Period diarrhea can be an unpleasant feeling. However, with the right measures, it can be treated the right way.
Pain, cramping, bloating and abdominal pain could be very normally experienced during periods, but have you ever experienced diarrhea during periods? It is surely not a pleasant feeling. However, it’s normal to have diarrhea before or during periods. The same hormonal changes that cause contraction of your uterus and its lining can also have an effect on your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Hormonal changes during periods are normal. Due to this, certain chemicals are released. These chemicals are known as prostaglandins. So, when prostaglandins act on the uterus, a woman experiences abdominal cramps, and if these chemicals are released in the intestine, it may be experienced as diarrhea.
Diarrhea may result from a bacterial or viral infection of the stomach and bowel, which doctors call gastroenteritis.
People may get bacterial gastroenteritis by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Symptoms usually occur within a few hours or days of consuming the contaminated food.
People may also contract viral gastroenteritis, which some people call stomach flu, from someone who has the infection.
Symptoms typically go away without treatment after a few days in both cases. People can try home remedies, such as drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking over-the-counter medications to ease discomfort
2. Reactions to food
Something a person has eaten or drunk can potentially cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other types of stomach problems. Symptoms typically occur for short periods and will usually go away a few hours after eating.
Diarrhea after eating may have causes including:
sudden changes in diet
eating rich, fatty foods
celiac disease, where the body cannot break down gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.
3. Indigestion and overeating
Overeating can result in indigestion, diarrhea, and stomachache because the digestive system struggles to deal with large amounts of food.
Both adults and children can experience the side effects of overeating, but children may be more likely to do so. This is because children cannot always differentiate between feeling hungry and feeling full.
To avoid overeating, people can:
practice portion control and measure out foods
fill up on high-fiber, low-calorie options, such as vegetables
take the time to chew food thoroughly.
4. Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to a group of conditions that affect the bowel, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 1.3 million people in the United States have IBD.
IBD may result in damage to the digestive tract, unlike IBS. It is therefore essential that people with the condition manage their symptoms.
Stress and anxiety can stimulate bowel movements, which may result in diarrhea.
Stress may also play a role in the development of IBS or make symptoms worse.
There is a link between the brain and the gut, which may explain why stress can lead to digestive problems.
For example, occupational stress may stimulate the gastric response.
People can reduce stress by trying:
meditation and mindfulness
deep breathing techniques
art or music therapy
People should see a doctor or mental health professional who can recommend medications, therapy, or a combination of both for persistent or severe stress.
How to prevent period diarrhea?
Preventing all cases of abdominal pain and diarrhea is impossible.
However, the following tips may reduce the likelihood of developing symptoms.
* Eat a healthful diet.
* Do not eat too many fatty foods.
* Avoid food intolerances.
* Limit alcohol intake.
* Avoid overeating by measuring out food portions.
* Reduce stress and get enough sleep.
* Maintain proper hydration.
* Avoid contact with people that have stomach flu.
* Practice good hygiene when preparing food and store food correctly.
* Take precautions when traveling to regions where food poisoning is practice.
* Speak to a doctor about the side effects of medications and ask about alternatives.
* Treat chronic conditions, such as IBS and IBD.
Another tip to prevent developing abdominal pain and diarrhea is to take probiotic supplements, which research suggests may help prevent traveler’s diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
Read about: Premenstrual syndrome