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Shark week cramping/pain discussion  RSS feed

 
Posts: 1075
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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After having read through Paul's shark week thread and the one linked to on the second page I've decided to be the next guy to start a thread about this seemingly delicate subject, mostly with the desire to help the female(s) in my life that seem to struggle with this week as they may not think to research the matter or perhaps feel stuck with what may be normal symptoms.
Hopefully this thread and discussion helps others who read it as well

So I've noticed that there seems to be a common claim of reduced cramps when eliminating artificial materials in the chosen blood collection device(think rayon, non organic cotton etc) does this ring true for all of you ladies on permies or does it only occur for a few of you?

I would also make what I think is a reasonable assumption that additional hydration and iron consumption may help with cramping but would really like the communities feedback on whether or not diet and hydration or other lifestyle changes have helped them or may help others to reduce the pain of menstruation
Tia for any helpful advice
 
Mother Tree
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Menopause was the only thing that ever worked for me.
 
steward
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Devon Olsen wrote:I've noticed that there seems to be a common claim of reduced cramps when eliminating artificial materials in the chosen blood collection device(think rayon, non organic cotton etc) does this ring true for all of you ladies on permies or does it only occur for a few of you?


I'm not familiar with that, but there could be some who feel that.  I'm happy with the Diva Cup, because it is re-usable and thus doesn't generate waste.  It's always there and always ready.  I suppose it is also pretty inert and thus not generating anything to be absorbed by mucous membranes.

The best solution I know for difficult periods is "period control pills," as I'd like to rename birth control pills.  They're not 100% perfect for birth control, but they work very well for moderating difficult periods.  And, given that most women are not interested in bearing a child every 12-15 months, putting ovulation on hold via OCPs instead of actual pregnancy seems wise.
 
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Hi Devon, I switched to washable cotton pads about the same time as I switched to a low carb diet.  My periods are now significantly lighter and shorter than before (from 6-7 days to 5 days).  I can't say for certain what it was, because I also gave birth for the first time right about the same time too!  But I'm guessing it's the low carb, as both my husband and I had other health issues positively affected after switching our diet, such as asthma for both of us, and migraines for him.
 
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As somebody in the midst of dealing with it this week, I'm a fan of hot water bottles / hot wheat bags, and after the initial woe-is-me (usually the evening before or morning of the first day), some encouragement to get up and moving around. 

I have noticed that my body has changed a lot over time, both in the actual flow and in the PMS, cramps, and such.  I did not suffer significant cramps or PMS until I hit 40.  I am not sure if it is related to my age, or having had two children (I was 38 when my second was born, and my period didn't return until 18 months later), but I now have significant issues with both, on top of horrific week-long bloodbaths in place of the polite little periods I used to have. 

I don't know if there is really much of a solution.  Type of flow-catcher doesn't seem to make much difference for me, though diet, exercise, and mental state definitely have an impact.  Beyond that, sympathy is nice, and wine and chocolate do wonders for my mood
 
garden master
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When I switched from conventional pads to 7th Generation pads, I had an instant reduction in cramping. I went from pain so bad I was doubled over every cycle for years...to little or no pain for every cycle thereafter. It was astonishing. That was the only variable I changed at the time.  I honestly don't notice any extra improvement from switching to washable pads, but just going to 7th Generation pretty much got rid of all cramps. The change from conventional maxi pads to 7th Generation also wasn't a hard one. They operate the same way and actually feel better. If the women in your life use pads, and you buy them some 7th Generation ones, they will probably be so amazed you bought them pads, and they don't have to buy themselves some, that they will use them. I HATE shopping for pads. When I buy them now, I buy them on Amazon!

By cutting out gluten and going paleo, I went from having a very irregular cycle that ranged from 18-28 days, with 7 days of bleeding, to having a cycle that was constantly 27-28 days and only bleeding for 3-5 days. That was an amazing and wonderful transformation, and directly linked to change in diet. If I eat junk, my period is longer. If I don't eat junk, my period is shorter. I also started drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea, and that also likely contributed to a more regular cycle.

I also used to become really weak and foggy-headed on my period. Adding in iron supplements &/or liver pretty much fixed that. If iron alone didn't work, adding in some magnesium or coconut water for extra electrolytes did the trick.

Still haven't found anything that helps with the crankiness and funky hormones before my period starts, other than not eating bread/sugar and getting enough sleep. Still doesn't banish the crankiness, but it keeps me from being extremely cranky.
 
pollinator
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None of the suggestions I heard helped control my cramps. Diet. Heat. Posture. Changing to tampons. Changing back to pads. Birth control pills. Exercise. Sleep habits. Homeopathic medicines. Nothing. Except.......... Aleve. It was the only thing that made my cramps bearable.

I was unfortunate to be one of those women who had pain that radiated well past the abdomen, into my back and inner thighs. The pain interfered with my ability to function and think. When I discovered that Aleve worked for me, my life returned to normal. Back in those days it was a prescription medication, but thankfully it's over the counter now. As like Burra, menopause solved the problem.
 
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I switched to more natural products a few years ago and found them helpful for less irritation, but they didn't really do anything for the pain. 

Nothing did.  I had severe pain, every month, agony, more or less bedbound for at least 2 days, sometimes more.  I don't much like trying to rate pain & reduce it to numbers, but it was high on whatever scale you want to use.  Pain killers never really did much if anything for it.

This year I discovered something, and it's helped so much.  Now this time of the month is more "mild discomfort" than "agony."  It's hard to believe what a difference it's made.  Christopher's Original Formulas Female Tonic Formula: amazon.com/gp/product/B000I48N1G

Dr. Christopher's natural supplements are pretty good in general, apparently.  I'm certainly impressed with how much difference this one at least made for me. 
 
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Coca-cola will guaranteedly give me cramps - in the flags if dehydrated or walking around a lot and menstrual if around days 24-05. 

Two days before day 1 I will cry, a lot, about anything, it's a guaranteed 30 minute bawl once per cycle.  That's the worst part as it doesn't look professional at work and distressed and confuses loves ones. 

Good diet and activity usually keeps other discomfort to a minimum.

  Other than being more or less effective at doing their designed purpose pads vs tampons vs fancy panties have no effect for me other than the consumer psychological boost that you would get from any beauty product.
 
Devon Olsen
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Lori Whit wrote:I switched to more natural products a few years ago and found them helpful for less irritation, but they didn't really do anything for the pain. 

Nothing did.  I had severe pain, every month, agony, more or less bedbound for at least 2 days, sometimes more.  I don't much like trying to rate pain & reduce it to numbers, but it was high on whatever scale you want to use.  Pain killers never really did much if anything for it.

This year I discovered something, and it's helped so much.  Now this time of the month is more "mild discomfort" than "agony."  It's hard to believe what a difference it's made.  Christopher's Original Formulas Female Tonic Formula: amazon.com/gp/product/B000I48N1G

Dr. Christopher's natural supplements are pretty good in general, apparently.  I'm certainly impressed with how much difference this one at least made for me. 


Thank you for sharing this, supplements are an easy thing to share with someone without having to "educate" them as to why a diet or change in product might help and if it helps that would be great, I think ill buy a bottle for someone in parricular this Christmas
Also is this something you take every day or only during that week or around it?

To everyone else thank you for responding I appreciate the sharing of experience and wisdom regarding this topic
 
Lori Whit
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I generally only take it a few days before, and during that time.     I tend to be cautious because sometimes I have reactions to new things, so I like to err on the side of caution (start slowly and with a low dose of anything new!).  I still take less than the directed dose, but it works for me.  Hope it helps.

Devon Olsen wrote:

Thank you for sharing this, supplements are an easy thing to share with someone without having to "educate" them as to why a diet or change in product might help and if it helps that would be great, I think ill buy a bottle for someone in parricular this Christmas
Also is this something you take every day or only during that week or around it?

To everyone else thank you for responding I appreciate the sharing of experience and wisdom regarding this topic
 
Devon Olsen
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Was doing some unrelated research into tree barks of potential monetary value and ran across this while looking into the central Wyoming potential crop: black haw
www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/viburnum-prun.html#recipe
 
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I'm going to be contrary here and say:  Go to the doctor!

I had easy, regular periods into my 20s.  Cramps started getting worse but I thought nothing of it until I was in surgery for something else.  Post-surgery, the doctors said they'd found some endometrial cysts and burned them off.  (Endometriosis is uterine lining cells growing - and bleeding - where they shouldn't.)  My cramps disappeared completely for the next 10 years and came back slowly.

Cramps started getting really bad, and my flow became ridiculously high, a few years ago when I hit 40.  The doctors found fibroids and I take Esmya (Ella in the US) and I don't have a period at all, which is more than fine by me.  (Fibroids are non-cancerous lumps growing in/around the uterus.  In the wrong location they irritate the uterine lining, causing pain and bleeding.)

If the pain and/or flow have changed, go get it checked out by a doctor.  Sure, when there was no underlying disorder, I found that avoiding tampons and living healthy made cramps better, but when there is, medicine is the only thing that can help.

 
Nicole Alderman
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Another thing to have doctors look for is PCOS (polycystic ovaries). I have them, and a gluten-free, soy-free, less inflammatory diet has been linked with reducing the severity. PCOS can also get worse if left untreated. So, it makes sense that when I changed my diet, my PCOS and therefore menstrual cycle got better.
 
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