Long-term also referred to as chronic, inflammation is a major factor in all types of period functions. This isn’t just the sort of inflammation that causes redness or swelling.

Chronic inflammation has an impact on your whole-body communication. Your body has different systems that all need to talk to each other. Your hormones are a big part of that communication network.

Inflammatory Cytokines

The complication that occurs with inflammatory cytokines is that they insert themselves into the communication network of your body.

When they do this, they can block the normal messages that your hormones would send. The overall effect of this is that they block and slow down ovarian follicle stimulation, impairing ovulation and impairing progesterone production.

In addition to your hormones being important messengers, there are other chemical messengers. Some of the ones used by your immune system are known as inflammatory cytokines. These include TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IL-8.

The main role of these inflammatory cytokines is to help protect you against cancer. They are part of your body’s inflammatory response.

Reducing Inflammatory Cytokines

Considering how much of a negative impact inflammatory cytokines can you have on your period, how do you reduce them?

You reduce them by avoiding over-activating your immune system as much as possible. This includes avoiding sources of inflammation, including:

  • Smoking – this is one of the most inflammatory things you can do, as it is a source of immune-activating toxins.
  • Stress
  • Unhealthy gut microbiome
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor sleep
  • Environmental toxins
  • Inflammatory foods

These are all things that you need to consider and avoid, or limit, wherever possible, to help prevent excess inflammation.

Foods That Cause Inflammation

There are five main types of foods that are likely to cause inflammation. These can be further grouped into three rough categories:

  • Metabolic disruptors: sugar and alcohol
  • Digestive and immune disruptors: wheat and dairy products
  • Processed vegetable oils

You need to consider your own personal circumstances as to which food is more important for you to avoid.

If you have any underlying conditions or allergies, some of these foods will have a bigger impact on your period health than others.

You can also seek professional advise and guidance from practitioners. Find our health practitioners here.

Katherine Knott

Katherine is a certified naturopath and the founding director of Acorn and Oak.   She began studying Naturopathy when she was 18 years old and has practiced in both Melbourne and rural Victoria.  She has also studied 2 1/2 years of nursing and midwifery, but decided that she was happier to work with women as […]

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Nicki Stewart

Nicki has always been drawn to Holistic Health and she follows in her mother’s footsteps who is a Reflexologist and Natural Therapist. Nicki was inspired to study Herbal Medicine after attending one of Dr. Sandi Rogers’ (Naturopath, Director of National College of Traditional Medicine and former President of Australian Traditional Medicine Society) seminars on ‘Fruits […]

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Alyce Beaton

Alyce is qualified naturopath in Ballarat who loves supporting people on their health journey. Alyce believes optimising and restoring health first and foremost begins with food as medicine and creating healthy lifestyle habits. She is passionate about providing a safe, non judgement environment and endeavours to support her clients with strategies they can implement into […]

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