Your period is almost here, and you’re stressed. You’ve been taking a handful of pills every morning in hopes that you’ll survive this period, but you feel all the usual signs coming on: cramps, sore breasts, and moodiness. Actually, you’re probably bitchy because you’re disappointed that the supplements you bought specifically to help with your period aren’t working! You wonder if supplements will actually work for you, or if you’re just a lost cause.
Actually, there’s a reason why natural remedies aren’t working for your period pain. And it isn’t because your situation is hopeless, or that natural remedies aren’t effective.
All the best quality supplements won’t work because you haven’t addressed one of the main causes of period issues: chronic inflammation.
In fact, inflammation is almost always at the root of period and hormone issues, and in order to heal you need to address it directly.
In this article, we’re going to discuss how inflammation causes and amplifies your period pain and what the insidious causes of inflammation are. Then we’ll discuss how you can bring down and eliminate inflammation to drastically decrease your painful period symptoms. Sounds good? Let’s get to it!
Firstly, you need to know that hormones are chemical messengers that glands use to communicate so that the body functions optimally.
When inflammation is present, it disrupts your hormones through the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The body produces cytokines to fight infections. However, when inflammation comes from another source, cytokines cause problems. For example:
-disrupt the response of your ovarian follicles to FSH. This could impair ovulation and in doing so hinder progesterone production which causes painful cramping
-block your thyroid and progesterone communication. This general hormone disruption might cause heavy flow, irregular periods, and increased period pain
In addition to the general effect of cytokines, inflammation impacts your period directly. Inflammatory chemical compounds called prostaglandins are produced by your endometrial lining. When the endometrium breaks down, prostaglandins are released and help the muscles of the uterus contract to expel the endometrium. However, if your inflammatory response is heightened, too many prostaglandins are produced and you will experience more period pain.
So many women have found that when they reduce general inflammation in the body, their period pain decreases.
What promotes inflammation?
- Environmental toxins and endocrine disruptors
- Gut health issues
- Lack of exercise
- Inflammatory foods
This list basically equates to our modern lifestyle! Although you may not be a smoker or have any known gut issues, you may be under more stress than you realize (deadlines, anyone?). In addition, you may not be aware of how inflammatory your diet is. This is a blind spot for many people, so read on to learn how you could tweak your meals.
Heal your inflammation
Here’s how you can reduce inflammation through your diet
Reduce inflammatory foods. Certain foods trigger an immune response and increase the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. You want to be mindful of the amount of sugar, wheat, dairy, and corn you eat on a daily basis. Although you might not be eating many corn tortilla chips, sugar, wheat and dairy are everywhere. Try your best to avoid foods with these inflammatory ingredients.
In addition, processed vegetable oils like soy, vegetable, canola are also highly inflammatory. Unfortunately, most restaurants cook with these oils. When you’re at a business lunch or need to grab something quick, try to pick raw foods with no sauces, they’re less likely to contain the inflammatory ingredients. Tall order, we know! Simply being aware of your exposure to inflammatory foods will help you realize the likelihood of it playing a part in your period pain.
Alcohol is also inflammatory. It’s tough when you’re a wine-lover and you like a glass to unwind at the end of the day. However, try to limit yourself to 1 glass a week. It may be tough, but remind yourself that you’ll feel better when your period comes!
Ultimately, if you continue to eat inflammatory foods, natural remedies will not be an effective treatment for your cramps. No matter how good a supplement is, it won’t be strong enough to manage your body’s inflammatory response to your daily diet.
Increase anti-inflammatory foods. You might already avoid inflammatory foods, and that’s awesome! You aren’t causing your body undue stress with your diet, but still your supplements aren’t working. The thing is, you need to eat healing, anti-inflammatory foods to reduce inflammation that’s already present. This is the food-as-medicine approach.
To heal your body, include a wide range of colourful, antioxidant-rich fruits, veggies and herbs in your everyday meals. Some of our favourites are fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, schizandra berry, blueberry, dark leafy greens, and oranges. Include a wide range of these ingredients and you will start to feel a difference during your next cycle, with or without your supplements!
We have some recipes on our website that are designed to be anti-inflammatory. Click the links and see if any entice you! These are some of our absolute favorites.
When we rely on natural remedies and ignore our daily diet, it’s no wonder we don’t see an reduction in period pain. When you stop putting ‘garbage’ in (inflammatory foods) and heal the inflammation that already exists, you provide a foundation on which natural remedies can work for you.
Hopefully you can see how inflammation contributes to your period pain. However, if you suspect there are some other causes and you want clarity, book a Period Pain Audit Call with us.
During this complimentary phone call, you’ll discover
- How to get relief from your painful period so you can recover hours of your life
- A simple way to feel in control of your body without going back on the pill
- The secret sauce to completely healing your body naturally
- Plus a whole lot more…