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Everything you need to know about period flu, the reason you feel sick before your menses

Do you get sick before your periods? Yup, it’s nothing but period flu! And here’s everything you need to know about it.
Getting sick after eating gluten is gluten intolerance, Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Nikita Bhardwaj Updated: 19 Nov 2020, 12:13 pm IST
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We’ve all experienced PMS symptoms like mood swings, cramps, rashes, and bloating, but have you ever fallen sick right before your periods? If yes, then that means you are a victim of period flu.

No, we haven’t just made up this term. It’s a legit problem that a lot of women face before, and during their periods. Most of us either ignore it or think it’s just another PMS symptom, but according to experts, it’s a little more serious than usual.

This makes it all the more important to know about period flu, so let’s get started.
So, what’s period flu?

Well, it is nothing that is out of the world or abnormal, according to Dr Sandeep Chadha, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital, Noida. She explains that period flu is the term coined for flu-like symptoms such as headache, nausea, and even fever that one experiences during their periods. One shouldn’t confuse it with actual flu, which is common during covid times.

What are the causes of period flu?

Hormones are what rock your uterus, and your entire system. “Though experts are still figuring out its exact cause, it has been attributed to the hormonal imbalance that occurs during that time of the month. Before your periods, prostaglandins, which are hormone-like fatty acids, are produced to help the uterus shed its lining,” she explains.

period flu
Beat period flu with these tips! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr Chadha adds, “Sometimes, excess prostaglandins enter into the bloodstream and cause uneasiness like cramps, constipation and excessive gas formation during your periods. Chemical changes such as fluctuations in serotonin and other chemicals in the brain also trigger some PMS symptoms.”

Here are the eight most common symptoms of period flu
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Cramps
  • Fever
Thankfully, you can prevent period flu with these four tips

Of course, you can prevent or reduce the signs of period flu from the next cycle by improving your lifestyle, and making the following changes:

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1. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is always important. But it becomes more important during PMS, because it’s the time when you want to eat junk food and salty snacks. Therefore, staying hydrated helps to digest such food, keep headaches at bay, and prevent compulsive eating before your period.

2. Exercise regularly

“It is known that a daily dose of exercise improves the discomfort associated with periods, including cramps, depression, and lack of energy,” says Dr Chadha.

Also, watch:

3. Get more calcium

Calcium is actually your bae during periods, and enables you to reduce the PMS symptoms. It can be included in either in the form of supplements or switching to calcium-rich diets.

4. Get enough sleep

“Sleep deprivation leads to depression, mood swings and anxiety. Not getting enough sleep during periods can also cause food cravings and compulsive eating, and cause headaches,” she concludes.

Ladies, you must remember that just like your periods, period flu can be a regular occurrence. Hence, you just don’t have to follow these tips when you are about to bleed, but otherwise too.

Now that you know it all, don’t forget to notice your PMS signs to understand whether you have period flu or not the next time!

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About the Author

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content. ...Read More

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