Food Sensitivities and Period Pain: How they are related
It’s no shock that I’ve chosen to do my feature interest article on a women’s health topic. When I work with women within my practice, I assess holistically and commonly identify gastrointestinal disharmony as a contributing factor to their case. To many, eating and menstruating seem like two extremely unrelated events. However, what you consume over the course of the month can actually worsen symptoms around your period.
In a nutshell (food sensitivity pun not intended), food sensitivities occur as delayed immune reactions to the food that we eat. This means you can have symptoms arise hours to days after you’ve consumed a food that you are sensitive too. Symptoms of a food sensitivity reaction range further than the typical list of digestive complaints and include things like skin rashes, headaches, and pain aggravation. Over time, if you are consistently eating foods your body disagrees with, the immune system can’t keep up to protect and remove these foreign bodies causing deposits and overall inflammation in the tissue. Inflammation added to an already inflammatory condition is bad news bears.
Although the origin of a period cramp may feel like a tiny man stomping on your uterus, it is not. When the lining of your uterus begins to break down, it releases a chemical called prostaglandin to help further contract the uterus. It is found that women who have painful periods have a higher level of prostaglandins in the blood. One of the primary treatments for menstrual cramps are the use of anti-inflammatories prior to your period to control the release of excess prostaglandins. Thereby, reducing inflammation and pain.
The Natural Way
Another way of reducing baseline inflammation is removing the foods that you are sensitive too from your diet. By doing so, when prostaglandins are released as part of a normal period, the reaction is minimized and as a result so is your pain. This concept can also be applied to any condition involving inflammatory states. It is so important to identify underlying food sensitivities because it may be a huge obstacle to achieving your health goals. Many Naturopathic Doctors use either elimination diets or IGG Food Sensitivity testing to help you identify the foods you are sensitive too.
If you are interested in identifying the food sensitivities that may be holding you back from your health goals or looking to manage your period cramps naturally, Naturopathic Doctors can help! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your free 15 min consult.