Updated: Jul 6
Odds are, you were prescribed the Pill for one of these reasons. Plus, you know, to prevent pregnancy.
The Pill is bad news, girls. It shuts down your ovulation. This shuts down much of your production of progesterone. This leads to estrogen dominance, which leads to a bunch of other nasty crap, like PMS, histamine intolerance, mood swings, insomnia, and estrogen dominant cancers.
You guys, the Pill doesn't even fix these symptoms. It just masks them. And makes them rebound even harder after you go off of the Pill.
Your acne will probably get worse. Your moods will be even more swinging'. Cramps and heavy bleeding, which had been so mild on the chemical castration that is the pill will return with a vengeance that confuses you because you have not experienced them in so long.
But those symptoms were there all along. They were just shushed by fake hormones. When your body has to kick itself into gear again, like when you want to get pregnant, the hormonal shift and swing will cause greater havoc than it did when you were 15 and you got put on Ortho Tricyclen for acne.
Consider using the cervical mucous method of birth control:
When your vaginal discharge looks and feels like gummy egg whites, you are fertile. And for safety's sake, you are fertile for 72 hours afterwards.
That's it. No temperature taking. No pills. No rhythm method.
Learn to check your mucous and you can either prevent or plan pregnancy.
There. The brith control aspect is taken care of. Now, onto the not-so-fun stuff.
Nearly every woman who comes into my office has been put on birth control for something instead of birth control. For shame, doctors.
What can do you all on your own to take care of of some of the pesky problems that bothered you before you went on the pill?
Let's find out.
How to reduce acne naturally
1. Stop eating dairy.
The A1 casein in American dairy is very inflammatory. Butter and heavy whipping cream contain very little casein, so you should be ok with small amounts of these things. Plus, they are delicious. I always recommend Kerrygold, not because it is paleo cliche, but because the butter is imported and does not have A1 casein.
2. Add more plants.
Cruciferous vegetables contain sulfurophanes. These compounds increase detoxification in the body and also block testosterone from attaching to skin receptors, cutting down on oil and therefore acne.
Green veggies contain prebiotics, which feed your good bacteria and make for a favorable gut. The fiber sweeps out pathogenic bacteria in your digestive tract and allows good bacteria to populate appropriately.
The water in vegetables and fruit hydrate your body naturally and allow proper movement of poop through your digestive tract. If you aren't pooping normally, your skin will suffer.
3. Add zinc.
I like getting zinc from meat. I suggest you get zinc from meat too. But if you aren't making enough stomach acid to digest your meat appropriately, you are not getting enough bioavalaible vitamins and you should probably supplement. If you don't like to eat meat, you should supplement with zinc.
Zinc kills pathogenic bacteria like b. acnes, the bacteria that can cause acne. It also reduces inflammation, which is good for your skin and good for period problems in general.
I recommend 30-60 mg, once per day, with food.
How to dial down a heavy flow
1. Stop eating sugar
Sugar is inflammatory. Increased inflammation in the body will lead to an inflamed uterus. This can result in heavier blood flow. You already know you need to be eating less sugar. Let's not waste our mutual time with two paragraphs on why you don't need that crap in your life.
2. Eat more good fat
Appropriate fats like good butter, olive oil, avocados, and coconut oil are also anti-inflammatory. So many of your bodily processes need fat for optimal function. Fat builds the brain and nerve sheaths. Fat lubricates the digestive tract for optimal absorption and assimilation. Fat lubricates other things. Fat makes you happy- less anxious, less stressed. It nourishes the body. Embrace it. A body that is less stressed will produce less of an inflammatory response, which means less excess endometrial lining to slough off. Less bleeding for you!
3. Add in the period supplement trifecta: zinc, magnesium, and B6.
We have discussed these options before. Zinc is an excellent building block for a healthy and nourished body. It is used for optimal digestive health and also optimal period health. When one of these things is messed up, the other one is usually messed up too. Anyone get constipated or diarrhea right before her period? Hand raise, please. Your body cannot store zinc, and needs a little each day.
Magnesium calms everything down. It is a natural relaxant. It absolutely calms down an agitated uterus (oh, you didn't know that was a thing?) and reduces cramping and therefore blood flow.
B6 is a necessary cofactor for magnesium. It is also helpful for both menstrual acne and also the depression and anxiety that can accompany that time of the month.
Depressed women are usually deficient in this B vitamin, which is necessary to form serotonin, your happiness neurotransmitter.
How to reduce ovarian cysts
1. Take iodine
The ovaries need a lot of iodine. In fact, they need more iodine than all other organs except the thyroid. If the ovaries can do their job of ovulating normally, cysts will not form. So if we give the ovaries iodine, theoretically you will ovulate, preventing cysts.
More than 2/3 of us are iodine deficient. The RDA for iodine is 150 mcg- a tiny amount. Most practitioners will use somewhere between 0.5-50 mg of iodine. Iodine is controversial because it was shown in one paper to raise TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone, released by the pituitary) in high amounts. Yes, iodine can raise TSH, but that is only because in the presence of proper amounts of iodine, TSH has to increase. TSH is a precursor to the process that allows iodine to enter cells.
More supplementary iodine = more TSH = more iodine in cells where it belongs.
Start low and slow. Make sure that you have your thyroid tested before you supplement with iodine. A safe dose is usually 12.5 mg- the standardized dose in a single tablet of Iodoral.
This is a transient effect and TSH will eventually fall back down to normal thyroid ranges.
2. Cut out extra inflammatory substances.
Get rid of coffee and alcohol for 30 days. I beg my clients to give me 30 days of trying my diet. They kick and scream for a good week, and then they begin to feel better. It is a beautiful thing. Diet is so important. You don't have to be perfect. But please do give it a try for 30 days. Go coffee, alcohol, sugar, gluten, and dairy free. It's hard. But the rewards are powerful, especially if you have difficult periods.
3. Take Vitamin C.
Vitamin C boosts the immune system, for sure. It also is an antioxidant and can help destroy abnormal cells. If your immune system is functioning properly, you also have less of a chance of developing an autoimmune condition, like endometriosis. Vitamin C will help bring down your inflammation markers like inflammatory cytokines.
You already know that your body can neither manufacture nor store Vitamin C. Therefore, you need to supplement each day. The RDA for adult women is 75 mg/day. I want to laugh at this recommendation. You need so much more Vitamin C than that! As a water soluble vitamin, you cannot take too much C. And you need a lot. Probably somewhere around 2,000-5,000 mg/day. Per day. If you don't believe me, try taking 2 grams of vitamin C tomorrow and see if you get diarrhea. You probably won't. This means your tissues are saturating themselves with this powerful antioxidant.
Try taking 2,000 mg/ day, in divided doses with each meal.
A simple, whole-foods diet, along with simple, whole-foods based supplementation goes a long way. Most of our health problems are due to a severe lack of nutrients. We are sick because we are malnourished. Nourish yourself. Start today.
Yours in health,