So you’ve started your Digestive Herbs and you feel like your insides have had an overhaul. Your energy is back, your digestion is happy, your skin is glowing, and you’ve got a spring in your step! You’re looking fit and feeling fabulous! Yet, there are some signs that require more explanation.
We’ve had a small handful of people write to say that since they’ve started their herbs, they’ve seen a swag of changes—some they understand and others seemingly odd or concerning. For a few, their periods have been a little earlier, and others have said they’ve experienced longer periods or asked about breakthrough bleeding. What’s going on? Let’s dig in.
Changes within your body aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, much of the time it is a positive step in the right direction. One thing is for sure, signs and symptoms are your body’s way of showing you that the times are a-changing, and most likely for the better! Symptoms are, in the simplest form, a little message from your insides. Decoding and understanding the message is important because nobody should love or understand your body more than you.
Spotting, especially around ovulation time, is very common and quite normal for many women. There’s no real harm in its presence, and it happens as a result of a change of hormones—typically from oestrgoen to progesterone. During the follicular phase—from your period until ovulation time—oestrogen rises. When oestrogen drops, progesterone surges, resulting in ovulation. The quick shift from oestrogen to progesterone can cause spotting. If you experience mid-cycle bleeding, this indicates that your body is trying to ovulate.
One of the main reasons you might experience spotting during your herbs is because it maximizes digestive function, which in turn strengthens your hormones. You see, all of a sudden your body is absorbing nutrients better than ever, which gives your body the adequate building blocks to make hormones. Strong hormone levels can be a little wake up to your reproductive organs. Generally, things will settle down over time, and the spotting will become less as your body gets used to working properly. Spotting is a great little sign that your hormones are happy. Isn’t our body clever?
Typically, a period should last around 5 days. For some women, it is shorter and for others longer. There is no real right or wrong. However, a 5-day bleed tells me that the uterus has adequately done its job to flush out and cleanse. Perhaps you’ve noticed a shift in the length of your period. For the same reason as above, this is because your body is now working on an entirely new level.
As time goes by, your body will get used to its new and improved groove. A change in your menstrual cycle is especially important for women on the pill. The pill upsets gut function, which is why it typically causes shorter and lighter periods. In these instances, a good bleed is important to illustrate that your body is adequately clearing out the endometrial tissue. Remember, while on the pill you do not have a true period (or ovulate), but rather a withdrawal bleed from synthetic hormones. A heavier more substantial bleed on Digestive Herbs is an excellent sign that your body is well supported.
You may have also noticed that your cycles are shorter since starting your herbs. So long as your menstrual cycles are regular and longer than 21 days, there is no real reason for concern. Ideally, we aim for 28-day cycles, but all women are different. As your body finds its new rhythm, there may be some variation. Over time, you will naturally gravitate back to a normal monthly cycle.
Like anything, when we change our routine by way of diet, lifestyle, or otherwise our body can react in different ways. Just remember that change isn’t usually a bad thing—especially when you can connect it back to better food choices or Digestive Herbs.
The age-old saying goes, “Do nothing. Nothing changes.” This is a great mantra to have on repeat. Doing away with old habits that didn’t serve us and creating change is essential for reaching better all-around wellness.
Written by Dr. Nat Kringoudis, TCM.
Image by @lucaandgrae