Having heavy periods can be concerning and sometimes confusing. Knowing what's going on in your body can help you feel better and find the right treatment. Let's take a closer look at what heavy periods are and how Chinese medicine approaches this issue.
What Are Heavy Periods?
Heavy periods happen when a woman bleeds more than usual during her menstrual cycle. A period might be called "heavy" if there's a sudden flow of blood or if a woman needs to change her pad or tampon very often. This is different from another condition called "Flooding and Trickling," where the bleeding might start earlier or last longer than the regular period.
Why Do Heavy Periods Happen?
Different things can cause heavy periods. Here are some:
Working or Exercising Too Much: Too much physical work can affect your spleen, making it harder to control bleeding.
Stress and Diet: Emotional stress and eating spicy foods can heat up your body. This heat can make your blood move too fast and cause heavy bleeding.
Medical Conditions: Things like surgery or just having given birth can cause blood to get stuck in the body, leading to heavy periods.
The Types of Heavy Periods
In Chinese medicine, heavy periods are usually divided into three types:
Qi Deficiency: You might feel tired, have pale skin, and your blood might be light in color. The issue here is that your body's energy (Qi) isn't strong enough to hold the blood in place.
Blood-Heat: Here, your period will be bright or dark red and you may feel restless or hot. This is caused by too much heat in your body.
Blood Stasis: Your period might be dark and clotty, and you might have pain. This happens when blood gets stuck and can't move well through your body.
Depending on the type, treatments may include acupuncture or herbal medicine.
For Qi Deficiency, treatments aim to boost your Qi. You might get acupuncture points that help lift your energy or be given herbs that support your spleen and kidneys.
For Blood-Heat, treatments focus on cooling down the body. Special acupuncture points and herbs can help control the heat and bleeding.
For Blood Stasis, the goal is to get the blood moving again. Acupuncture and herbs can help break up the clots and ease pain.
What Can You Do?
For Qi Deficiency: Try to rest more and avoid standing for long periods.
For Blood-Heat: Cut back on spicy foods and alcohol.
For Blood Stasis: Exercise moderately to improve blood flow.
Heavy periods can often be managed with acupuncture and herbal treatments, but it might take a few months to see results. If you think you have heavy periods, it's important to talk to a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.
By understanding the causes and types of heavy periods, you can take steps towards finding relief and improving your overall well-being.