, but we can still help to mitigate symptoms and promote the most balanced state for you through that phase.  Most women assume that you have to suffer through this phase of life, but that isn’t the case!

 

Menstrual Pain:

  • Often there is also an underlying inflammatory component leading to painful menses. Sometimes this is related to an inflammatory diet, autoimmunity, or even bowel or bladder inflammation.  
  • It’s important to rule out conditions like fibroids and endometriosis that can cause very painful menses as well.  
  • Many women also aren’t aware that they may have a testable and treatable genetic mutation that can create painful periods, clotting, and predispose to endometriosis.  
  • Pelvic floor muscular imbalances can also create increased pain with menses.  

 

Testing that can be completed:

Testing for the root cause:

At Hood to Coast Healthcare we are committed to functional medicine  – what does that mean?  We want to understand the underlying cause for your menstrual issues, so we can do testing to evaluate for hormonal causes of dysregulation, nutritional deficiencies, and markers of inflammation.  

  • Hormonal Testing: We use a variety of hormonal testing methods to best diagnose the problem based on your particular issues.  These can include blood, saliva, urine spot, or a combination.  The saliva and urine spot testing is not generally offered by conventional docs, so this is a good reason to see a naturopath.   
  • Nutritional Testing: The testing we do for nutritional deficiencies is also very sophisticated as it tests for deficiencies inside the cells – what actually matters for your symptoms!
  • Genetic Testing: We routinely test for methylation defects (genetic mutations) that may also be contributing to painful menses, heavy clotting, frequent miscarriages, and infertility.   If we find this, we can treat it!

Diagnostic Imaging: When appropriate we will also order diagnostic imaging to rule out the presence of uterine fibroids or cysts.

 

Therapies:

Therapies may include everything from clinical nutrition to homeopathy, botanical medicine, acupuncture, detoxification protocols, pelvic floor therapy, hormone replacement therapy, or birth control options and often a combination of these approaches.  Treatment is always tailored to the individual’s body and needs.

  • Clinical Nutrition: We can adjust your diet to correct for nutritional deficiencies, reduce overall inflammation, promote normal production of hormones, or clear hormones that are in excess.  If necessary we have can supplement with nutrients that serve these purposes as well.
  • Homeopathy: can be a god-send for some women with menstrual irregularities, pelvic pain, or heavy menses, especially for women who are very sensitive to medications and herbs.
  • Botanical Menses:  We can formulate remedies to promote regular cycles through hormonal balance, supplement nutritional deficiencies, reduce inflammation, soothe pain and cramps acutely, and reduce heavy bleeding preventatively and acutely.
  • Acupuncture:  Acupuncture can be very effective for all manner of menstrual issues including irregularities, heavy menses, painful menses, and PMS.  The great thing about this approach is that you don’t have to take any medicines and it will address your overall constitution rather than a handful of symptoms.  Acupuncture is currently offered at the Portland location by Dr. Karen Cureton.
  • Detoxification: If you have a history of exposure to pesticides or heavy metals, detoxification by chelation would be appropriate to address hormonal imbalances.
  • Pelvic Floor therapy: Many women have imbalances in the musculature of the pelvic bowl without even knowing it.  This can result in chronic pelvic pain, painful menses, urinary incontinence, and a host of other problems.  Currently, Dr. Katherine Walker offers evaluation and treatment for these imbalances at the Hood River location.  
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy: If you have a severe or persistent hormonal imbalance that is resistant to nutritional, botanical, and other interventions, hormone replacement therapy may be a good option for you.  This is commonly prescribed for hypothyroidism or sex hormone imbalances.  We offer bioidentical hormone therapy which can be specifically compounded for your needs and your delivery preference.  

 

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