It has been a few days since I have written which is mostly due to how I have been feeling lately. While my medication has been wonderful and side effects have been minimal, the main side effect I have been having of menstruating every 2 weeks is starting to take a major toll on my body.
In chatting with my doctor, since the medications I am on increase my estrogen levels and I have an excess of eggs in my ovaries for the months with PCOS that I went without any menstruation, it is normal that I would be experiencing 2 periods per month. While there are clear logistical problems with this, the worst part has been that I have had the most painful cramps accompanied by headaches and nausea with these cycles.
I know that it is great that my ovulation has come back and I am so thankful the medication is working. I will admit that it has been very hard for me to deal with the pain which means I have not been exercising. On top of that, all I have wanted is carbs and sparkling soda to fight through the pain.
Today is better…I am certainly trying to fight mind over matter on this one and get back to my low carb diet. My guess is that the pain will continue to flare up and that this very thing might be something you are dealing with as well. Luckily, most of the abdominal pain and nausea have improved…but today I have been fighting a headache all day.
Whether you are like me with PCOS and IR or if you simply have a really tough time with cramps when Aunt Flo is in town, here are some things that helped me through the pain yesterday.
Peppermint green tea
Throughout the day, peppermint tea from Trader Joe’s really helped. There is something about a good cup of tea that comforts and heals…especially on a day like yesterday when cramps were unbearable. There are so many great health benefits of green tea as well that were added benefits to the comfort it brought me.
This was one of the lower carb items that made me feel better. Bubbles on ice always seem to work wonders. Normally, I would have chosen ginger ale, but we did not have any in the house and I was in no shape to leave bed.
Basic table water crackers helped me get something in my stomach that didn’t make me feel sicker. I nibbled on these throughout the day. While these are clearly carb heavy, they were exactly what I needed when I had to eat something.
Brown rice pasta
Before knowing that carbs and I needed to breakup, pasta was my go to whenever my stomach was upset. Brown rice pasta was a wonderful alternative…it is still a higher carb food (comes in at about 34g a serving), but really is wonderful those times you need or crave pasta. This is also a great alternative for people with gluten allergies.
Since moving into our new home, this was the first time I have broken in the bubble bath and it was so worth it! Soaking my stomach in the hot water really helped and really was the best I felt all day, especially since I brought some of my peppermint tea with me. Heating packs are also great, but I cannot recommend a bath enough.
Here are some other great things to eat and drink to help naturally combat menstrual pain:
Fresh dill is packed with calcium and can add flavour to any bland salad or dip.
Sesame seeds are packed with calcium and can be easily made into a tasty paste.
Parsley is not only high in minerals and vitamin C, but when used in a tea, it can be a great way to help your body relax from aching.
Celery can also help fight fluid retention during your time of the month.
A plate of salmon is high in Omega-3 and helps fight inflammation.
Sacha Inchi Seeds
Dacha inchi seeds, a plant found in the Amazon, is rich in Omega-3. No idea where you can find this, but I guess it works!
If you’re craving chocolate, make sure it’s over 70 per cent cocoa. This bittersweet treat will help you relax your muscles.
We all know fluids are essential when your body is cramping or bloating. Smart recommends drinking two to three litres of water during your period.
Tea is an easy way to replace your caffeine craving. Smart recommends green tea to soothe cramps. now, even though green tea contains caffeine, try decaffeinated green tea instead — but be aware, you may lose some health benefits if it is decaf tea.
Chickpeas are not only full of nutrients but eating hummus during your period can result in a good night’s sleep and help uplift your mood.
Avoid getting calcium from dairy products. Milks and cheeses can actually trigger cramps.
Caffeine is another no-no. Drinking lots of coffee or pop during your period can increase higher levels of tension and anxiety.
Avoid: Too Much Sugar
Excessive sugary foods, even when you’re not menstruating, can also trigger cramps
Anything that can damage your liver should be off the list.
Avoid: Red Meat
Red meat is also know to cause stomach upsets and cramps.
Here are some helpful links that helped inform this article: