Nutritional Remedy for Heavy Periods

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist January 31, 2012

Heavy periods

Heavy periods, or menorrhagia, is a common problem for women particularly as they approach menopause.  Excess estrogen can frequently be a cause with estrogen dominance a real threat in our modern environment loaded with estrogen mimicking chemicals like BPA and pesticides seemingly everywhere and estrogenic foods like soy added to a majority of processed foods.

Heavy periods can cause anemia, weakness and fatigue if not corrected.  Unfortunately, conventional treatments for this condition involve only drugs and surgery such as the birth control pill, hormone releasing IUDs, hysterectomy or a more recent technique called endometrial ablation.

I know several women who have undergone endometrial ablation in recent months to combat heavy periods.  This surgical technical involves destruction of the uterine lining either with a laser, radiofrequency or microwaves, or heated water.

While the ladies I know who have had this procedure swear by it and were very happy with the results, it is not an option for younger women who want to have children.  It is also best to avoid a surgical procedure unless absolutely necessary as complications are always possible such as infection of the bladder or damage to the womb or large intestine.

The good news is that heavy periods frequently respond well to simple nutritional support.

Vitamin A is known to help with excess estrogen so a simple increase in the amount of natural Vitamin A in the diet can help reduce heavy cyclical bleeding.

It is important to note that beta carotene will not help here – it must be true vitamin A best found in sufficient doses in high vitamin cod liver oil.

According to a case study written about in the book Eat Fat, Lose Fat, 2 TBL of high vitamin cod liver oil per day supplying about 60,000 IU of Vitamin A for 3 days in a row eliminated this debilitating problem for one woman who had been suffering from what she called a “never ending period” for 4 years!

What’s more, a simple daily maintenance dose of 1 TBL of high vitamin cod liver oil (30,000 IU of Vitamin A) was sufficient to keep the problem of heavy periods at bay indefinitely.

Try Cod Liver Oil for Heavy Periods Before Drugs or Surgery!

If you suffer from heavy periods and have reached the end of your rope and are considering surgery, why not try this simple remedy to see if it might work for you?  Be sure to use high vitamin cod liver oil that contains only natural Vitamin A.  Most of the brands on the market today sadly use synthetic Vitamin A instead of the real thing.

For sources of high vitamin cod liver oil that use only natural Vitamin A and no synthetics, check my Resources page.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source: Eat Fat, Lose Fat

Picture Credit

 

Comments (181)

  1. How long can I stay on the high doses of CLO? It is really helping my situation. Thank you so much for posting all these helps. Will I get a period while taking the high doses of CLO?

    Reply
  2. Pingback: the period experiment » Bo and Belle

  3. Thank you soooo much for sharing this information! My 10 year old got her period this past year and suddenly here periods got very heavy. She bled the whole month of December. I came to find out that heavy periods were inherited from my husband’s mom. I sought for an answer and found this post. I ordered the cod liver oil and began giving her teaspoon a day. I was afraid the 4TBL might be too much since she is so young. Within a month, the bleeding stopped, and now she just had a normal period. Thanks again so much for sharing! I feel so relieved to have my daughter well.

    Reply
  4. Hi – I’ve reached the never ending period stage of life (I’m 43) so I read your article with interest, but it have a question I hope you can help with!
    I have a seafood allergy so can’t take cod liver oil – is this pure vitamin A found in anything non fish please?
    I take linseed oil as an alternative omega 3 supplement and am hoping you can offer something similar for vitamin A, fingers crossed…

    Reply
  5. thank you so much for posting; I am currently suffering from the “never ending period” and it’s encroaching 4 years, as well. It’s been ridiculous putting up with this, ever since the birth of my son, and since I am not quite 26 now, I am no where near menopause. Doctors have been assuring me that finding the right birth control will curb my bleeding, and I have had blood tests (my thyroid is fine, no low iron or anything) and ultrasounds (looks perfectly healthy and “normal”) yet not one ob/gyn has mentioned anything about diet or vitamins! I’m sure there’s a surgeon our there somewhere just waiting to take a stab at correcting this by extreme measures :/ I will definitely be trying the cod liver oil. Again, I can not thank you all enough for posting your thoughts, views, and expertise on this!!

    Reply
  6. I tried it and it actually worked! I bought Cod Liver Oil pills (couldn’t find the oil by itself) and they were 4,000iu each – took about 10 a day but only for 3 days during my period. What a result – about 50% less bleeding and my period lasted 2 and a half days instead of 5. I’m going to take 3 pills a day for the whole month as well. This has changed my life.

    Reply
  7. Hmmm, already had surgery. This would have been great to know 5 years ago :( I used to bleed out in pints rather than tsps like is normal. For a few years I had to sleep sitting up too, really did a number on my hips and back. Life was miserable and I was always iron deficient, tired, and sick with whatever bug was going around. Well, win some loose some I guess. At least we can try it for my daughter.

    Reply
  8. Hi, I’ve had nasty painful periods since I was 10. I’m now 24 and am waiting on my first order to arrive of organic cloth pads. I try to live an natural lifestyle, organic when I can afford it. I don’t eat processed foods or buy any products with nasties In them. My question though is I have severe anaphylaxis to seafood and most nuts with the exception of peanuts, cashews, and pistachios. I am also lactose intolerant and allergic to avocados. Is there another source comparable to cod liver oil that I can take? Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Hi , I have been suffering with anemia all my life and did not know it until a few years ago. My doctor did more tests to find the root cause and it came out to be Celiac Disease. CD had caused lack of vitamin absorbtion which also caused the following problems :
      1. Anemia
      2. Osteoperosis (lack of vitamin D)
      3. mentrual problems (Irregular and heavy periods)

      To fix the problem I went on the pill, vitamins( Iron, Calcium and Vit D, probiotics) and maintained a strict gluten free diet.

      I am so much more healthier now and feeling so much better.
      I just recently stopped the pill, my cycle seems to be regular so far but the flow is just heavy.
      I am sure if I include vitamin K and A in my diet it would solve this problem.
      I have high hopes.
      For some of you ladies that have too many problems like lactose intolerance, mentrual problems, anemia, any sort of stomach problem etc.. I advise you to get tested for celiac disease or try out a gluten free diet with healthy natural foods ;)

      Reply
  9. Wish I would have seen this before my ablation! I was still bleeding post-ablation, and after 3 months of that I was put on daily progesterone and poof! No more bleeding. But I’m not excited about being on synthetic hormones until menopause…

    Reply
  10. I was 14 when I had my first cycle and thought I was dying of a period… and did for many years after that. They were irregular and very heavy.

    When I was 28, I switched to cloth. Oh what a difference. The store-bought manufactured pads were CAUSING me to bleed heavily.

    Nutrition did nothing to help my problem previously. It was the chemicals in the products I was using.

    Reply
  11. I have suffered miserably with heavy periods since the birth of our last baby 10 years ago. I am 49 and still having regular, heavy periods with clots. Doctors have been telling me that I need either birth control pills, thermal ablation, hysterectomy followed by HRT. My period started last week and by the first night I almost ended up in the hospital. I lost so much blood that I woke my husband, knowing I was sick and disoriented from losing so much blood. He saved my life by giving me Total cereal and a multi vitamin containing iron. Thank god he knew what to do. I got my first bottle of CLO today and will begin the maintenance dose since I am not sure after reading the article exactly how much to take (?). It only mentions the woman who was bleeding everyday. I hope this helps! I am proud of all of the women who have sought help online from valuable sources like this one!

    Reply
  12. Does anyone know if Carlson Norwegian CLO works just like Green Pastures? I sent someone to the store for me, and thats what they came back with :( And does anyone know if Cod Liver Oil help with PCOS? Thanks.

    Reply
  13. does such high levels of vitamin A have side effects? i have suffered with long periods for 22 years. for instance, the last 6 months i have only had 6 weeks with no bleeding. i average one week of every month with no bleeding or spotting. i have started the vitamin A dosages suggested and i am not spotting!! this is the first time i have found anything that has worked! however i have read that you shouldn’t exceed 10, 000 ui daily. i would appreciate information on this

    Reply
  14. I have found out the BEET juice has greatly helped me in my heavy bleeding. I juiced which consisted of mostly beet juice and then other veggie like carrots, broccoli, cucumber or anything else. The important thing is that at least half the cup should be beet juice (bit not beet juice alone!). I took this type of juice 3-4x a week and within 2 months, i saw an improvement in my flow and then every month after that it got better and better until about the 5th month, I had the best period flow I’ve had in a decade! Definitely try beet juice! (you can sweeten it with berries or apples)

    Reply
  15. I have low blood platelets due to pregnancy ( they were fine before). I have been taking liver capsuls and natural iron to up my iron levels which were also low. My iron is up but my platlets continue to drop. I really want to get them up as i am due in 2.5 weeks and are concerned about bleeding after the birth. Any suggestions?? thanks

    Reply
  16. Pingback: Links I Loved in December | The Polivka Family

  17. I haven’t taken FCLO very long, but I have been eating a paleo diet since springtime. It took 4-5 months before I was no longer flooding and required ibuprofen for at least a day. I think eliminating the contributing foods makes a huge impact. I am gluten free, mostly using grass fed meat and butter sources and feel so much better.

    Reply
  18. Rose Stalter via Facebook December 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Could you clue me in on how they derive the CLO? I mean do they just squish the whole fish or cook it down? I just was wondering & i wanted to google it. ~thanks

    Reply
  19. Blanca Villanueva Perez via Facebook December 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Thank u, thank u, THANK U! For posting this! Earlier this yr. I was told to have a hysterectomy (by a cold and the worst bedside manner I’ve ever seen!); I cried for days…I went to see another Gyno & he told me that the surgery was not needed. Now, I’m empowered & will b taking this cod liver. Love ur articles, Sarah. =)

    Reply
  20. I really needed this, thank you Sarah. I suffer from this, even AFTER having an ablation done. It did help for several months but then the long periods started again. That was 2 years ago. I have been taking FCLO/BO for general health, but only the 1/2 tsp dose for about six weeks now. Starting today, I will bump that up.

    Reply
  21. Debbie Pavloff via Facebook December 13, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Wish I had known about this before I had my surgery. At the time I thought I had exhausted all options and surgery was the only route left. I know so much more now.

    Reply
  22. Beth N Keith Shores via Facebook December 13, 2012 at 9:27 am

    This totally works..after reading this on your blog this summer I bought a bottle of green pastures and it completely worked..the difference was amazing..thanks, Sarah!!!

    Reply
  23. I’m not heavy (anymore–was excessively heavy for YEARS)…BUT…my period lasts half a month or longer. I just read through ALL of the above comments and everyone mentions long periods in conjuction with heavy ones. Does anyone have ANY thoughts for this? I’ve had 3 kids and I’m 35 years old, and these forever-periods are really taking a toll.

    Reply
  24. Tonya Rollins Coutts via Facebook December 13, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Real food, real frugal ( sorry, I don’t know your actual name)- I was just recently diagnosed with a good sized fibroid. After doing research, basically what I found was to eat whole, nutrient rich foods, staying away from all dairy for at least 3 months ( I’ve opted to just eat a strict paleo diet), using maca root, acv and cod liver oil. I found a great article on balancing hormones that I will try to post. I also read up with Christiane Northrups book Women bodies, Womens wisdom. She recommends eating soy, but I stay away from it. I continue to research both balancing hormones and making my body more alkaline.

    Reply
  25. I’m 26 and have been having my period since I was 9…during my JH/HS years my period would last for 2 weeks and was extreamly heavy. I’ve now had 4 babies and it has slowed down a little, but my first few days are horrible. I’ve been having a period for over half my life…I am SOOO ready to be done with it! I talked with my doctor about ablation and he was a little hesitant about it…didn’t seem too excited about doing that for me. But, I don’t just want my period to lighten up…I want it GONE!! Do you have any suggestions for making your period vanish? :D

    Reply
  26. This is one area where I can say, for sure, I’m really glad I went extreme. I had a horrible time for nearly 2 decades. Granted, I never wanted children, so preserving that ability did not matter at all. Preserving hormones, well, that was better. So after years of really suffering I had a partial hysterectomy. I wish I’d done it when I was 20 rather than waiting until I was 31. My wish would be for people to be more accepting that women can, and have the right, to decide NOT to have children – without hearing “oh you’ll change you’re mind.”

    Reply
  27. Isabel Johnson via Facebook December 12, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    What about drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea? I don’t have said condition but I hear that it is good for the uterus.

    Reply
  28. Isabel Johnson via Facebook December 12, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    What about drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea? I don’t have said condition but I hear that it is good for the uterus.

    Reply
    • I am extremely irregular (I’m quite thin). I started drink RRLT, and the DAY AFTER I had my period. Now, I drink it every day. Just recently, I stopped drinking it for 3 months, and my periods were irregular again. But yesterday I finally drank a cup, and I started bleeding hours later! So… it definitely has some powerful effects! I’ve hunted or some nutrition data on the web, and though there aren’t many sources, I did see one that showed a really nice ratio of calcium and megnesium.

      Fortunately, I live in raspberry country, so there’s always local leaves available. But you can also get the cheapest organic leaves (or non organic) at FrontierHerbs.com. Get the loose leaf, it’s so potent. Drink two large mugs a day. I double brew my daily handful of leaves (a small handful that is). Just let it steep for a good 15min, strain, and drink. Goes well with some lemon.

      Reply
  29. Thank you. Thanks you. Thank you!!
    I’ve had this problem since my periods started after giving birth to my 4th. Originally I thought it had something to do with my tubal ligation which led to severe thyroid problems. Since working to fix my thyroid it has improved a bit, but not nearly as much as it should. Learning about traditional eating and Weston A. Price this year, I figured it could be fixed with diet…I just didn’t know how. I’m so excited to give this a try!

    I’ve heard in the past that Vit. A isn’t a water soluble vitamin, so its possible to overdose. Is this true, or is there something we’re not being told?

    Reply
  30. I’ve been having heavy bleeding from what I believe are uterine fibroids. What are some natural ways to shrink and/or treat uterine fibroids? I believe that I am estrogen dominant (entering peri-menopause at 43) and have been using progesterone cream, but for the last several months I’ve been having severe symptoms which point to uterine fibroids (including the heavy bleeding) I would LOVE to treat this naturally, because from what I’ve read of current medical treatment, I have the choice of living with the pain, synthetic medications, or having a hysterectomy. None of these options sound reasonable to me. I’d much rather use some sort of natural option. Any help would be appreciated!

    Reply
  31. Julie Westwood via Facebook December 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    In my case menorrhagia was caused by a uterine polyp. While most uterine polyps are benign some precancerous changes of the uterus (endometrial hyperplasia) or uterine cancers (endometrial carcinomas) appear as uterine polyps. You should also see your doctor to rule out any cancerous cells, just to be sure.

    Reply
  32. Sara James via Facebook December 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I’m trying this! I have always had a heavy period for the first two days of my cycle and I’m miserable/ don’t want to leave my house. Can you split the dose up throughout the day? I was planning a very high dose as recommended by Annika Rockwell, so I’m hoping this helps! :)

    Reply
  33. It is important to note that the labeled dosage should be followed. Vitamine A does not process through the body like other vitamines and it is easiy to over do it. So yes, this is a GREAT! product, just be cautiouse not to do ‘too-much’ of a good thing.

    Reply
  34. Michelle Stumpf via Facebook December 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Homeopathic Sabina worked for me… Never happened again. I too had been recommended to have an endometrial ablation, so glad I trusted my gut.

    Reply
  35. Edith Fridley Godbey via Facebook December 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Thank you for this article. Endometrial ablation was recently recommended to me for this exact reason. I’ve been reassured that it’s safe, but I’ve had reservations about it b/c I don’t want to have surgery unless absolutely necessary. I’ll be considering this info thoroughly before making my decision. Thanks again.

    Reply
  36. I too have menorrhagia. I’ve dealt with this debilitating medical condition all my life. I guess I’ve finally decided that enough is enough. Was considering ablation until I came across this article. I am willing to try anything. Where are directions for taking this or did I miss that?

    Reply
  37. This stuff really works! As posted above at least it did for me. I am on day 4 now and all is still well, :) but can you please tell me do I continue taking the clo/vit. A on a daily basis from now on, and if so how much? I’m just praying now for continued body normacy again :)
    Thank you sooooo much!
    Please respond

    Reply
  38. ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE! Wow I can’t even believe how easy the clo/w vitamin A works!
    I’ve never had nonstop bleeding before and was going into week 3 and getting pretty scared. It makes you wonder what the heck is happening to your body and if you’re ok
    Anyway, I started taking the cod liver oil with vit. A. and the bleeding started slacking off almost immediately and then in exactly 3 days, just as stated in this site, the bleeding stopped. I purchased the pills and took two a day which amounted to approx. 60,000 IU of vit. A after calculating the nutritional facts. I’m not sure yet how much to take from this point yet. However I am very pleased so far with the results. There was a little light cramping on the 3rd day for me, but that didn’t last long thankfully and didn’t get in the way of normal daily activities. I am more than grateful for this site and oh so happy to have found it! Thanks!!!!

    Reply
  39. I am currently having a period every 14 days!! Heavy, but not need for surgery thankfully! I have always had easy light cycles, now it’s too often , too heavy, and I’m an emotional wreck! What can I do? I have horrible food allergies, milk, eggs, gluten, and most fruits and nuts. I know gaps and also clo, but I just don’t think I can take the gel! I make my boys, but I just can’t! Any tips or advice?!? I’m a very busy mom who really needs help!!

    Reply
    • 6boys, sounds like you already know what to do, GAPS to address food allergies and clo. Please note surgery is routinely done for heavy bleeding, so if you don’t have a recommendation now, it could come in the future if you don’t get a handle on this situation. Please review the GAPS posts and the post on how to take clo on this blog.

      Reply
  40. I read this post with great interest the day it was published. I had just been to the doctor for “flooding” periods (had and IUD removed about 18 months ago and have had heavy, painful periods ever since, though they are very regular–like clockwork) and was offered the options of ablation or hysterectomy. I have been debating with myself as to whether to use FCLO to treat this condition. In looking at the Weston Price website, I read the FAQ page regarding toxicity of long term use. It clearly states that anything more than 3/4 tsp. for long term use will result in toxicity.

    http://www.westonaprice.org/faq/faq-cod-liver-oil

    I’ve already ordered the FCLO, it’s here, and I started today with 2 tsp. (I’m in the middle of my cycle with no acute symptoms, so I don’t see the need to start with 2 TBSP.) Now I’m nervous to continue even with 2 tsp. because of the admonition to not take more than 3/4 tsp.

    How are women faring after trying this treatment for several months? Surely one cannot continue to take such high doses of this stuff for months and months? I’m 46 and could have several years before I’m done with periods. I’m not considering a hysterectomy anymore, but ablation? Maybe…

    Thoughts? Follow up stories from anyone who’s been using FCLO long term?

    Reply
    • BTW, I already follow a “real food diet” which includes raw milk, no grain (gluten intolerant), our own grass fed beef and free range eggs, fermented foods and drinks, etc. (I’ve even tried raw liver to bring my hemoglobin up. Currently I’m at 10.7–anemic) My diet is clean, so I’ve done what I can there. I also exercise regularly: walking 3-4 x/week, strength training 3x/week, and stretching.

      I include this information because I read the responses in which someone recommends exercise or other dietary options.

      Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist March 15, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      I’ve been taking between 1 1/2 tsp and 1 TBL FCLO almost every single day for years. I am far from toxic in vitamin D (I get loads of Florida midday sun too with no sunscreen). I would guess my vitamin D levels to be somewhere around 60.

      Reply
  41. Do you only take the Vit A dose while on your period or heavy bleeding? My period is very heavy only in the last year. Tried birth control and hated and ended up getting lumps in my breast. So of course I stopped taking it.

    Reply
  42. Wow! I’m getting some as soon as payday comes! I started out with amenorrhea, which is the absence of having a period. Then, I went to an OB/GYN and she gave me methylprogesterone, a synthetic hormone and my life has been hell since Summer of 2010! I was seriously considering having some kind of surgical procedure. Thank you, Sarah! I can now spare me and my family that trauma!

    Reply
  43. Not heavy periods but normal for about a week, then start, stop, start, stop, etc for another week with heart palpitations and terrible migraines. Regular cycles most of the time at age 50. Not enough estrogen? Any suggestions?

    Reply
  44. Too late for me as well. I thought I had tried everything. Periods had been a problem for years. I did try a lot of things before resorting to surgery. It seemed as if my cycles were ruining my life and I was so depressed. At least everything went well for me and I am feeling better. I will keep this in mind if I can help someone else.

    Reply
  45. Dawn Stevens-Peterson via Facebook February 1, 2012 at 12:21 am

    I absolutely love this article although I must say I wish I knew this a few weeks ago. Yesterday I had one of the procedures mentioned in this article because of excessive menstrual bleeding. While the procedure went well and the hospital staff was great, I would have much rather treated this nutritionally than surgically. Oh well, lesson learned … I will research any problems that arise for me and my family BEFORE seeking a medical alternative. Thank you for posting this. It’s helped me to see where I need to look FIRST.

    Reply
  46. I want to also chime in on milk thistle and apple cider vinegar as well as the vitamin D. Haven’t tried FCLO but I’d be open to recommendations… the brands and descriptions seem really confusing to me. I would add to the list fresh juicing and smoothie – because all our systems are interdependent, supporting one supports another – I had no idea how hard my body was working to clear up certain deficiencies until I gave holistic care a try.

    Reply
  47. Thanks for this post.
    I recently had a QXCI scan, and one of the things the naturopath said that it showed I was very deficient in EFAs, the dose I need to take just happens to be 2T. (of CLO.).
    More confirmation for me :)

    Reply
  48. Karen Adelberg de Montiel via Facebook January 31, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks for the apple cider vinegar tip! I can’t do CLO, I took it with my son for a month but because I have low blood platelets, it actually made the bleeding worse. I stopped right away and last month it was WAY better.

    Reply
  49. I actually had to stop cod liver oil, I have low blood platelets and both krill oil and cod liver oil have the same effect for me. I got my period early and it lasted almost 12 days, thankfully I figured out the connection around day 8 as it was the only major change since I’d bought the CLO for my son’s cavities. I stopped as soon as I realized and my last period was much lighter.

    Reply
  50. Those who can’t tolerate FCLO could try eating raw beef liver for heavy bleeding. Wikepedia has an article about the scientists who discovered raw beef liver cures pernicious anemia won a Nobel prize for that work.

    Reply
  51. So do you have to take the larger doses on a certain day of your cycle? I have had a heavy period since having my tubes tied (which I now regret). My doctor has tried to talke into abliation, but I don’t want to do anything else unnecassary to my body.

    Reply
  52. I wa diagnosised with estrogen dominance about 4 months ago. I did an estrogen cleanse and am on daily estrogen and adrenal support and am feeling better than I did in jr high before I ever got my period! I’m 31 but felt 3 times my age until my doctor helped me out. No surgery either!

    Reply
  53. Sarah, this is a very timely post! I just discovered this information myself last night after listening to an interview with Sally Fallon on Vitamin A on Super Human Radio from last year. For those who want to read the paper this came from in South Africa, it’s here:


    Vitamin A in the Treatment of Menorrhagia

    For me, I’m interested in how Vitamin A can help with fibroids. I don’t have the heavy bleeding either, but Sally recommended Vitamin A for fibroid treatment and endometriosis. Vitamin A is needed for hormone production, thyroid and reproductive hormones. The paper above talks about the Vitamin A increasing estradiol levels, if I’m reading it correctly.

    I did a little searching on PubMed last night, to try an understand how Vitamin A might work in women with fibroids. I think it had something to do with these women not being able to convert Vitamin A, but I don’t really understand all the scientific lingo and I didn’t have much time to research it. I think the upshot of it is that women with fibroids are Vitamin A deficient. If anyone else figures out the mechanism, I’d be interested to know how this works!

    In the interview, Sally recommended 3 Tbsp of fermented cod liver oil for 90,000iu of Vitamin A per day for “several” months. If I did my calculations right based on the most recent FCLO tests from the Green Pasture website, 2 Tbsp per day will get you 90,000iu of Vitamin A.

    Reply
  54. Mandy DuBois via Facebook January 31, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    So timely. I can not tell you how much I appreciate this post. I begrudgingly started medication this week to allieviate the pain and bleeding after trying everything I could think of. Moving on to FCLO ….ordered it just now :)

    Reply
  55. Please everyone, if you only do one thing take apple cider every day……it’s a miracle. I was at the point of begging for a hysterectomy when I started doing this. One Tablespoon in 4 oz, water, followed by a little more water so it not sitting on teeth……..do this 1-4 times a day.

    Reply
  56. Thank you for this post. I also get pretty bad PMS, bloating, upset stomach, grouchiness, and cramping. Will this help with those symptoms as well, or is there something else? Thank you.
    Shellie\’s last post: Sickies

    Reply
      • Sarah,
        I have been trying to transition to a better diet, however how do I know what comes next? There is no “raw” anything around here that I can find (or afford). can you email me so I can ask you a question or two “off boards” so to speak?
        Shellie\’s last post: Sickies

        Reply
      • Sharon Bohuslav May 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm

        My daughter has very painful periods. We have eaten a traditonal ever since she’s been little. Still her peroids are not that heavy, but extemely painful. I’ve just recently came across an article on health site stating that some women have too small of a cervical opening and this causes the uterus to contract like in labor. This is what she describes the pain as. Unbearable for a while and then tapers off and continues for two days. The blood also turns brown by the second day, so this also tells me that she is not flowing heavy enough.

        Reply
  57. Traci Bowman via Facebook January 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    My 16 yr old daughter has this problem most months. She went for 3 months without one and then 3 months of non stop… and terrible pain too…

    Reply
  58. Renée Girard Groening via Facebook January 31, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Wow, I wish I knew about this several years ago. It looks like age is resolving the issue now (I’m 50, almost 51). Now the miracle nutritional cure I would like is something that could arrest/reverse menopause and boost fertility.

    Reply
    • I recently started using acv for weight loss support but have noticed that my periods are more regulated and is MUCH lighter. I was getting ready to go to the Dr. because I thought something was wrong with me. Since I started my period 22 yes ago, I was always heavy with periods lasting all of 7-8 days. While of BC, it shorten it by 2 days, but the flow was still heavy and my cycle seemed to be more regulated than w/o bc. Now with acv its about 4 days, on schedule, with light flow the entire time w/ fewer PMS symptoms. I wish I would have known about this years ago. I’ve been passing the word onto family and friends who suffer through their periods.

      Thank you ladies for sharing your stories!

      Reply
  59. Sarah,
    Do you know if the IUDs (Mirena with hormones and Paragard with copper) have the same effect on the digestive bacteria?
    Thank you,
    Anne

    Reply
  60. Ilana Grostern via Facebook January 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    My friend is having AWFUL periods, and was concerned today especially, so once again a very timely article!

    Reply
  61. “Vitamin A is known to help with excess estrogen so a simple increase in the amount of natural Vitamin A in the diet can help reduce heavy cyclical bleeding.”

    Would excess estrogen cause other problems with a woman’s cycle, such as extreme dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) or endometriosis? If so, I’m wondering if a similar dosage of FCLO would help? I know many women who would benefit if FCLO would help!

    Reply
  62. I’ve found that using cloth menstrual pads instead of disposable has helped. Using the cloth has lightened up my flow and decreased my cramps. They are very easy to use and to launder.

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  63. Sarah, thanks so much for doing this post! I have suffered from painful and extremely heavy periods my entire life. My cramps have been so bad in the past that I took way too many doses of ibuprofen. That really upset my gut flora. A few years ago, I started the Nuva ring, but really didn’t want to use those hormones, either. (more gut flora upset) I had already gone through all the pre-op tests, etc with my OB-GYN for ablation. I just so happened, that I stopped using the ring about the same time I started taking CLO. (I also had reduced my carbs, so that may have contributed.) My periods for the last three months have been lighter, shorter in duration and a lot less painful. It was such a remarkable difference that I canceled the procedure. I can manage the pain with a few Tylenol. I wish I would have known about this 30 years ago! It’s amazing what food can do!

    Reply
  64. Oh, thank you! Thank you! I have recently had periods so heavy that it was like the first several days after childbirth. I talked to my doctor about it, and she said that heavy periods at my age are just “normal”–not what I wanted to hear! I just ordered some of the high vitamin cod liver oil this morning from a site that you recommend. I’m hoping it’ll work. :-) Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Melissa, I have heavy periods and was told it was normal. My doc put me on natural progesterone cream saying it helps a lot of women especially with moods. Um, moods weren’t my problem, heavy bleeding and passing clots were my problem. After a year of getting the runaround, she ordered an ultrasound. Turns out I have several uterine polyps. I would push for more answers or get a second opinion.

      Reply
  65. I am in the SAME spot. Heavy bleeding and spotting between periods for the past 6 months. Upcoming ultrasound, biopsy and removal of polyp.
    I too react to fermented foods. I think its the glutamite connection for me. I also know there is an underlying candida/fungal/parasite issue as well.
    I cant believe the timing of this post! LOVE IT!
    I take Nordic Naturals CLO (since not tolerating Green Pastures) BUT I am assuming now I need to up my dose? I also looked into Dr Rons Organ supplements per GAPS blog. Anyone else use these? I keep reading how much this can help!
    Love how all the answers come in! Grateful for this community of people!
    Jeni~

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  66. Thank you so much for writing this entry- It is so important to try nutritional changes to establish a healthy pattern in your body because those are the changes that heal. I’m an acupuncturist (specializing in women’s health) and the first changes I always look to make is in diet and nutrition. I would also like to second the opinion that getting a good source for your supplements is a really big deal. Bad reactions can come from a lesser quality supplements.
    If you’re sure the source is good then I would look to your liver first, since that’s where fats get processed. Go see your local acupuncturist if there is still a reaction… some part of the digestive system can’t process what you’re ingesting.
    Irregular periods can come about from a number of different imbalances and generally there isn’t just one fix for all of them. I do think that fermented cod liver oil is one of those supplements that has the general ability to heal the body in many ways because it provides fundamental nutrients that we just don’t get from our regular diets, so it’s no surprise that it can help regulate periods as well.

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  67. Thank you for this post. What do you think about Twin Labs Norwegian Cod Liver Oil in regards to quality? Thanks for doing what you do!

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  68. I’d never heard of that surgery before, but that’s interesting…

    Another way to avoid BPA and other chemicals is to use cloth pads or a cup instead of commercial pads & tampons. I feel so much better now that I’ve switched and I know of others that have lighter and shorter periods as well. Just think what that plus the nutrition would do together!!
    MJ\’s last post: Addison Dress #1

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    • MJ – that is really interesting. I found when I was using tampons (even from organic cotton), that my cramping would be absolutely unbearable. I only use pads (also from organic cotton) now for this reason and notice that my pains are not quite as bad.

      Are there studies you can point me to that show that tampons contain BPA? That seems unspeakably evil, but I can’t say it would surprise me!
      Eliza\’s last post: Here is what I think about veganism, and why.

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  69. I also have found this to be true with my heavy periods, but ever since I went on the GAPS intro diet for a couple of months I get a bad detox reaction to any kind of powerful, healing foods like cod liver oil, kombucha or other supplements. Its like my body is in some sort of detox mode. I have been off the intro diet for 4-5 months, but still experience this problem when I take my cod liver oil. It is a very itchy hive like rash on my legs. I really want to be able to take my FCLO again, but I don’t know how to get past this.

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  70. Could you also try DIM for getting rid of excess estrogen? both men and women can use it.

    I do take cod liver oil as well and I find it helps with my moods and focus. Even my husband notices the difference!

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  71. We take twinlab norwegian cod liver oil for a few years now, how to you know if it has synthetic Vit A ? I have a history of heavy bleeding, and was taking primrose oil capsules, but I have recently been thinking about stopping that. But I want to take in increased dose of liver oil to see if it helps as you suggested.
    The fermented is so much more costly for us at this time for my family.

    Reply
    • Jen, the reason why Sarah only uses the Green Pastures cod liver oil, is because it is the ONLY one on the market that is fermented. Every other manufacture essentially shares the same equipment, which uses very high heat to extract the oil from the liver – which is only a 2-3 day process. Green Pastures ferments the livers to extract the oil; a 6 month process! When the manufactures use the high temp process, it “kills” all of the nutrients – vitamin A and D, so they have to add it back in, in a synthetic form. I know that it is expensive, but Green Pastures is the only manufacturer who uses the traditional methods to extract the oil, that keeps all of the natural vitamins intact (and who knows what other good things are preserved?). I hope that helps.

      Reply
    • Have you looked into “night lighting” for regulating periods? Apparently the amount of light at night affects the hormones. I think you are supposed to have your bedroom completely dark except for days 14 – 17 of you cycle. On those days, use a small nightlight or a closet light. On the “dark” nights, a red nightlight is OK.

      Reply
    • Peggy (The Primal Parent) notes that sugar throws her off. She’s SUPER strict paleo due to crazy health conditions, and finds that “cheating” immediately messes up her hormones. Maybe it’s a liver function thing.
      The dark sleeping is great, but you have to combine it with Sarah’s advice to get to bed by 10:30! Sleep deprivation will whack your adrenals -> hormones too.
      Also check out Fertility Flower; they might have something more for you.
      Good luck! Hormones are tricky little things
      Lauren\’s last post: Secular Graces

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    • I had really short and light periods for years until soy milk messed me up by putting in TOO MUCH estrogen. you are perfectly healthy and normal.

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      • I wouldn’t be so sure to pass that judgement so quickly. I also have very light, short, painful periods, and I WAS diagnosed with low estrogen. I’m not saying that’s what this commenter has, but it may be worth looking into. Just as too heavy of a period can be an issue, so can one that is too light, as the uterus may not be shedding completely each month.

        Reply
        • Sharon Bohuslav May 5, 2013 at 10:33 pm

          Hi Kelsey,
          I think that this is what my daughter’s problem is. She has light, but very painful cycles with the blood turning brown the second day. What do you do for low estrogen?

          Reply
      • Louellen – that’s good news that short, light periods is a good thing. I have short, light periods followed by a few days of dark, coffee like discharge (old blood.)

        Reply
        • I’m reading “Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives”, and the author notes that the duration of menstruation varies by culture. It seems to have to do with hormone levels, which are set by the nutrition available during gestation – basically, we’re so well fed (or over fed, depending how you look at it) that we produce lots of hormones (but because the western world does most of the studies, we call that level “normal”) and this leads to mega swings during our cycle and lots of our PMS symptoms (these also differ by culture) and longer bleeding. That book quotes an average of 7 days’ bleeding in the US and 3-4 days in … I can’t remember, but somewhere less health-rich.

          This post is fascinating; I’ll look into this some more. I had a vegan friend who had been menstruating for 3 years at one point. I’m not in touch with her any more, but I immediately thought of her when I read this.
          Lauren\’s last post: Secular Graces

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          • Black seed or black seed oil increases menstrual flow. Black seed mixed with saffron and honey fixes most menstrual problems.

  72. My sister just had ablation surgery done last week. My other sister had it done last year. My gynecologist suggested it for me too but I KNEW there had to be a natural answer to this! So THANK YOU for your timely post about it! I learn a lot from the comments left too!

    Reply
  73. Okay, I had endometriosis as a teenager. I had to have emergency surgery when I was 16 due to the condition and I was told I would probably never have children or at best, have great difficulty keeping pregnancies. After having the surgery, things got better and minus 2 miscarriages I had 8 healthy pregnancies. Our youngest is 6 years old.
    In the last 4 months, my cycles have gotten HORRIBLE all over again. When researching, it would appear that I very possibly have PMDD.
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR POST!!! And as God would have it,….I am currently reading “Eat Fat Lose Fat” and on page 117 “Start-Up Week” where you prepare for a Phase One.
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR POST!!!! Really!

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  74. In her DVD presentation Nourishing Traditional Diets, Sally Fallon says that there have been fantastic reports of recovery from various hormonal issues — from fibroid tumors to endometriosis to heavy, painful periods — with high dose natural vitamin A found in high vitamin/fermented cod liver oil. It’s also found in abundance in liver and other organ meats. Yet again, here’s an example of heeding the advice of our great grandmothers and their great grandmothers – take your cod liver oil and eat your liver!

    Reply
        • : ) Indeed! Ha-ha. Of course, what was meant was eat the liver served to you.

          By the way, as Sarah has noted in the past, steer clear of synthetic vitamin A. True vitamin A from sources like CLO and liver is not to be confused with synthetic vitamin A found in vitamin pills. True vitamin A is safe, and synthetic can be harmful.

          Reply
  75. I’m so happy you wrote about this as I’ve recently began having this issue in the past few months. I will definitely try this out.

    Is there a Cod Liver Oil that any of you or your readers recommend? It would be highly appreciated. Thank you.

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  76. This is great news. I’ve had heavy, painful periods ever since I came off birth control about 4-5 years ago (thank goodness for my acupuncturist for that wisdom) and its been really difficult to deal with I’m only 25 and dont look forward to dealing with this intensity for the next 20-30 years. Eat Fat to Loose Fat has been on my list of books to purchase, I’m going to get it right now. I’ve recently cut out sugar and carbohydrates and make sure to get plenty of well sourced fat and take a fermented CLO/Butter combo in a capsuel. I cant take the stuff by the spoonfull. So far no change in the pain. I am taking two capsuels daily, should I up this intake during painful periods? If an increase in CLO will help with the pain and bleeding I’ll take more!

    Reply
    • If you are using the Green Pasture FCLO/Butter combo capsule, I think the normal dose is 2 capsules. In a post above, they were talking about taking a 6x dose (12 capsules) daily for three days before decreasing to a maintenance dose.

      The vitamin A is supposed to help with the bleeding, but I don’t know about the pain. I find calcium/magnesium (bone broth) to help with painful menstrual cramping for myself. It is generally recognized as helpful for any muscle cramping. However, you do need the vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K2 (all from the FCLO/B) in order to make use of the minerals.

      Reply
      • The Green Pasture FCLO capsules are 500mg. I’ve measured (by squeezing out the capsules) about 1/8 tsp of FCLO per 2 capsules. To get 1 tsp of FCLO you would have to take 16 capsules. To get 1 Tablespoon, you would have to take 48 capsules. For 2 Tablespoons, 96 capsules per day! So it’s much better to take the liquid. Same amount with the FCLO/BO capsules because 2/3 of the 750mg capsule is FCLO. You get some Vitamin A with the butter oil, but not nearly like with the cod liver oil.

        Reply
    • Heather @ Nourishing the Heart January 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      I’m 30, but have had painful heavy periods for about 2 years. I finally saw a naturopath doctor about it. She has me taking a supplement, vitex (also known as chaste tree), to increase my progesterone (it is very low). For me, being younger, I don’t have higher estrogen before an onset of menopause, but I have had symptoms of high estrogen since my progesterone was so low. I’m on my 3rd or 4th month of taking it, and it is slowly but surely helping. I hope this makes sense! Overall – I’d look into vitex if I were you.
      Heather @ Nourishing the Heart\’s last post: 3 Reasons to Wear an Apron

      Reply
      • Heather, how much did the Vitex help? What was your dosage/frequency? I’m 33, thin, healthy, but have had to leave work several times due to how weak I get due to the heavy heavy bleeding. :( Nobody has mentioned Vitex to me before. (I am on a progesterone cream my naturopath gave me but so far no decrease in flow or length).

        Reply
    • Hi,

      I had to go on a low histamine diet due to horrible symptoms relating to my body not being able to tolerate and/or process anything more than low doses of histamine since I was 45. I had had really painful periods all my life but within a couple of months of the low histamine diet I went from taking max recommended doses of ibuprofen and paracetamol to not having to take anything! No pain or other horrible associated stuff (feeling heaviness, tired, sickey, etc).

      Annoyingly, though, my periods got very heavy, almost too much to be able to cope with. I’ve only recently found out that ibuprofen can be very effective at reducing flow so have just started taking a small dose throughout the first day and it’s really helping a lot.

      Reply
  77. Thank you for this – i have never heard this before and am currently using flower essences to try and work with the issue. I will add this to my regimen

    Reply
  78. Thank you for posting this! I’m an acupuncturist and treat this condition quite frequently. I do like to recommend nutrition and/or supplements that can quicken the healing process. Thank you!

    Reply
  79. Do you know how it was determined that the vitamin A in cod liver oil was the significant factor? I am wondering if it is the vitamin A or possibly the role of omega three fatty acids.

    Most of my clients find dysmennorhea (painful periods with or without excessive, bloating, bleeding and other symptoms) respond well to a diet that calms insulin resistance. Efforts to eat more whole foods, less refined sugar and starch (and sometimes much less carbohydrate–even of the healthy stuff) are a few cornerstones of the dietary approach.

    As for estrogen dominance, I am not so sure. Is it possible that the body burden of manufactured estrogenic chemicals actually don’t so much contribute to an overload, but may actually interfere with the function of our own estrogen. Ironically not enough bio-active estrogen may be at play.

    Reply
    • Given that in nature nutrients are actually complexes and don’t occur in isolation, it would be simple to give quality cod liver oil a try first and not worry whether what constiuent in the oil is responsible, given that we have evidence that the increased Vit A levels are helpful.

      Reply
    • Polyunsaturated oils are estrogenic, and this product doesn’t have much/any protein (to help the liver deactivate estrogens). physiologists determined long ago that Vitamin E and Vitamin A have anti-estrogen actions.

      Estrogenic substances decrease available oxygen levels, through various mechanisms. Antioxidants like Vitamin E and Vitamin A help prevent reactive materials (like Omega 3 PUFA) from reacting with oxygen.

      Estrogen is estrogen, and bodies usually know how to make all they need.

      Reply
      • “Estrogen is estrogen, and bodies usually know how to make all they need.”

        Yes, our bodies are incredibly intelligent systems that (usually, barring some genetic defect) are fully equipped to function perfectly. And if we didn’t intervene constantly with poor food, dangerous pharmaceuticals, and estrogen-mimicking chemicals, this may actually remain the case for most of us.

        Estrogen-dominance is very common, I have it myself and it is slowly coming back to normal after over a year of following a traditional diet and taking my FCLO and of course, going off the pill. It is a lot more complicated than our bodies’ “knowing how to make all they need”, because we constantly mute, disrupt, or interfere with our bodies’ intelligence. Also, it is not simply a matter of “making” estrogen, but how it is stored, broken down, and eliminated that comes into play.

        I am currently studying natural medicine and I have found that another important factor in helping combat estrogen dominance is supporting the liver, which is the organ that actually breaks down our excess hormones. Estrogen dominance often signifies a poorly functioning liver. Brassica concentrates such as raw brocolli sprout powder can be excellent for healing the liver, as can a number of other food-based supplements (not synthetic vitamins or other such garbage).

        It’s also interesting that many traditional cultures believed that you must eat of the organ you are having difficulty with, so perhaps the FCLO is also helpful because it is made from liver, and thus giving our own livers the necessary support to break down the excess estrogen.
        Eliza\’s last post: Here is what I think about veganism, and why.

        Reply
  80. I have had heavy periods my whole life until a few months ago when we started following the ‘Eat Fat, Lose Fat diet’. We have taken FCLO for a few years, but it didn’t seem to help (I wasn’t taking a TBL though). It really wasn’t until we started the ‘diet’ that it changed. I’m still shocked by the fact that it’s so much lighter now! Hooray for food healing our bodies!

    Reply
  81. Unfortunately, I hear so many women who have not been made aware of this dietary avenue exclaime how “they tried everything” prior to surgery. This information really needs to get out.

    Reply
  82. I’ve been struggling with this for years. I was scheduled to have an ablation done, but they couldn’t do it due to endometriosis and fibroids. Now we’re trying a new medication (shot every 3 months), but obviously, I’d love to not have to do that either.

    Question though – above, you say 2 Tbl of high vitamin cod liver oil has 60,000 IU of vitamin A. But when I look at the nutritional information on the high vitamin cod liver oil at the links from your resources page, it shows only 3,750 IU per dose. So…. how does that work?

    Reply
  83. I suffered from this condition until I started taking 2 tablespoons of high vitamin Cod liver oil per day. It really works. If I backed off from the clo, it started again, but three days of the clo and the bleeding stopped. (I would bleed for weeks, and I did become low in iron.) I am now through menopause without having any medical procedures.

    Reply

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