Irregular periods can be a disrupting, perplexing, and distressing experience for many women. However, the menstrual cycle is considered an obvious monthly occurrence, it can sometimes fluctuate from the expected time and pattern, which leaves a woman puzzled and concerned. Irregular periods are a cause of certain events happening in your lifestyle and sometimes also due to some medical conditions.
Moreover, this irregularity can be a cause of certain medications, it can be also due to some performance of certain exercises, due to irregular body weight, or due to lack of calories. There are many more reasons like hormonal changes for instance, your thyroid hormone level is imbalanced and it may be low or too high which eventually causes period problems.
In this article, we’ll explore various causes of irregular periods, dive into some best foods for irregular periods, and discover effective treatments for painful, heavy, or irregular menstruation.
Causes of Irregular Periods
According to research, a regular menstrual cycle typically lasts about 28 days, with menstrual bleeding lasting 4 to 7 days. If your menstrual cycle does not fall within this then it is considered an irregular period. Irregular can not only be challenging, but they also cause painful periods. Well, before jumping on how to treat painful periods, let us understand certain factors that can disrupt this regularity, leading to irregular periods. Here are some common causes:
Fluctuations in hormonal levels, such as estrogen and progesterone, can malfunction the working of your menstrual cycle. Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disorders often lead to hormonal imbalances.
High stress levels can affect the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that regulates the menstrual cycle. Stress is also a cause factor for hormonal changes and chronic stress can also lead to irregular periods or even amenorrhea (absence of menstruation).
In this age, we all are addicted to bad and irregular food habits. Due to this, a significant weight gain or loss can impact hormone production and lead to irregular periods. Extreme exercise and restrictive diets can also contribute to irregularity. Obesity can also cause irregular periods.
Certain medications, such as birth control pills, can alter the menstrual cycle. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider if you suspect your medication is affecting your periods. In some cases, if you are a diabetic, and if you have to take your meds that also may cause irregular periods. You need to ask your doctors to provide medications that won’t disrupt your menstrual cycle accordingly.
As mentioned above conditions like diabetes and other diseases like celiac, or inflammatory bowel can influence the menstrual cycle. You must consult a good doctor who helps you to control your condition without disrupting your menstrual cycle.
Uterine or Ovarian Issues
Conditions like Fibroids, polyps, or ovarian cysts can disrupt the regularity of periods. In these conditions, you may also find blood clots during your periods which are not considered as normal periods. It is necessary to take action against these conditions as if kept untreated then it may cause infertility issues.
Even the doctors at this age are shocked to see a woman getting perimenopause. Their menstrual cycles often become irregular before ceasing altogether. The conditions which we discussed above can also be a reason to suffer from perimenopause.
Best Foods for Irregular Periods
The life which we are living is not what our mothers and grandmothers used to live, hence they didn’t suffer or face almost any of such conditions. The stress-inducing nature and in the lieu of hustle we have not only mismanaged our lives but also our food habits. Food is something that is considered the root cause of every condition. Thus, maintaining a healthy diet can help you contribute to regular menstrual cycles and overall well-being. There are certain foods that are linked to improving your hormonal balance and menstrual regularity. Here are some of the best foods to consider for irregular periods:
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce menstrual pain and inflammation, promoting a smoother cycle. Just eat them raw however do not consume juice as the juices have some cooling effects on the body which may not be helpful.
Both the raw and green papaya are rich in nutrients and enzymes like papain, which can help to regularize your periods and provide ease for menstrual cramps. Make green papaya salad and consume it with your regular meal or take normal raw papaya with some pepper powder and salt on it for the taste.
Jaggery, a traditional sweetener, used mostly by Indians is rich in iron and can help combat anemia, a common cause of irregular periods. It also provides a natural energy boost. You can consume one tablespoon of jaggery after your lunch or simply make a hot drink during your periods by adding some ginger, pepper, and black salt to it.
Cinnamon is a well-known spice in India with potential benefits for menstrual health. It may help to regulate periods, reduce heavy bleeding, and alleviate cramps. Have it as a drink by adding cinnamon powder, jaggery, and a pinch of salt to it. Both can help you regulate periods.
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it a valuable addition to your diet for managing menstrual pain and promoting regular periods. However, it is necessary to learn how to consume it properly due to its heat properties.
You can always consume milk, turmeric, and a pinch of pepper powder. Remember, never add sugar or salt to this drink as they become “Virudh Aahar” as per Ayurveda.
Ginger has been used for centuries to relieve menstrual discomfort. It can reduce inflammation, ease cramps, and help regulate the menstrual cycle.
Some Additional Food Tips to Regulate Periods
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Adding some sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish and flaxseeds, can help reduce inflammation and support hormonal balance. Go for chia seed sprouts or some other sprouts for vegetarian options.
Foods like spinach and kale are rich in iron, which is essential for maintaining healthy blood flow during menstruation.
Choose whole grains like quinoa and brown rice, that provide complex carbohydrates for sustained energy and balanced blood sugar levels.
Treatment for Painful, Heavy, or Irregular Periods
As we discussed irregular periods can not only be challenging but also cause painful periods
Dealing with painful, heavy, or irregular periods can be challenging. If you’re struggling with these issues, it’s crucial to seek appropriate treatment. Here are some potential treatments, but remember to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized guidance:
Hormonal Birth Control
Birth control methods like pills, patches, or intrauterine devices (IUDs) can regulate periods and alleviate symptoms.
Pineapple juice for periods works like wonders. Try to have pineapple juice as it helps to regulate your irregular periods and if you get regular periods but get irregular flow or blood clots, then pineapple juice helps to regulate them.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and heavy bleeding. Tranexamic acid is another option for heavy menstrual bleeding.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, stress management, and a balanced diet can significantly impact menstrual regularity.
In a few cases, surgical procedures like myomectomy or endometrial ablation may be recommended to treat specific underlying conditions causing irregular periods.
Irregular periods can be a tough and sometimes worrisome experience, but they are often manageable with the right approach. Understanding the causes of irregular periods, adopting a balanced diet rich in supportive foods, and seeking appropriate treatment when needed can go a long way in promoting menstrual regularity and overall menstrual well-being. Remember that your menstrual health is an essential part of your overall health, so don’t hesitate to seek guidance from healthcare professionals to address any concerns or issues you may have.