5 ways to make your period pain free
Discover the period flu: flu-like symptoms that can accompany your menstrual cycle.
Get the 411 on the period flu
We all know the feeling. You're eagerly awaiting your period to arrive, but instead of the usual cramps and mood swings, you're hit with a wave of flu-like symptoms. It's a frustrating and all-too-common occurrence. What’s to blame? The period flu.
What is the period flu?
It describes a range of symptoms leading up to (or during) a woman’s menstrual cycle. Think: fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, and nausea. Some women also notice cramps, bloating, and mood changes during this time. Not exactly ~good vibes~ for menstruators.
If you experience the period flu—otherwise known as the menstrual flu—it can be totally disruptive to your daily routine. Luckily, it can be prevented! Or in the very least, minimized. Today, we’re exploring its root causes and practical tips for stopping it in the first place. Grab your heating pad, and let's get started.
Period flu: root causes
If you’re no stranger to the period flu, welcome to the club. Ultimately, understanding what causes it—and knowing how to minimize discomfort—can help gain control of your menstrual cycle.
Truth be told, the exact cause of the period flu is not entirely understood. However, it’s believed to be related to hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle. Specifically, a drop in estrogen and progesterone right before your period starts. When this happens, it can cause inflammation and immune system changes. Hello, period flu.
How hormones influence period flu
To dive a little deeper, several sex hormones are thought to contribute to period flu symptoms, thanks to the way they interact with certain neurotransmitters in the brain. According to a 2022 scientific review, data suggests that estrogen and serotonin fluctuations may cause symptoms of fatigue. In turn, making you feel like you have the flu.
Additionally, prostaglandins are to blame. These hormone-like compounds up-regulate inflammation in the body. When you’re trying to give birth or shed your uterine lining during your period, they’re helpful! Prostaglandins are also responsible for that uptick in bowel movements during your period. However, the more inflammation in the body, the more prostaglandins are present. In the case of prostaglandins and your period, less is more.
Furthermore, keep in mind that underlying health conditions or lifestyle factors (stress, poor diet, etc.) can also contribute to flu-like symptoms.
Why fasting is different for women
We were so excited to have Dr. Mindy Pelz on Hormone Happy Hour recently. This conversation was one of our favorites with tips to make the most of your menstrual cycle, navigate perimenopause with ease, lean into cravings the healthy way, and cycle sync like a champ! This is a must watch convo.
Balance from the inside, out
When it comes to relieving period flu symptoms, look no further than supporting progesterone and metabolizing estrogen. There are a few ways to do this:
- Load up on vitamin C-rich foods (building blocks for progesterone)—red bell pepper, lemons, oranges, strawberries, etc.
- Don’t skimp on healthy fats—we need them for progesterone! A few favorites: avocado, seeds, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut butter, and tahini.
- Improve estrogen detox pathways via seed cycling, eating a raw carrot salad, and keeping blood sugar balanced.
- Make time for daily movement (walking is great!).
- Minimize both alcohol and caffeine.
We love hearing about your experiences with beeya!
Regulated periods for the win!