Having their menstrual cycle means riding the hormonal roller coaster for many women.
Besides dealing with painful symptoms, such as abdominal pain, menstrual pain, bloating, pains, and uncomfortable cramps, many healthy women also have to deal with experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, during their period.
Menstrual cycle and other hormonal changes are enough to deal with, and no one needs drastic changes in bowel habits on top of everything else.
The same bodily changes cause PMS symptoms, period diarrhea, and period cramping, but many find that period diarrhea can be prevented and managed with medication, as well as natural remedies.
Why Does Period Diarrhea Happen?
Unfortunately, the exact reasons why these symptoms happen during the period aren’t fully known and understood.
Many experts and peer-reviewed studies believe that diarrhea is often connected to inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and a troubled digestive system. However, period diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms, and it is often tied to menstrual cramps.
Experts widely believe that the cause of period diarrhea and period cramps are prostaglandins, which are chemicals released during your period that cause the uterus to contract.
During your period, your body produces more prostaglandins than usual, and the prostaglandin causes the uterus and the intestines to contract, causing cramps, pain, and period diarrhea.
In most cases, prostaglandin-related diarrhea and cramps usually occur during the first three days of the menstrual period, while the uterus is actively shedding its uterine lining.
Diarrhea, as well as bloating and nausea, can occur during the week before your period as well. In this scenario, the diarrhea is a part of changes caused by premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
How Long Does Period Diarrhea Last?
The length of this uncomfortable symptom that causes more frequent bowel movements will depend on several different factors, and it is different for every woman.
In some cases, period diarrhea occurs often and might last up to seven days after the first day of menstruation.
How To Manage and Treat Diarrhea?
Period diarrhea is a very uncomfortable period symptom, and it requires some special attention and care in order to be managed.
Some of the ways to manage period diarrhea include:
Drinking plenty of water
Drinking plenty of water will ease your abdominal bloating and reduce diarrhea, and being hydrated never brings any harm.
If you experience diarrhea often, try battling it with hydration.
Maintaining a caffeine-free diet
Caffeine can worsen all period symptoms, but that is especially true for women who experience diarrhea.
If you happen to get period diarrhea every time you get your period, make sure to stay away from caffeine during those five to seven days.
Eating nutritious, healthy food
Eating a nutritious and healthy diet is going to improve your overall health.
Quality nutrition is also especially beneficial for those who suffer from period diarrhea and other issues with their gastrointestinal tract.
Make sure to make your food rich in extra fiber, and stick to plain foods, as those are the best choices if you have diarrhea.
Reducing your intake of salt, sugar, and alcohol
Sugary foods, spicy foods, salty foods, and alcohol can worsen all period symptoms, but that is especially true for period diarrhea.
All four kinds of foods have to be ingested and then passed through. Avoid them to ease gastrointestinal symptoms.
Being on hormonal birth control can help regulate your cycle and reduce period diarrhea.
Using birth control will make the period lighter and shorter, and it will aid cramping, therefore helping with period diarrhea. If you think that this option might be feasible for you, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider to find out.
To deal with period diarrhea, it is imperative to take steps to reduce stress in your daily life.
Excessive stress and excessive anxiety can worsen common symptoms of menstruation and they make the suffering even harder, cramping, diarrhea, bloody stools, and vomiting included.
When To See A Doctor Regarding Period Diarrhea as one of the menstrual symptoms?
Dealing with period diarrhea can be uncomfortable, and it can affect your daily life, but not every instance of period diarrhea requires a visit to the doctor.
However, in some instances, period diarrhea does require a visit to the healthcare provider.
Make sure to see your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- diarrhea lasting more than two days
- blood in the stool, which may indicate a different, underlying health condition, as well as an infection
- severe physical or psychological symptoms before or during periods, which can indicate an underlying health condition that needs to be treated
You should also make an appointment with your doctor or other healthcare professionals if you think you might have endometriosis.
The healthcare professional is going to be able to diagnose the condition and provide appropriate medication to ease the symptoms.
Ultimately, abnormal period poop is actually quite normal because it is normal for a bowel movement to be affected by all of the hormonal changes going on during the cycle.
If you are experiencing uncomfortable period diarrhea, certain lifestyle changes can help prevent and manage it.
However, if the pain is unmanageable and this side effect is messing up your daily life, a visit to the doctor is recommended.