For a lot of women, that time of the month when they have their period is a dreaded one because it comes with distressing symptoms. While it is true that every woman’s experience during her period is unique, there are nevertheless certain symptoms that a good number of women have in common. One of such is diarrhea.
If you notice that you have diarrhea during your period, do not panic; you are one out of several other women. You definitely would be wondering why the diarrhea? Shortly before your period, the cells that form the lining of your uterus (womb) produce more prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins are hormone-like compounds that perform a number of functions including stimulating the smooth muscles in the uterus to contract and remove the accumulated uterine lining.
During your period, the cells lining your uterus breaks down and releases large amounts of prostaglandins. If your body makes more of this compound than it needs, you are likely to experience stronger menstrual cramps. This is because large amounts of prostaglandins make the uterus contract more strongly.
Also, excess prostaglandins may enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body and since the bowels are lined with smooth muscle, it may cause diarrhea by stimulating the large intestines and bowels to contract and expel their contents.
Diarrhea during periods can be quite uncomfortable especially if you have other menstrual symptoms like cramping, headaches and lower back pain. Fortunately, the diarrhea does not last but you can nevertheless do certain things that will make you feel less uncomfortable:
- Staying hydrated by taking lots of fluids
- Eating more fiber-rich foods as they may help make your stools less watery
- Exercising lightly
- Taking yoghurt. Yoghurt contains microbial cultures that help regulate the gastrointestinal tract and aid digestion
- Avoiding fatty foods and caffeinated drinks and eat foods like vegetables and fish