5

votes

Hack my Uterus!

Edited on May 20, 2015
Created November 04, 2011 at 2:31 AM

(Okay, so not as sexy as "Hack my Vagina", but I knew it might get more attention than "Hack my Menstrual Cramps.") ;-)

I am stumped.

I've had severe cramping for the first day or two of my cycle all my menstruating life, except when I was on the Pill for 20+ years. So from age 13-20 and from age 43-48 I have been dealing with this pain in the *.

I've done 400 mg Mag Citrate plus 1000 mg Krill Oil (for the last 8 months), plus 50 mg Zinc Picolinate (for the last 7 weeks) and I am still dealing with severe monthly cramping that 400 mg Ibuprofen has a hard time reducing completely.

A shot of whiskey works wonders, but I'm really not interested in drinking a lot during my menstrual cycle. (Though I am starting to get fond of whiskey & cream...) :P

48 yrs old, 26-28 day cycle, no hormonal birth control, normal weight.

I eat a varied 99% clean, Lacto-Paleo diet (over 1 year now), liver & gelatin weekly, D supplemented to ~ 80-90 ng/ml.

Prior to Paleo, I was eating WAP-style for 2 years and mostly whole foods prior to that. I was a lacto-vegetarian for 14 years, (but not until I was 18 years old.)

About 60-100 g/carbs/day.

All organic, grass-fed, yada, yada...

No parabens, minimized BPA, etc...

I likely have about 4 more years until menopause, (according to my Mom's experience.) I'd really like to get off the drugs (& alcohol) and enjoy my menses while I can, YKWIM? (OK, maybe not, haha!)

Can you help me?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 08, 2012
at 12:41 AM

Also, @dragonfly, any updates?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 08, 2012
at 12:41 AM

God, that sounds awful. My mom was told when she was 12 after she fainted from pain that "she should get used to it". Almost died after a cyst burst and caused major internal bleeding 30 years later after 3 terrible births and doctors telling her that it's just "something you have to live with". Emergency hysterectomy, bed ridden for 2 months. Lifelong anemia. There just has to be a better way than this!!

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 10, 2012
at 08:31 PM

@Melissa, how is your experiment going?

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on November 05, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Not being arguementative, just thinking out loud. :) 1]They didn't get many periods, periods, due to all the pregnancy and breastfeeding 2]They were used to pain and probably worked around cramps just fine - as I do now, since I don't feel like someone beat me, thanks to a paleo diet 3]Feeling poorly a couple days per month - from cramps or anything else - doesn't prevent a tribe member from being valuable, raising children, or even traveling. But most hunter-gatherer women's daily work does not require distance running etc - more like lotsa childcare and food prep

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 04:22 PM

For sure, but young women who were incapacitated by cramps would not be an asset to the tribe, YKWIM?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 04:20 PM

Jesuisjuba~ It's a topical cream. I use Pro-Gest. Look up Dr. John Lee--but if it's not estrogen dominance for you, then it likely won't work. Bad periods don't seem to be a problem with my sisters/mom. I think Julianne's suggestion of histamin intolerance makes the most sense so far.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 05, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Hormone levels are fine, fibroids *can* be a sign of estrogen dominance in some women - not this one :)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 05, 2011
at 04:07 AM

Already had hormone levels checked, not it. And not always estrogen dominance :)

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:08 AM

Fibroids are a sign of estrogen dominance FYI - so try and sort that out first - but that said I dont think your problem is fibroids

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 05, 2011
at 01:50 AM

@Dragonfly - bad periods run in my family.. any idea if that's the case in yours? I wish you well!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 05, 2011
at 01:49 AM

Thanks Julianne! That's what I've heard but just don't want to have surgery, you know? If they're bigger then they're coming out, I don't want to feel like crap anymore.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 05, 2011
at 01:48 AM

Umm.. how would I use said cream? Sorry I don't know about it..

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:19 AM

Evolutionarily speaking, I don't think cramps would be selected for or against. Some women don't experience contractions during childbirth as painful, which I imagine has the advantage of keeping them very relaxed during labor - but most do. Some find them agonizing...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:11 AM

Great article! I'm going to add more C & start supplementing E. I can reduce some of the histamines, but I'm not willing to sacrifice my quality of life for 2 days a month by trying a huge elimination diet.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:01 AM

I've done decaf black tea- & no chocolate-no difference. I ate sweet potatoes today, in fact.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 12:58 AM

Julianne! Thanks so much for that link. The histamine intolerance makes sense--the iodine, probably not my issue (I make sure I get plenty from my diet.)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 12:19 AM

I've done decaf tea in the past & no change. I do eat sweet potatoes--just had some today, in fact!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 12:17 AM

Progesterone cream can shrink fibroids, too. I'm not into anything invasive, unless absolutely necessary.

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on November 05, 2011
at 12:13 AM

I had a client who's cramps were caused by fibroids, when she had them out it changed her life

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 11:49 PM

Animalcule~ Yes, it's contraction pain. I've not read any accounts of H-G women having cramps and it doesn't make evolutionary sense, KWIM? I bleed heavy for 2 days & finish bleeding on the 3rd day. Definitely some changes over time, as I used to bleed over 5 days, but not as heavy.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 11:46 PM

No ultrasounds. I rather doubt it's fibroids. They've never shown up in any manual exam and it's pretty unlikely I've had them when I was age 13. Thanks for the info, though!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on November 04, 2011
at 11:31 PM

Cut out the caffeine. And do you eat sweet potatoes? My L.Ac told me to eat at least one a week and it helped, too.

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on November 04, 2011
at 11:01 PM

Before I ate paleo omega 3 made a huge difference - I took about 2000 EPA + DHA a day (6 capsules) but needed to take Vit C and E with it to keep it effective.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on November 04, 2011
at 07:35 PM

Is it contraction-type pain, for you? It is for me and I wonder if this is just a normal part of the uterus shedding/expelling it's lining for some women. I am a very heavy bleeder on the days I cramp, too (didn't know this until I got a Diva cup and could measure my output in mm), which is apparently not usually true of those lucky hunting and gathering women...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 07:18 PM

Yeah, I have no other symptoms, really A bit more emotional, but that's OK with me and the zinc seems to have dealt with my pre-menstrual bloating (hurrah!)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Bree~ *Sorry* to hear that you've been dealing with this, too. I will report back on anything I find that works.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 07:15 PM

No coffee, only 1 cup black tea & I've been drinking tea all my life (British parents.)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 07:15 PM

Thanks, Phoenix, I'll look into it!

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on November 04, 2011
at 04:11 PM

Have you tried iodine? I admit I know very little of this subject, but I have heard reports of reduced cramping with iodine (not sure how much iodine was taken). Maybe something to look into.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:34 PM

..and I get that H-G women don't have these issues, so I am thinking a deficiency...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:33 PM

Julianne~ Thank you! I've done E & C in the past, but not in conjuction with a Primal diet, so I will add them in. I've tried dairy-free, but it didn't make any difference. I've read an earlier version of Dr. Northrup's article in one of her books. The idea that red meat (or even dairy) would contribute to cramping makes no sense to me on an evolutionary basis. My life is very low-stress...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:26 PM

Melissa~ Thanks for the heads up on the retinol. I take NO retinol supplements, so I rather doubt that it's the case for me. Only 3 oz liver a week. And I didn't eat much liver in high school...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:23 PM

Definitely something I will try, thank you!!!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:22 PM

Thanks, Ali~ I was highly active in high school & also more recently; exercise has had no effect.

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on November 04, 2011
at 04:30 AM

This could be useful http://www.drnorthrup.com/womenshealth/healthcenter/topic_details.php?topic_id=63

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on November 04, 2011
at 04:28 AM

Also dairy free paleo may be useful to trial. I do dairy free Paleo and never get cramps now.

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on November 04, 2011
at 04:27 AM

I found when I took a lot omega 3 it became ineffective after a while, it overloads cell membranes and you start to get oxidised omega 3 PUFA's. When i added 1000mg vit c and 500 iu vit E (mixed natural tocopherols) it became effective again within days, as vit E a PUFA anti-oxidant and Vit C reclycles.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 04, 2011
at 04:01 AM

I REALLY don't want to believe the pre-formed retinol is the issue...ugh. I have emailed Paul at PHD about it. If you suspect this, you might want to email him too. Maybe he'll put up a post about it which could help others.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 04, 2011
at 03:55 AM

Well, I had a strange experience in that my cramps went away on paleo and then came back 3 years later. I'm trying to figure out what I did to make them come back and have been tracking stuff in a statistical program on my Android. I stopped taking so much CLO because of a thread here on endometriosis +pre-formed retinol and I'm hoping that has an effect. So far it's only been only cycle since the experiment and I'm down from 2 bad days to half a bad day. But maybe it's just a random thing? I'll post as the experiment continues.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:03 AM

Yes, Melissa, vlc <20 g/day for 6 weeks and <50 g/day for about 3 months.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 04, 2011
at 02:56 AM

have you tried a much lower carb diet?

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:55 AM

You had me at whiskey and cream...

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10 Answers

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1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on May 20, 2015
at 02:29 AM

Well, it took me until age 52, but I have finally sorted out these cramps once and for all!

 

i went zero carb 6 weeks ago and cut out all plant foods.  NO CRAMPS this cycle!  

 

From what I can gather, looking at my diet over the years, the culprit for me is OXALATES.  

I was always a big tea, peanut and chocolate person when I was vlc.  Also a fan of Swiss chard and spinch.  Now that these are out of my diet, my period is lighter and not painful at all.

So glad I persisted in my dietary journey.

3
82a8b7c6e7f67787c2b16bd595db510e

(253)

on November 09, 2011
at 12:23 PM

I'm sorry you haven't found the answer yet! I haven't either. Zinc supplementation appears to have wiped out my pre-menstrual physical issues (yay no fatigue!) but I still get severe cramps for about two days when my period is really heavy. I was able to control it with considerably less mefenamic acid than before, but I'd rather not be so dependent on NSAIDs. I might try the whiskey and cream route. Do you think they'll let me drink bourbon at work? It's medication! ;)

I also tried VLC for a couple months to no avail. GLA supplementation, fish oil supplementation, etc. never worked, either. I've given up caffeine and dairy in the past with still no change. I had an ultrasound recently and nothing is wrong. I've also had the same cramps since I was a teenager. Exercise doesn't help. Losing 40 pounds didn't help. Arrgh!

It could just be that no amount of good health or nutrition is going to make it not hurt when your uterus contracts to shed uterine lining or pass clots. That would be really unfortunate, and, like you say, I don't hear about this in hunter-gatherer women, so it seems like a modern issue. Then again, hunter-gatherer women probably didn't have their hormones all messed up by the time they were adolescent from eating SAD foods.

Also, I'd wager a lot of primitive women got pregnant early on. Pregnancy can change lots of things. I've never been pregnant. My mother said her cramps stopped entirely after she had her first child and never came back.

I'm just going to make a list of more options people mentioned in this thread:

  • whiskey
  • vitamin C & E supplementation (in conjunction with n-3 supplementation?)
  • chlorophyll supplementation
  • iodine supplementation
  • hormonal imbalance? how would you correct this without taking hormones?

1
46626407781919530c151c87215ceb21

(30)

on November 04, 2011
at 11:57 PM

do you exercise? have you had your hormones tested? are you familiar with/aware of perimenopause? my wild guess is estrogen dominance due to less progesterone. a lack of exercise makes it worse. what is your animal fat intake? many people need cholesterol from animals to make hormones. you could need more than you think.

1
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 04, 2011
at 11:26 PM

have you had an ultrasound to see if you by any chance have fibroids?

i've been very athletic my whole life, horrific cramps, throwing up, and heavy periods from the first one until i went on b.c. the pill definitely was a huge win as it helped the cramps, light ones for a day, and the flow, normal for the first couple of days then lightening up tremendously when it was time to start the next pack - little to no bleeding by the time i started the next pack. i felt normal.

i went off for a year as an experiment, thinking "hey i'll give my body a break" and pretty much it turned out to be the worst idea ever. heavy heavy heavy bleeding, cramps that would cause me to double over, the whole bit and it kept getting worse. went back on the pill and had trouble re-adjusting so an ultrasound for me. viola! three fibroids that weren't there before. i've been trying non-invasive treatments and have another ultrasound scheduled in the next few weeks to see if there has been any shrinkage, as my cramps are better but the flow is still unpredictable. if they haven't shrunk i'll more than likely have them removed so get things back on track. hopefully.

what i've had to do was take two naproxen every 8 hours two days before my period is officially to start, i still get pain but definitely these soothe the cramps beast, and keep that regimen up for about 4-days total as then it's just little cramps. i tried everything under the sun naturally, this was the only thing that worked. also: hot toddy's. my pup as a mock hot water bottle. heating pad. due to the bleeding lots of iron rich food.

i'm healthy in the paleo/primal realm, higher carb and some dairy due to my sporto activities and lifting schedule. low on the caffeine intake, umm.. i think that's it..

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 05, 2011
at 01:49 AM

Thanks Julianne! That's what I've heard but just don't want to have surgery, you know? If they're bigger then they're coming out, I don't want to feel like crap anymore.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 04:20 PM

Jesuisjuba~ It's a topical cream. I use Pro-Gest. Look up Dr. John Lee--but if it's not estrogen dominance for you, then it likely won't work. Bad periods don't seem to be a problem with my sisters/mom. I think Julianne's suggestion of histamin intolerance makes the most sense so far.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 05, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Hormone levels are fine, fibroids *can* be a sign of estrogen dominance in some women - not this one :)

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on November 05, 2011
at 12:13 AM

I had a client who's cramps were caused by fibroids, when she had them out it changed her life

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 11:46 PM

No ultrasounds. I rather doubt it's fibroids. They've never shown up in any manual exam and it's pretty unlikely I've had them when I was age 13. Thanks for the info, though!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 05, 2011
at 01:48 AM

Umm.. how would I use said cream? Sorry I don't know about it..

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 12:17 AM

Progesterone cream can shrink fibroids, too. I'm not into anything invasive, unless absolutely necessary.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 05, 2011
at 01:50 AM

@Dragonfly - bad periods run in my family.. any idea if that's the case in yours? I wish you well!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 05, 2011
at 04:07 AM

Already had hormone levels checked, not it. And not always estrogen dominance :)

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on November 05, 2011
at 03:08 AM

Fibroids are a sign of estrogen dominance FYI - so try and sort that out first - but that said I dont think your problem is fibroids

1
0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on November 04, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Yes iodine is very important for uterus and breast tissue. If you do take it - start off low and increase it very slowly.

You could also look at the possibility of histamine intolerance. http://histamino.wordpress.com/page/2/

Jamie Scott also covered this, he had a client whose menstrual issues stemmed from this. http://thatpaleoguy.com/2011/04/11/histamine-intolerance/

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:11 AM

Great article! I'm going to add more C & start supplementing E. I can reduce some of the histamines, but I'm not willing to sacrifice my quality of life for 2 days a month by trying a huge elimination diet.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 12:58 AM

Julianne! Thanks so much for that link. The histamine intolerance makes sense--the iodine, probably not my issue (I make sure I get plenty from my diet.)

1
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on November 04, 2011
at 04:05 PM

No ideas from me but I'll be following this thread. The only thing that ever killed my menstrual cramps (I've had them ever since I got my period 12 years ago and never taken birth control) was eating VLC, which made me feel crappy in lots of other ways, so I don't anymore. The good news is that even though I still have pretty painful cramps for two days a month I have to manage with ibuprofin and heating pads, my periods are not otherwise debilitating like they were before - used to be exhausted, have IBS flares, feel like I had the flu, have awful bladder pains, throw up, etc.

I guess I've gotten used to the pain, I don't mind it much.

I've taken magnesium daily and noticed no difference. Caffeine ABSOLUTELY makes mine worse. I've never taken CLO more than a couple times per month, or otherwise supped retinol.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on November 05, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Not being arguementative, just thinking out loud. :) 1]They didn't get many periods, periods, due to all the pregnancy and breastfeeding 2]They were used to pain and probably worked around cramps just fine - as I do now, since I don't feel like someone beat me, thanks to a paleo diet 3]Feeling poorly a couple days per month - from cramps or anything else - doesn't prevent a tribe member from being valuable, raising children, or even traveling. But most hunter-gatherer women's daily work does not require distance running etc - more like lotsa childcare and food prep

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 07:18 PM

Yeah, I have no other symptoms, really A bit more emotional, but that's OK with me and the zinc seems to have dealt with my pre-menstrual bloating (hurrah!)

0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on November 04, 2011
at 11:01 PM

Before I ate paleo omega 3 made a huge difference - I took about 2000 EPA + DHA a day (6 capsules) but needed to take Vit C and E with it to keep it effective.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on November 04, 2011
at 07:35 PM

Is it contraction-type pain, for you? It is for me and I wonder if this is just a normal part of the uterus shedding/expelling it's lining for some women. I am a very heavy bleeder on the days I cramp, too (didn't know this until I got a Diva cup and could measure my output in mm), which is apparently not usually true of those lucky hunting and gathering women...

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:19 AM

Evolutionarily speaking, I don't think cramps would be selected for or against. Some women don't experience contractions during childbirth as painful, which I imagine has the advantage of keeping them very relaxed during labor - but most do. Some find them agonizing...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 04:22 PM

For sure, but young women who were incapacitated by cramps would not be an asset to the tribe, YKWIM?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 11:49 PM

Animalcule~ Yes, it's contraction pain. I've not read any accounts of H-G women having cramps and it doesn't make evolutionary sense, KWIM? I bleed heavy for 2 days & finish bleeding on the 3rd day. Definitely some changes over time, as I used to bleed over 5 days, but not as heavy.

1
Medium avatar

(12379)

on November 04, 2011
at 03:38 PM

Hey Dragonfly - I have the exact same thing! And because of the severe pain I never went off my bc for more than 2 months from the age of 17. I am very interested in the responses that you get here - I am now (after having a child) using mirena and having great results with that - but I know that it is not a long-term solution (but for me it is way better than 2 days of really life-altering pain). And for those who doubt the pain - it really is life-altering in the sense that I can't do daily things like go to work or even concentrate.

I have been to numerous obgyns that have told me the range of things from:

'hang in there'

'oh c'mon the pains not THAT bad' -ass face MALE doctor

'it must be polyps' - really? i've had polyps since i was 11??????

'you are going to need a hysterectomy' - this was my fave - i was 22!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Bree~ *Sorry* to hear that you've been dealing with this, too. I will report back on anything I find that works.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 08, 2012
at 12:41 AM

Also, @dragonfly, any updates?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 08, 2012
at 12:41 AM

God, that sounds awful. My mom was told when she was 12 after she fainted from pain that "she should get used to it". Almost died after a cyst burst and caused major internal bleeding 30 years later after 3 terrible births and doctors telling her that it's just "something you have to live with". Emergency hysterectomy, bed ridden for 2 months. Lifelong anemia. There just has to be a better way than this!!

1
0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

on November 04, 2011
at 01:47 PM

I can't explain why this works for me, but after a lifetime of the same symptoms as yours someone recommended I try chlorophyll. I take one or two Chloroxygen a day, every day, and it works. When I'm not so good about taking them, the cramps come back.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:23 PM

Definitely something I will try, thank you!!!

1
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on November 04, 2011
at 12:47 PM

I asked my OB/GYN about something similar. I used to never get cramps or really any symptoms, but over the past few years, they've been getting more and more severe. She told me it was because "your body will change as you get older." I'm 28 and I don't buy it (I also got a new OB/GYN, but it seems they all learned from the same book).

I've found that cramps/symptoms are the least severe when I exercise regularly, almost daily. In high school, I ran CC and track. Summertime (when I slacked off) is really the only time I got any cramps and they were minor. College, same type of deal. I had semesters where I would play volleyball several nights a week and I had almost no symptoms. Same when I did P90X. Even when I did have symptoms, they were always minor.

A couple years ago, symptoms started to get pretty severe, especially considering I used to never even pay attention to when it was that time of the month. Now, I knew exactly when it was time and I made sure I was stocked with Advil and Midol! I haven't really done much in the way of exercising since college, so the timing matches up: no exercise, increased menstrual symptoms. I started running again this summer after I finally figured out how to run without pain and my symptoms have been once again lessening.

Hope this helps!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:22 PM

Thanks, Ali~ I was highly active in high school & also more recently; exercise has had no effect.

0
Bd614f091f0625dea86bad5791471f2d

(775)

on November 04, 2011
at 02:36 PM

Just throwing this one out there: they say coffee can exacerbate menstrual cramps.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 04, 2011
at 07:15 PM

No coffee, only 1 cup black tea & I've been drinking tea all my life (British parents.)

Medium avatar

(4878)

on November 04, 2011
at 11:31 PM

Cut out the caffeine. And do you eat sweet potatoes? My L.Ac told me to eat at least one a week and it helped, too.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:01 AM

I've done decaf black tea- & no chocolate-no difference. I ate sweet potatoes today, in fact.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 05, 2011
at 12:19 AM

I've done decaf tea in the past & no change. I do eat sweet potatoes--just had some today, in fact!

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