Menorrhagia is essentially excessive bleeding during your period, often contributing to irregular periods. In my experience, two different things have been the main reasons for this:
1. Xenoestrogens in your environment.
2. Malnutrition leading to a vitamin A and vitamin K deficiency. The second question that must be asked is, "Why is this malnutrition occurring?"
I had one patient who was bleeding so profusely that she was severely anemic and had to be transfused with two units of blood in the emergency room. In my experience, xenoestrogens can cause excessive vaginal bleeding. Xenoestrogens are chemicals or herbs that mimic estrogen strangely. I have found that chemicals or herbs on the skin have 10 times as much potency compared to chemicals or herbs that are taken orally. This is because anything on the skin is absorbed directly into the body. However, anything taken orally is 90% pre-filtered by the liver.
Back to my patient, my patient had profuse vaginal bleeding. Her doctors could not stop the bleeding and were talking about a hysterectomy. I tried to eliminate everything that could possibly be mimicking estrogen on her skin. So I talked to her for an hour and reviewed all the things that she put on the skin. However, the vaginal bleeding did not improve. So she called again and we had a discussion on the phone. And I asked her how long this excessive menorrhagia been occurring. She said this excessive bleeding had only occurred for nine months. So I said, "What did you do differently during a last nine months?"
Initially, she could not think of anything. Then, the light bulb went on. She said, "I began to grind an ounce of flaxseed into a smoothie every morning."
I answered, "Flaxseed is the "nuke" of phytoestrogens. It contains the highest density of phytoestrogens of all plants." She stopped the flaxseed. And within one or two days her excessive vaginal bleeding stopped. She avoided a hysterectomy.
She was ebullient. She exclaimed, "How come no one told me about this!"
This patient had an extreme reaction to flaxseed. I don't know why her reaction to flaxseed was so extreme. There may have been some other factors in her health that may have triggered this menorrhagia for this patient that work in synergy with the flaxseed. I'm still unsure what exactly those factors are.
Since this case, I've had a number of patients that had mid-cycle spotting and were able to trace that mid-cycle spotting to high omega-3 eggs. They feed flaxseed to chicken hens, and the chicken hens lay eggs that have high omega-3 oils. The high omega-3 oils found in the eggs are from the flaxseed that the hens eat. Patients cut out the omega-3 eggs and the mid-cycle spotting stopped. Again, are there any cofactors in synergy with the high omega-3 eggs that are causing mid-cycle spotting? This question remains unanswered.
My wife and I live a very pristine life. I bought some organic crackers at a neighborhood warehouse store made in part with flaxseed. My wife could eat half of that cracker and feel herself bloat and have breast tenderness.
To be fair, flaxseed can also help with breast lumps. Dr. Lillian Thompson of University of Toronto in Canada found that an ounce of ground flaxseed given to women with breast lumps between the time of diagnosis and lumpectomy were able to decrease the mass of the lump by one half. So flax is an extremely high density phytoestrogen that acts kind of like estrogen that may increase vaginal bleeding, but yet be very helpful in breast lumps.
I have another patient that had clumpy crampy periods for 15 years. She went on our program of avoidance of xenoestrogens. She was clump and cramp free for year and a half. Then, she gave me a phone call. She said, "The clumpy crampy periods have come back for six months."
So, I reviewed all the products and all she had put topically on her skin. However, I could not find anything that was causing the problem. Then I asked her, "What did you do differently in the last six months?"
She thought and thought. Finally, she had an "aha" experience. She said I been taking cinnamon xylitol gum.
I said that's very interesting, "I've never seen cinnamon as a phytoestrogen. However, octyl-methoxycinnamate used as a UV protectant in sunscreen was shown to act like a strong estrogen in lab tests." She switched her cinnamon xylitol gum to lemon xylitol gum and all of her clumpy crampy periods went away.
Xenoestrogens are chemicals or herbs that mimic estrogen. They mimic estrogen strangely. They are kind of like estrogen and have estrogen like effects but they are not really estrogen.
There is a second effect. Some chemicals or herbs can stimulate estrogen to be produced higher in your body. For instance, cocoa butter and coffee can stimulate your body to produce more estradiol.
Anything on the skin gets absorbed by the human body. The potency of putting something topically on the skin is 10 times the potency of taking the same compound orally. This is counter intuitive. Do you remember the nicotine patches and estradiol patches you can buy at the drugstore? Big pharmaceutical concerns use these patches to deliver nicotine and estradiol to the human body. Similarly, laundry detergent, soap, lotions, toothpaste, cosmetics, and lipstick are absorbed directly into the human body. Anything taken orally is 90% pre-filtered by the liver. However, anything put on the skin is not pre-filtered by the liver and goes directly into the body. Thus, an estrogen patch is more potent in its delivery system than taking a estrogen pill.
Many of these cosmetics and toiletries in our modern society contain chemicals or herbs that are extremely hormone active in small amounts and just as powerful in synergy as the estrogen patches that you put on the skin. These cosmetics and toiletries are acting like hormone active drugs.
For instance, Bloch M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist, found three young boys with gynecomastia otherwise known as "man boobs". Bloch M.D. measured their own endogenous hormones and found their own endogenous hormones to be normal. He found that their parents had been giving them tea tree oil and lavender oil. He stopped the parents giving them tea tree oil and lavender oil. The three young boy's "man boobs" disappeared in three months. He then took the tea tree oil and lavender oil separately and put them in breast cancer cells in a test tube. These breast cancer cells were sensitive to estrogen. He found that tea tree oil and lavender oil made the breast cancer cells proliferate. Next, he put the lavender and tea tree oil into the test tube with cells that were sensitive to testosterone. He found that the lavender and tea tree oil caused the testosterone to be blocked. And so these young boys were getting a one-two punch. Not only were their estrogen receptors being stimulated, but also their testosterone receptors are being blocked by tea tree oil and lavender oil. Essentially, lavender and tea tree oil were causing the boys to grow up like girls. The effect was so pronounced that the National Institute of Health issued a warning to parents about lavender and tea tree oil oil in young boys.
Synthetic chemicals can also mimic estrogen. The common pesticide that was banned the United States called DDT was injected into young roosters. The young roosters grew up looking like hens. The combs and wattles were stunted. They looked like hens.
See the video that we have by frontline PBS that features a medical doctor from John Hopkins. It talks about the feminization of male bass in a U.S. river. Recently as of 2014 the U.S. Geological Survey, a federal department, finished a survey of all the major watersheds looking for intersex fish. Intersex fish are fish that are caught between male and female. The male fish look like female fish. The male fish begin to produce a protein associated with eggs called vittelogenin. In some places in United States, there has been a complete population collapse because all the fish are female. All the major watersheds have some percentage of male feminized fish. Many common household chemicals and cosmetics going into the sewer system are suspected of causing this feminization of fish.
In my experience, some of these xenoestrogens have caused menorrhagia or excessive vaginal bleeding along with the irregular period. The solution is to change the chemicals and herbs that you use on your skin topically. Then, as the root reason has been addressed, the excessive vaginal bleeding and irregular period goes away.
Mainstream medicine believes that uterine fibroids or uterine polyps can cause abnormal heavy menstrual bleeding. However, I suspect that xenoestrogens cause heavy menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia. Xenoestrogens definitely cause fibroids. So, I believe that xenoestrogens separately cause heavy menstrual bleeding. I believe that xenoestrogens separately cause fibroids. The fibroids and the heavy menstrual bleeding just happens to be in the same patient.
Natural progesterone can be used to balance out small amounts of weak xenoestrogens. If you are continuing to take small amounts of weak xenoestrogens, natural progesterone can be used to stop excessive vaginal bleeding as well as the irregular periods. However, if you are taking strong xenoestrogens and many, then progesterone will not help excessive bleeding or the irregular period. Also, if you are taking herbs that block progesterone, then the progesterone will become useless, and not have any effect. These herbs that block progesterone are the same herbs that cause miscarriage.
I usually use 60 mg/day progesterone to stop menorrhagia. You can take 30 mg topically in the morning and 30 mg at night. Levels of progesterone go up and down in about seven hours so you can even break up this 60 mg per day dose into three doses: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Natural progesterone can be used to stop a miscarriage that occurs in weeks 5-8. In one way, miscarriage is like excessive vaginal bleeding or menorrhagia. Again, you can use 60 mg per day of progesterone to stop a miscarriage 30 mg topically in the morning and 30 mg topically at night.
It is important to cut out strong xenoestrogens for the progesterone to work. Otherwise, many of the symptoms of estrogen dominance can get worse. This is because chronic estrogen exposure in the form of xenoestrogens causes the body to shut down its sensitivity to estrogen. In order to protect itself, the body shuts down the sensitivity of its estrogen receptors. When you take progesterone, the estrogen receptors wake-up and it seems like you're getting much more estrogen even though you're not.
Here is an analogous situation. Imagine going to rock concert. Initially, the rock concert is extremely loud. However, after about half an hour the rock concert does not seem so loud. However, the noise level has not changed. Your sensitivity to the rock concert noise level has changed instead. You are now less sensitive to the noise level. When you take progesterone, it's as if your ears wake-up. All of a sudden, the noise is loud again. Frequently, patients blame progesterone as the cause of their ills. However, that is not the case. It is the simultaneous taking of progesterone and strong xenoestrogens that cause the patient to become sicker.
The solution is to go to a "quiet" place and take progesterone.
For this reason, I usually recommend cutting out all xenoestrogens from these one to two months before taking progesterone. This waiting period before taking progesterone allows the xenoestrogens to wash out of the body. One to two months seems excessive to many people. However, many topical lotions and shampoos have fat soluble chemicals that are stored in the subcutaneous fat. It may take one to three months for these fat soluble chemicals to wash out of the body.
If the patient actually loses weight, chemicals and herbs that are hormone disruptive that are stored in the fat are released. Loss of weight with the release of these toxins stored in the fat can cause the patient to have altered menstrual cycles and also become sick.
For instance, LSD the drug of abuse is known to cause bad trips 10 or 15 years after the initial taking on LSD.
This is because LSD is fat soluble and active in very small amounts and stored in the fat. When the patient get sick with the flu, can't eat, and begins to lose weight, fat is lost. Any toxins and hormone disruptors that are stored in the fat are released into the body. The LSD was stored in the fat is released into the body. And the patient has a bad trip.
Similarly, I've had patients that have lost weight. They have called me concerned about a recurrence of adenomyosis or an alteration of their menstrual cycle. However, it was due to the hormone disruptors stored in the fat that were released when the fat was metabolized in weight loss. After the loss of weight is stabilized for one or two months their health returns back to what it was before they lost weight.
Natural progesterone can be used to stop menorrhagia or excessive vaginal bleeding along with the irregular period with the provision that potent xenoestrogens are not in the patient's environment.
Dr. Jonathan Wright in the book, Dr. Wright's guide to Healing and Nutrition recommends taking 50,000 IU-100,000 IU of vitamin A per day broken up into three doses on page 435 for heavy menstrual bleeding. He also suggests taking 200 IU of vitamin E and 50 mg of zinc. Also he gives a blood test for pancreatic digestive enzymes to make sure the vitamin A is likely to be absorbed.
He quotes doctors and Lithgow and Politzer that in a group of 40 women 92.5% had a substantial or complete return to normal menstrual periods with vitamin A. They reported they asked the women to use vitamin A for 35 days. Two South African researchers doctors D. M. Lithgow and W. M. Politzer reported that for 40 women, menstruation return to normal and 57.5%, and substantial improvement occurred in another 35%. Dr. Wright has found those percentages to be accurate in his practice. 90% for those who Dr. Wright has suggested vitamin A treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding has corrected their menorrhagia. He recommends bioflavonoids the next thing to try if vitamin A does not work. Doctors Lithgow and Politzer also pose at least one reason why vitamin A treatment might work. They point out that enzymes necessary for the internal production of hormones are underactive in vitamin E deficiency, even when the deficiency is mild. Supplementing vitamin A stimulates enzyme activity, normalizing hormone production. Thus, vitamin A can help the body to do naturally from the inside would synthetic hormone pills or injections do from the outside.
Bioflavonoids are said to decrease capillary fragility.
Since 1981, Dr. Wright has only heard of one single case of vitamin A toxicity. "When using 50,000 IU daily compared to even over-the-counter drug toxicity, toxicity from vitamin A is small. Personally, I've never seen adults suffer vitamin A toxicity in the amount of 50,000-100,000 IU daily. According to the pharmacology textbook, the Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, even in children, from all reported cases of toxicity, they had been on long term doses of 50,000 to 500,000 international unit daily. I don't want to give an impression that vitamin A is completely safe - it isn't. However, most of the talk about vitamin A toxicity is quite overdone. The symptoms of vitamin A toxicity are very noticeable and go away once the vitamin A is stopped. They include hair loss, headaches, nausea, bone and joint pain, and lumps developing on the bones in arms and legs. It is not a thing that sneaks up on you with no warning."
The question is, "Why you have a vitamin A deficiency?" Is it because that you are eating foods that are devoid of vitamin A? Or do you have some other malabsorption problem in the gut such as gluten sensitivity or bad bacteria in the gut that is causing malabsorption. If you have a gluten sensitivity that is causing malabsorption, you must stop eating wheat. It is like having a rash on insider your gut. The gut cannot absorb nutrients. Split fingernails are a symptom of poor nutrition or malabsorption.
Or is it possible that you have low acid in the stomach? The next question is why do you have a low acid in the stomach? Dr. Wright gives betaine hydrochloride with pepsin for patients that have low acid in the gut. However, there is some evidence that the reason why you have low acid in the gut is because of bad bacteria in the gut.
Dr. Wright quotes a commentary page 136 in the1940 reference," it is well known, however, that the administration of large amounts of dilute hydrochloric acidacid . . Alters the putrifactive flora ordinarily dominant in the upper gut of achlorhydrics." This explains why adding lactobacillus acidophilus appears even more helpful than hydrochloric acid and pepsin supplements alone.
I have not tried this with my patients yet. However, it may be possible to give probiotics to destroy the bad bacteria in the gut that is causing malabsorption and low acid in the stomach. Probiotics are bacteria that is taken for the gut. They produce natural antibiotics that kill other bacteria.
For instance, it is well-known that penicillin is a chemical produced by fungus which kill other bacteria. However, other bacteria can produce chemicals that kill other bacteria. For instance, there was a graduate student at Duke University. His friend was killed by tuberculosis. He decided he wanted to find a cure for tuberculosis. He decided to culture many other bacteria from the environment to see which bacteria would kill the tuberculosis. He finally cultured some bacteria from a healthy chicken's throat which produced a chemical called streptomycin which killed tuberculosis. The Duke University chairman claimed credit for his discovery. And Duke University received millions in royalties from the company that produced streptomycin. So, these bacteria from the healthy chicken's throat produced streptomycin to kill tuberculosis.
Similarly, many probiotics produce natural antibiotics that are yet to be discovered that will kill the bad bacteria in your gut. For instance, the Russians discovered that Lactobacillus Bulgaricus could cure pneumonia by producing a natural antibiotic. There were investigating the role of yogurt in Georgia and marveled at their long life span. They guessed that the Lactobacillus Bulgaricus was producing some chemicals that lengthen the Georgians lives.
It may be that by taking numerous probiotics and different brands of different types of bacteria may be able to replace the bad bacteria in your gut. For myself, that's how I cure diarrhea. If I have a bad case of diarrhea from eating bad food I will eat live kimchi, sauerkraut uncooked, yogurt with live cultures, Kiefer with live cultures, and cottage cheese with live cultures. After I eat these things, immediately, the diarrhea will immediately get better within an hour.
I have not tested these probiotics for women with heavy bleeding but I will make it an option for patients to try next time in the absence of any obvious allergy in the gut.
1. Lithgow, D. M., And Politzer, W. M. "Vitamin A in the Treatment of Menorrhagia." South African Medical Journal, there are 12, 1977, pages 191 – 193.
2. Jonathan Wright, M. D. Dr. Wright's Guide to Healing with Nutrition. Keats Publishing, Inc. 1984, pages 436 – 437.
3. "Nutrition Notes and Abstracts on Nutrition: a Plug for Acid Therapy."American Journal of Digestive Diseases, volume 16, number 11, 1949, pages 418.