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  • "woman" stuff

    Question for all you Primal ladiees out there (and Primal men, if you've got a lady in your life who has dealt with these issues):

    My period sucks. At its worst, it can result in me vomiting for 3-4 days every month. At its best, I take around the maximum recommended amount of Aleve for those same 3-4 days and just deal with nausea and bloating and pain shooting down my legs at random intervals.

    This is my first cylce wherein I've lived clean the whole time. I drank once, and that was just three glasses of wine one evening, weeks ago. Not very strong wine, either. Frankly, I'd been nursing a secret hope that the grains and sugars in my life were a direct cause of the pain and nausea. Evidently not.

    I have often said that if I could find whatever the problem is and stop it, I would be willing to engage in almost any lifestyle choice.
    So...suggestions? Anyone else had to deal with this?


  • #2
    What does your gyn think it is? From the info in your post the cause could be so many things (PCOS, endo, fibroids, etc.). I had fibroids that had symptoms that you describe and no dietary or lifestyle change was going to help that. Sorry I don't have any helpful suggestions to offer.


    • #3
      It took about three months for Primal to cure my awful periods. I was definitely disappointed not to see results quicker; but I had some significant hormonal disturbances going in. It might just be a waiting game for you as well. I don't think I've heard from anyone yet around here who hasn't seen huge improvements in period pain and illness after some time living primal.


      • #4
        Gyn historically has just said "oh, well". It's definitely not PCOS (my best friend has that and I'm very familiar with her symptoms).
        Of my 5 sisters and myself, 4 of us have this kind of pain. My mother does not. Given the genetic tilt, I think that's why the gyno just accepts it as a family problem.


        • #5
          Of my 5 sisters and I, 5 of us have thyroid issues and 5 of us have had our gallbladders out. If a doctor ignored/blew off symptoms just because other family members were so afflicted, said doctor would be fired.

          That being said, have you had your hormones checked--thyroid, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone? Other things to check include Vitamin D, ferritin, blood sugar (fasting & Hb1ac).


          • #6
            I second getting the thyroid checked, don't take their word for it if they say it is fine, ask for a copy of the values so you can research the results on your own. Make sure they do a complete thyroid panel, not just TSH, but free T4, free T3, ugh and one more I can't remember.

            This may sound weird, but if you use tampons, stop. They can make cramps worse and increase your flow. I started using a product called a Diva cup a few years ago and my cramps are just about non-existent now.

            My MDA journal

            Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

            And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!


            • #7
              Agree with NutMeg about stopping tampon use if you do use them. I always had more painful periods with tampon use. I think endometriosis sounds like a likely culprit. My mom had that and always had severely painful periods.


              • #8
                Are you sure you're eating enough fat?


                • #9
                  The tampon thing is worth a try because I've heard it from so many women, but it didn't make any difference in my pain (I like my Divacup though).

                  Endometriosis is tough. It's difficult to get a formal diagnosis (need to have a larascopy, often it's confirmed during abdominal surgery for other reasons), and there's really no treatment other than BC regimens, painkillers, or surgeries/endometrial oblation in severe cases. Hope it's not that, and you'll see some improvements long-term with a primal diet.


                  • #10
                    I don't use tampons (I've always hated them), and as for fat, yesterday I ate more than 100 grams of it. Admittedly, I've only tracked calories and fat for the last few days, but the lowest I've hit is 92g.
                    I like bacon.


                    • #11
                      Though not a woman, I have a little experience through a friend -

                      I would suggest giving it a little more time. Though many of the changes switching to primal are fast, some take much longer. It took her a full 4-5 months before she said things started to get better - it was a gradual month to month change to, not an immediate solution.
                      - If it was cute and cuddly at some point, eat it. Ignore everything else. -

                      - Food is first, and foremost, nothing more than fuel. -

                      - The body is animal. The mind, however, is not. -


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by doghead View Post
                        Though not a woman, I have a little experience through a friend -

                        I would suggest giving it a little more time. Though many of the changes switching to primal are fast, some take much longer. It took her a full 4-5 months before she said things started to get better - it was a gradual month to month change to, not an immediate solution.
                        +1, I used to have off cycles to, and it did take a while for things to level out.

                        My MDA journal

                        Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                        And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!


                        • #13
                          It's different for every woman.I get horrible pains in my legs a few days before.....often so bad that it hurts to even get up and walk.....

                          What helps me? 600mg of Motrin and force myself to keep moving.....if it gets so bad that it affects me being able to work,I'll resort to Pamprin or any other PMS stuff(this stuff had a very mild muscle relaxer in it)and that will make the pain more tolerable.....

                          I used to take Aleve,but the bad thing about it is it often will take 3-4 days before you notice any relief....Aleve is best used for longer term pain relief such as arthritis as it is only an anti inflammatory and contains no other pain relievers....Motrin is about the same but for me works faster.


                          • #14
                            I agree, it sounds a lot like endometriosis. If a few months of primal eating doesn't improve things, I suggest you might find yourself another gyn who would do a laparoscopy to take a look inside. It is easier to research options and make decisions and come to terms with your situation if you know what is actually causing it. Sounds like your quality of life is severely impaired during your period. At the very least you need a new doctor who has some interest in HELPING you. Primal living doesn't cure everything - sometimes it just seems like it if you read these boards!


                            • #15
                              Alot of good info, but some faulty 'CW' thrown in regaring plant oils:

                              Have you had a workup with your doc? Sounds like you might have endometriosis.

                              Primal will work for you but will require some vigilance. As written, the TPB is *produce dominated* in terms of volume. Be sure you're following that.

                              Vitamin D
                              Enough to bring your blood levels to 65 ng/mL. This means about 1000 IU per 25 lbs body weight per day for most people in the absence of significant sun exposure. see my linked D doc below for detailed info on optimal levels and testing options.

                              I take 6,000 IU D per day and will every day through the winter. I'm in Atlanta but this time of year, it's impossible to get *sufficient* D from sun. It's possible to get some, but not enough for it to be worth the UVA/sundamage hit. For me anyway.

                              Vitamin A
                              Get sufficient A to balance D. I disgree with both WAPF and Cannel (D council) on A, falling somewhere in the middle of both of their extreme positions. I've been messing with my D:A ratios for 7 years, currently doing a 6:1 D to A ratio. Meaning that I take take 1000 IU A per day (though every 10-30 days) for the 6000 IU D that I take per day (I weigh 150)

                              I take Now Vitamin A (10,000 IU) every 10 days or so....or 3 per month depending on when I remember it.

                              Neptune Krill Oil
                              will be more helpful than epo/borage/black current at triggering the 'right' prostaglandin production and bringing up progeterone levels:
                              Be sure to take the NKO continuously for a month (2 caps per day), then mess around with decreasing dose to find your 'minimal effective dose' (MED). My MED is was at one point, 2 caps per day from ovulation till day 1 or 2 of my next cycle.
                              Then I was eventually able to reduce it to 1 per day.
                              Now I take it only as symptoms occur.

                              Also, taking it in combo with advil will increase advil's pain relieving capability due to the phospholipids (skip long description of how ibuprofen works by binding with phospholipids - lol) This will also prevent gut damage associated with ibuprofen use.

                              Sufficient magnesium is critical. Consider supplementing orally and topically.
                              Dosing: most of us need at least 400 mg per day from all sources (food, supps). Some of us need more.

                              Oral: citrate or glycinate if tolerable, jigsaw's magnesium dimalate if nothing else is tolerable
                              Topical: magnesium chloride or epsom salt baths daily.
                              see my posts in this thread as well:
                              and here:

                              Bone Marrow
                              Consider adding bone marrow to your diet, especially premenstrually. I find it VERY difficult to stomach, but the lecithin/phopholipids could be very beneficial to prostaglandin production, hormone regulation, brain function etc.

                              Veggies - especially cruciferous
                              Shoot for each meal to be about 75% nonstarchy produce - for now - by volume. Be sure you're getting at least 2 servings cooked cruciferous veggies per day....this will balance your estrogen 2/16 ratio.

                              Proteolytic Enzymes
                              Regular digestive enzymes taken on an empty stomach will cross the gut wall and digest inflammatory proteins. It may be worth a try. Inflammatory processes are at the root of all pain. I am currently using Now Super Enzymes.


                              If you're eating dairy, consider quitting. With D sufficiency, we need much less calcium - probably 1/4 or so as much as we need otherwise. Remember that all dairy is a hormone delivery system for the young of that species. Yes, all dairy, organic or not, has hormones.

                              interesting read

                              Here is what I buy and were I buy it:
                              Last edited by cillakat; 09-11-2010, 08:46 AM.

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