Originally Posted by Jaycee
I was just wondering, as I sit here in pain, if anyone has any good tips & advice for coping with period pain? I suffer quite badly every month for the first couple of days, and have yet again resorted to quite strong pain killers to get me through. I try to avoid any type of medicine/drug otherwise, and would like to try some sort of natural pain relief or preventative measures instead.
What works best for this type of thing?
I am one of the lucky 10-15% of women who had dysmenorrhea so bad, that it would completely incapacitate me for days at a time. I mean completely
. I am
the ultimate expert.
While I appreciate that things like herbs and Evening of Primrose Oil help a lot of people, I was not one of them. They had to pull out the big guns for me. I can give you three things to try.
The first is prescription strength Naproxen. Not my first choice in recommending it to you, it blew out my stomach, but I have to admit it worked. I know there have been negative things out on it lately, but I thought I would just mention it. But do research it, and be very careful taking it. It's a nasty anti-inflammatory.
Because Naproxen was no longer an option for me, I went to a clinic where they blessed me with putting me on Natural Progesterone. Progesterone changed my entire life. When I went on that, I actually had
a life again. Before going on it, not only did I have the debilitating cramps, but my PMS was so bad, so many weeks out of the month, that I was lucky to get one week of feeling half-way normal, whatever that was. Progesterone was such an unbelievable godsend to me, I can't even begin to put it into words.
In the beginning, I actually injected myself with it. Eventually, which, if you decide to ask your doctor about it, I went on oral compound. There are compounding pharmacies that make it. I cannot tell you how much this changed my life.
That said, I had fairly recently started on progesterone when someone told me about L-Tryptophan. I tried it, and it was a miracle! In fact, it was one of the things that allowed me to start weaning off of the injectable. However, not long after I found out about it, they had a problem with it in the manufacturing. It killed several people and they took it off the shelves. However, they found out that it was an isolated manufacturing problem and had nothing to do with the L-Tryptophan.
They were about to put it back on the market when - presto-chango - they mysteriously denied it's approval. IMO, it is not by mere coincidence that one week
after the flip-flop, Prozac was featured on the cover of Newsweek as the "new miracle drug." Since L-Tryptophan increases serotonin in the brain -- surprise! -- as do anti-depressants, who do you think might not want Tryptophan back on the health food store shelves to compete with their 'brand new drug?'
It was off the market for years. The good news for you is, that you can now get it again. I have a place online where I buy it, but I actually found it at my local health food store the other day. I urge you to give it a try. Keep in mind that cramps are not beasties unto themselves. Cramps are just one symptom of PMS. I don't know what your other symptoms are like, but I can tell you that in treating my other PMS symptoms, my cramps got a lot better, as well.
One more thing about Tryptophan, if you decide to try it. Make sure it's L-Tryptophan and NOT 5-HTP. 5-HTP was the health food industry's workaround while tryptophan was off the market. I'm sure it helps plenty of people, but I'm tellin' you, I tried it, and as person who knows the miracles of what tryptophan can do, 5-HTP is like Tryptophans ugly step child. It was awful
! The most Tryptophan will do is maybe make you sleepy for a while. And after you start taking it more regularly, it doesn't even really do that. But 5-HTP was a noticeable 'hey, they're screwin' around with my brain chemistry' type of feeling.
So. There's my input. I hope it helps. If you'd like to know where I get my Tryptophan, email or pm me and I'll let you know. I have gotten it from them for years, and feel fully confident in it's safety. But, like I say, you might look at your health food store as well. I was shocked to see it there that day.
And, all of a sudden, while I'm writing this, I just looked and see you are in the UK. It may not be a problem for you to get at all. But I don't know about it's availability there.
Oh, and one more thing. About the pain killers. (Also, a tool of mine.) Sometimes, so I don't get looped out, I will cut my pain killers (I don't know what you take, but I take Percocet. I actually have it for chronic back pain, but use it for my cramps, as well) into quarters. And then I just take them more frequently. For instance: I could take one full one every 4 - 6 hours, but instead, I take a quarter every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on how bad the pain is. The point is, that before I started taking progesterone, a quarter perc probably wouldn't have touched my cramps, but now, it's a pretty good way to get on top of the pain that I still do have.
And that way, I can still function without getting sleepy or looped out or anything. So you might want to just experiment with that and see how much (or how little) might give you relief, instead of taking the full dose that's prescribed.
Again, I hope this helps. There cannot be another person who understands and sympathizes as much as I can. I have been categorized as in the very small percentile of women who suffer this badly, so I really understand how much it can affect your life.