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What to Eat for Dysmenorrhea & Menorrhagia

Due to their menstrual cycle, women can experience dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps, and menorrhagia, or heavy menstrual bleeding 1. In the case of both conditions, the foods you eat may help to minimize symptoms. By making nutritional changes for each occurrence each month, you can begin to make symptoms a thing of the past.

Iron for Heavy Bleeding

Menorrhagia causes heavy bleeding, sometimes more than twice your normal levels. If this occurs, you can lose significant amounts of iron via blood loss. Iron deficiency can be common in menstruating women and causes symptoms like fatigue and weakness. Increase your intake of iron-containing foods throughout your menstrual cycle. You'll absorb more iron if you eat something containing vitamin C along with non-meat sources of iron.

  • Menorrhagia causes heavy bleeding, sometimes more than twice your normal levels.
  • Iron deficiency can be common in menstruating women and causes symptoms like fatigue and weakness.

Calcium to Reduce Menstrual Cramping

Perimenopause and Cramps

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Calcium is a mineral associated with building healthy bones and teeth. However, it may have some applications in minimizing the harmful effects of menstrual cramping. Taking a supplement of 1,200 mg of calcium carbonate each day was shown to reduce menstrual cramps in women, according to Go Ask Alice! a health resource from Columbia University. However, you should not take more than 2,500 mg per day. You also can increase your intake by eating low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese or green leafy vegetables.

  • Calcium is a mineral associated with building healthy bones and teeth.
  • However, it may have some applications in minimizing the harmful effects of menstrual cramping.

Vitamin B6

Your body uses vitamin B-6 to manufacture new red blood cells. When you lose red blood cells via menorrhagia, your body will need more to build new cells. Also, vitamin B-6 is required for your blood sugar to stay at healthy levels. This can help prevent menstrual cramping-related mood swings and fatigue. Increasing your intake of these foods may help to minimize the effects of your period.

  • Your body uses vitamin B-6 to manufacture new red blood cells.
  • When you lose red blood cells via menorrhagia, your body will need more to build new cells.

Foods to Avoid

Can the Food You Eat Change Your Period?

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Just as foods can help reduce the symptoms of menstrual cramping and bleeding, foods can aggravate your symptoms. This includes eating excessive amounts of sugar -- such as cakes, cookies and pies. These are known to contribute to water retention, which make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. High-salt content foods -- french fries, pizza and other fried foods --- can also contribute to bloating. Caffeine-containing beverages like tea and coffee should be avoided as they can contribute to headaches, mood swings and trouble sleeping.

  • Just as foods can help reduce the symptoms of menstrual cramping and bleeding, foods can aggravate your symptoms.
  • Caffeine-containing beverages like tea and coffee should be avoided as they can contribute to headaches, mood swings and trouble sleeping.
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