Women … there is something that comes once a month, it leaves us feeling sick and bloated, and it causes an absolute pain, in more ways than one.
Yes, that’s right. We are talking about our periods.
Periods are one necessary and normal bodily function in women, but we still consider them to be extremely taboo to talk about. Instead of the word that we use, “period”, there is also a whole list of interesting nicknames used for this time of the month, and a few of them are Shark week, Aunt Flo and riding the crimson waveare.
There is one thing that women should understand and it is that their periods are maybe telling them something important about their health. There are a lot of people that don’t want to talk about their problems, so this can be the reason for minor to serious health issues to go unnoticed. We have all had some friends that had some serious issues associated with several things, such as menstruation in the high school days and don’t realize that there is really a problem, until they come to college.
What can help you in understanding a lot of things about your health is taking notice of your flow and some other period symptoms, which are also going to help you be better informed when talking to a health care professional.
So, this is what the period says about your health:
– Color and flow
According to the holistic health counselor, and functional nutritionist, Dr. Alisa Vitti, there are three different possible ways for describing most period colors: mashed frozen blueberries, strawberry jam, and cranberry juice. The color of the period blood can reveal a lot about our hormonal health.
Those periods that are similar in the texture and color to frozen blueberries, can be an indicator of high estrogen levels. This can also cause a heavier cycle that normal one, as the higher estrogen levels mean that the uterus lining could be thicker than normal.
Those periods that shed a lighter color which is similar to strawberry jam, have a problem opposite of the previous one, meaning that the estrogen levels may be low. In a case like this, the period flow can be patchy and is often late because less estrogen means a thinner lining. Another thing that should be noted is that a light flow can also be associated with birth control use for some women.
According to Dr. Vitti, the perfect color is a nice, saturated red color like cranberry juice. In a case like this, the flow will usually start and end on time and it will also not become too heavy.
Spotting is the term used for bleeding a little in between periods. This can be a sign that something is wrong, so those that are experiencing spotting should immediately consult with medical professional.
Some of the major causes for spotting can be:
• Hormonal imbalance – spotting can happen when progesterone and estrogen are out of balance. This balance can be affected by dysfunctional ovaries, thyroid problems, and birth control methods.
• Infection – any kind of infection brought on by an STD or not, can cause spotting.
• Cancer – this is one rare case, but cancer of the cervix, vagina, uterus, or ovaries can cause spotting.
• Stress – any person that is under stress can experience spotting.
– Period pain
Most of the women experience some amount of pain, during their period, but a pain that does not go away, needs to be consulted with a healthcare professional.
Dysmenorrhea is the correct term used for menstrual cramps, and it usually happens to about half of the female population. The cause of this condition can be excessive amounts of prostaglandin, which is the hormone involved with inflammation and pain. Unluckily this is a common problem.
What isn’t common is severe and disabling cramps that can last for more than two days. This can also be a sign of endometriosis, which is where the uterine lining is growing outside the uterus, normally in the pelvic area, instead of inside. When the lining is shed it has no place to go. So, this is the causer of the severe pain and cramps. There are about 10% of women that suffer from this issue.
So, the next time when Aunt Flo comes into town to visit, keep this information in mind. It will maybe help you, or it will help to someone else that you know.