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LilyCeliac

That Time Of The Month?!?!?!

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When I was younger I always had HORRIBLE cramps whenever I was on my period and my Doctor put me on the birth control pill and the cramps stopped.

I have been on the pill for years now and haven't had cramps at all.

I have now been gluten free for 5 months and I have noticed that now I get THE WORST cramps again when I'm on my period. I also get HORRIBLE joint pain around this time too.

Just wondering if anyone else experienced this too? Could it be the diet that is causing this?

Is there anything anyone takes or does to ease this?

HELP!!!!!!!!!!

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When I was younger I never really got cramps and my period was very light.

However, I am almost a year gluten-free. And probably for the past 4 months, I have had the worst cramps of my life and the heaviest periods of my life.

I wouldn't say that it is cramps actually. I would say it is just pain or soreness in my uterine area that is just unbearable! I have to pump myself full of ibuprofen and lay in bed with a heating pad all day on the first day of my period. Honestly, I have to blow off anything I have to do that day. The Ibuprofen and heating pad, do not really cure it, but just make it slightly more bearable. Sometimes taking a warm bath or shower helps temporarily.

I have no idea why it happened or if it had anything to do with the diet. I would be interested if anyone has anything to offer to either one of us, but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone! It is bad!!

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This is interesting... My cramps have vanished, but I chalk that up to nursing and having two children. I've read that cramps lessen with childrearing.

But, since going gluten-free my periods have been significantly heavier than ever before. BUT, that said, I've only just started menstruating again after years of being pregnant and nursing. It coincided faily closely with going gluten-free. So, I think my situation makes it impossible to figure out what the cause of my heavy bleeding is. I'm very curious about this, though.

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my periods changed (worsened) once i got on birth control. i've noticed since going gluten free that every month i get "glutened"-like symptoms. i'd be interested to know what kind of correlation there is, if any, between the two.


Sweetfudge

Born and raised in Portland, OR; Currently living in Provo, UT

Gluten-free since June 2006

Also living with Hypoglycemia since 1991

Dairy-free for good since summer 2008

Started IBS diet and probiotics at GI's recommendation - Fall 2008

Also avoiding: potatoes, beans, crucifers, popcorn, most red meat, coconut milk :(

Started eating a Paleo diet Spring 2011. Love it!

The grass is always greener where you water it.

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Hi,

I've seen this trend in other threads, but haven't replied, because I have nothing to back it up with, but I'm going to throw it in here this time.

I had the same thing - about 4 months in (I'm not on the pill), my cramps got intolerable. I began to think it may have something to do with something I was missing in my diet. I did searches on vitamin & mineral deficiencies & here's what happened to me:

After looking into it, I figured I was probably low on some of the B Vitamins and Omega 3's & possibly E or D. I began to take a B Complex Vitamin and Cod Liver Oil* for Omega 3's and Vitamin D. Within a couple months, I noticed the cramping was much less severe. All the while, though, I'm very careful not to reach toxic levels of Vitamins - I think this is important.

I've noticed a huge improvement of my PMS and Cramping in the last few months. I think taking the B Complex is helping, but who knows ... may be a coincidence (?)

*Also, you know, Cod Liver Oil tastes like @$$. If you decide to try it, this may help with the nastiness of it: I put a teaspoon of it in a shot glass with water or cold coffee or tea - you hardly notice the taste if you just swig it down.

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Guest CD_Surviver

I get really bad cramps the first day and then have joint pain the rest of the time but i never even thought that it was because of the celiac or the diet. i just thought it was me.

Lauren

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I get really bad cramps the first day and then have joint pain the rest of the time but i never even thought that it was because of the celiac or the diet. i just thought it was me.

Lauren

I've always had bad periods, didn't change nay when I went gluten-free. I started taking cod liver oil and extra vitamin A and a b complex a while ago, they're a little better now, but still icky. At least I'm functional now.


If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

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What did all of you add to your diets when you went gluten-free?

I know I used to suffer horrific cramps. I started eating low fat and never had a problem again. My daughter is off in college and can't always eat this way. She finds that when she eats more fat (usually dairy), her periods are heavier and she gets cramps. If she eats better, she has no problems.

I'm not saying that this is the only cause for cramps that exists, but I thought it would be worth mentioning.

About the effect of diet on hormone-dependent conditions:

http://www.drmcdougall.com/med_hormone.html

One other thing that occurs to me comes in the form of a question. Are you having less fiber now that you are gluten-free? Many seem to have that happen because they got a lot of fiber from wheat products. As noted in the link, fiber helps block the absorption of free estrogen from the bowel. (It is the high estrogen level that causes the problems.) Without as much fiber (and with better functioning intestines due to being gluten-free?) your estrogen levels would be higher, all other things remaining equal.

I hope you all find your answers. I sympathize. But I'm menopausal and facing a different set of issues now. One herb that is supposed to help deal with female hormonal issues, including menstrual difficulties, is chasteberry (also known as Vitex). I just started taking it. It is supposed to take some time before it has any effect, so I can't report if it works for me.


McDougall diet (low fat vegan) since 6/00

Gluten free since 1/6/07

Soy free and completely casein and egg free since 2/15/07

Yeast free, on and off, since 3/1/07 -- I can't notice any difference one way or the other

Enterolab results -- 2/15/07

Fecal Antigliladin IgA 140 (Normal Range <10 units)

Fecal Antitissue Transglutaminase IgA 50 (Normal Range <10 units)

Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score 517 (Normal Range <300 units)

Fecal anti-casein (cow's milk) IgA antibody 127 (Normal Range <10 units)

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0501

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 06xx

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 1,1 (subtype 5,6)

Fecal anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA antibody 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Soy IgA 119 (Normal Range < 10 units)

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Vitex will help with those problems, but it has another affect, it increases fertility, so just be warned. Another herb that helps a TON with all that is Red raspberry leaf, in a tea or in a pill form. I've had problems with horrible cycles from hades ever since I started having kids 10 yrs ago, the first 3 months gluten free were even worse, but the last month was pretty manigable, knock on wood, I'm not sure what I changed, or if it's just a matter of my hormones changing as my bod heals.

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How funny that someone mentioned this. I have incredible back pain during that time of the month, but my spinal fusion surgery "triggered" my Celiac so I've always attributed the pain to my fusion. It's interesting, though, the sensation is so much different and it almost never hurts otherwise.

Here is my take on it, none of this is anything but my own opinion.

Body Fat increases estrogen levels (ok, this sentence is factual). It seems like some people lose weight on the diet and some gain. So who knows what this means for you. Perhaps you rely more heavily on fats in your diet (as I do) to meet caloric needs and although weight has not changed maybe body composition has (I know that's a stretch)???

The other thing is fats are the first thing to be compromised with the intestinal damage. So even if your diet has not changed perhaps the amount of fat you absorb has changed?? Is that enough to cause hormone shifts? I do not know.

Outside the fats- - this part is factual -- Celiac Disease has been linked conclusively to infertility when it is undiagnosed. So perhaps what you were experiencing before was not normal for you. Now that you are gluten free, perhaps your ovaries are kicking themselves into overdrive and having a great fertile time. Maybe there is some hormone shift that takes place when one is subfertile for a length of time? Provided that you were. No way to know (unless you have kids to prove it!). I also noticed that my periods got heavier when my iron status returned to normal. I was never anemic, but my good doctor had the foresight to check my ferritin (iron stores in the body deplete before anemia shows up) and it was just about 0. Once my iron came back to life, I got seriously heavy periods. Maybe the heavy periods themselves are related to the cramping (I've heard if there is a lot of clotting it can be painful...more blood = more clots?).

Short of anything else, potassium and calcium are related to muscle cramps. Might try supplementing those one month. Don't go overboard, just take the RDA - no more than 100% of RDA because remember you are getting it in foods as well. If you overdo these minerals it can cause heart attacks. The upper limit for calcium is 2500mg and potassium no more than 5500mg per day.

On the subject of joint pain, I read a very obscure article once that said progesterone is linked to pain somehow. It was some carrier on some neurotransmitter something. Anyway, it meant that during your cycle your pain tolerance drops considerably.


Celiac Disease 2007

Spinal Fusion 2006

Grave's Disease 2000

There is a way around every obstacle.

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:unsure: UGH When I was a teen mine were not so bad but I had celiac symptoms my whole life.

As I got a tiny bit older (mid 30's) they got so much worse, hard cramping, pain everywhere, exhaustion that I never got over (combined reasons) and so heavy. Almost 2 yrs ago I went to the dr because it was a coursing flow. Shocking and exhasuting even more so. My uterus was the size it would be if I were 2 months pg. The dr did an ablation. There are different variations of this but they go in and destroy the lining of the uterus. The best one supposedly uses a laser or now by electrodes, the purpose is the same.

Anyways it is an outpatient procedure but don't let that fool ya. I was in bed for a week in pain afterwards. It seems having your legs strapped over your head for a couple of hours is HARD on your legs! Mine took forever to recover.

Oh but after it is all said and done, mininal periods. yay

Here is a link for the info.


~Barb

Gluten Free October 18, 2007

YIPPEE for Gluten free

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I had horrible menstrual cramps when I was a teenager. Birth control pills helped a little, but depo provera or the Mirena IUD worked the best. Both stopped my period and cramps completely. And Mirena is local hormones so it's not even bad for your bones. If your cramps are debilitating and you don't plan on having kids right away, I highly recommend it. It's really effective, low risk and easy to have removed and get pregnant right away when you want.

Evening primrose oil is another supplement that is supposed to help too!

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That was very educational, Rya, thank you. I personally gained weight after going gluten-free and saw zero change in my periods, they got better a bit when I started eating more healthy fats and taking cod liver oil and vitamin A. I think this will be one of those things that 'everybody's diffrent!'


If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

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