Why Menstrual Symptoms are More Severe in Some Women
Why Menstrual Symptoms are More Severe in Some Women As a man writing this, it's tough to understand the extent that which millions around the world suffer
As a man writing this, it's tough to understand the extent that millions around the world suffer each month. As someone that's studied natural health and medicine, the reactions of the human body are interesting to understand. This is one of the phenomena of the body that causes such powerful responses each month and warrants understanding. Currently, the market is somewhat barren when it comes to solutions for period pains. It's an area of medicine that hasn't developed much in several decades. It's somewhat surprising considering how many millions of women suffer every month.
The way many women describe the pain during their menstrual cycle is shocking at times. Comparing it to stabbing, shooting pains, being unable to function, crying, contemplating visiting the ER, and even causing suicidal thoughts. This is something that men cannot imagine going through every month. While men have their own set of gender-specific pressures, menstrual pains can only be understood if experienced. Even bad cramping and stomach aches don't compare to the malaise and multiple symptoms that hit simultaneously during one's cycle.
However, there is a wide range of symptoms that each woman experiences. For some, it is fairly benign and nothing overwhelming or disruptive. Most women experience some degree of discomfort, but the difference from one to another can be quite dramatic. Several key factors play a role in the severity of menstrual symptoms you experience each month.
Inflammation & Prostaglandins
We've been hearing a lot about inflammation these days. Research has found that many health disorders are rooted in a type of systemic and chronic cycle of inflammation. Short-term, acute inflammation is natural and not a problem, but when it turns chronic, it can wreak havoc on the body. Such is the case with period pains. Some compounds cause a higher level of inflammation and make the body more prone to making higher levels of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are a class of lipid-based molecules with hormone-like effects in the body.
There are many different types of these lipid-based molecules, each carrying out multiple tasks in the body. It's very important to have a healthy production of these molecules. However, when two specific types of prostaglandins (PGF2 & PGE2) are circulating in high amounts, it will cause a greater amount of pain. These compounds cause the uterine walls to contract and make it feel like someone is squeezing your insides. Conversely, when a different prostaglandin (PGE1) is lower, it will cause greater pain. Women who experience very mild cramps during their cycle will usually have lower levels of PGF & PGE2, and higher levels of PGE1. (1)
Hormonal balance is so important to understand, yet still overlooked at times by standard medicine. While there are a plethora of ways to find out if you have an imbalance, the treatment options are few and far between. However, natural alternatives do exist. The main hormone-based issue related to period pains stems from an imbalance in estrogen and progesterone. In women that suffer the worst period pains and symptoms, there are often high levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone. The body produces several types of estrogen, each varying in function and strength. An imbalance in hormonal profiles heavily influences inflammation. When estrogen levels are high and progesterone low, the body tends to produce more prostaglandins.
Toxicity & Nutrient Deficiencies
These two categories play some type of role in just about every health condition in existence. At the core of every major and minor condition is either a deficiency or toxicity. The majority of the time, both are present. However, this is a good thing because it can be identified and corrected over time. Correcting these issues isn't a passive process though and takes time. Toxicities and nutrient deficiencies contribute to both categories listed above and affect every level of physiology and functioning.
How to Improve These Underlying Issues
Correct Important Deficiencies
When it comes to deficiencies, studies show some common ones in the majority of women that suffer harsh period pains. Some of the main deficiencies include zinc, magnesium, calcium, manganese, vitamin B1 (thiamine), and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). While not all women will test low in each of these, research often points to low levels in several of these. One study showed that supplementing with zinc may help to lower prostaglandin metabolism. (2) However, zinc supplements don't always benefit those suffering from dysmenorrhea.
Magnesium is an important mineral when it comes to fighting period cramps. The effects act almost as a muscle relaxer throughout the body. It is important to note that not all forms of magnesium are created equal and some are absorbed very poorly. Some women tend to feel more benefit than others when supplementing with magnesium. Perhaps that is due to the differences in why painful symptoms are occurring in the first place. Different causes equal different solutions, such is the case with nearly every condition. This is why we created our formula for menstrual pains to cater to different symptoms without having to swallow many pills each day.
One interesting study found that a fatty acid called GLA, or gamma-linolenic acid, is lower in women who experience severe symptoms. Interestingly enough, GLA is a precursor to a certain prostaglandin called PGE1. However, this one helps with pain relief and offsets some of the PGE2 issues. Many women feel some degree of improvement when supplementing with a source of GLA such as borage, evening primrose, or black currant oil. For others, however, it can be another dud. One downside to supplementing with these individual nutrients is that they take time to build up in the body. Results will not be overnight or may not occur at all. Although many women have seen results with these nutrients, some have faithfully gulped them down with zeal only to be disappointed time and time again.
Detoxify Regularly & Watch Your Diet
It's important to analyze your daily routine to identify sources of toxicity. Being around too many electronic frequencies, consuming too inflammatory foods and coffee, and changing the types of oils used in cooking. A big culprit in high levels of inflammation is using oils that are high in omega-6 and 9, but low in 3. It's incredibly important that the ratio of fatty acids in the body are intact. Ideally, we should be having around a 1:3-1:4 ratio of omega 3's to 6's, but it's closer to 1:20 in many people. Most vegetable oils are extremely inflammatory and contribute to a plethora of health disorders.
When the majority of cooking oils are heated on medium or high heat and consumed each day, it contributes to inflammation. It also affects the cell membrane over time, which plays a role in many diseases. Incorporating omega-3 & 7-rich foods such as walnuts, macadamia nuts, sardines, salmon, mackerel, herring, and more will help to improve this. To detoxify the body regularly, infrared saunas and detox baths are extremely valuable. They can go beyond what many supplements can because they utilize the skin, which is key in taking the burden off of the liver and immune system. These therapies can activate the lymphatic system and pull toxins.
Plain baths will not do this, but specific ingredients such as zeolite clay, magnesium flakes, Epsom salts, essential oils of grapefruit, and cypress (to stimulate the lymphatic system), vitamin C (to neutralize chlorine in water), and more. Investing in a good shower filter will be highly beneficial, as modern city water is very impure and a major source of toxins. When we shower, our pores are open, steam is inhaled, and we absorb many different toxins from the water. However, this may not remedy period cramps and pains, although some find relief. Calcium-D-glucarate with a source of progesterone can be helpful in cases of high estrogen and low progesterone.
The only problem is that all of these supplements mentioned above need to be taken regularly. While it's important to correct imbalances, some supplements require ongoing ingestion. This is one of the reasons why we have created our product. It combines over a dozen ingredients that help to combat many types of menstrual symptoms such as cramps, heavy bleeding, anxiety, mood swings, constipation, bloating, and much more.
The main focus is on cramps because they tend to be the most severe and difficult symptom, but also focus on a wide range of symptoms. It is meant to be different than what's on the market. It is made from extremely high-quality ingredients and is the first product to utilize both topical and internal routes. This is done to maximize the number of healing nutrients that the body can use to combat symptoms. We designed Calm Cycle to be very convenient and easy to take, without the need for preparation or boiling teas all day. Furthermore, it only needs to be taken for around 5-6 days per month.