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Mnicole1981

Please Help! Female Issues

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I may be gluten intolerant for sure, but these flare-ups hit me every month when I am about to start my period. I am starting to think that there is something totally different going on. I just don't know what to do anymore. My OB/Gyn told me yesterday that my fibroids aren't giving me my GI problems. Something is and I wish they would figure it out.

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What kind of symptoms are you experiencing?

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There are many gluten-intolerant people with period-related problems. I'm one of them.. I didn't get them at all before I went gluten free. I know that symptoms vary dramatically from person to person. Are you experiencing any other symptoms, and have you tried going gluten-free? If you're giving it a thought I would suggest considering if you want an official diagnosis first. You should do all required testing while you're still on gluten.

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It's fairly normal for women to experience GI issues during their periods, regardless if gluten sensitivity status. This is because the drop in progesterone which triggers menses, causes a corresponding rise in prostaglandins. This hormone signals the uterus to contract and expel blood, but higher concentrations of prostaglandins can cause local contraction of the smOoth muscle of the digestive tract. This results on gas, bloating, and diarrhea. One way to counteract proataglandins is by taking aspirin or ibuprofen, which have the effect of lowering prostaglandin concentrations. Not saying you don't have gluten issues, just that they're not necessary related to your menstrual issues.

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What kind of symptoms are you experiencing?

Heartburn and frequent restroom trips today.

When this all started, my symptoms were upper abdominal burning/heartburn, indigestion, abdominal discomfort, gurgling noises in abdomen, anxiety, irritation, insomnia, fatigue, hiccups, dark stools, loose stools, constipation, weight loss.

I lost 7 lbs because I couldn't eat because I was afraid of the heartburn. I have been gluten free for two weeks tomorrow. My blood test and biopsies came back negative. I have had some good and bad days, today being one of the worst. I don't know if it is CC or related to my period.

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It's fairly normal for women to experience GI issues during their periods, regardless if gluten sensitivity status. This is because the drop in progesterone which triggers menses, causes a corresponding rise in prostaglandins. This hormone signals the uterus to contract and expel blood, but higher concentrations of prostaglandins can cause local contraction of the smOoth muscle of the digestive tract. This results on gas, bloating, and diarrhea. One way to counteract proataglandins is by taking aspirin or ibuprofen, which have the effect of lowering prostaglandin concentrations. Not saying you don't have gluten issues, just that they're not necessary related to your menstrual issues.

Thanks for the info! It's just strange because I had no problems with GERD since 2008. I experienced the diarrhea and bloating, but the reflux started in February. That was pretty much it. Didn't need to take anything. I guess it's part of aging.

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I can relate. When I first started noticing symptoms they mostly came 5-7 days prior to ovulation and again 5-7 days prior to my period. For gosh, almost a year it seemed to stick to that pattern. Then it all became much more frequent, for days in a row and almost weekly. After being gluten-free the symptoms started to improve but say 3mos in I was still getting flair ups around my cycle. My doc said that perhaps 90% of my issues could be explained by gluten and the remaining 10% by hormones. That has helped me to relax a bit. I was so focused on the symptoms and worrying that gluten-free diet wasn't the "cure" I was looking for. I've been gluten-free for 6 mos now. I'm not 100% asymptomatic but things are much improved.

My advice to you would be to continue to track your symptoms and see if you continue to see the pattern. And if you are committed to staying gluten-free, keep at it for a few more months and see if you notice improvement.

And for you or anyone else reading about gluten and your cycle, I will say that my PMS is WAY improved being gluten-free. No cramps. No breast tenderness. No aches/pains down there. It's amazing. Last month when I did a gluten challenge it was mid-cycle. When my period came 2 wks later, OMG it was horrible. Bad cramps, breasts so sore it was like I was pregnant. Now this month things are back to my new normal. Who knew gluten could impact my cycle so much!

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Thank you Birdie. I guess I should be patient. It just makes me feel like the doctors are missing something. I still don't have any diagnosis as to what is wrong with me. Right now, I am waiting on the results of a stool sample. Never have I thought, "please let it be a parasite!" Just so they can resolve my issues.

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