Sarcoidosis can be a debilitating disease that causes recurrent inflammation in the body. Areas affected can include the lymph glands, lungs, liver, skin, heart, brain and eyes.
Sarcoidosis treatment needs to address the hormonal balance of the body. The hormones produced during a woman’s cycle can flare up pre-existing inflammation and pain in the body, particularly during the period. Pain can range from mild to debilitating and can be accompanied by nausea, loose stools, headaches and back pain.
Prostaglandins are the hormones which trigger the lining of the uterus to shed. They cause the menstrual flow to start, which is why pain and cramping is worst at the start of the period. As the prostaglandins taper off, so does the cramping.
Prostaglandins will increase inflammation and pain throughout the body. If you have pre-existing inflammation from a condition like sarcoid then you will probably find this inflammation and pain flares up during period time. Inflamed areas commonly include the lungs, joints, liver, lymph glands and skin. Fluid retention and puffiness may also occur.
Sarcoidosis treatment should aim to minimise this cycle of inflammation. A healthy diet is crucial. A good intake of the essential omega 3 fats plus fresh foods rich in the B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc are important during sarcoidosis treatment. Enough calories need to be consumed as a healthy body fat percentage helps maintain good hormonal balance including that of the prostaglandins.
Natural anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, turmeric, deep sea fish, pineapple and pawpaw may also be of benefit during sarcoidosis treatment to reduce period pain.
Chinese Medicine has a long history of use for the management of painful periods and PMS symptoms like fluid retention, sore breasts, headaches, mood swings and abdominal bloating. The herbs Dong Quai, Evodia, Ginger and Cinnamon can all assist in managing menstrual pain.
Gentle exercise like walking, yoga, cycling and swimming can help during sarcoidosis treatment by improving circulation to the uterus. Exercise keeps the pelvis aligned and mobilised. If you suspect your pelvis is out of alignment then seeing a good chiropractor or osteopath is a good idea.
You can ease period cramping with isometric exercises that free up the pelvis and improve circulation. For example, get on all fours and arch your back up and down like a stretching cat. Repeat a few times in order to relieve period pain.
When cramping starts, you can also lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Ask a friend to hold your knees together whilst you try to prise your knees apart. Do this at least three times then do the exercise in reverse.
The application of heat and massage has also been trialled with positive results for period pain. Even a hot bath can bring fast relief. The addition of Epsom salts (2 cups to a hot bath) is even more effective as the magnesium in Epsom salts acts as a muscle relaxant.
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