You Have High Insulin Levels
Are you noticing the theme with insulin yet? This relates back to point #1. Remember that insulin increases arachidonic acid, the precursor to the inflammatory prostaglandins that cause menstrual pain. Insulin also promotes clotting and can interfere with ovulation.
How do you know if your insulin levels are too high? Ask your doctor to order a fasting insulin test for you, or get one for yourself from True Health Labs. Your fasting insulin level should be no higher than 8, but I really like to see it 6 or less.
If your insulin is too high, you need to start making changes like cutting sugar out of your diet and emphasizing vegetables, protein and healthy fats. Exercise, especially resistance exercise like weightlifting, is crucial for lowering your insulin levels. Also be sure to get 8 hours of sleep each night: Just one night of sleep deprivation can promote insulin resistance!
Signs and symptoms of imbalanced blood sugar and insulin resistance include:
- Sleep trouble
- Energy crashes or sleepiness after meals
- Sugar cravings
How To Treat Menstruation Cramps Before Period
For typical period cramps and PMS cramps, a safe remedy is an over-the-counter painkiller. This can help dull the pain or make it go away entirely. Many women also find that a warm heating pad or hot bath helps to relax the muscles. Some research has also found cramping can be linked to certain nutritional deficiencies. Make sure you get plenty of water and magnesium in the days leading up to your period.
If you are getting cramps outside of your normal period and PMS, the best gynecological treatment will be identifying the underlying cause of the issue. There are all sorts of diagnostic tests available for abnormal menstrual cramps. You can start by taking a pregnancy test at home to see whether the cramps are caused by pregnancy. To identify problems like a UTI, your doctor may need to test the area for bacteria. Cysts can be seen with imaging tests like an ultrasound or an MRI. Issues like endometriosis may need exploratory surgery to diagnose.
Once your doctor helps you figure out what is wrong, you can move on to treating it. For infections, a round of antibiotics could resolve the cramping for good. Hormonal contraceptives can help with many of the symptoms associated with ovarian cysts and endometriosis. However, some women may need surgery to completely solve the problem.
What Helps With Cramps
Here are a some things that can help ease cramps:
Over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen , naproxen , or acetaminophen . Always follow the instructions on the bottle. Talk with your doctor before taking pain medication if you have an allergy to aspirin or severe asthma.
Hormonal birth control .
Acupuncture and acupressure.
Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation therapy that uses mild electric currents to stimulate your nerves to relieve pain.
Certain vitamins and herbs like vitamin B1, fish oil, fenugreek, ginger, valerian, zataria, and zinc sulfate.
Cramps are a pretty normal part of getting your period, but sometimes people have period cramps that are so painful its hard to do everyday things . If your period pain is really bad, and over-the-counter medicine doesnt help, talk with your doctor. They can help with other ways to manage the pain, or they may want to check to see if theres something more serious going on.
Cramps that are really bad may be a sign of:
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How Can You Tell If The Pain Of Your Menstrual Cramps Is Normal
If you have severe or unusual menstrual cramps or cramps that last for more than two or three days, contact your healthcare provider. Both primary and secondary menstrual cramps can be treated, so it’s important to get checked.
First, you will be asked to describe your symptoms and menstrual cycles. Your healthcare provider will also perform a pelvic exam. During this exam, your provider inserts a speculum . The provider is able to examine your vagina, cervix and uterus. The doctor will feel for any lumps or changes. They may take a small sample of vaginal fluid for testing.
If your provider thinks you may have secondary dysmenorrhea, you may need additional tests, such as an ultrasound or a laparoscopy. If those tests indicate a medical problem, your healthcare provider will discuss treatments.
If you use tampons and develop the following symptoms, get medical help right away: over 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dizziness, fainting or near fainting.
- A rash that looks like a sunburn.
These are symptoms of toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening illness.
Endometriosis: A Common Cause Of Severe Period Pain
Endometriosis is a gynecological condition in which endometrium-like tissue is found outside the uterus on other structures throughout the pelvis, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, pelvic floor, and in more severe cases, the bowel, diaphragm, liver, lungs, and even the brain.
According to Ken R. Sinervo, MD, the medical director of the Center for Endometriosis Care in Atlanta, We dont really know why endometriosis causes menstrual pain may have to do with where is located and how it presents.
Untreated endometriosis can lead to adhesions, chronic inflammation, chocolate cysts , and internal bleeding all of which can prompt excruciating pelvic pain. Endometriosis pain isnt limited to period pain that goes on 24/7, says Dr. Sinvero. Many women also experience backache and other bowel symptoms, not to be confused with IBS, he added.
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Cramps Before Your Period
Cramps before your period is the uterus tightening and relaxing at the same time, which causes us the mild to sharp pains. While this happens, a chemical called prostaglandins is releasedthis increases the intensity of the contractions. Thus, severe cramps are a sign that your prostaglandin levels are too high.
Most women can feel cramps before their period begins. This could happen up to two weeks before your period to just the day before. A few of us even have cramping while we have our period.
You may be surprised to find out that there are actually two stages to the cramps that you feel before your period begins.
Primary: These are the most common, where pain is felt in your lower stomach. You typically feel them one or two days before your period.
Secondary: You will feel these cramps in your lower back. These cramps typically occur three to five days before your period.
If your period doesnt arrive, but youre still feeling cramps this could be caused by implantation. This is when the egg and sperm fertilize. The fertilized egg makes its way into the uterus where it attaches to the uterine lining. During this process, you might bleed or have sudden cramping that will last just a few minutes.
You Have Excruciating Migraines Before Or During Your Period
If migraines were even remotely considerate, theyd at least leave you alone when youre about to get your period. Unfortunately, period migraines are another issue you can add to the list of common period problems.
Its not that menstruation will just randomly cause migraines in unsuspecting people who have never had one, but people with a history of migraines may experience them before or during their periods, according to the Mayo Clinic, which adds that this may be due to estrogen fluctuations. They tend to get the headache right as they go into their periods, and it seems to get better after they have had their menses for a day or two, Dr. Minkin says.
If youre dealing with this, your typical migraine medication may work for you. As you probably know if youve grappled with migraines, the treatment options are legion. They include pain-relieving medications to relieve symptoms ASAP and preventive drugs to ward off migraines altogether, according to the Mayo Clinic. In the former camp, you have choices like anti-nausea meds and triptans, which constrict swollen blood vessels and block pain pathways in the brain. In the latter, youve got meds like tricyclic antidepressants, which affect brain chemicals like serotonin that may be implicated in migraines.
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Insertion Of A Copper Iud Can Cause Cramps
An IUD is a T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by your doctor. This device is used to prevent pregnancy.
One of the types of these devices is the cooper IUD device that is plastic wrapped in coiled copper. Once inserted, this type of device needs to be replaced every 10 years. The cooper IUD is releasing copper into the uterus, creating an inflammatory response and less friendly environment for the sperms. Cooper IUDs are characterized by heavy bleeding that causes intense cramps in the first six months after insertion.
If you are experiencing symptoms like fever, vomiting, abdominal or pelvic pain, bloody stools – you should seek medical help.
When To See A Doctor For Menstrual Cramps
You’ve tried the home remedies, and still your cramps are interfering with your life. That’s one reason to make an appointment with your doctor to see what can be done. He or she might prescribe medications that can help, such as birth control pills or patches, or prescription-strength pain relievers. Other signs you need to visit your doctor include:
Your periods are getting heavier and cramps getting worse over a 2- to 3-month time period.
You experience pain when you’re not on your period.
Your period pain isn’t relieved by medication.
Your pain spreads to other parts of your body, such as into your back or down your leg.
Your cramps suddenly get worse.
You’re older than 25 and get severe cramps for the first time.
You have a along with your cramps.
Some signs that your menstrual cramps need immediate medical attentionâas in, call 911 or get to the emergency room:
Severe pain, such as that causes you to double over
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An Overview Of Menstrual Cramps
Monique Rainford, MD, is board-certified in obstetrics-gynecology, and currently serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale Medicine. She is the former chief of obstetrics-gynecology at Yale Health.
Menstrual cramps are the result of hormone-induced muscular contractions of the uterus. They are often heaviest during the first day or two of your period, and usually subside within a few days. Cramps are a normal part of your cycle as your uterus sheds its lining each month, but significant pain or heavy flow should not be dismissed. They may have other causes and are always treatable.
Period Problems You Shouldnt Ignore
As basically anyone who menstruates knows, certain period problems are just an unfortunate fact of life, like pain radiating through your midsection, a shorter fuse than usual , and bleeding more than you would like to be bleeding from your vagina.
On the flip side, some menstrual cycle problems are a clear sign that you should chat about whats going on with your doctorjust in casebecause they fall outside the bounds of what’s normally expected during menstruation. Here are some period problems that are worth discussing with a medical expert.
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Why Havent I Gotten My Period
10 symptoms of perimenopause
Perimenopause refers to the time period that begins when the ovaries begin to decline in function and continues until menopause . During this time, a woman may exhibit these symptoms that are largely due to abnormal hormonal fluctuations:
- Irregular vaginal bleeding
Sometimes women in the very early stages of pregnancy experience slight cramping, similar to mild menstrual cramps, right around the time that the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. This is termed Ã¢implantation painÃ¢ and happens right around the time of the expected period.
- Usually there are no other symptoms at this time other than the absence of a period. Sometimes there is light spotting at the time of implantation.
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You Have Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where eating gluten causes serious damage to the small intestine.
Many health care practitioners dont realize that the symptoms of celiac disease can vary, so many people go undiagnosed. In fact, less than half of people with celiac disease have the classic symptoms of GI pain and diarrhea.
Skin rashes, neurological symptoms, fatigue, painful sex and menstrual pain can all be clues that you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Remember, anything that causes inflammation in the gut will cause inflammation in the rest of your body!
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You Have Debilitating Mood Issues Before Your Period
When your estrogen and progesterone drop before your period, you may experience the typical mood swings that can come with premenstrual syndrome .
But if you deal with severe mood swings, irritability, anger, a lack of enjoyment in things you usually enjoy, and other symptoms that affect your life, you may have premenstrual dysphoric disorder . PMDD happens when you experience these symptoms in the week before your period, then they start getting better in the first few days of bleeding, and disappear in the weeks after your period. Its listed in the DSM-5, the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, for good reason: This psychological issue can be devastating.
If you suspect you have PMDD, the one thing I would encourage is keeping a daily record of the severity of your symptoms, Dr. Minkin says. If you notice these symptoms only appearing the week before your period, PMDD might be your issue. If you realize youre constantly dealing with these symptoms and your period just makes them worse, it could be premenstrual exacerbation, which is another way of saying you have a mental illness like depression that gets worse during your period thanks to hormonal changes.
Either way, talking to a doctor may help. If you have PMDD, your doctor may have you take antidepressants in the timeframe when you usually experience symptoms, then stop once your period starts, Dr. Minkin says.
How Can I Alleviate The Pain Of Cramps Before Period
It can feel like these cramps are very painful and may never be alleviated. However, this is not always the case.
Take a look below at various solutions to ease your pain when cramping 5 days before period or more.
Heat therapy is often used for healing and easing the pain of those with arm or leg muscle injuries. Since a muscle is causing your PMS cramping problems, heat therapy should help ease the discomfort of cramps.
Place something warm, like a hot water bottle, on your lower abdomen, and after a while, you should start to feel your painful cramping subsiding.
Although it may feel painful initially, some forms of gentle exercise, like yoga, can help. Moving your body can reduce inflammation like bloating and cramps. In addition, be sure to also drink a lot of fluids. Even if you are going for a slow walk, this will stretch your abdomen muscles and help lessen the pain of stomach cramps.
OTC painkillers are often very effective in alleviating the pain of menstrual cramps. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen are a reliable and affordable short-term solution for easing your pain.
Nevertheless, if you can find a more natural solution, this may be better for your long-term health.
A recent study also found that Agnus Castus reduced symptoms for 93% of women who had the herb.
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