As a female we know there are many challenges we face, and the biggest one is Menstrual Cycles! From the cramping, excessive excretions, days off work, nauseous sensations, the list can go on!
Trying to heal my body using natural remedies has been a tough journey because I had to really listen to my body's needs without the agony distractions my body was screaming! Now, 15 years later, I am drug free and solely rely on natural remedies to treat my body when my menstrual cycle comes around.
I have been a Naturopathic Doctor since 2020. I have a special focus in my practice on women’s health and hormones. I often see women coming in with menstruation issues whether it be period cramps, heavy flow, PMS symptoms or irregular periods. My treatment plans often include a combination of herbal or nutritional supplements, acupuncture, lifestyle recommendations and nutritional suggestions. I work alongside a team of three other Naturopathic Doctors, 3 Registered Massage Therapists, an Osteopathic practitioner, and a Registered Nurse who does Medical Aesthetics including botox and fillers. While I have a special focus on hormones, I welcome all types of concerns. I see many people who come in with concerns around cardiovascular health, pain management, and stress. I absolutely love being a part of a person’s health journey and I strive to help my patients understand their health. I feel satisfied with my day when I’ve educated my patients on what’s going on and they see results from my treatment plans.
2. What inspired you to be in the industry?
I have to give credit to my parents and grandparents. Growing up, I remember my family giving me not just medicine when I was sick, but also making herbal remedies, using hydrotherapy and many other things outside of what is conventional. When I realized as an adult there is not only scientific evidence to support all of the things they did for me to feel better, but that there is an entire regulated profession devoted to doing all of these things, I knew I had to pursue this field. In this field, we focus on preventative medicine as opposed to reactive medicine. We focus on educating our patients on simple things they can do to improve their health. These are so important for us as a society to focus on as it reduces the burden on our health care system.
3. You mentioned, you treat a lot of patients dealing with menstruation issues, what are common things that could cause these issues?
Yes, menstruation issues are a big part of my practice. I ask a lot of questions around menstruation to figure out the root cause of why it could be happening. The major issues that I see are painful cramps, heavy flow, spotting between periods, very long/very short cycles, irregular cycles, the list goes on. Some of the common causes of menstruation issues that I see in my practice are Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (or PCOS), endometriosis, fibroids, estrogen dominance, and low progesterone. In all cases, I like to run blood work on hormones to investigate why they could be experiencing these issues–It’s important to test, not guess! Once we understand the root of the issue, then we can treat accordingly.
4. What are your suggestions to help prevent these issues they face?
The first thing I get my patients to do is to start tracking their cycle and track their symptoms. The timing of symptoms is immensely important to understand what could be going on. Having a healthy lifestyle can make a large impact on your cycle. Eating whole foods can make a large impact on a cycle as whole foods tend to be anti-inflammatory. Consuming processed foods can contribute to inflammation. Eating foods that support the natural detox pathways of the body can make a huge impact on hormonal health. Getting enough sleep and ensuring you are hydrated are all really important to a cycle. The biggest thing I see in my practise is when we correct nutritional deficiencies such as low iron, vitamin D, Vitamin B12, we can influence the cycle in a positive way.
5. Do you find menstruation issues have a direct impact on their skin, and how?
People with PCOS often struggle with acne as one of their symptoms, along with irregular menstruation, or an abundance of follicles on the ovaries. While applying skincare products (Like Everbella!) can help with the inflammation of acne, treating the root cause of acne is an inside job. In people with PCOS, we see elevated androgens (or male sex hormones like Testosterone). This hormonal pattern causes excessive oil to be produced on the skin which leads to acne. This type of acne tends to be cystic in nature, and painful to the touch.
Menstrual issues can be caused by an overall hormonal imbalance. The cause of this hormonal imbalance is often caused by issues with the gut. When the gut is not functioning properly, we can have recycling of inactive hormones in the body which can wreak havoc on the skin and cause hormonal symptoms.
6. What recommendations would you give someone to help treat these concerns?
It really depends on the person. Depending on the root cause of the issue, my treatment plans will differ. My treatment plans often include nutritional suggestions, lifestyle recommendations, herbs and acupuncture. I would start out by tracking the cycle and your symptoms and really try to find patterns with your symptoms.
7. Do you feel developing a self care ritual can help?
Absolutely! Not only is self care important to keep you healthy, for busy people like myself it is important to carve out time for YOU and your mental health. Self care can look different for everyone. For me, self care means tending to my skin, doing my nails, oiling my hair or simply taking a long drive. These little things help me decompress, and it definitely feels good to do things for yourself!
8. What other health conditions or concerns can you help someone with?
I love treating anything women’s health related, cardiovascular health concerns (high blood pressure, high cholesterol), migraines, stress and anxiety. I also love investigating things like fatigue, gut health, and weight management. A lot of the time, people get their health advice from social media and a big role that I play is deciphering fact from fiction and figuring out what is relevant and safe for my patients.
Can we say that the information and what Dr. Henna does is so valuable to the female community!??
For more information about Dr. Henna Plahe, please feel free to contact her at:
Dr. Harpreet (Henna) Plahe, BSc. ND
Health in Balance Complementary Health
336 Eagle St N #209 Cambridge, ON, N3H 1C2
Clinic: (519) 653-2000
Your Beauty Starts With Self Care