The Period Flu? What Gives?
As your body prepares to start your menstrual cycle each month, your hormones are all over the place. In the week before your period (as if we could handle more), many of us likely anticipate cramps, bloating, moodiness, an insatiable appetite and an overall sense of blah. But just like our periods are not one size fits all, neither are our PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms. They can vary so greatly; in some cases, you may be wondering is this your period on the way or one of the 500 potential illnesses WebMd throws your way? That's why it's important to understand what your period says about your health. If you have symptoms like diarrhea, fatigue and nausea, you are not alone, and may be experiencing the good ol’ “period flu."
Before the official arrival of our beloved Aunt Flo, many people experience symptoms that mimic illness. In the case of the period flu, prostaglandins are to blame. These compounds have hormone-like effects and are found in tissue throughout the body. Before your period, their levels increase and can cause an inflammatory response. In the uterus, they work to loosen the uterine lining which prompts your period. These contractions can cause diarrhea, cramps, and even affect your body temperature, which is why you may feel hot or experience chills.
To help alleviate some of these period flu symptoms, stay hydrated with water, not caffeine or wine (sorry!). Listen to your body, and rest as much as you need to, and remember it’s always the right thing to do what feels right to you! Hopefully these period flu treatments help; symptoms should slow down once you start your period. If not, consult with your doctor to make sure you don’t actually have the flu, or another illness.