Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Curing Menstrual Pain

To any men out there who read my blog, this will be an overtly female blog post. I understand men don't particularly like to read or hear about "that time of the month", but I urge you to read on, as we all have mothers, sisters, aunts, and friends that may greatly benefit from this information.

As a women, "that time of the month" is highly individual. I will never forget my first period. I had looked forward to the day I would get my first as a mark of women hood and a right of passage. When it did come, it was everything I never expected. I was staying with my aunt, uncle and cousin for a couple weeks in the summer. I was 13. At first it was a little exciting. My body was changing and I was growing into a young women, but by the second day, the most immeasurable pain took hold. I remember laying on the bathroom floor in the fetal position wishing for death. I'm not trying to be dramatic. It was that bad. I couldn't move or talk. All I could do was lay there praying for the pain to end. I was humiliated because my aunt kept checking on me and seemed very confused as to my pain. She and my cousin did not suffer in this way. My stomach was a mess and I frequently had to use the bathroom as well.

I dreaded my period from then on. It was literally a nightmare. Straight out of a horror film. Lots of blood, pain and tears. When I was about 16/17 I decided to go on the pill. I had heard the birth control pill helped with menstrual cramps. I also had a steady boyfriend and felt I was being responsible all around to give birth control pills a try.

I was shocked and amazed at how my body responded. Painful periods became a memory of the past. Having my period no longer ket me in bed clutching my abdomen, writhing in pain. I felt free for the first time in years. I continued to stay on the pill for about 8 years.

If you have read my first blog, you know about my story and when I decided to go off all medications. I was not yet raw. I would say I was eating a whole foods diet and had eliminated most processed foods. I boldly went off birth control pills with the hope that cleaning up my diet and tools like acupuncture would ward of any painful periods. It didn't. Into my third period after going off the pill I had the most horrendous pain yet. Not only was the pain indescribable, but I felt sick to my stomach like I might throw up. All I could think was how this couldn't be normal and I wondered if I might die from the pain. I couldn't feel my legs, as it felt like there was no blood flow to my lower extremities.

The intense pain usually only lasted a 12-24 hour period. I got some herbs from my acupuncturist to help take the edge off, but I was still far from functional on these days. When I went raw I did see an improvement in my period pain, but not the miracle I was hoping for. I thanked the heavens I didn't work outside of my home because I would have had to call in sick at least once a month. I don't think that would have gone over very well in the business world.

So that's how things have been for me for almost two years now. High raw and still having painful cramps. I coped by really nurturing myself on those days, taking herbs and using a heating pad. A doctor once asked me, "why I let my body get away with that...take 3 IBUProfen", he said, as if my body was something to drug into submission. Pain from the body is always a message and not to be ignored, yet rather contemplated, and then the message integrated. After all my body had been through, I knew in my heart covering up the problem was not the answer. So I dealt with it and intended some day I would figure this puzzle out.

Knock and the door shall open :). About a month ago now I read a new article written by Shazzie. You can check that out here. She had a similar journey as myself with period pain and has found amazing relief after mega dosing on DHA. I had just purchased some Omega-Zen when I read the article and thought synchronicity once again popped graciously into my life to get me those pills. So I started taking four a day. The recommended dosage is one a day. Shazzie took ten a day, but I knew I had about a month till my next period and four felt right to me so I trusted my intuition.

Another factor that happened in this time frame is I went 100% raw. This was not a conscious decision, it happened naturally without me really noticing. I just have not had any desire for cooked food in the last three to four weeks. It feels like a natural progression my body has guided me to.

My period came on Monday. I waited for the pain to kick in. It usually does after the first 12 hours. It hasn't come. I slept wonderfully last night and awoke in amazement that I am pain free. I'm not sure if both going 100% raw and the DHA are factors, but I feel the DHA is the main reason I am feeling so great. I had a deficiency that I am now correcting and I am so thankful.

Thank you Shazzie for sharing your experience and shining your light. You are truly a goddess and I love you for all that you do and all that you are. There is a cure for period pain. I now know of two people, myself and Shazzie, who have had incredible results with DHA.

There are some in the raw food world that feel all supplements can cause problems, with the logic that we are a nation sick from over indulgence, not lack. I would just like to express that illness can be caused by both excess and lack. We live in a world that has mineral depleted soils and pollution is a part of our very existence, from the homes we live in, to our water, to the air we breath. It is significant to think of this as a yin and yang balance. Removing the things from our diet that cause dis-ease and adding in what is lacking. Only when we achieve balance can there be true health. Fixating on one extreme will only create imbalance.

With lots of love and hope~



Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Cassie said...

Thank you Susan for your kind words and support :).

Chloe said...

Hi Cassie

Love your blog!
Do you still take DHA? Have you experienced menstrual pain since then? I bought some hemp oil wich is particularly rich in omega 3&6. I will keep you posted if it works!

Chloe said...

Wow!!! It worked! Thank you Cassie for this article, I know that I can live without menstrual pain anymore! I am feeling so great now :-)

Cassie said...

Hi Chloe! That's so great :)! I'm so happy DHA worked for you too. Yes, it still works wonderfully for me. I will update soon. I am going through a very intense cleanse right now. Lots of love and hugs to you.

Lisa said...

Hi Cassie, I just found this blog and loved this post, although I realised it was written two years ago! So I wonder if you will see this! I have suffered with extreme menstrual pain in the past and I can completely empathise with the feeling of curling up and wanting to die from the pain. I have tried many, many things and have had the most success with vegan DHA like you, as well as some herbs. I use Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) in a liquid form each morning from ovulation to the onset of menses, and this seems to really help. I also use a combination of Willow Bark (Salix alba) and Corydalis (Corydalis ambigua) - also in a liquid form - two painkilling herbs which are very effective for cramps. I hope you are happy and well :) Lisa.

Cassie said...

Lisa, thank you so much for sharing and commenting! It took me some time to see it, but I enjoyed your comment and sharing of your own journey! I am happy and very well, thank you! I'm still on a raw foods path :). Wishing all the best to you and many blessings.