In today’s poor-diet, simple sugar – overload world where the female hormones hardly balance themselves, menstrual pain may be as common as headaches, neck and muscle pain, nerve pain, joint pain and upper and lower back pain. In the Comet newspaper before it became defunct, one of the female reporters often became a spectacle every month. It was always obvious to almost every one that she was flying the Chinese flag or that her friends, the Reds, were visiting.
Someone else would have to finish her work while she was taken to the clinic where the doctor or the nurse would give her anti-pain and anti-cramp injections. Meanwhile, her friends would have to mop the floor after clearing her vomit. She loved coffee and soft drinks and enjoyed junks food. It was only about last year that she grudgingly agreed to give up coffee after she developed multiple uterine fibroids. Who wouldn’t, who was still expecting the proverbial “fruit of the womb” at almost forty years of age? Many women are like this woman. But many of them are not as lucky because dominance of the estrogen hormone over the progesterone hormone, which may be a source of this problem, may also predispose them to such breast irritation that may, someday, spring up breast lumps or even breast cancer.
CAUSES OF MENSTRUAL PAIN
Researchers keep adding to the list of possible causes of menstrual pain. According towww.healthline.com, the check – list may parade 18 possible causes which it ranks in order of severity as:
- Heavy, prolonged or irregular menstrual periods
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Stress and Anxiety
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- Necrotising vasculition
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Hypopara thyrodism”
Is menstruation natural or a disease?
Today is not the day to examine this idea which I first picked up in THE NEW RAW ENERGY, written by sisters Deborah and Leslie Kenton in the raw food era in Europe, when the eating of especially salads, fruits and greens generally, was advocated by nutrition activists, researchers and doctors. Raw food, now endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which suggests that about 80 percent of the daily diet be raw, contains lots of organic Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, other minerals, Vitamins, co-factors and trace elements, among many others.
Working synergistically like an orchestra, they provide the body with much, if not all it needs, for a healthy and balanced biochemistry. THE NEW RAW ENERGY featured research findings which showed that women who ate lots of raw food during these studies did not menstruate but were nevertheless fertile and some of them actually became pregnant. This was attributed to high levels of Beta carotene in their bloodstream, and the suggestion that women are menstruating today only because they had low levels of Beta carotene in their system. The information enabled me to explain what it thought was the circumstance of a young mother of three who was banished from her village in Benue State because she was not menstruating but was fertile, getting pregnant and having babies. Her case was presented at a Gothe Institute health seminar in Lagos I attended. We run the risk of throwing up the floor for a debate of this subject today. But I’d rather not. So, I would only suggest today that it may be possible for some cases of menstrual pain, if not all, be avoided by those women who are prone to this disorder if they get more Beta carotene into their diet.
rguably, the most well known cause of menstrual pain is caused by cramping of muscles in the uterine (womb) wall. Doctors say these muscles contract to expel the inner lining of the uterus, the endometrium, when no pregnancy occurs, despite preparations by the endometrium to receive a fertilised egg and nurse it. The shedding or expulsion occurs because the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the blood decline. These are two hormones which, like the endometrium, would have supported the growth of a fertilised egg. As these hormones are watered down, literally speaking, the endometrium swells up. It is shed by the muscular contractions in what is sighted as the menstrual flow, to be replaced in preparation for another cycle. Contractions of the muscles narrow or constrict vessels which supply the endometrium with blood. Loss of blood supply means loss of oxygen supply, and loss of oxygen supply means death of the endometrium which breaks up in the process of the muscular spams.When the endometrium breaks up, it releases its blood holding into the uterus for expulsion through the Cervix and the virginal. At this time, certain chemicals in the endometrial blood pour into the uterus as the endometrium breaks up, releasing its blood holding. These chemicals include leukotrienes, which are believed to induce cramping of the uterine muscles, and prostaglandins.
There are two types of prostaglandins… the ones which cause inflammation (and pain) and the ones which oppose inflammation and soothe the pain of inflammation. A woman’s diet will determine how much of each she would have in her blood and endometrium. Women who have large amounts of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins are known to suffer almost, if not exactly, the same degree of birthing pain experienced by women who are given pro-inflammatory prostaglandin injection to induce their labour. Thus, for women who suffer severe menstrual pain, the consumption of anti-inflammatory food factors should be the beginning of wisdom. Some of these include Titus fish (the type called original Titus in Nigeria), Sardine. Oily fish contains omega-3 fish oil which is highly anti-inflammatory. Red meat (beef) on the other hand, yield sarachidonic acid which, in turn, fuels inflammation.
In the plant kingdom, flax seed oil offers omega-3 oils as well so does evening Prime rose oil. Vegetable oils produce omega-6 oils which fuel inflammation. We must never forget The Law of Balance, one of the laws of Nature which requires balance in everything, whether in Estrogen or Progesterone, the two major female hormones, or in Omega-3 and omega -6 oils, to maintain balance between inflammation and anti-inflammation responses. There’s little need, I believe, to emphasis now that too much of cooked food and junk foods such as white flour bread and food beef, fries, sugar etc increases acidity which in turn, fuels inflammation, and pain. On the other hand, the health food industry today offers the health–conscious public powderised or micronised forms of alkaline forming foods such as carrot powder, spinach powder, Spirulina powder, kale powder and many others. These may be added to soups, stews, beans, pap, even cassava flour to mineralise, vitaminise, protenise and alkalise them.
WOMEN who experienced blood clots in their menstrual discharge may be candidates for menstrual pain. If their periods are pain free, the blood clots may be a signal for something serious they should worry about. If the endometrium breaks up, and there is a large amount of clots in the blood it releases, and the clots find their way to the cervix for expulsion through the vagina, the pressure these clots exert on the tissue of the cervix may be a source of menstrual pain if the cervix outlet is, for example, too narrow and they have to be forced out. When a woman tells me her period comes with heavy or tiny clots, I suggest she add apple cider vinegar and/or cayenne to her diet. They help to break down the clots so the blood flow can be rich red and fresh. Rich, red menstrual flow suggests a well oxygenated uterus and good blood circulation. In many women, the blood circulation to and from the uterus is sluggish and poor, damaging to the health of this organ. Some women have found that serrapeptase helps to breakdown these clots and even some uterine fibroids, another cause of menstrual pain.
We shouldn’t lose sight of Calcium and Magnesium which should exist in ratio 2:1. Many women are Calcium bound because they do not take enough magnesium in through the diet. Calcium contracts. Magnesium relaxes. Menstrual pain may arise from too much contraction and insufficiency of magnesium to counter balance excess calcium. Thus, magnesium supplements may help troubled women as should the aforementioned greens. In emergencies, I have found magnesium oil and St. John’swort oil helpful. In the cell salt pharmacy, Ferrumphos breaks down clots of all sorts and oxygenates while Mag Phos stamps out cramping, even in palpitations of the heart.
NOTHER source of irritation for the uterus and source of menstrual pain is Lactic acid which the cramps of muscles produce. If you haven’t cut grass or exercised in a long while, and you suddenly overdo it, the pain you experience in your muscles the day after or so is coursed by lactic acid irritation. Lactic acid is a by-product of energy production in the muscles. You need potassium along with alkaline minerals to reutilise it. While Magnesium oil massage may help, it is always beneficial to take potassium-rich foods such as banana, Avocado pear, water Mellon Juice etc. for potassium. Mrs Florence Fusi told me that in her Vermanda region in the Cameroon, banana skin is eaten. I have learned from a woman in Lagos, also, that the herbalist who helped her get rid of uterine fibroids gave her the powder of plantain fruit peel.
Both peels are rich in potassium. The peel of orange or Tangerine or that of any citrus fruit is also good and anti-inflammatory. They help me to easily knock bone pain away.
UTERINE FIBROIDS may be a cause of menstrual pain, especially if they irritate the endometrium and the reproductive cycle. Getting rid of these growths may be easy or complex. Dr. Max Gerson taught the world that oil growth arise from oxygen and potassium deficiency.
I have had testimonials from women who say their fibroid sizes shrank under a good potassium-rich diet. Add to that the balancing of the female hormones with Vitex, Dong qual, yarrow, maharane and the lusertion vaginally of Guffebao or Happy Woman. Heavy bleeders may become tired and suffer shortness of breath and pain because of anaemia due to iron loss. The proprietary formula Jobelyn should help. So should iron-rich herbs such as kenp, kalebeet root and Spirulina. If fibroids cause excessive bleeding, herbal astringents should help. Yarrow and Chankapiedra help a lot. The fibroids press on the bowels causing constipation, or the bladder, causing frequent urination, appropriate herbs are available for these conditions.
Many women visit their doctors with laboratory reports which suggest that their condition is P.I.D – driven, yet do not know what to make of Pelvic + inflammatory Disease (P.I.D). This is an infection of the female reproductive organs. These organs include the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, Cervix and Vagina. The Pelvis is in the lower abdomen region. P.I.Ds can cause pain in the lower abdomen, pain in the upper abdomen, fever, painful sex, urination, irregular bleeding, increased or foul smelling vaginal discharge, tiredness”, according to Health line as a PID infection may be dangerous if it gets into the blood stream, holistic treatment is often advisable. Golden seal Root is a favorite natural remedy. It may be supported with Grape seed extract, Cranberry tea (if the urinary tract is infected), colloidal silver taken internally and used as a vaginal wash, Walnut husk and proprietary blends. Sometimes, preparations of these herbs are inserted into the vaginal, and after the therapy, a course of probiotic is undertaken orally and through vaginal insertion.
Finally, today, is the havoc of endometriosis. It arises when endometrial cells from the uterus escapes elsewhere, implants there and begin to grow as if they were still in the uterus. One of the facilitators for this escape is thought to be fat worms which travel from the uterus through the fallopian tubes to the pelvis. Another therapy suggests retrograde menstrual flow, that means that, rather than flow from the uterus through the cervix vagina, menstrual blood flows backwards into the fallopian tubes and the pelvic cavity. In the Pelvis, these cells adhere to tissue, thicken and behave as though they are still resident in the uterus. This may cause scar tissue in disturbed organs such as organs of the bladders, set off inflammation and bleed during the menstrual cycle. Besides, they may cause period pains. As this condition causes blood loss, blood replacement and decomposition important.
Pain therapy is important. Hormonal balance is important as well. Some doctors prefer to put out the ovaries to prevent them from making excess estrogen. But others prefer to normalise ovarian secretions. Ovarian herbs such as Vitex, Blue colosh, St. John’s Wort are good. So is valerian root or leaves to calm the nerves, prime rose oil as well.