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Female Cramping...men Read At Your Own Risk :)
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ok so I am only two weeks into gluten free, but I've read some other threads regarding that female time of the month and am looking for some ideas regarding the resurfacing of my painful cramps.

 

background:  have been on the pill twice in my life.  Before the pill I had painful cramps, not knock yourself out holed up in bed kind of cramps, but getting woken up in the middle of the night kind of cramps and being able to function decently throughout the day on meds.  Between my two bouts on the pill, I went back to painful cramping, and ended up taking Yaz in October 2009.  Lost a good bit of weight through healthy eating and exercise on Yaz, got switched to the generic, switched back to Yaz because something didn't seem right, and then went off Yaz in December 2011.  that was the short version   ;)

 

I was always regular before the pill, but when I came off Yaz, I guess coupled with the fact I lost weight, I threw my body for a loop.  I went 5 months without a period and finally called my ob/gyn who prescribed a medicine that induced a period in May 2012.  Since then they have sloooowly been returning to normal, with the exception that I completely skipped a period in October.

 

anyway before my last period, while still on gluten, i noticed my breasts were super sore about a week leading up to it, this never happened before.  my current period, which is my first gluten free, I got the same soreness, but this time my cramps hurt like none other.  I was woken up by cramps in the middle of the night, and it has been such a long time since that has happened.  I think this has added to the fact that I feel exhausted right now.

 

After the way the birth control took my body on a roller coaster, I don't like to take anything unless I really need it.  I'm staying away from ibuprofen products because of GERD, so I settled on Pamprin, which is thankfully listed as gluten free on their website and uses acetaminophen.  I have to be able to go to work and function  ;)

 

how many had their periods be really painful for a time after going gluten-free, but then felt better?  Is my body trying to clean itself out?  please share :rolleyes:

 

 

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I actually had the opposite effect. Before, while eating gluten that time was miserable, I would have to take anti-inflammatory meds 2x a day 3 days before the start to reduce cramps. Even then, miserable. I also had tons of GI issues the first day or so. I had to take 2 consecutive months of BC for it to be manageable for me. I have had my first since going gluten free and it was a dream. Hardly any cramps, not totally exhausted, I actually felt human. I am hoping this wasn't a one time thing, I am hoping this becomes a regular thing.

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One thing to remember is that hormone levels normally change over time...so, women may experience different hormonal symptoms over the course of life - and I don't just mean menopause.

Second, autoimmune diseases can affect your hormone balance. Everything is intertwined - your vitamin levels affect how your body functions. Hormone levels are affected by adrenals...it's complicated. I'm not a doctor, but I have been down this road long enough to know its a looping effect.

Could there be a problem more serious than "typical female ups/downs"? Yes. I suggest before panicking or resorting to anything drastic to go down this checklist:

Am I eating regularly?

Am I eating foods or liquids that contribute (some notice sugar or alcohol makes things worse, etc.)?

Am I exercising or getting activity to a level where my body feels happy?

Am I deficient in vitamins/minerals?

I suggest tracking symptoms. Some find specific things happen on certain weeks. This can correlate to your cycle and help a doctor and you understand what is going on.

Healing from celiac damage takes time. I've personally been through many hormonal "phases" in the past 1 1/2 years. The most influential things I've done are exercise and adrenal supplementation, and progesterone supplementation, and vitamin supplementation.

I'd discuss this with your doctor.

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One of the very few advantages of getting old is that I no longer have to bother with that. That fact and occasional senior citizen discounts are about all the goodies that come with having a whole bunch of candles on you cake .

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For dealing with the cramps naturally, of course hot baths or heating pads. You can also massage your psoas muscle. You can find it by laying on a bed with one leg hanging off, put your same hand as the leg hanging off perpendicular to your body with your middle finger on your belly button. Turn your hand halfway in between your belly button and hip bone and lightly push. It's what my PT taught me to do when we thought my colon spasms were period cramps... little did we know that pushing on it made the spasms worse :P but my psoas was always nice and open.

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My pms noticeably has changed too. I get fewer migraines and my initial -first day- cramping is much less than it used to be. On the flip side, I never used to get sore breasts during pms.

 

Sore back and fatigue prior to menstartion hasn't changed.

 

Evening primrose oil is helpful for some pms symptoms. Start taking it about 10 days before menstration is due to start and it might help.

 

Best wishes.

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I've only had one period since going gluten-free, and it was a nightmare.  The PMS was insane -- I felt like I was in "The Excorcist" and the cramps were the worst I've had in *many* years.  I haven't been on the pill in over 10 years; we have two kids.  I'm early 40s, and menopause comes late in my family :(  So I have a ways to go with periods, yet.  Hopefully, they will calm down.  If not, my family doctor is very forward-thinking (and male!), and he will happily get my hormones monitored if we think something is not quite right...

 

All I know is that I'm less than 2 weeks away from round two.  My husband has orders:  chocolate and wine.

 

Take care of yourself!

Cathy

 

Also, forgot to mention I've been fairly regular almost my whole life, albeit with longer cycles (around 35-42 days).  Minor infertility, which my family doctor got me through with progesterone supplement shots.  5 miscarriages total, two healthy kids....  

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thanks for all your responses!  

 

clafran-I'm sorry to hear that your PMS is very painful, but I appreciate knowing I'm not alone  :) I hope things improve for you very soon!!

 

my PMS symptoms seemed to be quite the spectacle, with no good show to back them up  :P  I thought with cramps that painful, my flow would be terrible, but it was definitely manageable.  The Pamprin really helped, so I'm thankful for that.  Hopefully next month won't be so bad  :)  

I've only had one period since going gluten-free, and it was a nightmare.  The PMS was insane -- I felt like I was in "The Excorcist" and the cramps were the worst I've had in *many* years.  I haven't been on the pill in over 10 years; we have two kids.  I'm early 40s, and menopause comes late in my family :(  So I have a ways to go with periods, yet.  Hopefully, they will calm down.  If not, my family doctor is very forward-thinking (and male!), and he will happily get my hormones monitored if we think something is not quite right...

 

All I know is that I'm less than 2 weeks away from round two.  My husband has orders:  chocolate and wine.

 

Take care of yourself!

Cathy

 

Also, forgot to mention I've been fairly regular almost my whole life, albeit with longer cycles (around 35-42 days).  Minor infertility, which my family doctor got me through with progesterone supplement shots.  5 miscarriages total, two healthy kids....  

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Peppermint tea is what my daughters and I drink if we have any cramping.  So far 3/3 of us, it works for.

 

Diana

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coming back to update  :) period number 2 was MUCH more manageable.  I still had bad cramps but only had to take Pamprin once.  My breasts were only sore two days leading up to it.  Hoping this continues, and each one gets less and less painful!  

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responded on another topic about periods, and thought I'd come back and update this one.  3rd period was manageable, but my 4th period started almost a week early (yesterday) with painful cramps...grrr  :o  I also felt nauseous today, and I never feel that way.

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It was awful all of my life.  Awful, but in the past few years I had some that were like I had just given birth.  Having done that 5 times, I know what its like.  Infertility was not a problem with me, or if it was, maybe we would have had a lot more kids???  Anyway, Yes, they were awful, until I went Gluten Free, then, WOW!, what a difference.  They were predictable, they were mild, they did not hurt.  And then I was sick in April and have not had one since March.  My GP ran blood tests on me, I go in next week for the results of that.  We thought it first my gastro issues were the cause, but hey, 3 months, that is a little long.  I think it comes with the territory.  Gluten messes up our menses too.

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I had the opposite effect. When on gluten I have always, in the 27 years I have been having my period (I am 41), has incapacitating cramps. I had to take NSAIDS all day just to function and not be puking the cramps were so bad. I went off gluten and now I don't even get cramps. It's wonderful!

 

Sorry, I know that isn't what you wanted to hear. 

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