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Periods and Haemorrhoids

Q: I wonder if you could help me. I currently am suffering from very heavy periods and haemorrhoids - I know awful combination Luckily my periods are not very heavy but I think they have been responsible for my bouts of anaemia. I also have for the first time in my life started to suffer from itchy hemorrhoids, luckily not paiful. Is there anything natural you can recommend to deal with these complaints?

MB (by email)

A: Dysmenorrhoea or painful periods is one of the most common complaints with which women have to live. Having an ample amount of B6 and omega oils in the diet could significantly reduce period pain because it's involved with the removal of oestrogen in the body and is also known to inhibit pain sensations. Diets low in omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) have been associated with menstrual pain. In one double-blind trial, supplementation with fish oil, a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, led to a statistically significant 37% drop in menstrual symptoms.

Take a good vitamin B6 supplement. You should not take excessive amounts of B6 (more than 100mg daily) on a long term basis because it will interfere with the absorption of the other B vitamins. Start taking it a few days before the period is due to start and then the first two or three days of the period. For the rest of the month just ensure that the diet contains foods which have naturally occurring B6. These foods include: wheatgerm, chicken, salmon, brown rice, porridge, bananas, nuts and avocados.

Women suffering from painful periods usually have less calcium in the body than pain-free women so a healthy calcium-magnesium balance must be important. These minerals are often found together in supplements because they complement each other. Calcium may help prevent menstrual cramps by maintaining normal muscle tone. Muscles that are calcium-deficient tend to be hyperactive and therefore might be more likely to cramp. Like calcium, magnesium plays a role in controlling muscle tone and could be important in preventing menstrual cramps. Magnesium supplements have been reported in preliminary and double-blind European research to reduce symptoms of dysmenorrhea.  

With regards to haemorrhoids I would use Vitamin E capsules - insert one capsule into the rectum morning and night. The vitamin B6 and calcium should also help with haemorrhoids. Also use a cream containing an extract from the fruit of the Kigelia Africana treeto help alleviate any itching and assist healing.

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