My boyfriend was trying to convince me that menstrual cramps are caused by dehydration, a fact that his sports trainer told him. This seems to make sense, since you do lose a considerable amount of water during your period, but I thought hormones had something to do with it. Can anybody verify this information?
------------------ "Do what you will, always.. Walk where you like, your steps... Do as you please, I'll back you up.." ~DMB
anyway, cramps are caused by prostaglandins. they are secreted heavily but the uterine lining during menstruation. prostaglandins cause smooth muscle to contract. when applied to the uterus, the muscle wall of the uterus contract, thus expelling the lining.
for people who get cramps, this is due to excess prostaglandin secretion. too much prostaglandin, too much muscle contraction.
but guess what! aspirin blocks prostaglandin action! take a normal dose of those for some relief.
also, when you go on the Pill, your uterus doesn't produce as much lining. Because there's less lining, there's less prostaglandin secretion. Thus, less cramping
wait! don't take aspirin if you are under 21 because <reads back of bottle> it can cause Reye's syndrome, which is bad news.
my doc recommends ibuprofen.
------------------ Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk - real straight talk about souls - for life is holy and every moment is precious. I heard the Denver and Rio Grande locamotive howling off in the mountains. I wanted to pursue my star further. -Kerouac
the risk of getting Reye's syndroms is mostly tied to children using aspirin to treat pain and fever during viral infections, most notably chicken pox. the risk is still low. but ibuprofen is good, as is naproxen sodium as those are both NSAID pain relievers and have similar properties to aspirin.
Anaprox had the same effect on me as a long stare at the wall. I have dysmenhorrea, basically meaning extremely painful menstruation.
About a year ago, I increased my water intake to a minimum of 8 10 ounce glasses per day. I'm healthier and no longer have painful water retention (especially in the breasts), but it's done nothing for the cramps. I avoid refined sugar and caffiene for at least one week prior, as well.
Cramps are not caused by dehydration. As mentioned above, it is generally hormonal, but for some can even be related to conditions such as fibriods or endometriosis. For severe cramps, always see a gynecologist.
Okay, I know menstrual cramps aren't caused by dehydration, but aren't muscle cramps related to exercise caused by dehydration? I know that an excess of.... some sort of acid... I can't remember... causes muscle cramps. Menstrual cramps are entirely different though.
Edit: Oh, I remembered! Lactic acid!... am I right?
[This message has been edited by Eppy (edited 08-04-2001).]
quote:Originally posted by Eppy: ....but aren't muscle cramps related to exercise caused by dehydration?...
You mean dehydration caused my exercise? I can see how dehydration would make you feel kinda crummy all over, and it might make your cramps worse, but i do'nt see how they could be the direct result of it. Cramps are caused by muscle contractions in the uterus ... trying to expell all that menstrual fluid.
As for the lactic acid thing ... A little search at about.com brought me to [url=http://sportsmedicine.about.com/library/weekly/aa053101a.htm?iam=savvy&terms=%2Blactic+%2Bacid]
"In the arena of exercise, reference to lactic acid has commonly evoked the most negative of responses. For years, lactic acid has been considered an exercise evil whose presence was believed to induce muscle soreness, fatigue, oxygen debt, and anaerobic threshold."
------------------ I have this nagging fear that everyone is out to make me paranoid. ~ Anonymous
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