Menstrual Cramps and Diarrhea: Why Do Women Have Them?

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Menstrual Cramps and Diarrhea

The human body is a temple that has been organized to perfection and the truth is that all the systems in it function in perfect harmony with one another.

Heart issues can be related to digestive issues, neurological issues can be related to almost anything in the body and even the reproductive system can be connected with most of the other systems in the body.

In one way or another, we are all perfect machineries engineered with great attention to detail.

Menstruation may not be the most pleasant thing out there (or at least it is not so for most of the ladies), but it is a good sign of health.

Lack of menstruation can only mean two things: you are pregnant or your reproductive system doesn’t function well.

Therefore, with its ups and its downs, the female reproductive system is perfectly built, just like all the other anatomical systems in our body.

Menstruation Explained

Every month, healthy women menstruate. This usually starts in the early and mid-teens and it stops in the late 40s and early 50s, when women become unable to bear children anymore.

Understanding precisely how menstruation “functions” is one of the best ways in which you can understand why the nastier symptoms related to it appear as well, so before you even try to alleviate symptoms, try to understand them better.

Basically, what happens during a woman’s “period” is the releasing of the uterus lining that has formed when her body was ovulating.

When the ovules are released by the ovaries (in most of the cases, somewhere around the mid-point between the first day of the menstruation and the first day of the next menstruation), the uterus starts building a blood lining on its walls.

When the ovules are not fecundated (they don’t “meet” with any spermatozoid), they are released further out of the uterus together with the lining that had just formed – this is your menstruation.

Menstrual Cramps and Why Do They Appear?

Menstrual cramps are probably among the most commonly encountered pre-menstrual symptoms out there. Most of the women do not experience severe pain, but those who do it also know how painful it can be.

In some cases, the pain appears 1-2 days before the period, while in other cases it develops in the first days of the menstruation itself.

In either case, it is completely normal (as long as it doesn’t last more than 3 days in a row and if it is not associated with many other severe symptoms – including fever).

Menstrual cramps appear simply because your uterus needs to contract in order to release the blood lining it has been building around its walls.

When that happens, you may feel cramps in your lower abdomen and/or in your lower back. Some women also experience pain in the hips and in the leg area as well.

Diarrhea: How Is It Connected to Menstruation?

Aside from menstrual cramps, women also experience a series of other symptoms when they menstruate.

Among them, the most commonly encountered ones are bloating, tenderness of the breasts, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, fatigue and headaches as well.

Diarrhea is also a symptom that occurs quite frequently with women on their period.

It may seem odd that your digestive system is so strongly connected to the reproductive system, but the truth is that, as mentioned before, the human body is a true masterpiece of engineering where everything is inter-connected.

With diarrhea, things are a bit more difficult to understand than with cramps. Of course, in the case of cramps there would many more things to say (such as the fact that everything there is triggered by hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle at its every phase).

Basically, what happens is that the levels of progesterone in your body increase once the ovule has been released and it starts to decrease after that, until it triggers menstruation.

The lack of balance in the progesterone levels in your body will be the ones causing digestive issues as well. Bloating, constipation and gas are among these symptoms.

On top of that, when the menstruation is triggered, the body will start releasing chemicals called prostaglandins, which are the ones responsible with making the blood lining on your uterus shed off.

Although it is not clearly understood why women may develop diarrhea during their periods, research has shown that women with higher levels of these prostaglandins are more likely to have diarrhea among their normal premenstrual and menstrual symptoms.

Cramps and diarrhea are thus very closely connected and if you get them, you should not worry. Medication can help a lot and there are plenty of over the counter pills you can purchase to alleviate both of these symptoms.

Taking care of what you eat can also play a very important role in everything. Avoid eating foods that are salty and high in cholesterol before your menstruation date (and during the actual menstruation as well).

You may feel strong cravings for them, but they are really only making things worse. Furthermore, sugary products, dairy products, spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol are not god for your symptoms either, so do try to avoid them as much as possible.

Instead, eat foods high in fibers, foods that provide you with plenty of vitamins and nutrients (especially vitamin E and omega-3) and, if you feel like you lack these things in your body, talk to your physician and he/she will be able to recommend you with supplements.

Also, do bear in mind that exercising regularly can help with cramps and with the other symptoms as well, because exercising makes the blood flow better and because it gives you a general good mood.

You can stretch a bit even if you are menstruating and this is believed to help, as exercising helps your body release hormones that are responsible with the feeling of happiness and wellbeing.

Other than that, make sure that you contact the doctor if you normally use tampons and have diarrhea, fever, severe cramps and other severe symptoms because these may be signs of a toxic shock syndrome, which can be extremely dangerous and it can even be fatal.

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