Merry Crampsmus - Your period, the gift that keeps on giving!

Heated blanket, hot pad, Advil and all the chocolate fudge. But it’s not the Holidays anymore! Forget Christmas, Crampsmus is the new wave. Most of your female friends celebrate once a month so be sure to respect their observance. Instead of sounding joy, jolts of pain shoot up - the cramps are after me with a vengeance. My periods are normally terrible BUT WHY is it THIS bad?!

My pain was so bad, I considered going to the ER to see if my IUD was positioned correctly. But after some quick searches from the ‘ol Google, I found the culprit. The Holidays.

Many who suffer Endometriosis symptoms go on special diets to help ease inflammation. This is easily derailed when you start shoveling pie, cookies, carbs and other inflammatory foods into your face. Combine that with hectic traveling, lack of sleep, family stress and last minute work deadlines. WAM BAM THANK YOU MA’M! Full blown agony. My body has been completely out of wack due to a depletion of micronutrients causing hormonal imbalance.

Here’s what I’m doing to get my body and hormones in check!

DETOX

I hate this word. I hate everything about detoxing and cleansing. But this isn’t geared toward weight loss, although it might help. These detoxes are specifically targeted to get your hormones back in balance. I don’t believe one plan fits all and is certainly something you need to work through with your own body and doctor. The top things that collectively need to go from my reading? Sugar, alcohol and grains.

There are some plans that are four short days, such as the one from Flo Living or plans as long as 21 days from Mind Body Green. According to Aviva Romm MD, we should be cutting out dairy, gluten, corn and sugar. I suggest also looking into a low FODMAP diet. There are multiple IBS symptoms Endo patients deal with or have full-blown IBS and may greatly benefit from this.

Unfortunately, caffeinated coffee is another item on the list that has come up frequently in my research. While I am completely addicted to coffee - it may be time to start cutting down on my morning vice.

I have more links below for resources - I used a good amount for this blog! We can learn together!

SUPPLEMENTS

It is important to give your body an assist! During your period, you need lots of Calcium, Vitamin D, Iron and more to give yourself a little extra help. I also take Probiotics, Magnesium Citrate to help with my sleep and cramping. On top of these supplements, I also take Oregano pills, Harmony D-Mannose capsules, Cranberry pills, Biotin and Fish Oil.

While they aren’t necessarily “supplements,” I also use CBD and THC during my period, but have actually noticed less is more. If I smoke too much THC, my pain is exacerbated! Make sure to slowly test your body and limits if pursuing this route.

While this sounds like a lot, there are drastic improvements for myself when I take supplements consistently through my period. I use this website to find out which are the best ones for me! While it’s not the most user-friendly interface, it is extremely informative. It has guided me to brands and supplements that are most effective and trustworthy. I have an entire blog coming out at the end of this month on UTI’s and supplements for a more in-depth dive into what I use and why. I will make sure to link once it’s live!

HYDRATE

Drink water - tons of it! I try to drink between 80 to 90 fl oz of water a day. When I am dehydrated, I absolutely notice my overall period experience getting worse. Drinking more water flushes out your system, reduces bloating, eases constipation and keeps your skin hydrated to help with the inevitable breakout.

SAY OHM

While exercise in general is amazing, Yoga and walks are what work best for me. Yoga specifically is the best exercise for those with cramps and achy period pains. Find a class that is healing and focuses on your pelvic region. I typically aim for a class with more floor work. Stretching out those muscles isn’t always easy and taking a class is a great way to decompress and loosen the tightness in your body.

If you’re on a budget or time crunch, you can find videos for free on YouTube and practice at home! I am still compiling a list of good ones, but please feel free to share your own in the comments.

GET SOME SUN

Gimme that D! Vitamin D, of course, you dirty bastards. Even if it’s freezing, make time to get outdoors and take a walk or, god forbid, shovel snow. Winter months keep us trapped inside and ultimately leads to less sunlight and less movement which can affect your flow.

Elizabeth Whiting