When it comes to a problem, I am like a dog with a bone. I do not rest until I feel like I’ve found an answer that can calm my mind.
With this sudden onset of wacky bleeding, I have done hours and hours of research. And I think you’ve gotten it by now that I don’t trust doctors as the primary source of truth regarding my body.
My approach to hormonal imbalance is starting natural and working my way up from there. I’m focusing on vitamins, herbs, natural progesterone, diet, exercise, and acupuncture. If this approach doesn’t work then I’ll take it back to the docs to be poked and prodded and hopped up on chemicals.
This post is going to describe the vitamins that are a part of my natural solution.
Many of my research sources mention optimal levels of certain vitamins and minerals to restore hormonal balance.
Here’s the bottom line. Most likely whatever multivitamin you are taking is too low in every compound. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) seems to recommend the minimum level to keep you from getting sick. It does NOT recommend the levels at which you will see optimal health. The sooner you understand that, the faster you can get on board the health train!
So here’s the scoop, and unforch you will not find one handily-packaged multivitamin to meet these needs. If you follow this path, you will most likely end up with a collection of vitamins to take several times a day that look like this…
The vitamins and levels to support hormonal balance in the average perimenopausal women (I focused on the levels recommended for heavy bleeding):
- Vitamin A (as beta-carotene): 25,000 IU per day. 1 In case this level scares you, beta-carotene is water soluble so any that isn’t needed is flushed out when you pee. 2 Be sure to take this with Vitamin E.
- Vitamin A (as Vitamin A): 5,000-10,000 IU per day. This type can build up toxic levels if more than 10,000 IUs is taken daily for a long period of time so if you eat a lot of fish and poultry you might want to keep closer to the 5,000 IU level. This type of vitamin A can be found in Cod Liver Oil and should be taken with Vitamin D. 2
- Biotin: 100-300 mcg (micrograms) per day
- Vitamin B6: 60–80 mg per day. 1 The B vitamins are particularly important for heavy periods for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they are needed by the liver to convert excess estrogen into weaker and less dangerous forms. Specifically, B6 is needed for the production of beneficial prostaglandins which help reduce abnormal blood clotting. Whoo hoo, go B6! 3
- Vitamin B12: 1000 mcg per day. 2
- Folic Acid: 700–1,000 mcg per day of folic acid. 1
- Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols): 400 IU, twice per day. 1 Keep this level fairly low so as to not interact with Vitamin K.
- Vitamin C complex with bioflavonoids: 1,000–5,000 mg per day. 1 Vitamin C and bioflavonoids help to strengthen the capillaries in the body, which can reduce heavy bleeding. Taken as a supplement, vitamin C has also produced excellent results for many women with heavy periods. One study showed that taking only 200mg of vitamin C with bioflavonoids, three times daily, reduced bleeding in 87 percent of the women tested. 3 The good news is that even if you take fairly high levels of Vitamin C like 10,000 mg daily, you will pee out the parts you don’t need. 2 Water soluble vitamins are the bomb.
- Vitamin D: 1000-5,000 IU daily. This stuff is magical and if you haven’t heard about it lately you must be living under a rock. While you can exist on fairly low levels, unless you are getting a lot of non-sunscreened sun a day, you are probably not getting enough Vitamin D. Since Vitamin D is fat soluble, you don’t want to take too much as excess levels can be toxic. It can be a good idea to get your vitamin D levels tested to see where you are.
- Vitamin K: According to the website, Alternative Doctor, vitamin K is best known for its role in helping blood clot properly and in preventing excessive bleeding. Vitamin K can also be used to stop heavy menstrual bleeding. Organic Facts states that vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in the intestine. The recommended daily dose of vitamin K is 65 mcg although some web site recommend up to 1000 mcg to control heavy bleeding. 4
- Choline: 50-100 mg 2 Choline and the following Bs are typically included in any multivitamin so I thought I would include the recommended levels here.
- Inositol: 150-300 mg 2
- Pantothetic acid (B5) 50-100 mg
- Pyridoxine (B2): 20-50 mg
- Thiamine (B1): 25-50 mg
- Iron: In many women with heavy bleeding, the primary symptom is fatigue from iron deficiency anemia. Get your blood count checked, and if it’s low take 15 mg or more of iron per day. 1 Worried about constipation, check the type of iron you take. I take three tablets daily of Nature Made iron; it doesn’t block me up or make me sick to my stomach.
- Calcium: 1,500 mg daily. You already know that milk is a poor source of calcium and there is some evidence that dairy products can mess with yout hormones. So just take the pills people.
- Magnesium: 5-20 mg daily.
1 As recommended on her website by Dr. Christiane Northrup
2 Dr. John R. Lee, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About: Premenopause”
3 As recommended on her website by Dr. Marilyn Glenville
4 Read more on LiveStong
So now that you are totally overwhelmed, let’s sum it all up. Most of the vitamins can be obtained through food if you are eating a whole food diet (NOprocessed foods) focusing on veggies primarily, clean proteins (organic, grass-fed meats, wild fish) and organic fruits and nuts. But let’s be real, I know only one person who is actually following a diet like this. The rest of us typically live off of things like Starbucks mochas, flavored yogurts, teddy grahams, chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese with a tiny side of broccoli. Right?
Supplements can help. You need to check the levels shown on the packages and compare them to what you think you might need. Don’t assume that taking the RDA of any vitamin is enough.
That’s enough vita-preaching for now. Time for some cheesy poofs!