Can Bad Period Cramps Be A Sign Of Something Else
Period cramps usually dont signify that something is wrong with your health. But in some cases they can be a symptom of a medical condition:
- Endometriosis This disorder occurs when tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus, often adhering to your bladder, ovaries, or even your bowels.
- Uterine Fibroids These are noncancerous growths that emerge inside the uterine walls. They can range in size from one tiny speck to several bulky masses.
- Adenomyosis Tissue that normally lines the uterus begins to grow inside the organs muscle wall.
Pain from these conditions may seem like period pain, but it typically lasts longer and can be more severe than your usual menstrual cramps.
If you experience this type of pain, its important to see your doctor, Thielen says.
Risk Factor For Menstrual Cramps
Around 50% of women suffer from menstrual cramps and 15-20% of women complain of severe pain. The study shows that a woman who doesnt exercise are more at risk to experience painful menstrual cramps.
Emotional stress is also one of the psychological factors for having uncomfortable menstrual cramps. Women who attained puberty at the age of 11 or before also at more risk to suffer from painful periods.
Apart from this, women who never given birth, younger than 20 years of age, or heavy bleeding during periods could be the risk factor for uncomfortable menstrual cramp.
Causes Of Lower Back Pain During Your Period
Though the exact causes of lower back pain during periods arent yet fully understood, its usually associated with hormonal changes and their effect on ligaments in the spine. Researchers found that hormonal changes may influence collagen production, which can lead to ligament laxity, or loose ligaments. Loose ligaments can cause spinal instability and are sometimes accompanied by pain in the lower back.
Prostaglandins may also play a role. Prostaglandins are chemicals that cause many of the symptoms associated with menstrual discomfort. They are synthesized by many tissues in the body, including the endometrium . They stimulate contraction of the uterine muscles to shed the uterine lining during menstruation. Prostaglandins also cause cramps. Heavy contractions can lead to low-back pain, as the pain can radiate from the lower abdomen into the lower back.
People with increased prostaglandin activity may experience severe menstrual cramps and back pain during their period. Prostaglandins can also cause symptoms such as vomiting, headaches, and diarrhea that accompany painful menstruation .
Lower back pain can also be a symptom of early pregnancy. During pregnancy, the ligaments in the body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare for labor. This can put a strain on the joints of the lower back and pelvis, which can cause back pain.
Here are some of the differences between back pain from your period and back pain from pregnancy.
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Way To Reduce Menstrual Pain Instantly
To get rid of menstrual pain instantly, you have to follow the following rules:-
- Increase intake of liquids to prevent dehydration during menstrual pain.
- Ginger helps in reducing the pain instantly as it has a lot of medicinal value.
- Placing a hot water bag on your stomach also reduces the pain.
- Avoid caffeine.
When To Call Your Doctor
If you have severe or unusual menstrual cramps, or cramping that lasts more than 2 or 3 days, tell your doctor. Whatever the cause, cramps can be treated, so it’s important to get checked.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and menstrual cycles. Youâll get a pelvic exam, in which your doctor will use a tool called a speculum to see into your vagina and cervix. They may take a small sample of vaginal fluid for testing and use their fingers to check your uterus and ovaries for anything that doesnât feel normal.
If it turns out that your cramps arenât due to your period, you might need other tests to find the right treatment.
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What Is Are Menstrual Cramps
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for pain with your period or menstrual cramps. There are two types of dysmenorrhea: primary and secondary.
Primary dysmenorrhea is the name for common menstrual cramps that come back over and over again and arent due to other diseases. Pain usually begins one or two days before you get your period or when bleeding actual starts. You may feel pain ranging from mild to severe in the lower abdomen, back or thighs.
Pain can typically last 12 to 72 hours, and you might have other symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and even diarrhea. Common menstrual cramps may become less painful as you get older and may stop entirely if you have a baby.
If you have painful periods because of a disorder or an infection in your female reproductive organs, it is called secondary dysmenorrhea. Pain from secondary dysmenorrhea usually begins earlier in the menstrual cycle and lasts longer than common menstrual cramps. You usually dont have nausea, vomiting, fatigue or diarrhea.
When Should I Get Medical Help For My Period Pain
For many women, some pain during your period is normal. However, you should contact your health care provider if:
- NSAIDs and self-care measures don’t help, and the pain interferes with your life
- Your cramps suddenly get worse
- You are over 25 and you get severe cramps for the first time
- You have a fever with your period pain
- You have the pain even when you are not getting your period
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Why Do Menstrual Cramps Happen
During periods, the womb contracts and relaxes to help shed the built-up lining. These cause cramps. Some women can also experience nausea, vomiting and headaches along with the cramps. The menstrual pain is usually in the lower abdomen but it can also radiate to lower back, groin or upper thighs. Generally, these troubles take place during the beginning part of the menstrual cycle and as days pass, the cramps ease out.
What Causes Cramps During Your Menstrual Cycle
Though it seems like the muscular contractions would cause the pain, its actually the prostaglandins that take you to cramp town. Typically, the more prostaglandins in your body, the worse you feel during your period.
Luckily, there are ways to minimize those body chemicals and reduce your pain, though they dont always give you the fastest relief.
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Period Pain Caused By Contraceptive Devices
An intrauterine device is a type of contraception made from copper and plastic that fits inside the womb. It can also sometimes cause period pain, particularly during the first few months after it’s inserted.
You may notice a change in your normal pattern of pain if your period pain is linked to a medical condition or a contraceptive IUD. For example, the pain may be more severe or it may last much longer than normal.
You may also have:
See a GP if you have any of these symptoms as well as period pain.
Relief For Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms
Curcumin, a natural chemical in turmeric, may help with symptoms of premenstrual syndrome . A 2015 study looked at 70 women who took two capsules of curcumin for 7 days before their period and 3 days after. Participants reported significant reduction in PMS symptoms.
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Some Herbal Tea Varieties Can Calm Cramping
Certain teas may help relieve menstrual cramps, says Sonya Angelone, a registered dietitian nutritionist in the San Francisco Bay area.
Research on herbal teas for menstrual pain relief is scarce, but teas have been used by menstruating women in numerous cultures for centuries.
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How Much Period Pain Is Normal
If youre like most women, youve experienced period pain at some point in your life. A little bit of mild cramping can be considered normal, especially at the beginning of your period. But ideally, you wont even feel your period coming at all.
If youre consistently having to pop painkillers like candy, or youre in too much pain to go to work or school, then something deeper is going on. That type of period pain is not normal. In medicine, painful periods are called dysmenorrhea.
Your period is like a barometer of your overall health. It tells you how well your body is being nourished , how much stress youve been under, and how much inflammation might be going on in your body.
Its important to uncover the root causes of why your hormones are in turmoil so that you can find the least invasive, safest and most effective solution.
The great news is that womens hormonal issues respond beautifully to natural medicine and, with a little detective work, you can troubleshoot your problems to get back on the road to wellness.
First, lets explore the causes of menstrual pain.
Im going to get all sciency because I want you to really understand whats going on inside of your body. I even made a cute little drawing to help explain everything. Bear with me and keep reading. Itll all make sense I promise!
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Having Menstrual Cramps Don’t Make A Habit Of Taking A Painkiller To Get Rid Of The Pain Try Something Natural Instead
Written by Pavitra Sampath | Published : June 10, 2020 10:50 PM IST
When you’re on your period, you may not want to do anything but just lie down and relax. With all the pain, discomfort and cramping, periods can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Popping a painkiller may give you some relief from the pain, but it might not be good for your body. Instead of relying on painkillers to get rid of the period pain, you can try natural remedies. But before that understand why you have periods and why it hurts so much.
Why do periods hurt so much?
Menstrual cramps are caused due to the shedding of the inner lining of the uterine wall. This shedding is assisted by a host of hormones, the master being prostaglandins . Where there is pain there are prostaglandins! This hormone is also prominent during delivery. It is responsible for pushing the lining of the uterus out. Apart from all the hormonal action, the poor uterus is devoid of blood, therefore the muscle spasms. In severe cases this condition is called Dysmenorrhea.
What Causes Menstrual Pain
Pain during menstruation is thought to be caused by prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Together, these compounds are known as eicosanoids.
Prostaglandinsare a group of hormone-like fats that are made by our cells at sites of tissue damage or infection in the body. Their job is to direct the healing process by coordinating blood vessel constriction and blood clotting. In this process, prostaglandins cause the pain, fever, redness and swelling that we experience with illness and injury.
Prostaglandins also play a role in the female reproductive system by controlling ovulation, initiating labor and regulating menstrual flow. In other words, prostaglandins cause the uterus to contract.
Two specific prostaglandins have been linked to menstrual pain: PGE2 and PGF2-alpha.
Now, normally, prostaglandins are very short-lived. Once their job is done, the body breaks them down quickly.
But problems arise when inflammatory prostaglandins are produced in excess. Certain dietary andlifestyle factors will cause persistent tissue damage and load us with omega-6 fats, resulting in round the clock production of inflammatory prostaglandins.
Below is an illustration of the process. As you can see, anything that promotes high levels of arachidonic acid, the precursor to prostaglandins, can lead to pain and inflammation.
Similar to prostaglandins,leukotrienes are inflammatory molecules that are released by our white blood cells.
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Yoga Exercise & Sleep To Get Rid Of Period Pain
- Exercise: Doing a light workout daily can help to get rid of menstrual Back of stomach pain and also help regulate irregular cycles. Exercise strengthens your body and gets you to prepare for the period. It stretches the muscles and tissues that might be cramping and causing the pain. Daily exercise also relaxes you from stress which can cause you hormone disturbance. Jogging or a long walk is an excellent way to stop menstrual pain.
- Yoga to ease menstrual pain: Doing yoga daily is very beneficial for reducing menstrual pain. Yoga offers exercise, stretching, relaxation time, and meditation. It can also help regulate the irregular period cycle.
- Sleep: Sleeping is a good way to reduce stress and avoid hormone disturbance. It is a vital component of pain reduction. It is recommended if a woman suffering from menstrual pain should get more than 8 hours of sleep just before one week of her menstruation.
Massage With Essential Oils
For trying this remedy, people can add a few drops of any of the essential oil to a carrier oil and give themselves a gentle massage. The ideal proportion is one drop essential oil to one teaspoon of career oil. Give yourself a massage for 20 minutes for effective results.
Also when applying this massage, one should target specific points in the abdomen, back and side.
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Diarrhea Right Before Your Period: A Symptom Of Pms
Experts in gastroenterology have found that you are more likely to experience bloating and constipation in the days of your cycle following ovulation.
However, things start to change as you get closer to your period. In the days right before your period, you are more likely to experience diarrhea and abdominal pain. Diarrhea right before your period is normal. In most cases, a healthy diet and medicine can make the symptoms go away.
Foods That Help With Cramps
Do you experience intense period cramping? Cramps are not only painful but also usually associated with fatigue and interfere with your ability to move around and go through your daily routines. If regular medication isnt enough to help ease your symptoms, you may want to try modifying your diet. What foods might help to ease period cramps and which are best to avoid during your period? Flo compiled a list of foods to eat and foods to avoid if you are experiencing severe cramping.
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Is It Normal To Have Diarrhea On Your Period
Diarrhea during your period is a common complaint. During your period, the sex hormones progesterone and estrogen as well as prostaglandins can change the behavior of the smooth muscle in your intestines. As long as it doesnt cause such severe gastrointestinal pain that it keeps you from leaving your home, its typically nothing to worry about.
If you notice that your diarrhea is bloody, you should see your health care provider as soon as possible. There can be different causes of bloody stools, such as trauma, infectious diseases, endometriosis, and a tumor.
How Is The Cause Of Severe Period Pain Diagnosed
To diagnose severe period pain, your health care provider will ask you about your medical history and do a pelvic exam. You may also have an ultrasound or other imaging test. If your health care provider thinks you have secondary dysmenorrhea, you might have laparoscopy. It is a surgery that that lets your health care provider look inside your body.
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Your Gut Isnt Healthy
Okay, this is a BIG one. The health of your GI tract is so intricately linked to the rest of your body . Practically every patient who comes to me with chronic health issues has some degree of imbalance in their digestive system.
When our guts are healthy, good things happen for us. We absorb our nutrients. Our friendly gut bacteria help us detoxify estrogen and reduce inflammation. Our hormonal systems are balanced. All good things!
But when our guts are not healthy, it sets the stage for all of the things that we dont want. Our metabolism doesnt work right. We become full of inflammation. Our immune system is imbalanced and we can develop autoimmunity. It can ruin our thyroid function. We cant get rid of excess estrogen. We cant absorb the nutrients we need. And the list goes on.
More specifically, when the bacteria and other microbes in our gut are out of balance, there are some key factors that directly contribute to period pain. Unfriendly bacteria have something called lipopolysaccharide on their outer surface. LPS is, by far, one of the most toxic and irritating substances known to the human body. And when the gut isnt healthy, LPS can move across the gut barrier and get into the bloodstream.
This creates a cascade of inflammation, revs up the immune system, blocks detoxification, and can specifically cause pelvic pain. In my practice, Ive been able to link LPS with headaches, acne, and a host of other chronic conditions.
Dont get me wrong!
Curl Up With A Heating Pad To Ease Period Cramps
The uterus is a muscle, so anything that helps relax muscles, like applying heat, can be beneficial, Thielen says.
Indeed, research published in Evidence-Based Nursing found that topically applied heat was just as effective as ibuprofen for period cramps. Over the two study days, the women used heat alone, heat plus ibuprofen, ibuprofen alone, or a placebo. The best results were in the heat plus ibuprofen group adding heat led to faster improvements.
A review published in March 2014 in The Journal of Physiotherapy also found that heat significantly lessened a womans period pain.
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