If you feel sick before a period, you are just one of the many women who suffer from various symptoms before getting their periods. It is more common to hear from women who get sick with nausea, vomiting, as well as diarrheaor constipation during their periods.
Some women do ask: Why do i get sick before my period? Some get throat pain before periods, while others have flu-like symptoms. Here’s some information about sick-before-period problems.
Why Do I Get Sick Before My Period?
Sick-before-period problems like cramps, throat pain, and flu-like symptoms are not unusual. So before you panic and think that something is wrong with your health, read on and learn more.
1. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Why do I get sick before my period? Here’s the answer most doctors will offer: PMS. Premenstrual syndrome is one of the most common causes why you get sick before periods. It is estimated that PMS affects about 75% of all women. The exact cause is not known, research shows that your estrogen hormone levels drop about one week before your menses. Doctors believe this hormonal decline triggers your PMS symptoms. Fluctuations in brain chemicals, nutritional deficiencies, and poor diet may also play a role. Eating too much salty foods and taking too much caffeine or alcohol may make your symptoms worse.
Some of the common symptoms of PMS include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Intense food cravings
- Water retention
- Lower back pain
- Mood swings, irritability
Dysmenorrhoea affects about 10% of all women and causes severe menstrual problems. The main symptom is severe abdominal pain that sometimes radiates to your lower back, hips and thighs. It is often accompanied by nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and weakness. These symptoms generally make you sick before periods, which is two to three days prior to menses. They may linger until your period is done.
Many wonder: Why do I get sick before my period? Women who are most likely to suffer from dysmenorrhoea are young girls, premenopausal women, and those whose moms or sisters also experience the symptoms. However, in adolescents, these symptoms usually fade into moderate PMS symptoms by the time they reach early adulthood.
Getting Sick Before My Period, Any Way to Help?
If you experience throat pain before periods or other sick-before-period problems such as nausea, cramps or flu, try these trusted remedies that have been used by many women to alleviate their discomfort.
1. Keep Moving
Getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (walking, swimming, etc.) daily helps you lower your excess estrogen, relieve stress, and reduce water retention. It also enhances your mood and boosts your body’s endorphins, which are the natural painkillers.
2. Eat Healthy
- Salt promotes fluid retention and bloating. Avoid eating too much salt throughout the month, especially before your periods. Eat healthy foods and avoid processed foods like canned soups or packaged snacks, which are high in sodium.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, which both contribute to PMS.
- Eat lots high-fiber foods to help lower estrogen out of the body. Eat whole grain, fruit, vegetables, and beans.
- Drink eight 250-mL glasses of water a day.
- Avoid sugary snacks, which increase your blood sugar levels. Irritability and mood swings occur when your blood sugar crashes later on.
3. Take Supplements
- Calcium (1,200 mg at bedtime) helps reduce headaches, muscle cramps, and mood swings. It also helps you relax and sleep.
- Magnesium (800 mg) works with calcium and helps control muscle cramps.
- Vitamin B6 (50 to 100 mg) helps reduce depression,irritability and jitteriness by increasing your serotonin levels, a mood-regulating chemical in the brain.
- Evening primrose oil (500 to 1000 mg) contains essential fatty acids that help reduce bloating, irritability, andbreast tenderness.
4. Balance Your Hormones
- Take chasteberry supplements (one to two 225-mg capsules) until symptoms subside.
- Take black cohosh (two 20-milligram capsules of extract) two weeks before your periods.
- Ask your doctor about using birth control pills and other hormonal treatments.
5. Cope With the Stress
PMS can cause anxiety, tension, and irritability. It is therefore important to find healthy ways to deal with stress. You can try different strategies such as meditation, massage, yoga, talking with friends, or just writing in a journal. Be sure to get enough rest and sleep.
Ask your doctor about taking antidepressants if you have severe mood swings. These medications include SSRIs, the most commonly used antidepressants. Some doctors recommend taking antidepressants 10 to 14 days before periods or throughout the cycle. These include medications like:
- Fluoxetine (Sarafem,Prozac)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Clomipramine (Anafranil)
- Nefazodone (Serzone)
Other medications used for PMS include diuretics (Aldactone) and anti-anxiety medications (Buspar, Xanax).
6. Other Ways That May Help
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin,naproxen (Aleve), or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Midol Cramp).
- Try ginger, one of the best remedies for abdominal cramps and PMS. You can use it as tea or suck a piece of ginger root to prevent and relieve nausea and vomiting.
- Place a heating pad on the lower abdomen to relax the muscles and reduce cramps. Take a hot shower and get the same soothing effects.
- Ask your relatives and friends for useful advice.
- Avoid taking medicines and supplements without reading instructions and learning about their possible side effects.
- Seek medical attention if you experience serious symptoms such as fainting, prolonged dizziness, fever, or worsening pain that is not relieved by usual home remedies.