Why You Feel Pain During Menstruation

March 21, 2019

Many women feel pain during menstruation, but gynecologists usually offer no solution other than taking anti-inflammatory or birth control pills. We will explain what can cause pain or cramps and how to treat them with food and some natural supplements.

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Why You Feel Pain During Menstruation

Excess of Estrogen

The main reason why women suffer from menstrual pain is an excess of estrogen in the blood. Estrogen is an essential hormone for health because it influences your intellectual capacity, bone development, circulation, etc.

However, it can be a problem if you have too much estrogen because, in that case, it will be the cause of various imbalances such as pain during menstruation.

Woman holding a heating pad to her lower abdomen pain during menstruation

Why Are You Producing Too Much Estrogen?

Below are the possible causes of an increase in estrogen levels in both men and women:

  • Harmful food or food you don’t digest properly because of food intolerances
  • Stress
  • Tobacco and alcohol
  • Environmental pollution
  • Food additives and toxic substances in the products you use every day (soaps, shampoos, makeup, etc.)
  • Birth control pills
Black and white photo woman smoking cigarette pain during menstruation

Additional Risks of Excess Estrogen

Menstrual pain is not the only consequence of high levels of estrogen. It can also lead to other health problems, which will also help you find out if this is your problem:

  • Irregular periods
  • Headaches
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Indigestion
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Fatigue

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How to Reduce Pain During Menstruation

Foods that May Alter Your Hormone Levels

In order to treat this hormonal imbalance, you should avoid or limit the following foods as much as possible in your diet:

  • Sugar and sugary drinks: Sugar does not give you any benefits. Additionally, white sugar is very harmful because it takes away minerals and increases your body’s acidity. You should completely eliminate it and substitute it with stevia, bee honey, or fruit and grain molasses.
  • Wheat: The wheat we eat today is very adulterated and many people do not digest or assimilate it well, without even knowing it. Try to substitute it with oats, buckwheat, or rye, and always choose whole grains.
  • Cow’s milk: People with high levels of estrogen tend to suffer from some kind of lactose intolerance, but they don’t know it. We recommend choosing milk alternatives such as oat, almond, or rice milk. Soy milk is not healthy, because in addition to being transgenic, most of the time it is also rich in estrogen.
  • Too much red meat. You should eat it once every fifteen days, at the most, with a salad or vegetable.
  • Stimulants like coffee, alcohol, and cola drinks. Highly not recommended.
Cup of oats and glass of milk pain during menstruation due to poor diet

Beneficial Supplements for Pain During Menstruation

In addition to avoiding those harmful foods, which will make you feel much better, in general, we also recommend taking these three supplements every day to help you eliminate excess estrogen and regulate your hormonal system.

1. Linseed oil

Linseed oil is oil that is first cold pressed from linseed is rich in essential fatty acids and will help regulate your hormone levels when you have too much estrogen. It is also a good remedy if you have dry skin.

Take a tablespoon a day (15 grams), alone or mixed with food. If you want to avoid the flavor, you can take it as a capsule.

2. Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus)

This medicinal plant allows you to treat all kind of menstrual irregularities and can even cause ovulation in women that don’t have a period for unknown reasons. Take 200 mg of the extract a day for at least 3 to 4 months, because its effectiveness is progressive.

3. Maca

This Andean root is known as a superfood and is a hormone regulator for many reasons because it acts on the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. It provides a lot of energy, which will work great if you are going through a stressful period. Take between 3 and 6 grams a day.

You can take it in the form of a capsule or mix it with a little bit of water, juice, or yogurt. In some cases, it can cause a little bit of nervousness. If this is the case, you should reduce the dose and only take the two remedies above.

Images courtesy of Tonino Donato, Esther Simpson, and Food Loves Writing.

  • Hellström, B., & Lundberg, U. (2000). Pain perception to the cold pressor test during the menstrual cycle in relation to estrogen levels and a comparison with men. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science35(2), 132-141.
  • Craft, R. M. (2007). Modulation of pain by estrogens. Pain132, S3-S12.