Period Flu: Causes, Symptoms, Ways to Get Relief From Period Flu, Prevention

What is a Period Flu?

Periods come over with numerous side effects which make you feel bloated, get skin eruptions(acne and pimples), and mood swings. Most of the females experience flu-like symptoms such as tiredness, chills, nausea, weakness, and body aches. All these are known as period flu.

Period flu is not a legit medical term but it refers to the sick feeling most females get at the time of arrival of periods. It is not as same as having actual flu. Period flu can be referred to the situation when prostaglandins or the fatty acid compounds responsible for dislodging the uterine wall and starting period, get into the bloodstream and begin affecting the intestine, causing flu-like symptoms.

Symptoms of Period Flu

The symptoms of period flu can vary from one person to another. Some experience period flu just before the period begins which is also known as premenstrual syndrome. The symptoms are:

What Causes Period Flu?

What Causes Period Flu?

  • The hormone fluctuation throughout the menstrual cycle is responsible for the symptoms.
  • Prostaglandins, hormone-like fatty acids make the way into the bloodstream and cause the cramps, diarrhea, constipation or bloating
  • Changes in sex hormones, estrogen can lead to the feeling of cramps, breast tenderness, and mood swings.
  • Fluctuation in serotonin and other chemicals can lead to the symptoms of PMS which include food craving, depression, and sleep problem.
  • The period flu symptoms make it hard to function and people often look out for the relief from the same.

Ways To Get Relief From Period Flu

Certain lifestyle changes can help ease symptoms:

Over-The-Counter Pain Medications: Headache, cramps and breast pain can be relieved from the OTC anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen. Taking them before the periods can lessen pain and bleeding.

Heating Pads: Heating pads can bring relief in the muscle aches and cramps. Placing the heating pad on the lower abdomen for 15 minutes at frequent intervals can lead to relief from the menstrual cramps.

Anti-Diarrheal Drug: OTC medication for diarrhea such as loperamide can stop diarrhea. Some of the anti-diarrhea medication can give relief from nausea and upset stomach.

Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated is important as it is known for keeping the body healthy. During PMS you feel like eating or binging on snacks all the time. Keeping up with the hydration level can keep the headache away and also prevent compulsive eating before the periods.

Prevention of Period Flu

There are few tips which can help prevent the symptoms of period flu during the next cycle.

Exercise Regularly: Exercises can reduce the premenstrual symptoms including cramps, depression and lack of energy. A study shows that 8 weeks of aerobic exercise was effective in reducing the symptoms of PMS.(1)

Healthy Diet: Making a healthier choice of food 2 weeks before periods can reduce the PMS symptoms or period flu. A healthy diet includes adding fresh fruits and vegetables and cutting down on alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and salt.

Quit Smoking: A research shows that smoking can worsen the premenstrual symptoms.(2) A study has also shown a link between smoking and irregular periods and early menopause.(3) If you are a smoker concentrate on cutting it down and finally quitting it.

Sleep Well: Getting a good night sleep of at least 7 hours every night is very important. Lack of sleep can lead to an eating disorder and also depression.(4, 5)

Calcium: Calcium intake can reduce the symptoms of period flu. Calcium can be taken in the form of supplements of calcium-rich food.

Vitamin B6: Period related symptoms such as moodiness, bloating, and irritability can be reduced by taking vitamin B6 supplements. Foods such as fish, potatoes, fruits, and poultry are rich in vitamin B6.

Slight discomfort during the period is normal, but if the symptoms start interfering with the daily activities you should consult a doctor. If there is a heavy period, missed period, very painful period, painful sex and unexplained weight loss, keep your doctor informed.

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