Ask the Doctor – Irregular PeriodsDr. Zoltan P. Rona, MD, M.Sc. September 1, 2009
Hello, Doctor! I have a 12-year-old daughter who got her first menstrual period two months ago. She is very irregular and her period stops for a week and then comes back in two weeks or less. She just went through her menstrual last week and once again she got it. I read this is caused by menarche, but she is so sad that she can’t have a normal cycle. I was wondering if there is a homeopathic remedy that can help her to become regular. A friend recommended Calcarea carbonica. What is your opinion?
Thank you for your response.
Irregular menses in an otherwise healthy girl are most often caused by estrogen dominance or a relative progesterone deficiency. Even if estrogen levels are low, a young woman can have irregular menses if progesterone is deficient.
Other causes of irregular menses are significant weight gain or loss, over-exercise, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), uterine abnormalities, poor nutrition, cigarette smoking, alcohol excess and various medications affecting hormone levels. If there is no other obvious physical cause of irregular menses, conventional medical doctors and gynecologists can correct the problem by prescribing the birth control pill.
Besides the birth control pill, are there any other ways to curtail estrogen dominance? What causes estrogen dominance in the first place? In one word, it’s “xenoestrogens” from the environment. Exposure to xenoestrogens (PCBs, DDT, dioxin, other pesticides, plastics and industrial pollutants) can mimic the effects as estrogen contribute to irregular periods.
One can prevent or minimize the impact of xenoestrogens on health by doing the following:
• Avoid plastic containers for food storage, plastic bottles, wraps and utensils.
• Use office paper products whitened without chlorine.
• Use only non-bleached coffee filters, paper, napkins, toilet tissue, tampons, etc. to reduce dioxin exposure.
• Avoid chlorinated tap water, chlorine bleach and other chlorinated products: use hydrogen peroxide as an alternative.
• Eat organic food as much as possible to avoid pesticides or herbicides.
• Avoid synthetic deodorants and cosmetics: use only organic products whenever possible.
• Avoid animal products with a high fat content that contain hormones, especially conventional milk and dairy products, chicken, beef and pork.
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
• Avoid fried, charcoal-boiled or barbecued forms of cooking.
• Eat lots of high antioxidant-containing foods (carotenes, vitamins A, C, E and selenium) such as green leafy vegetables, kale, carrots, citrus, broccoli, cauliflower and yams.
The following natural remedies may also be of help in offsetting xenoestrogens and correcting irregular periods:
Vitamin B6 – doses of 100 to 200 mg daily tend to prevent estrogen buildup in the body and boost progesterone production. B6 is best taken in the form of a B complex because that prevents relative B vitamin deficiencies occurring when only one of the B vitamins is supplemented for any length of time.
Chaste berry (Vitex agnus) – used as a tincture (1 to 3 tsp daily) or herbal tea (1 to 3 moderately brewed cups daily) or as dried herb capsules (1000 to 3000 mg daily) increases secretions of LH (luteinizing hormone) and decreases FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) by the pituitary gland, thereby increasing progesterone and decreasing estrogen levels.
Red Raspberry Leaf – used as a tincture (1 to 3 tsp daily), herbal tea (1 to 3 moderately brewed cups daily) or as dried herb capsules (1000 to 3000 mg daily) it has the ability to strengthen the uterine lining, lengthening the luteal phase and preventing early menstruation. This herb can be consumed during the entire menstrual cycle but should be discontinued if pregnancy is desired.
Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) – used as a tincture (1 to 3 tsp daily), herbal tea (1 to 3 moderately brewed cups daily) or as dried herb capsules (1000 to 3000 mg daily) it is best known as an estrogen modulator and is best used during the first half of the cycle. It prevents estrogen from going too high or too low by occupying the same receptor sites.
Bio-identical Progesterone Cream – 3% to 12% transdermal cream – usually ¼ to ½ tsp applied to alternating skin sites twice daily is the most powerful natural option in correcting irregular periods. Frowned upon by most conventional doctors as well as by some conservative naturopaths, it’s one option that works quickly without any significant short or long-term side effects. This is a popular remedy with holistic doctors and gynecologists and requires a prescription to a compounding pharmacist. By the way, do not use wild yam extract or wild yam cream since this contains no progesterone at all and may be a therapeutic disappointment.
Some people advocate the use of evening primrose oil as a supplement but, in my experience, this doesn’t seem to do much for period irregularity. Evening primrose oil may be more effective for painful periods and various inflammatory conditions such as eczema.
Homeopathic remedies may also be effective, but one remedy may not work for all and it’s best to get an assessment from a homeopath before starting on any homeopathic remedy. If all else fails, consult a natural health care practitioner for detailed biochemical as well as hormone testing.
Estrogen Dominance, The Silent Epidemic. Dr. Michael Lam https://www.drlam.com/articles/Estrogen_Dominance.asp
Estrogen Dominance. Dr. John Lee. https://www.johnleemd.com/store/estrogen_dom.html
Zoltan P. Rona, MD, MSc, offers consultations on nutrition and natural remedies in Thornhill. He has recently retired from medical practice as a Complementary and Alternative medical practitioner and now strictly offers nutritional consultations. He is the medical editor of The Encyclopedia of Natural Healing and has also published several Canadian bestselling books, including Vitamin D, The Sunshine Vitamin. To see more of Dr. Rona’s articles, visit: www.highlevelwellness.ca and for appointments, please call (905) 764-8700; office located at: 390 Steeles Ave. W., Unit 19, Thornhill, Ontario