8

votes

Ladies~ Anyone use Zinc to prevent Menstrual Cramps?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 11, 2011 at 3:58 AM

Thanks to Travis & his recent (fabulous) posts on Zinc and hormones, I started putting two and two together and found this:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17289285

More details here in the original paper: http://george-eby-research.com/html/zinc-prevents-cramps.html

I have just ordered zinc picolinate (50 mg) and will be trying this out for my next cycle.

Has anyone tried supplementing 30-50 mg (or more) per day to relieve menstrual cramps?

I don't eat oysters or shellfish unless they are fresh, so chicken liver has been my main source and I don't want to OD on livers (Vitamin A) to get sufficient zinc.

Update: Some women on MDA are reporting decreased cramping using supplemental Vitamin E. Just found this article about Vitamin E reducing menstrual cramps: http://www.bastyrcenter.org/content/view/373/

Apparently Zinc assists in maintaining the proper concentration of Vitamin E in the blood. It makes even more sense to me that a Zinc deficiency may be an issue for some, since Vitamin E is very easy to get on a Paleo diet--and Zinc not as much.

Update 2: After 7 weeks of 50 mg/day Zinc Picolinate and 2 menstrual cycles, I am having what feels like even more cramping & Ibuprofen can't keep up! I will be posting another question on this topic, to be sure...

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on November 04, 2011
at 01:04 AM

ditto, i feel that supplementing Zinc helped my hormonal acne clear up :)

Ecc6aa6f4a961fbfce510bda4bd84916

(451)

on November 04, 2011
at 12:56 AM

Yes, I used to pre-paleo and it was helpful. I also found taking a calcium + magnesium supplement helped.<3

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on September 16, 2011
at 10:43 AM

Keep in mind that supplementing with too much Zinc over a long period, may eventually deplete Copper.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 14, 2011
at 03:27 AM

Funny. I've had a slight headache on the left side all day...

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on September 13, 2011
at 01:13 PM

Yes, keep us updated!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 13, 2011
at 03:20 AM

Thanks, animalcule. It will be interesting to see if the picolinate works for me!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 11, 2011
at 11:23 PM

Although I started when I was twelve, and at forty-seven I show absolutely no sign of slowing down yet, so that part's not applicable.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 11, 2011
at 11:23 PM

This is fascinating. My periods have almost always been exactly as described above -- three days of relatively minimal flow, with very little cramping. I've always felt lucky in that regard. Man, I hope the menopause thing turns out to be true for me too, lol.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on September 11, 2011
at 10:18 PM

50 mg zinc citrate tablets

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 11, 2011
at 09:47 PM

Here's the one about left side/right side: http://www.windinherhair.com/data/articles/migraines.html and here is an abstract using zinc + magnesium, etc for treatment of migraine http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21530095

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 11, 2011
at 07:21 PM

Oh snap - I'm totally trying this my next cycle!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 11, 2011
at 07:02 PM

I wish my crampiness had decreased. No discernible change after 10 months of Primal eating. Even taking 1000 mg Krill Oil and 400 mg Magnesium Citrate daily didn't help (suggested by Katherine some time ago over on an MDA thread...)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 11, 2011
at 06:59 PM

How much zinc are you taking & what kind?

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on September 11, 2011
at 05:50 PM

Yes, I would love a link as well!

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on September 11, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Mine is on the right, at the very base of my skull...

82a8b7c6e7f67787c2b16bd595db510e

(253)

on September 11, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Do you have a link to that article?

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 11, 2011
at 06:18 AM

Unless it's right side behind the ear, in which case it's potassium deficiency. Iron is right side behind the eye/temple.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 11, 2011
at 06:16 AM

Yup. Said right side was iron deficiency.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on September 11, 2011
at 06:12 AM

Curious if the article said anything about right sided migraines? That's what I always have.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 11, 2011
at 04:29 AM

Just saw that Shelly had the same thought I did and posted (an answer) in this thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/63664/does-this-explain-fat-loss-differences-by-gender-on-paleo#axzz1XVmGbJEH

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 11, 2011
at 04:21 AM

WIN! Sounds like Travis needs a blog, ASAP!

  • Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

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8 Answers

9
41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 11, 2011
at 04:18 AM

No, I haven't tried it for cramps, but get this:

Travis' post led me to read a bit more on zinc and I found some information saying that many migraine sufferers have low levels of magnesium (which I knew) and high levels of copper (which I didn't know). Now I know getting too much calcium (say, if I eat dairy) can trigger a migraine, mostly because of a crap calcium/magnesium balance. But then I started looking back over my food logs and my copper intake is high every single day, while my zinc is not.

So on my last migraine, I dropped 500mg magnesium and 50mg zinc. Result? Migraine gone in about 15 minutes (give or take). Plus, my jaw which had been bothering me (I attributed to TMJ), also stopped hurting. Magnesium alone never did this. It was usually more preventative than treatment.

Interestingly, I found another article saying that if your migraines normally occur on the left side of your head you are zinc deficient, which is where mine always are.

This might also explain why I did so well on ZC.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on September 11, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Mine is on the right, at the very base of my skull...

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on September 11, 2011
at 06:12 AM

Curious if the article said anything about right sided migraines? That's what I always have.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 11, 2011
at 06:16 AM

Yup. Said right side was iron deficiency.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on September 11, 2011
at 05:50 PM

Yes, I would love a link as well!

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 11, 2011
at 09:47 PM

Here's the one about left side/right side: http://www.windinherhair.com/data/articles/migraines.html and here is an abstract using zinc + magnesium, etc for treatment of migraine http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21530095

82a8b7c6e7f67787c2b16bd595db510e

(253)

on September 11, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Do you have a link to that article?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 11, 2011
at 04:21 AM

WIN! Sounds like Travis needs a blog, ASAP!

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on September 11, 2011
at 06:18 AM

Unless it's right side behind the ear, in which case it's potassium deficiency. Iron is right side behind the eye/temple.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 14, 2011
at 03:27 AM

Funny. I've had a slight headache on the left side all day...

4
Medium avatar

on September 11, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Frank Marlowe, an expert on the Hadza who has lived with them for extended periods of time, states that the women have a menstrual flow for only about 3 days and that his female research assistants reported that the actual amount of blood was much less than is common among Americans. Additionally, there are no reports of symptoms like hot flashes when menopause is reached. I wouldn't be all that surprised if our concepts of menstruation/menopause are completely skewed and are based on "normal" individuals who are actually at least somewhat zinc-deficient and thus hypogonadal. On the other hand, the different experiences with menstruation may simply be the result of a harder life with fewer calories. Indeed, they have a shorter period of fertility than Western females with menarche reached later and menopause earlier.

Anyway, because zinc is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, if we address our likely deficiencies but fail to improve some specific thing, the good news is that we'll probably improve a hundred other things. I do hope that this makes a difference though.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 11, 2011
at 11:23 PM

This is fascinating. My periods have almost always been exactly as described above -- three days of relatively minimal flow, with very little cramping. I've always felt lucky in that regard. Man, I hope the menopause thing turns out to be true for me too, lol.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 11, 2011
at 11:23 PM

Although I started when I was twelve, and at forty-seven I show absolutely no sign of slowing down yet, so that part's not applicable.

2
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on September 11, 2011
at 05:05 AM

No but it's kept my hormonal acne in check for a couple of years now so it seems worth a try. Zinc has so significantly changed my life it is the only supplement I take that I will NOT be without.

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on November 04, 2011
at 01:04 AM

ditto, i feel that supplementing Zinc helped my hormonal acne clear up :)

1
A0659997bea24091a2507846f349d98f

on September 15, 2011
at 07:34 AM

We're using magnesium for my daugther's craps, as Paul Jaminet from Perfect Health Diet suggests. It's working. I had never cramps, but headaches. Magnesium helps my mestrual headache as well

1
2f361c2cec9ddf7409bf0094977aac1e

on September 11, 2011
at 06:59 PM

Hmmm, I have not, but I might have to give that a spin. I have noticed that my general level of crampiness has decreased since I went Paleo. Previously, it was routine for me to take 8 ibuprofen capsules on day 2 of my cycle, just to be functional. Now, I'm down to 2-4 capsules. If zinc could help me kick the rest, that would be amazing.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 11, 2011
at 07:02 PM

I wish my crampiness had decreased. No discernible change after 10 months of Primal eating. Even taking 1000 mg Krill Oil and 400 mg Magnesium Citrate daily didn't help (suggested by Katherine some time ago over on an MDA thread...)

1
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on September 11, 2011
at 05:59 PM

I eat lots of zinc-rich foods and take a zinc supp regularly. I've been taking zinc every day for over a month because my diet isn't quite on track, and I just had the same menstrual cramps I always do. Took Advil for two days to manage them. Felt otherwise fine, just a lot of uterine activity and pain. I'm always had strong cramps the first two days if my cycle, since I got it.

Now that I am thinking about it, though, I have not had a headache or migraine in quite a while, even though I have had a lot of emotional stress lately! That is not at all typical for me. Hmm, interesting...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 11, 2011
at 06:59 PM

How much zinc are you taking & what kind?

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on September 11, 2011
at 10:18 PM

50 mg zinc citrate tablets

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 13, 2011
at 03:20 AM

Thanks, animalcule. It will be interesting to see if the picolinate works for me!

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on September 13, 2011
at 01:13 PM

Yes, keep us updated!

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on September 16, 2011
at 10:43 AM

Keep in mind that supplementing with too much Zinc over a long period, may eventually deplete Copper.

1
82a8b7c6e7f67787c2b16bd595db510e

(253)

on September 11, 2011
at 11:08 AM

Thanks for starting the thread, Dragonfly! I'm glad we had the same line of questioning. I'd never heard anyone suggest that menstrual cramps could be caused by zinc deficiency until the other day.

My next cycle is coming up right now and I'm taking 50mg/day of zinc gluconate in anticipation. I may not have started early enough or the gluconate may not be good enough for absorption, so I'm more looking forward to next month after I get a better kind and have been supplementing for longer. I'll definitely report back!

0
3b264b40e38d4705f28c25abb283c715

on February 25, 2013
at 03:43 PM

Magnesium always takes the cramps away. Get at anywhere between 500 mg to 750 mg a day. Take the supplement. I have a cheap brand that works just fine. They come in 250 mg tablets. Don't take all at once unless you are used to it. Taken in high doses all at once can cause sleepiness and need to go to bathroom.

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