Amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual cycles. Amenorrhea is called primary when a woman has not started to menstruate by the age of 16 years, while secondary amenorrhea refers to the abnormal cessation of menstruation in a woman who previously has had menstrual cycles. In amenorrheic women, the levels of female reproductive hormones are not sufficient to stimulate menstruation. This condition is sometimes associated with malnutrition, such as that which occurs in anorexia nervosa, or with extreme exercise, which puts excessive nutritional and other demands on the body. An association between stress and amenorrhea has also been demonstrated. Amenorrhea may also result from potentially serious disorders of the ovaries, the hypothalamus, or the pituitary gland; therefore, a physician should always evaluate chronic absence of menstrual cycles. Prolonged amenorrhea can result in early bone loss and increased risk of osteoporosis. Amenorrhea occurs naturally in women who are breast-feeding, but in those circumstances it does not put the bones at risk.
Amenorrhea is often treated with progesterone, and nutritional supplementation, with lifestyle changes, may also alleviate the condition.
Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch and Mark Stengler
Super Prescription #1 Acetyl L-Carnitine - LifeSource Product
An amino acid that may have effects on brain chemicals and female hormones, take 2 grams daily to improve hormone levels.
Super Prescription #2 Calcium / Magnesium – LifeSource Products - See All of our Cal/Mag
Because nutritional deficiency occurs in women with amenorrhea, take 1,200 mg per day to reverse bone loss that has occurred with amenorrhea.
Super Prescription #3 Vitamin D3 - LifeSource Products - See All of our Vitamin D
Take 400 IU of vitamin D daily to aid in the absorption of calcium to prevent/reverse bone loss due to nutritional deficiencies.
Super Prescription #4 Vitamin B Complex - LifeSource Products – See All of our Vitamin B
Prolactin is a hormone that may be elevated in some cases of amenorrhea. Taking 200 to 600 mg daily of vitamin B6 can restore menstruation and normalize prolactin levels, if the woman has been tested for high prolactin levels.
Super Prescription #5 Vitamin C - LifeSource Products - See All of our Vitamin
Vitamin C may be associated with a return of ovulation.
Super Prescription # 6 Zinc Picolinate - LifeSource Product
Zinc is known to be important for many aspects of reproductive function.
Super Prescription #7 Blue Cohosh
Blue cohosh is a traditional remedy for lack of menstruation. It is considered to be an agent that stimulates menstrual flow and a uterine tonic.
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Increased facial hair
Decreased pubic and armpit hair
Decreased breast size
Secretions from the breast
It has long been known that extreme dietary restriction can cause amenorrhea, as in the eating disorders of anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Athletic women may have low intakes of calories and other nutrients. Eat a healthy diet with adequate caloric intake of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and lean protein. Also be sure to eat adequate quantities of fiber and healthy fats.
Foods to Avoid
Avoid strict raw food diets with inadequate quantities of nutrients. Reduce intake of carotenes, as women with amenorrhea often have increased levels of carotenes.
Moderate exercise has many benefits to the overall health of premenopausal women, but intensive or excessive exercise can contribute to amenorrhea and increase the risk of early bone loss due to the detrimental effects of hormonal imbalance.
Hormonal changes associated with breast-feeding prevent menstruation in healthy women. The duration of this interruption depends on many factors, including the nutritional health of the mother.
Excessive stress causes the body to produce increased amounts of the adrenal hormone cortisol, and several studies have linked high cortisol levels to low levels of reproductive hormones and to amenorrhea. Smoking may also contribute to amenorrhea.
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