Do you get really bad diarrhea a few days before and even the first few days of your period? I did this month and it was nasty! I had the pain of the period plus the cramps from the diarrhea to deal with all on the same day! I felt sore and tired and somewhat frightened by my bodies reaction. I couldn’t work out why. Initially I thought it might be something I ate. Maybe the nuts I ate yesterday were bad or maybe I had too much fruit the day before? I couldn’t figure it out and then I looked at what else was different about this months period…..
Thing is, there is a chemical which basically is responsible for the “moving out” of the excess blood in our body. It moves in rhythms within our uterus to help move out the blood. Like little waves which move over and over again. It unfortunately also works the digestive muscles, which inevitably causes diarrhea in the process.
These are called Prostaglandins and they live in the lining of the uterus as well as many other parts of the body. There are good Prostaglandins and bad ones. Naturally the ones we have are the bad ones. There are means of reducing these bad Prostaglandins the body produces and thereby reducing not just the pain from that uterus movement but also the diarrhea.
To keep it really simple. Here is what we should NOT eat to avoid “the runs”:
- Fried Foods
- Chicken and white meats (actually worse than meat in this scenario :()
Here is what you should include in your diet:
- Anything high in Vitamin B6 – Green plants and Spirulina
- Nuts and Seeds
- Omega 3 Sources – Chia Seeds
- Bromelain – found in the stem of pineapples which is said to reduce the inflammation dramatically. Anyone have a pineapple tree?
- Fish Oils
Now, the thing that is interesting about Prostaglandins is they live in individual cells and they are only active for a short amount of time. They are also not stored. What intrigues me about this concept is, should we almost pre-empt their development just before our period and elevate our intake of our Omega 3’s and Vitamin B6 etc. just before our period, so the body is well stocked to make the good prostaglandins?
I might try that next month. 3 Days before I am going to drink heaps of pure green juices and eat heaps more nuts and chia. Lets see what happens!
Do you get diarrhea with your period? What have you found works for you?
This Post Has 11 Comments
I would say it is a change in the Omega 6 to 3 ratio. Reduce the inflammation and acids in your diet. Reduce those prostaglandins from flaring up 🙂
I get diarrhea every month on my period two days out of my three day cycle this just started about two years ago right after i broke my six month vegetarian challenge …. Why did this start
Hi Nic and welcome. Thanks for sharing. I did go gluten free a few months after writing this article and it did do wonders! I no longer have diarrhea before my period at all. I have changed a number of things in my digestive area too 🙂
Just curious if your cramps come 1 to 4 hours after you eat? I know that is a large span of time but I only ask because I went through the same thing and after going on the pill I was able to recognize the difference in the cramping and continued searching for an answer to my pain for 3 more years with numerous painful tests at the doctor’s office all of which to no avail. Finally my parents suggested that I might be gluten intolerant after seeing a news story on the condition and since going gluten free I couldn’t feel better. I still get the runs the first few days of my period but not the intense pain that was similar to what you described in your post. Just a thought but maybe it would help you.
P.S. If you do decide to try going gluten free make sure to give it a week or two on a strict Gluten Free diet before deciding if that is your problem or not.
Hi Tani and thanks for your comment. I am glad it explained it to you a little as to why you are having the symptoms. It doesn’t sound like your body is agreeing to the Mirena Coil. I would probably either take it out completely or give it another 3months before you decide.
It can get complicated with these explanations from doctors 🙂
I found the best you can do is give your body the best nutrients and herbs you can and it will heal itself. Labelling it and trying to figure it out is not always going to really get to the cause of it all. The body is so complex and integrated! Doctors don’t always know how it all interconnects. Every action causes another reaction. I don’t agree with changing the hormonal balance in the body as I believe it is very delicate and shouldn’t really be messed with.
I actually just spoke to a guy about CFS and he went through 20years of suffering with it. He eventually went down the path of producing his own mineral supplements. Check out his website and maybe he can help you some more: http://www.abundant.co.nz
I love incense! It is great! I also use Geranium and Ylang Ylang!
Sorry melissa! I’m all over the place. Here is the link, as promised:
Hi Melissa, thanks for this.
It’s been a consolation to read, as I too am experiencing something similiar. I had the mirena coil fitted 3 months ago and in the last month I’ve been bleeding and in pain continously. So I’m not entirely sure when my period is and I’ve also been continously gassy and PMS has worsened too! Although I have had digestive problems in the past with my period, it has never been as bad as this month.
Before reading your aricle, my theory on why this was happening was: the oestrogen:progesterone ratio was particular great. For me, I thought taking a progestogen had re-activated my oestrogen receptors and I was experiencing the oestrogenic effects. Also, cortisol competes with progesterone receptors…. I’ve been pretty miserable this month and stressed about the effects of the coil.
I also have CFS and I attach Jan 2011 research about its link to endo. It’s interesting because on pp.26 it talks about low progesterone and how stress could effect gonadal steroid hormones. I’m certainly not a scientist and wish I could get a layperson’s explanation of this research. http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/jwh.2009.1900
I have bought some Nirvana incense, as I hear that this can having a calming effect!
I don’t get diarrhea but I do often feel bloated and get “gassy” either before or during my period, to the point where it can become quite uncomfortable not to mention embarrassing.
Yes, that is funny! At least you don’t have to do the mad rush to the toilet and everyone wondering where you have gone for 15minutes!
Hi Nic! No probs. It certainly made me feel better that the endo wasn’t growing on my bowels! Interesting that you still get pain even though the hormonal treatments are on are meant to reduce the hormonal fluctuations. Maybe try some of the suggestions and see if it helps 🙂
Hi ya! I get severe cramping pain that causes diarrhea, they are different from period cramps and when I get them I have to go to the toilet straight away- difficult if I am out somewhere. The pain is so severe I sweat, feel nauseous and I can several bouts of diarrhea in a short space of time and is not always linked to my period (which I don’t get as such anymore due to the Mirena and pill, but still get the symptoms minus the bleeding). I am led to believe the bowel symptoms are quite common with endo due to growths/endo possibly forming on the bowel, but your explanation gives me more insight!! Thanks for that!! : )