As you’ve probably noticed, period pains aren’t created equal. Some are visited by Aunt Flo, with little to no struggle at all, while others cannot even get up from bed and call in sick to work. While worse period pains often come from bad lifestyle habits (like lack of exercise or proper stress management), it can also be due to underlying conditions. Like the common culprit: chronic fatigue syndrome.
Sick and Tired from Cramps
Women who suffer from chronic fatigue are more likely to experience dysmenorrhea. The exact link isn’t known yet, but some believe that these two problems come from a group of related illnesses called central sensitivity syndromes (CSS). As all the conditions that fall under this category have the same underlying mechanism, someone who has one problem becomes more vulnerable to the others. If you have the CFS, you’re more at risk for period pains.
The hallmark feature of CSS, as its name suggests, is the central nervous system being too sensitized to certain stimuli that it mistakes some as damaging, thus resulting in unpleasant reactions in the body. To put it simply, your CFS amplifies your pain response to periods. That’s why you get the most intense cramps, the worst of migraines, and unbearable muscle and fatigue pains. You’re in severe fatigue.
The tricky thing about CFS and dysmenorrhea is that if you don’t know you have the former, you would think of your period pains as just ordinary lady struggles at that time of the month. There’s a tendency then to seek out medications for the cramps only, not addressing the much bigger problem.
Mind you, it’s difficult to know for sure, just by the symptoms, if one has chronic fatigue. That’s precisely because it looks like other health conditions, like depression and viral infections. If you’ve been suffering wildly severe period pains for months now, you should have it checked out by your doctor. Get chronic fatigue treatment. Albuquerque-based functional medicine practitioners highly recommend a holistic approach to CFS to find better relief.
The Remedy for Menstrual Pain
As you seek medical treatment for CFS, try simple home remedies to reduce menstrual cramps. Heat therapy can help. Apply a heating pad on your abdomen or lower back, or take a hot shower or bath. Do this for at least 15 minutes.
Exercises can also ease symptoms. In addition, it relieves stress — a factor that contributes to worse pains and cramps. Yes, it’s not the easiest thing for CFS patients to go to the gym and lift some weights, given that the daily grind of life already wears them out. But, you don’t have to go full-on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) mode to experience the benefits of exercise.
Work out at your own pace, at your unique ability. If all you can do is to sit in a chair for a while, then just do some arm and leg stretches while in place. Just keep moving. Before you get into a new fitness routine though, ask your doctor which exercises are right for your condition.
Could an underlying condition, like CFS, be the reason you’re writhing in pain whenever Aunt Flo visits? Know for sure and have it treated immediately. Visit your doctor today.