Periods are the monthly report card of women's health
- Lara Briden
For generations now, women have been led to believe that issues with their periods are "normal", and that they're easily controlled or tamed with hormonal treatments like the oral contraceptive pill. As a specialist in women's health Lara Briden has devoted her career to deconstructing these fictional views with her informative blog, Lara Briden's Healthy Hormone Blog, and a recently authored book, The Period Repair Manual.
Today Lara talks to us about the hallmarks of healthy menstruation and what can go wrong.
Covered in this episode
[01:42] Get to know Lara Briden
[08:10] Lara's Briden's Healthy Hormone Blog
[09:08] Menstruation: What is actually "normal"?
[11:40] Ancestral vs. Modern-Day Menses
[13:30] Understanding Discharge
[14:14] Strategies to address underlying stress
[16:50] Blood Characteristics: What to be aware of?
[18:20] The role of progesterone
[20:44] Changing the diet is key
[22:52] Why do issues occur at menarche?
[25:47] Hormonal Pills: Merely a Band-Aid
[27:19] Cycle irregularities & treatments
[28:27] Important nutrient prescriptions
[30:27] The thing about PCOS…
[32:00] Supporting liver function
[33:54] Red Flags that require further investigation..
[38:02] Long-term hormone-altering therapies akin to chemical castration
[39:42] The Period Repair Manual and other resources and tools for women
Naturopathic doctor Lara Briden runs a busy hormone clinic in Sydney, Australia. Her book Period Repair Manual provides treatment solutions for PCOS, heavy periods, endometriosis and many other period problems.
Research Explored in this Podcast
A randomised controlled trial of oral zinc sulphate for primary dysmenorrhoea in adolescent females
Background: Primary dysmenorrhoea, the most common gynaecologic problem of adolescent females, is commonly treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or oral contraceptive pills.
Aim: To compare the effect of zinc sulphate with that of placebo on the control of pain severity and duration in adolescent girls with primary dysmenorrhoea.
Materials and Methods: In a three-month, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 120 adolescent females with primary dysmenorrhoea were randomly divided into two groups of 60: an intervention group (zinc) and a control group (placebo). Zinc was administered in the form of a capsule containing 50 mg/day zinc sulphate beginning on the first day of menses and continuing until three days prior to the end of menses. Each month, the duration and severity of primary dysmenorrhoea were determined. Severity scoring was performed by using a 0–10 scaling system.
Results: In the first month, the duration of pain was significantly lower in the zinc group compared with the placebo group (P-value = 0.044), while there was no significant difference in pain severity between the groups (P-value = 0.497). In the second and third month, pain severity and duration in the zinc group were significantly lower than the placebo group (P-value <0.001).
Conclusion: Both pain duration and pain severity were decreased by taking oral zinc. The results of our interventional study suggests that zinc may be used to treat primary dysmenorrhoea in adolescents.
Resources mentioned in this podcast
Lara Briden's Healthy Hormone Blog, is a comprehensive reference for a multitude of topics regarding women's health.
In this podcast, Lara refers to the following posts:
An Essential Guide to Better Periods for Women of Every Age
What’s happening with your period? Does it come every month? Does it come at all? Is it heavy or painful or difficult in some way? Maybe you’ve just come off the pill, or are thinking about coming off the pill.
No matter your age, or your situation, it’s time to get to know your period. There is no better time to do so.
Women, Hormones and the Menstrual Cycle is the definitive guide to natural medicine and women's health, focusing on common health complaints from adolescence through to menopause and beyond.
Ruth Trickey, with practitioners from the Melbourne Holistic Health Group, provide comprehensive treatment protocols based on years of research and clinical experience. This book is essential reading for professional health care providers and health science students, as well as individuals interested in a more thorough understanding of common health complaints.
The Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research is the only centre in the world that focuses on ovulation and the causes for and health consequences of ovulation disturbances.