i just had a monster monster period after 6 months of progressively better ones. i did a few things differently this month like eat a little more cheese and take nyquil and aspirin for a cold, but i think, not sure, that what really did it was taking 1000mg of vitamin c for my cold. i read on the internet (i don't have the background to properly evaluate the source) that megadoses of vitamin c can increase estrogen. in the past when i've had heavier that my usual heavy periods (pre-paleo), it was because i took aspirin,, or maybe fish oil. has anyone else got a real heavy period after months of good ones? what do you think caused it?
If you have been consuming much more vitamin C than usual, you will store more iron in your body.
The body gets rid of excess iron from your body during menstruation every month, so if your body has absorbed more iron during a particular month, your period will be heavier.
Conversely, taking aspirin inhibits iron absorption:
So, it doesn't follow that your periods should be heavier taking aspirin alone, but I found an article which warns that fish oil and warfarin taken together may cause heavy menstrual flow; aspirin has similar properties to warfarin (both are blood thinners).
So, I would say that either excess vitamin C consumption or the combination of aspirin and fish oil are the culprits in this case.
It might be your thyroid. Hypothyroidism is known to cause menstrual problems, usually causing too-heavy periods.
Unfortunately, one side-effect of Paleo can be to expose what would otherwise be "subclinical" hypothyroidism.
You might enjoy Diana Hsieh's posts about this at her blog.
I had a similar monster in December (enough so I went to the ob/gyn) after skipping October and a light November. In my case, it was probably weight loss combined with perimenopause that had my estrogen out of whack with my progesterone (too much of the former). My ob/gyn put me on three days of progesterone to try and get me back on track. The jury is still out on that one though!
Thanks for asking this! I just had a monster one too and couldn't figure out why. After reading everyone's responses, I think its a combination of eating more salmon, having to take lots of aspirin for migraines, and loosing around 7 pounds all in the same month.
Taking a stab in the dark - is there ANY chance you could have been pregnant with a non-viable fetus and had a spontaneous abortion (pregnancy that ended before it "took")?
I am told that this occurs more often than most people would think, but I haven't a clue as to whether you've been "exposed," so I don't know whether this is even possible in your case. :-)
Re: Louisa's post: While vitamin C would increase iron absorption, it wouldn't be a substantial amount of difference in that short period of time unless you were taking heavy doses of both that and an iron supplement every day. Even if your hgb and ferritin levels shot way up, the body doesn't actively use menstruation as an iron-clearing mechanism, it uses it to purge the uterine lining. You lose iron any time you lose blood, but you're not going to lose more blood if you have more iron.
In fact, vitamin C supplementation is a great way to prevent the anemia that is so common among premenopausal women. It's been shown to be more effective than iron supplementation. Combining both is the most effective route, though a copper deficiency could interfere as well. I think everyone should monitor their hgb and ferritin and supplement if they find themselves to be anemic.
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