By Judy Soborowicz
It can be stressful and difficult to know what to do when your daughter misses yet another day of school due to her monthly menstrual cycle. No parent wants to see their child feel discomfort, pain, and moodiness—or have to miss their life due to a menstrual cycle.
The first few cycles—from menarche (initial cycle), up to two years—are “normally abnormal,” in timing and accompanying symptoms. The importance of this time to the future health of the woman is essential to understand. The coordinated cycle of female hormones insure the health of the young woman throughout her lifetime, and is established during these early cycles. Her feedback loop between brain and ovaries initiates; and during the first one to two years the sensitivity of this feedback is naturally established to allow for a baseline of healthy hormonal function. This baseline of hormonal regulation affects the lifetime health of a woman in many ways, including healthy bone density, fertility, and safeguard against depression and certain cancers.
Every young girl at the start of her menstrual cycle does not necessarily have the experience of severe pain and irregularity. Nausea, bloating, cramping in lower abdomen, low back, and legs, and mood changes, are not applied to each young girl equally, or each cycle equally. For those who do experiences these things, it is important to ask what can be done to allow for a more comfortable transition, while safeguarding the initial “booting up” of hormones for life. A common approach can be to reach for over-the-counter pain pills and/or begin birth control. The complication is that hormones introduced in the pill alter the still immature balance in her early, naturally irregular system, altering the signals between her brain and ovaries. Giving hormones in the form of a patch or pill at the very start of establishing a pattern, may interrupt the sensitivity and fine-tuning of her brain and ovary communication for a lifetime.
An effective and holistic solution can be found by applying proven methods to assist her body in the process of the transition. Nerves of the lower back influence her reproductive organs, which is one of the reasons the pain may settle in the lower back and legs. Chiropractic adjustments provide relief from pain of menstration by allowing for release of tension in the body and restoring flow and tone of the nerve system.
Additionally, reducing sugar and simple carbohydrates and increasing vegetable consumption all through the month is key. Vegetables provide fiber and trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. She can maintain steady blood sugar levels by taking the time to eat a protein for breakfast and at each meal. Studies show eating breakfast within a half hour of waking is one of the most powerful actions you can take to minimize swings in blood sugar throughout the day. Keeping steady blood sugar reduces mood swings and sugar cravings.
Occasionally supplementation with vitamins and minerals becomes necessary. You can start with basic essentials. Very often providing her body with the basic trace minerals and nutrients that are essential to efficiently perform this physiological change solves most issues. For example, magnesium is a co-factor in over 65 percent of the biochemical reactions in the body. It is also one of the most common worldwide mineral deficiencies. Because of this, magnesium alone can make a world of difference for a young girl. Begin with a high quality magnesium supplement. Calcium and zinc can also be helpful, B vitamins, particularly B6, assist as a co-factor for hormonal health, and help relieve bloating. Fish oils along with anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can also be beneficial.
It is possible to bring out the best in your function, as designed, without excessive and extreme pain and irregularity, and maintain your baseline of hormonal health. There is a cost to taking pain relievers and/or birth control pills. Take the time to uncover which natural and essential solutions work best for your daughter. The time and effort you apply can represent an important safeguard for your daughter’s future hormonal, mental, and physical health.
Eau Claire chiropractor and certified clinical nutritionist Dr. Judy Soborowicz can be reached at Active Health Chiropractic and Nutrition. Dr Judy is delighted to research, integrate, and communicate current discoveries in optimizing health expression and human potential. For more information, call 715-834-6333, stop in at 3521 London Road in Eau Claire, or visit www.activehealthec.com.