Premenstrual syndrome with all its manifestations and painful periods in particular affect a large number of women. Depending on the case, they turn out to be very unpleasant, even downright disabling…
What is it about ?
In general, painful periods are of two types: either they are associated with a premenstrual syndrome, or they are due to endometriosis.
The premenstrual syndrome is characterized by the fact that all the symptoms disappear or frankly attenuate as soon as the rules are installed. The sensations of lumbar pain, irritability, fatigue can begin from the second part of the cycle, sometimes 15 days before the period. It can also be accompanied by a sensation of edema (difficulty supporting a belt, rings, etc.) and of course pain on the first day of menstruation. Everything improves with the arrival of these.
Endometriosis, on the other hand, causes very sharp pains which can last all the time of the rules and which will worsen little by little, cycle after cycle. Sometimes the pain becomes almost permanent. They are not relieved by conventional painkillers, which quickly become insufficient. It requires long-term care, but natural therapies can provide real comfort and have a gentle regulating action. Self-medication is then difficult: it is better to turn to a qualified therapist, because it is a complex pathology.
On the other hand, the pain of premenstrual syndrome can be relieved by a few natural solutions. Again, if they persist, more in-depth support will be necessary.
Why do some women suffer from painful periods?
It’s a question of quite subtle hormonal balance….
It was Dr. John R. Lee who first symbolized PMS as “estrogen dominance”. To put it simply, estrogen and progesterone are two hormones whose proportions vary according to the period of the cycle.
Since estrogens are more potent hormones than progesterone, their effects dominate as soon as progesterone secretion decreases or estrogen increases. Sometimes the levels are normal but there is estrogen receptor hypersensitivity.
Many factors can upset this balance:
The increase in environmental pollution (pesticides, various pollutants) causes excessive exposure to estrogens. Indeed these molecules are said estrogen like : they are recognized as such by the body they trick, and then behave as real estrogen would, by binding to the same receptors. Neuroendocrine disruptors, in particular bisphenols, present in rigid plastic materials are also suspected of disturbing the hormonal balance.
It is also known that excess dairy products promote excess production of estrogen.
Deficiencies in magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6… would also be involved.
Stress is a certain aggravating factor: daily stress, regular and insidious, can also create a hormonal imbalance favorable to painful periods. For example, in the event of prolonged stress, the adrenal glands can actually use progesterone to convert it into cortisol, further accentuating the hormonal imbalance. So painful periods can be a signal that it’s time to take a breather and take some time to relax and rest…
Inappropriate use of plants acting on the hormonal level:
Some plants have an estrogen-like action: this is the case with sage, angelica, fennel, bilberry, cypress, cimicifuga, red clover, etc. And soy, in the form of isoflavones or in food form which provides significant levels of phytoestrogens.
These plants are not harmless on the hormonal balance: they are to be avoided in continuous intake and especially in the second part of the cycle (from the 15th day for example for a woman whose cycle is 28 days. Taking these plants is rather to be left to the appreciation of a professional, who will accompany them in principle with a plant with a progesterone like action (yarrow, yam, chaste tree…) to best respect the natural cycle….
So what to do?
First, drastically reduce your coffee consumption if you are an assiduous consumer; caffeine is an aggravating factor. If a cup of coffee in the morning is possible, be careful not to multiply the doses during the day… You can also avoid consuming it on risky days. Beware of diet products, often full of caffeine, energy drinks, etc.
The consumption of dairy products should also be curbed. Choose them of biological origin when you consume them: the cow (or goat, or sheep) releases hormones into the milk that it has itself consumed…
Soy, in all its forms, provides high phytoestrogen levels; according to some it could inhibit the natural secretion of estrogens, but in practice, its phytoestrogens seem rather to be added to the hormones naturally produced by the woman. It should be removed from the daily diet for women suffering from hormonal imbalances, premenstrual syndrome and/or endometriosis.
Natural ways to relieve period pain
Add a few oilseeds daily (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.) and dark chocolate which will provide magnesium, which is often lacking in the event of painful periods. Oilseeds will also provide the precursor of omega 3, natural anti-inflammatories…
If the rules, painful or not, are systematically accompanied by headaches, it may be necessary to think about treating the liver… Besides, it is he who manages the elimination of excess hormones! And did you know that linden sapwood, traditionally used to gently drain the liver and kidneys, contains a particular polyphenol, triphenol. It was copied to obtain a synthetic molecule: phlorogucinol, well known by women suffering from painful periods since it is spasfon…
Vegetable oil and essential oil to soothe
If there is a plant that can be used without risk and by all, it is evening primrose or more precisely its oil. Evening primrose oil capsules, to be chosen organic, can be taken from the middle of the cycle until menstruation, or even throughout the cycle for more severe cases. Its regulating and anti-inflammatory properties make it an ally of choice.
Another plant to keep on hand: Basil essential oil. 3 drops diluted in a teaspoon of vegetable oil, massage into the lower abdomen to take advantage of its immediate relaxing action.
If these tips are insufficient to find a serene cycle, do not hesitate to entrust your hormonal balance to plants by going to see a professional: they have all the necessary power and subtlety….