Website Transition In Progress - Please Excuse the Construction
PMS Cramps - Ask the Doctor Q & A
My PMS pain is horrible! I am tired of the cramps I have with my menstrual cycle, and I don't know what to do about it. I get really, really painful cramping before and during my period. It is so bad that it feels like I'm in labor. They don't go away, and it's so bad they make me cry. It's in my back, and then they radiate to my legs—it's horrible. Seriously, each month, it feels like I'm having a baby again. I feel like my back is being stretched from one side to the other. It feels like one person is pulling me from one side and somebody else from the other side. But not regular people—more like sumo wrestlers. It's a week and a half, even two weeks with the pain, and it's just horrible.
Susanna, those are very severe cramps! I assume you wouldn't be writing to me if over-the-counter painkillers or other PMS products were helping. Besides, most of those products are only helpful for more mild cramping, and don't seem to work for other, emotional, PMS symptoms.
Remember, all pain is a signal that something is out of balance in your body. Of course, if your pain is associated with your cycle and with PMS, that is usually a hormonal and mood chemical imbalance.
There is also a relationship between chronic pain and chronic inflammation, and your diet has a major impact on that relationship. Pro-inflammatory foods like excessive refined sugars and starches; meats and saturated fats, and fried and junk foods may make pain worse. An anti-inflammatory diet is high in vegetables and fruits, and whole grains and beans; uses extra-virgin olive oil as the main culinary oil; and contains omega-3 fats from cold water fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seed. You can read more about this in our PMS cramps article.