Menorrhagia: the medical term for menstrual periods with abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding. Women who suffer from heavy periods find it quite distressing when period time comes. It can disrupt their physical, social and emotional states. Menorrhagia can reduce red blood cells and iron levels in the body, which can result in:
- shortness of breath
- and even chest pains.
Some possible causes may be fibroids, polyps, endometrial hyperplasia, adenomyosis and so on.
Blood stagnation or blood stasis are common causes of a heavy period. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine this syndrome manifests as a result of:
- inadequate exercise
- improper lifestyle
- poor dietary choices— such as consuming too many cold foods.
Cold foods impede the circulation and slow blood flow. For more on Important Chinese Dietary Advice read this article.
When a woman develops blood stasis or stagnation, the blood flow in the body starts to slow…. the symptoms of blood stasis/stagnation become obvious when the period comes around.
Blood stasis in the body can cause blockages in the body resulting in hormonal issues. Over time, this blockage or buildup, can cause changes in the endometrium of the uterus. These changes may cause fibroids and polyps to occur.
Hormonal issues can still be a problem after surgery… even though the uterus is cleaner. You still may be susceptible if the blood stagnation/stasis is not rectified.
Common symptoms of blood stasis are:
- heavy periods
- painful periods (dysmenorrhea)
- clotty, dark coloured blood
- dizziness, fatigue
- prone to muscle pains, joint pains and feeling tension in the body
- heart palpitations
- low blood pressure
- constipation or diarrhoea
- sleep problems
Another syndrome women experience during a heavy periods is called Liver Qi stagnation.
Qi is the vital force within the body. Blood flow follows and uses the force of the Qi— hence if the Qi flow is impeded, blood flow also becomes unsteady…. hence stagnation.
Common symptoms of qi stagnation are similar to that of blood stagnation…. yet the following symptoms are more pronounced in Qi stagnation:
- breast tenderness
- feelings of anger/irritability
- digestive symptoms
Acupuncture and herbal medicine are used in conjunction to treat these syndromes…. thus treating menorrhagia.
Patients tend to respond quickly to treatments. If one begins right after a period, they should see an obvious improvement in the next cycle. Most patients find periodic check-ups with us prevents the body reverting back to it’s old habits.