What Is Amenorrhea? : Tips for Regular and Healthy Menstruation

01 May 2018
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What Is Amenorrhea? : Tips for Regular and Healthy Menstruation

what is amenorrhea


Amenorrhea, the medical term for the absence of menstruation, is caused by many reasons. For instance, teenage girls will most likely experience physiologic amenorrhea if menstruation has not started by the age of 16.

However, in childbearing age, not having a period is a subject of concern and taking a pregnancy test will help rule out the possibility of pregnancy.

If you are one of those who are in the childbearing years, neither pregnant nor breastfeeding, and have missed period for at least six months, getting an appointment with a health-care provider should be a priority.

In women 45 years old and above, the absence of period could be because of menopause.

There are two categories of amenorrhea- primary and secondary. Primary amenorrhea is the complete absence of menstruation and is often associated with developmental defects like the absence of uterus.

The secondary amenorrhea, on the other hand, is the absence of menstruation for at least three months in women who were normally menstruating in the past.

Causes like lactation and pregnancy are the common causes, but major cases may be due to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), hormonal imbalances, and thyroid disorders. Typically, amenorrhea is treated with hormone replacement therapies.


Nutrient needs should include protein, vitamins, and minerals

Amenorrhea can be corrected with adequate nutrients. The Institute of Medicine says women should consume 46 g of protein, or more, each day, while those pregnant and lactating should take in 70 g at least.

Taking a multivitamin supplement can help prevent or fight deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. Iron also plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells, especially in menstruating women.

The recommended daily allowance of iron for women aged 19 to 50 is 18 mg. Iron-rich foods are in two categories, from non-animal and animal sources. 

Non-animal sources are quinoa, seaweed, apricots, dark leafy green, nettles, pumpkin, amaranth, beans, sunflower seeds, and blackstrap molasses. Animal sources include Alaskan salmon, beef, eggs, elk, chicken, and organic bison.


Caloric intake can correct weight issues

If you are trying to lose weight, do not forget to consume enough amount of calories to prevent both amenorrhea and excessive weight loss. The American

Dietetic Association suggests that weight loss should be within effective and safe rate, 2 pounds each week the most, to prevent amenorrhea.

To achieve the target loss, lessen your daily intake of calories by 1,000 calories each day the most. You can also increase your physical activities, while lessening your calorie intake.


Maintain healthy body fat percentage

Healthy amounts of calories and fat are essential in maintaining ideal body fat percentage. According to Medline Plus, women whose body fat percentage is 17 percent and below are the ones at most risk of amenorrhea.

To avoid pathologic body fat percentage, experts have encouraged adults to consume dietary fats, about 35 percent of the total daily calorie intake.


Whole foods are essential to regular and healthy menstrual cycles

Our body is primarily dependent on the foods we take in daily to be efficient at accomplishing their functions. For a healthy menstrual cycle, there are other key foods and nutrients that women must learn about.

  • Vitamin B complex is abundant in green vegetables; they are also important for hormonal balance. Good sources of B vitamins are basil, parsley, nettles, collard greens, seaweed, spirulina, watercress, Swiss chard, and kale.
  • Vitamin C increases women’s fertility state by improving hormonal balance. For the body to absorb iron completely, it requires vitamin C, so eat red bell peppers, strawberries, oranges, and hibiscus tea.
  • Essential fatty acids are vital components for healthy hormone production. A lot of women have extremely low essential fatty acids, omega 3 for instance. Foods that are rich in essential fatty acids are flaxseeds, salmon, walnuts, sardines, shrimp, halibut, snapper, chia seeds, scallops, and cod liver oil.
  • Fiber eliminates excess hormones, especially those that are causing hormonal imbalance. Also, it helps regulate blood sugar levels to lessen the probability of having fertility issues and immunological problems, as well as promote physiologic hormone production and balance. Examples of foods that are high in fiber content are vegetables, fresh fruits, beans, and dark leafy greens.
  • Zinc promotes stable hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. Also, this mineral is essential for the production of mature eggs for fertilization. Good sources of zinc are raw pumpkin seeds, oysters, sesame seeds, and sesame seeds.

Proper nutrition is one of the best preventive methods against amenorrhea, although, there are also lifestyles and nutrition related causes.

Excessive weight loss, too much physical activities and exercise, and eating disorders are just some of the common causes under the category.

If none of these are related to the absence of menstruation, causes like endocrine disorders, contraceptive complications, reproductive system disorders, hormonal imbalance, as well as stress and anxiety are often pointed at.

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