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rock_diva


Oct 7, 2002, 10:32 AM
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OKAY... I'm sitting here in my office just dying. Cramps are so bad, and I'm supposed to be teaching in about an hour. I took a bunch of ibuprofen which usually works, but it doesn't seem to be helping today.

What advice can you give? What do you do to get rid of cramps? I get them so bad that I will sometimes vomit, and have even passed out once.

~Shelley


kcrag


Oct 7, 2002, 11:04 AM
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OUCH. I know the exact feeling. What works for me is 2 Aleve at the first hint, however, if you miss the short window, sorry -- but you're probably SOL. As for right now... try a heating pad (but since you're at work -- then maybe a zip lock bag filled with hot water (& hope it doesn't break!)). Good luck!

[ This Message was edited by: kcrag on 2002-10-07 11:07 ]


climberchic


Oct 7, 2002, 12:40 PM
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Sorry Shel!

I agree with the 2 Aleve for really bad cramps. What has helped me tremendously in the long run was starting on birth control pills. These can make your period much lighter and cramp a lot less. I started on the pill when I was 14 after being hospitalized twice for what my mother thought was appendicitis (doubled over in pain, like "am I going to die" kind of pain). Turns out I have ovarian cysts that, when ruptured (as they randomly do), can mimic appendicitis pain. These are common with women and there is no "cure", but the risk is that they can grow to a large enough size that ovaries may have to be removed with a hysterectomy being the worst case scenario. What you can do is start on the pill which greatly reduces the size. So I did at a young age.

I always thought I has light periods and never had any cramps until I went off the pill for about a year. Holy cow, did I know what cramps were then! Since I've started back on them, I've had mild to no cramps.

Is this an option you can consider with your lifestyle? If not, I'd stick to the meds and warm compresses (which are supposed to help, but have never worked for me).

~Erica


otter


Oct 7, 2002, 2:14 PM
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I go the natural medicine aproach..of which i have a degree in. You might look into cramp bark (Viburnum opulus). It works best if you take it for a couple days prior to your period and throughout the duration. Tinctures are available at most herb stores or health food stores.
If you don't remember to do that or it doesn't work for you... there is a formula put out by herbpharm (they make herbal tinctures) It's thier Willow/Meadowsweet compound. It works wonders. It is far easier on ones liver and kidneys than the over the counter drugs such as ibuprofin, Alieve, etc.
From a medical point of view, going onto birth control simply for cramps is not a very wise move. (Sure they advertise for that...but, hey they are there to make money, aren't they?) There are many complications that can arise with birth control. It is a very dangerous thing to mess with something as powerful as horomones. They control far more in a person's body than just the reproductive system. And each person's reaction will be different to any particular type of pill.
There are better ways to work WITH one's body to be free of severe cramps and other menstrus complications.


Partner missedyno


Oct 7, 2002, 5:13 PM
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oh my god i hear ya

sorry, i don't get very strong pms, but i have endured cramps and man is that pain! i mean, just for what it is... your uterus contracting... just like/comparable to giving birth and i've never heard anyone say that is pain-free!

as far as b/c pills go, tell me about it. the first pill i went on turned out (after almost a year) to not be strong enough. yay! non-stop bleeding!!! the next pill i went on wasn't strong enough either, and now i've been on this one for 4 days.... i was in bed for a day last week with a throbbing headache.... turns out that can be "withdrawal" from the hormones. well guess what??! today, within an hour of when i'm supposed to take my pill, i get another (familiar) splitting headache. at the gym tonight i was dizzy just stretching out. i hope that everything turns out... kills my climbing!

anyway chickies, i feel your pain! (literally, ugh )


rock_diva


Oct 8, 2002, 8:18 AM
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I got through the day... ended up lying down on the floor of my tiny office until class, and doing the same during lunch.

Thanks for all the advice! I'm going to try the herbs first, and if that doesn't work for me I'll go for the pill and hope against negative side effects.

It's so nice to have people around that understand and can sympathize! Thanks!

~Shelley


ecocliffchick


Oct 8, 2002, 9:15 AM
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In highschool I didn't want to deal with the cramps and variability in my period so I went on the pill - and oh boy was that interesting. The first kind I tried, I gained 15 pounds - and about 80% of that was in my chest. I went from an A cup to a double D in just over 3 months and my mood swings were brutal. I tried 3 others before I found one that suited me without severe side effects.

Just under two years ago I broke up with my steady boyfriend and decided to go off the pill (I'd been on it for 7 years) and I instantly dropped 10 pounds (which helped my climbing) and my cramps don't feel near as bad as they did before. I might have one day a month where I just can't get out of bed, and the irregularity of my period is kind of a pain, but overall, I feel better not having my system controlled by artificial hormones.

I'd say try the herbal remedies and things like long, hot baths, comfort food and days in bed before doing anything drastic like going on the pill. If your employers can't deal with you missing work one day a month, try explaining to them the problem. They'll probably be embarassed and flustered (if they're male) or be sympathetic and understand your needs - and hey - one more free day off work each month!

In terms of cramps affecting my climbing - I don't even get out of bed on my crampy days, let alone put on a harness!


climberchic


Oct 8, 2002, 10:00 AM
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I have heard of some bad side effects from the pill from some friends. Because it is a hormone that works interactively with your own hormones and body chemistry, what works great for some, may not for others.

I have taken MANY different brands of pills and the worst side effect I noticed were severe breakouts. Some increased my bra size and made me gain a little weight, some gave me mild headaches. By far the best one I have taken is the one I'm currently on (Yasmin). It is new in the States, but it's been used in Europe for years. My pros for this pill include: increased my cup size from small B to large B/small C, no weight gain, cleared my skin instead of worsened it, and no headaches.

I have been on it for about 5 months and I love it. Remember though, this was the best pill for my body. I've tried pills before that made me break out, but instead gave my sister severe headaches. The only way to know is to consult your ob/gyn who knows you well, and even then there are no guarantees.

Good Luck, girl!


redstar


Oct 8, 2002, 10:02 AM
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My gyne told me to take 3 ibuprofin 3 times a day two days before my period and the first two days of my period. It seems like a lot but she said I would be ok, it is supposed to help with cramps and heavy flow. Otherwise I try a heating pad or sometimes a little running or biking if I feel up to it.


sinorock


Oct 21, 2002, 4:35 PM
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During the period,stay away from cold food/water/drinks, no ice cream. Keep yourself warm. Keep your feet and hands warm. Based upon the Chinese medical theory, cramp occurs when the menstral blood can not flow easily due to the coldness in your body. Try to drink things warm by nature, such as ginger tea.


climberchic


Oct 22, 2002, 11:48 AM
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daisyfay and sinorock~

I've heard that a warm compress on the lower abdomen works so what you're saying definitely makes sense. I'm going to try the tea the next time I get cramps in lieu of ibuprofen and I'll post here if I think it made a difference.

Hey~ any excuse to drink tea (chai/green tea/herba mate)....mmmmmmm. yummy.


russmanswife


Oct 22, 2002, 3:14 PM
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i haven't tried them yet but they have those thermacare patches i have used them for my back but not for cramps yet those would probably be a big help. hot baths work for me too until i get that is.

bobbi


eowyn1025


Oct 23, 2002, 8:00 PM
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ok i totally hear the pill thing....i had to go on it b/c i have this condition called polycystic ovaries: not exactly sure what it is but it causes me never to have a period unless i take the pill or Provera (which i'm on now). I went from 115 lbs. to 145 when i was on it...I hate it hate it hate it!!!! Anyway, back to the original topic: Hot hot baths work the best for me...i get cramps really bad..almost screamed in the middle of class a while back: one hit me hard and i doubled over. midol is a joke, ibuprofen (sp?) works best medicine-wise. (for me)
Anyone else get really mean and nasty around that time? i always feel so bad! i bite so many people's heads off when i'm pms-ing!


just_me


Oct 25, 2002, 11:06 AM
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If you do need birth control, ask your doctor about Depoprovera (the birth control shot). Just like any hormone, it works better for some, and not for others.

For me it has been an incredible blessing. My period is GONE! Completely!! I do not bleed, and I do not get bad cramps like I used to. My skin has improved, and I have not had a problem with weight gain (although some women do). When I lost my job, and therefore my medical insurance, I went off it for a while. I could not stand it. I was once again sick and incapacitated by my period. I went to Planned Parenthood, and I am happy to be back on the shot again.


shastess


Feb 11, 2003, 12:00 PM
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I have killer cramps both on and off the pill. The things that work for me are heat(combined with water helps) exercise, as weird as that sounds it really helps, especially swimming. They have a new thing on the market that is like a portable heating pad, it lasts for like a couple hours and is hidden under your underware, this helps some. Also a good diet and regular exercize will help diminish cramps before you get them. As for me medicine never fully alleviated my cramps and I had to take so much it made me loopy, so I go for the more natural remedies.


whitenight


Feb 11, 2003, 12:19 PM
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Redstar is right on....if you want to take ibprofuren and if you are pretty regular try to start taking it about 2 days before you start your period and see if that helps. I also find out the excerise helps me a lot! If I slack on my gym workouts and ab workouts my cramps are like 10x worse. I guess preventative steps are best for me. Good luck for next time!


zeta


Feb 12, 2003, 9:02 AM
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wow, so interesting seeing how different we all are with our methods to help cramps! I've been on the pill for 11 years and i love it. I had ovarian cysts so it's definitely helped with that, plus i appreciate the regularity of my period (down to the exact hour it starts), a slight bit of weight gain, but less chance of ovarian cancer...
i still occassionally get killer cramps and i do a bout of ibuprofin, along w/ rasberry tea (i was surprised at how much that helped) as well as ginger tea/ginger baths. I've also found that caffeine makes my cramps worse the first couple days so i try to cut back on coffee for a couple days and less dairy too. Also, exercise almost always helps--even if it's just a walk--but sometimes you just hurt too bad to do *anything*!

i work for a non profit that does a lot of work with reproductive health. There's a lot more choices now for women with b.c. Women in my office who use the patch and the nuva ring love it...but i'm still sticking to the pill b/c it's worked so well for me. So, if you're not happy with what you're using, shop around and do some research...maybe some other method besides the pill would work best. Good luck!


aimeerose


Feb 12, 2003, 12:22 PM
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Those of us with really bad cramps (debilitating ones that you lie in bed and writhe around with) accompanied by other symptoms (nausea, vomitting, diarrhea,etc.) have a medical condition called dysmennorhea. It sucks!!! It's related to your body producing too many prostaglandins. I went to my gyno. and she put me on Nuva Ring. I lasted 5 days and was an emotional wreck, so I took it out. She also gave me Anaprox, which is heavy duty Alleve. It seems to help so far. I also like Soma (a muscle relaxer), but you have to not be doing anything that day cause it's kind of loopy. Heating pads and baths help for temporary relief.

I tried the herbal route and it did not help for me. I'm not sure it can reduce the amount of prostaglandins your body produces. If anyone has sucess with it and has true dynsmennorhea, not just bad cramps, let me know.

I'm also considering trying Yasmin as it's supposed to be low dose birth control. I wouldn't mind having a little more up top as I'm hardly an A cup after losing a bunch of body fat.


estherator


Feb 12, 2003, 1:54 PM
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I've got dysmenorrhea as well. As long as I start taking alieve BEFORE my period starts, I'm okay. If I don't things get umm...interesting. I've btried several different bc pills, all of which made me nauseas, psychotic or both. I've been on nearly every Rx NSAID in the book. They just tore my stomach up; did nothing for the cramps. They tried to give me Darvoset. It made me sick as a dog. The only thing that has worked for me after the onset is Soma. It's a THC derived muscle relaxer that blocks the part of the brain that processes pain signals. If I take 1, then nap, and take 1/2 doses, at 1/2 the prescribed time, it doesn't affect me to where I have trouble functioning mentally. It's that full dose that first couple of hours.
I hope you find something that works for you. I feel your pain


aimeerose


Feb 12, 2003, 9:04 PM
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Esther- Did you try Yasmin (b/c pills)? I've been thinking about that one, but I get psychotic on pills too. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who takes Soma. I had to take 2 last time it was so bad!!!
Good luck to you too, and I hope we get to climb together sometime. Maybe Sunday if it stops raining. I think we're either going to the Forks or Jacks.


gretchino


Apr 1, 2003, 8:11 AM
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This is a thread right up my alley! Like a lot of you ladies I'm on the pill. I really don't like it, but unless I want killer cramps and monthy hemorrhages, I take it. :shock: Yikes!
I've recently started reading about Dong Quai. It's a chinese herb that is supposed to help regulate periods and all the fun effects we get from them. My boyfriend calls it the "Psycho-freaky's" :roll:
Anyway, as far as what to do about bad cramps: water water water allways helps me!


beaner_says_hi


Apr 5, 2003, 9:20 AM
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Tampons can greatly increase your cramps, especially the first day. If you can switch to pads for at least the first day, it will help a lot. Also, the passing out can be due to other related problems. If you have a rash that looks like a sunburn or a fever along with the dizziness and cramping, it would be a good idea to see a doctor. Leaving your tampon in for more than a couple of hours can cause the growth of bacteria responsible for TSS-Toxic Shock Syndrome. If you saw those Tampax ads a few years back saying it's okay to wear a tampon overnight, IT'S NOT. Ginger tea sometimes helps, too; anything without caffeine. If you feel like you're going to pass out, sit in a chair and put your head down between your knees. It helps a lot. I hope you feel better.


beaner_says_hi


Apr 5, 2003, 9:27 AM
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How 'bout that! I knew another just_me at the climbing forums a few years back.


argurl


Apr 17, 2003, 9:18 AM
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this might sound like fruity-tooty granola talk to some, but, by trial and error, has worked for me...

like you, i used to have horrible cramps/periods where i would puke, passout, or both. :(
1. so, i started using evening primrose oil which helps with the cramping. although, i can't take things like aleve b/c they make me worse.
2. before i start (2-3 days), i slightly "slack off" on my workouts (climbing, biking, running, paddling). since it is impossible for me to sit still too long, working out in moderation seems to be the key.
3. yoga seems to really help. and finally...
4. being less of a carnivore. i know it sounds silly, but actually cutting down on the meat has helped my symptoms. i've heard that this can also be due, in part, to your blood type, but haven't taken the time to look that up.

it also might be good to give those thermacare (?) things a try. i've heard their good from some friends. (think somebody posted this idea already?)

hope some of this helps. good luck!


vertically_challanged


Apr 26, 2003, 4:49 AM
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I read that new on the market are small heating pads you attach to your body and they last for 12 hours. They were being promo'd for long flights. Anyone tried them?

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