How to lessen severe period pain or ‘endo flare up’ naturally?

“How to lessen my severe period pain or ‘endo flare up’ naturally?” – This post is sponsored by Khapregesic® [ka-pra-jeez-ic] a new natural pain reliever giving some endo patients relief for the first time.

Combining plant-based anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, with prebiotics for a calmer gut.”


What causes severe period pain and endometriosis pain?

This is a huge subject, but very simply. During a period, the uterus contracts to help expel the lining of the uterus. Hormone-like substances, called prostaglandins are released to assist this natural process[1]. Unfortunately, this process causes inflammation and can trigger those awful cramping pains.

Endometriosis

On the other hand, endometriosis, is a condition that is becoming more and more common. Over 10% of Australian women suffer from its crippling effects.

Endometriosis occurs when uterine cells become implanted outside the uterus. These cells also release prostaglandins causing cramping pain in other areas. Like fallopian tubes, ovaries and even the bowel. This may be the cause of those bowel spasms and the IBS-like pain.

Endometriosis can often require surgical intervention. In these cases, large concentrations of uterine cells form lesions or adhesions where the pain can be relentless.

Unfortunately, even after surgery, pain symptoms can remain due to some endometrial lesions being inoperable. An example of this could be where lesions stick organs together and removal may pose a risk where the patient may be left infertile and/or in need of a ‘pee-bag’ or urostomy pouch in the case of ovaries being intertwined with the ureter (the tube between the kidney and the bladder).

Often endometrial lesions removed can return to the same area due to tissue re-growth. Also, because they’re so tiny, it’s just impossible to remove every misplaced uterine cell. This can be the reason for the unexplained pain, even after surgery.[2]

Video: Does Khapregesic® help with endo post-surgery? Naturopath Jade Walker speaks with patient Lana about her recent experience post-surgery. Click here or the video to learn more.

Why do I have severe period pain with IBS-like pain? Do I have endo? Where can I get help?

There are two possible reasons why women, without diagnosed endometriosis, suffer period pain with bowel spasm.

Apart from severe endo where there are obvious adhesions, one school of thought says a microscopic number of uterine cells attach themselves to the bowel causing it to contract during a period. These are too small to be diagnosed as endometriosis.

The other reason maybe a pro-inflammatory diet of refined sugars and grains. This type of diet, (that we all crave by the way), actually increases digestive prostaglandin levels [3].

Some women may experience a combination of the two during a ‘normal’ period. This can result in IBS-like symptoms of diarrhoea and/or constipation with excruciating pain, loss of balance, vomiting, low self-esteem, and heightened anxiety, just to mention some of the symptoms.

If your symptoms include any of the above you should consider getting an endometriosis diagnosis. You can go directly to your GP OR seek the help of a natural practitioner who specialises in women’s reproductive health to get some advice before going to your GP (eg Naturopath Jade Walker  @jadewalkerhealth, Naturopath Karen Saunders @karen_saunders_naturopathy) OR join one of the many endo groups online to discuss your options with fellow endo sufferers (eg. @endo.solve, @the_endo_space, @endogeelong).

Read the blog “Supporting endometriosis patients with natural post-surgery care” by Jade Walker, if you are looking for natural post endo-surgery relief. 

Video: Relieving severe period pain naturally for the first time. Two Practitioners discuss the new natural pain reliever Khapregesic® vs. pharmaceutical drugs and other herbal remedies.  Click here or the video to learn more.

What’s the answer to natural pain relief?

To relieve severe period pain, we need to address both diet and things that can help the natural period process itself.

Small diet changes will help

Looking to non-tablet options, diet is an important place to start by reducing refined sugars and refined grains. In food terms, try to cut out anything with white sugar, like fizzy drinks, and cut out anything with white flour like bread and pastries.

Dairy is also something to avoid a week before your period and during. Many women are finding a measure of relief by just giving up dairy.  

Combinations of wholegrains, nuts and honey make for delicious alternative snacks. Increasing fresh vegetables with every meal for a few days before and during your period, is a must. Additionally, some women find taking fish oil tablets during this time helps too.

Reducing refined sugars, sweet fruits and grains and increasing wholegrains and fresh vegetables for every meal is also vital. These simple steps help enormously in reducing the low level of inflammation that can build up to trigger other things such as joint pain which many people experience in the buildup to their period.

Remember each one of us are individuals and our needs are different. The important thing to remember is that you may not have to do all these things, maybe just one of these food groups are your Achilles heel. Experiment a little. 

Gentle activity is important

It’s equally important to be active, to keep the blood flowing (pardon the pun). With exercise the last thing on your mind, getting some fresh air or a half hour slow walk is a good idea.

If you have to stay indoors, gentle stretching on a yoga mat for half an hour may be all you need. After any activity, make sure you drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest.

Stress reduction techniques

Lastly, we must find time to reduce our stress levels. If that means we have to ask other house members to leave for an hour or if they can’t leave, you go somewhere quiet for an hour or so. If you’re a sole carer, be brave and ask some one to help you, take a break for an hour or so.  

Give yourself permission to curl up on the couch with a hot water bottle or a heat pad, a podcast or movie. You never know you may fall asleep!

What about immediate pain relief?

Back to reality, for pain knows no bounds when you’re in the middle of a spasm! We can all relate to that.

It is important to address severe period pain or an endo flare up as soon as it occurs. For immediate pain relief most women reach for drugs such as ibuprofen, but more and more women are finding that they can’t take these drugs anymore because of the awful side effects. The new fast-acting plant-based pain reliever Khapregesic®, that we’re featuring here, may be preferable as a gut-friendly natural alternative.

Drugs and their side-effects

Historically, drugs provide most women with immediate relief from period pain. Until now women have had no natural option but to use drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen[4]or aspirin for pain relief.

Unfortunately, these drugs also promote side effects such as gastric ulceration and severe stomach cramping. The very thing we are trying to soothe. For example, naproxen is more likely than ibuprofen to cause side effects because it is longer lasting[5].

In the case of paracetamol, for most women it’s just not strong enough and is potentially very toxic on the liver even if you only take a few more than recommended. 

A new product to relieve pain naturally

The new product Khapregesic®, on the other hand, contains a plant-based TGA approved botanical called khaya. It is fast-acting and a strong natural anti-inflammatory[6].

Most importantly, Khapregesic® combines plant-based anti-inflammatories and antioxidants with prebiotics for a calmer gut. New scientific research tells us that a more balanced microbiome encourages the production of natural pain relieving and brain calming neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.

Does Khapregesic® work for endometriosis?

Here’s some feedback from women who use Khapregesic for endo:

I was diagnosed with Endometriosis a few years ago. For me, it means I have incredibly painful periods that if untreated with strong pain relief I vomit and faint from the intensity of the pain. Khapregesic® has dramatically reduced my pain” Chelsea

Tap this link for more endo and period pain stories.

Click the video to learn more about natural relief alternatives for period pain.

Khapregesic®

Blog sponsor, Khapregesic® [ka-pra-jeez-ic] is the non-drug alternative for fast relief from a range of menstrual related pains and PMS symptoms including anxiety. Khapregesic® combines plant-based anti-inflammatories and antioxidants with prebiotics for a calmer gut and a more balanced microbiome.

New scientific research tells us that a more balanced microbiome encourages the production of natural pain relieving and brain calming neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.

The makers of Khapregesic® BioActive Natural Health, source their plant material from a sustainable Certified Organic Australian farm. It is available for purchase at www.khapregesic.com.au   

Practitioners can read a more technical version of this article by clicking here.

References:

1] Period pain symptoms: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menstrual-cramps/symptoms-causes/syc-20374938

2] The need for surgery with endo: https://www.healthline.com/health/endotough/surgery-for-endometriosis#5

3] Role of endogenous prostaglandins in gastric secretion and mucosal defence.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3040310

4] Naproxen is sold under the product name Naprogesic

5] The difference between naproxen & Ibuprofen: https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/naproxen-ibuprofen-difference-3117722/

6] A research paper featuring prostaglandin & COX-2 suppression from Khaya senegalensis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16821623

Important notice:

If you or someone you know are experiencing severe pain in the abdominal region for any reason, please see your GP or a healthcare professional without delay.