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Spot the difference between period cramps and poop cramps with these 5 signs

Sometimes, we can end up mistaking abdominal cramps as a sign of the onset of menstruation. Trust these 5 signs to distinguish between period cramps and poop cramps.
period cramps due to dairy
Dairy will worsen your period pain! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Published: 12 Nov 2022, 16:30 pm IST
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Our stomach is sensitive and what we eat makes a huge difference to how it feels and functions. If and when we consume something unhealthy, our stomach can start hurting. Abdominal pain is a symptom of poor gut health. On the other hand, there is a pain in the stomach during or even before menstruation, which we commonly refer to as ‘period cramps’. It might be challenging to distinguish between the two forms of pain. However, there are a few tips that can be used to distinguish between period cramps and poop cramps.

Here’s how gut health is affected during periods

During the menstrual cycle, gut health is go for a toss. It takes place because hormonal fluctuations induce numerous alterations in your body. The microbiota becomes out of balance as a result of hormonal imbalance as well. An excess of estrogen, a hormone, in the body can cause bloating, cramps, loose motion, heavy flow, and mood swings.

Here are 5 ways to help you differentiate between period cramps and normal abdominal pain:

1. Type of pain

When someone overeats or eats fast foods, a lot of air occasionally enters the intestine with the food. Apart from this, gas is also formed by eating extra gas-producing foods like lentils, etc. When this gas moves inside the intestines, it can be quite painful. This kind of stomach discomfort can strike anywhere in the belly; it rarely occurs in just one spot. You will have a lump or other abdominal sensation. On the contrary, the pain from period cramps is constant and occurs in one place. You may feel tightness in your stomach.

period cramps
Digestive health suffers during the memstrual cycle. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Place of pain

Sometimes, constipation can make it difficult to perform a normal bowel movement. This results in inconsistent bowel motions. The ache begins to feel close to the anus if the gas cannot move freely. This condition usually gets better within a few hours. Other conditions that can produce excruciating pain close to the anus include appendicitis and gallbladder stones. While cramps with a period tend to hurt more in the lower back.

Also read: Do periods mess with your digestion? Rely on these expert tips

3. Intensity of the pain

Period discomfort can be more severe than regular pain. Cramps are felt throughout the period. While constipation, indigestion, and gas pain typically strike suddenly and disappear after defecation.

4. Back pain and thigh pain

Period cramps hurt like someone has stabbed you with a sharp, sharp weapon. They get mild to severe throughout the menstrual cycle. In fact, during the menstrual cycle, one also experiences a lower back that may spread up to the upper legs and thighs.

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period cramps
It is common to expereince back pain during menstrual cycle. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Period cramps and stomach pain are interconnected

It’s possible for stomach aches and menstrual cramps to coexist. The changes in hormone levels that occur during menstruation are meant to expel the uterine lining. At the same time, a drop in progesterone level leads to a gassy feeling and constipation or loose motions due to the digestive system being affected. It hurts even more.

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