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Having a healthy, normal period is incredibly important for long-term health in women.
While some women believe that having a monthly period is an inconvenience or annoyance, an irregular or absent period, or one with severe symptoms, is a sure sign that there’s something else going wrong in the body.
That’s why addressing the root cause of the menstrual dysfunction is often preferable to immediately starting hormonal birth control as a quick fix. While hormonal replacement has its place in supporting women’s health, many doctors are too quick to prescribe birth control to women whose cycle issues could potentially be solved by a change in diet and lifestyle.
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In the United States, 30 to 40 percent of the reproductive female population experience pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), and as many as 15 to 20 percent of women have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). At least 4 percent of US women have secondary amenorrhea: a lack of menses for at least six months in a woman who was previously menstruating.
These stats would suggest that nearly a third of women have some level of menstrual dysfunction. I’d bet that most of you ladies reading this article have experienced some disruption in your cycle at some time in your life. (I know I have!)
Fortunately, hormonal disorders like amenorrhea and PCOS are not only manageable using diet and lifestyle changes, but even reversible in most cases.
These hormonal imbalances are almost always caused by one or more of the following:
- blood sugar abnormalities
- HPA axis dysfunction (“adrenal fatigue syndrome”)
- gut disorders
- impaired liver function/detoxification
In this article, you’ll learn the 10 most important diet and lifestyle factors affecting your hormonal function. Keep reading for my easy-to-implement tips for making changes that put you on the path to a healthy menstrual cycle.