Just a quick update. When I started this thread I was curious to know why I did not have any cramps during my period after dealing with a cold. I suspected it was either due to the tylenol or the antihistamines I had been taking. Since having the cold, I've been having a slew of allergic reactions to foods that I eat every day...I am having asthmatic reactions and sometimes stomach cramps to chocolate, soy sauce, vinegars, tea, spices (especially turmeric and pepper), kombucha, lemon, lime, tomato sauce, ham, cheese...and the list goes on. Seems like everything except potatoes, butter and milk. Also, unfortunately, most of these foods I have increased since being diagnosed with IBS and beginning my journey to go gluten free and eat more paleo/primal. I believe I have histamine intolerance and am now working with my naturopath to work it out. In the meantime, I wanted to share something I found regarding histamines and period cramps.
Symptoms affecting muscles
Histamine affects smooth muscle, which acts autonomously, histamine is the main controlling agent for contractions within this type of muscle. Smooth muscle can be found in the uterus, bladder, lungs, blood vessels and gastrointestinal tract.
dysmenorrhea (menstruation pain) – The uterus consists of smooth muscle, and a heightened amount of histamine can cause more severe menstruation cramps in women. Histamine also tampers with hormonal levels like progesterone and oestrogen, which in turn can also influence histamine levels.
So, along with having lifelong exercise induced asthma, eczema, dysmenorrhea and then being diagnosed with IBS last year (a common misdiagnosis for histamine intolerance sufferers) I believe I've solved the mystery, at least in my case. I may have always had a low threshold for histamines and with my new eating habits it got out of control. The solution, unfortunately, is a restricted diet that needs to be supervised by a professional, mainly fresh meats and bland root veggies with none of the extra goodies I seem to have overdone, like fermented stuff, nuts, cheese, good oils, spices, a variety of veggies, chocolate...and I'm pretty sure no coconut either. The other solution, no surprise, is antihistamines!
I still have to get this verified but the other symptoms of histamine intolerance run rampant through my family, all of whom have no diagnosis or who are IMO being misdiagnosed. Sinusitis, eczema, asthma, IBS, muscle and joint pain, fibromyalgia, heart palpitations, panic attacks and of course period cramps. Here's a link, hoping it will help some of you:
Hitting on HIT
Update: Genny Masterman, in her book What HIT me? Living with Histamine Intolerance says:She goes on to say that some women can reduce their symptoms by cutting back on the histamine amount in their foods during the week leading up to and during her period.Once the lining of the uterus starts breaking down, as it does at the start of every period, the body naturally releases histamine...HIT sufferers run the risk of histamine overload...One result of this can be really severe cramps...
Last edited by Goldstar; 03-25-2012 at 10:12 PM.
How interesting! I have both bad PMS and ovulation pains, very annoying. I will try the Mg, my cousin is a Gyno and has actually been touting Mg forever to his patients.
Ok, here is another thing. Tampons can cause cramps for me, so I got a Diva cup. I have had it for two cycles but it is FANTASTIC. Really, tampons and pads feel like the middle ages once you get to using one of those, and the best: doesn't cause me cramps! (Other advantages are that finally, no more icky and never-decomposing trash, no more bulky storage problems in your suitcase, purse, or tiny bathroom, no more dried up cottony feeling, no more strings to keep out of the way...you know...no more bulky pads at night...on the downside, you can't be squeamish!) sorry, I just have to advertise this as my part of saving our planet. It's all true though.
I'm 41 and have few period symptoms at all.
It's 4:16 am, and I'm online now because of cramping so severe that it woke me and I can't get back to sleep. As I'm waiting for the Advil to kick in, I've been reading this thread. Interesting stuff. I'll start taking magnesium and evening primrose daily, at night. I'm very curious about upping my iodine, so later today I'll pick up some nori and seaweed and maybe some kelp pills.
I'm very unhappy that the cramping is so bad. Because I'm doing Whole 30 right now, I thought there might be a good chance that the cramps would be much more tolerable; during a stint with veganism, my cramps had all but disappeared.
Is Telfast a likely cause of liver issues? I take it daily for psoriasis - and I still have bad cramps I note. I never knew this about antihistamines, the product guides don't say much. I thought if anything, and given what Mark says about inflammation, it would be helpful to dampen inflammatory responses. I am overweight, so I would should stop if this is an issue. How does it contribute to obesity.