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Health & Fit ‘Period Flu’ Might Be Why You Feel So Crappy Right Before That Time Of The Month

12:36  17 september  2021
12:36  17 september  2021 Source:   womenshealthmag.com

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Should feeling sick before your period ever be a cause for concern? In other words, is period flu …dangerous? Period flu symptoms usually last between ovulation and the start of your period . When menstruation begins, both Dr Dweck and Dr Minkin generally see their patients’ symptoms If I do feel like crap around my period , how can I find some relief? These are the best cures for those pesky flu -like symptoms: Pop a NSAID. These are technically known as prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors. “They block the making of more prostaglandins,” Dr Minkin says. “So the key there is taking

If You Feel Sick Around That Time Of The Month , “ Period Flu ” Might Be Why . If feeling sick is a typical feature of your monthly cycle, you might want to bring it up with your OB/GYN or primary care doctor to talk about potential treatment options, like hormonal birth control. As Bustle wrote about back in 2015, there’s actually some research that suggests our immune systems may be temporarily weakened when we have our periods , though that may be because of the added stress of just getting your period , on top of whatever else may be going on in your life.

Nausea, fatigue, body aches…sounds like the flu, right? But if it happens regularly around your period, it’s likely what experts often refer to as the “period flu.”

a person lying on a bed: The period flu could be why you're experiencing flu-like or bug symptoms with your period. Here's everything to know about period flu, according to doctors. © Getty Images The period flu could be why you're experiencing flu-like or bug symptoms with your period. Here's everything to know about period flu, according to doctors.

While "period flu" is not a formal medical term or diagnosis, Alyssa Dweck, MD, a practicing gynecologist in Westchester County, New York and host of the podcast Business of the V, knows exactly what I 'm talking about. "My patients complain about all kinds of different illness that seem to come about right before their period, and they’re always cyclical," she says. It's common for women to experience flu-like symptoms and even a fever between ovulation and the start of their period.

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It might be time to call for backup. There are plenty of holistic practitioners that have spent years understanding the nuances of the female hormonal cycle, and how their modalities can help treat imbalances. If you think you may need some extra support, try reaching out to a local acupuncturist, naturopathic With so much societal pressure to constantly be creating and achieving, it’s an important reminder that resting and downtime are just as important to our well being and success, as doing and adventuring. So if you ’re not feeling so hot right before your period , respect your body’s needs.

" Before your period , estrogen levels and progesterone levels can fluctuate suddenly instead of slowly, which is why headaches, nausea and flu -like symptoms may appear." It's worth saying, of course, that you can absolutely get the flu or some other illness while you 're on your period , so if you 're feeling truly disgusting at that time It's possible it's what we call " period flu ", but it could also just be the straight-up normal flu . We all reach for the over-the-counter painkillers to relieve period symptoms, but you might need a little extra attention from the doctor if you feel like it could be more than your period .

So what's really going on with your body? Below, doctors weigh in on this period phenomenon and how to Get. Some. Relief. Already.

Can your period make you feel like you have the flu?

Well, you don’t actually have the influenza virus, but your body is mimicking similar symptoms. "My feeling from a medical standpoint is that this is all part of PMS syndrome, which can have both physical and emotional symptoms," Dr. Dweck says. Some of her clients' most common PMS complaints are all reminiscent of flu symptoms, including irritability, breast soreness, headaches, joint pain, and excessive fatigue.

Dr. Dweck also points out that often times women with pre-existing conditions, like autoimmune issues or rheumatoid arthritis, will even experience exacerbation or a flare-up of their symptoms just before their period—and then things get better after they menstruate. "So it does make you wonder, [even though] it's not in the literature, if there’s some sort of immune hit that occurs just before your period bringing these flu-like symptoms to life," Dr. Dweck notes.

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Period flu symptoms get more intense the week before your period begins, but the good Options are available help vanquish period flu —or at least ease the severity of the symptoms. Don't hesitate to tell your health care provider if period flu symptoms strike hard each month , or linger. All rights reserved. The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to

This " period flu " on top of our actual menstruation can amount to a rough couple of weeks out of every month . It can masquerade as a stomach bug (tummy trouble like diarrhoea and nausea), or head colds (like splitting headaches and general achiness). In an interview with Brit + Co, Nieca Goldberg, the medical director of NYU Langone’s Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health, explained: “Hormonal changes prior to your " Before your period , estrogen levels and progesterone levels can fluctuate suddenly instead of slowly, which is why headaches, nausea and flu -like symptoms may appear."

There are no studies that show your immune system is actually taking a hit. So you can just blame the hormonal rollercoaster that is PMS until there's more conclusive science on this.

Why does it happen for some people with periods but not others?

One word: hormones. "In the mid-portion of your cycle when you ovulate, your estrogen and progesterone levels start to surge, and they decline when you do not get pregnant and get your period," Dr. Dweck explains. "So that precipitous decline, particularly in estrogen, is what causes a lot of the symptoms."

But that's not all (lucky you!). "The other thing that's going on as we get into our periods is that the uterus cranks out a chemical called prostaglandin," says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine.

Prostaglandin causes that annoying AF uterine cramping. It also causes the muscles to contract and can give you gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea. According to Dr. Minkin, "prostaglandins can also make you feel like you have the flu and even give you a temperature." Fun, right?

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The flu is rampant in my area and I was feeling many of the symptoms of influenza. I was queasy, a little dizzy, and my muscles ached beyond belief. I was even starting to feel feverish and remembered that just an hour before I had to put on an extra sweater because I felt chilly. Although “ period flu ” is not an official medical diagnosis and doesn’t actually mean you are ill, doctors who work with menstruating women see this kind of thing all the time . “My patients complain about all kinds of different illness that seem to come about right before their period , and they’re always cyclical,” Dr. Alyssa

Youre going to feel crappy . There's nothing anyone can do about that. Having a cough is a good thing. Even though the vaccine can't give you the flu , since the virus isn’t able to replicate this simply isn’t possible, however it does take 4–5 weeks from getting the vaccine before you have gained the full protective effect from it. This is the time that your immune system actually needs to process the infectious agent and until it has switched gears to produce the correct amount of antibodies in quantity.

But many women also change up their lifestyle habits before their period starts, Dr. Dweck points out. For instance, you might up your sugar and salty snack intake, which can cause swelling and inflammation, she explains. And you may have increased water retention, which could lead to joint pain, Dr. Dweck says. The effects of these diet and lifestyle changes right before your period can mimic flu like symptoms too. So that's definitely something you want to keep in mind.

How to prevent period flu


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a woman in a blue shirt:

If period flu is a regular thing for you, it’s more than understandable that you’d want to stop symptoms before they even start. There are a few potential hacks you can try, according to women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, MD. “Preparation is key for managing and preventing some of these uncomfortable symptoms,” she says. Her advice:

  • Ask your doctor about hormonal birth control. When you get your period, the estrogen levels in your body drop. Taking hormonal birth control can help keep them more consistent and lower your risk of developing period flu symptoms.
  • Take an NSAID early. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen can help tackle symptoms like achiness, joint pain, and headaches. “Taking a NSAID before the symptoms even start can help prevent them,” Dr. Wider says. So, if you know that you tend to get period flu symptoms three days before your period arrives, you’ll want to try taking an NSAID four days beforehand.
  • Stay hydrated. “Dehydration can exacerbate all the symptoms,” Dr. Wider says. And, she says, avoiding alcohol and caffeine can do you a solid, too.
  • Get some sleep. Sure, you probably hear this advice a lot, but it’s important since Dr. Wider says that sleep deprivation can make symptoms worse. FWIW: The National Sleep Foundation recommends aiming to get seven to nine hours a night.
  • Exercise regularly. Getting in regular workouts and keeping them up around the time your period flu arrives can help you feel better, Dr. Wider says.

Should feeling sick before your period ever be a cause for concern?

In other words, is period flu...dangerous? Period flu symptoms usually last between ovulation and the start of your period. When menstruation begins, both Dr. Dweck and Dr. Minkin generally see their patients' symptoms dissipate. So, in general, while you might feel icky, you'll be totally fine in a few days.

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"If your symptoms are so bad, physically or emotionally, that they’re interrupting with your day-to-day life or interfering with your relationship, then you need to get checked out," Dr. Dweck says. There could be a different underlying issue at play, and the timing with your period is coincidence. For example, maybe you have a thyroid disorder, which exhibits similar symptoms (excessive fatigue, weakness, muscle and body aches), Dr. Dweck notes.

And while you may feel feverish, if you have an actual temperature of 101 or 102, that’s not period flu—that’s something else, Dr. Dweck says. "And if that’s persistent, you should get that checked out."

How can I tell the difference between period flu and COVID-19?

It can be a little tricky, Dr. Wider says. “The period flu is obviously not caused by a virus, but some of the symptoms can mimic COVID-19, including fatigue, lethargy, headaches, and gastrointestinal upset or changes in bowel habits,” she says.

Just a quick refresher on the most common symptoms of COVID-19, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Of course, if you’re not sure what’s happening with you, Dr. Wider says you should take a COVID-19 test. (They’re even available at your local drugstore now!) Just practice safety methods while you wait for the results, like wearing a mask when you’re around others and social distancing.

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How can I tell the difference between period flu and early pregnancy?

Not to further complicate things, but symptoms of early pregnancy can also be similar to symptoms of period flu, Dr. Wider says. “Tender breasts, nausea, fatigue, and back pain are just a few of the overlapping symptoms,” she says. Naturally, if you’re trying to get pregnant or have been iffy on your birth control lately, this might be more of a possibility than if you’re using an incredibly effective method of birth control or haven’t had sex lately.

The best way to figure out what’s happening here is—again—take a test. “If you think you might be pregnant, the best way to distinguish between the two is with a pregnancy test,” Dr. Wider says.

If I do feel like c*** around my period, how can I find some relief?

These are the best cures for those pesky flu-like symptoms:

  • Pop a NSAID. These are technically known as prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors. "They block the making of more prostaglandins," Dr. Minkin says. "So the key there is taking them early when you start feeling achy and fluish." These pills include aspirin, Motrin, and Advil.
  • Move around. Exercise helps everything (but you already knew that, right?). "Exercise has been shown over and over again to help with menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms overall," Dr. Dweck says. Aerobic exercise will bring you right back to life by also reducing water retention and excess fluid in your joints.
  • Talk to your doc about birth control. Your estrogen levels decline when you get your period, as you learned. So taking birth control can be a huge help. "Birth control pills keep your hormone levels steady throughout the month by preventing ovulation," Dr. Dweck says.
  • Monitor your diet. Instead of upping your caffeine intake to stay awake or eating more junk food (because: cravings), which can create inflammation that leads to flu-like joint pain, try drinking tea (it’s naturally anti-inflammatory). And next time you want to go in on that entire bag of potato chips, try a snack lower in sodium instead.

If no intervention is really working for you and you keep feeling horrible when flow is comin' to town, speak with your gynecologist. They can do a proper workup and help you feel A-okay when your period comes your way.

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