There's a particular time of the month when we, women begin to get the most absurd thoughts in our head. We want to know why on earth we get our period! We want to break things at times and curl up on the couch and cry our eyes out at others. Exhilaration, disappointment, extreme tiredness, bloating, gas, water retention, and flu-like symptoms are just some of the wonderful experiences that we go through before our period. This HerHaleness article, however, will focus on the one particularly strange symptom mentioned above: the cold and flu-like symptoms that some women tend to experience before they get their monthly menses. Let us delve into the reasons why these symptoms act up and also what can be done to soothe them.
What Are They?
In order to properly comprehend the causative factors of the symptoms, you first need to judge whether you indeed are going through the aforementioned symptoms. Given below are some of the most commonly felt symptoms of flu that women tend to experience before they get their period.
Severe Headaches: A headache is one of the most widely experienced symptoms of a flu. About 4 to 5 days prior to a period, a woman might feel a dull, and constant ache in her head. This headache can turn out to be rather unpleasant and sometimes develop into a full-fledged migraine for some women. The headache may also make the woman's head feel exceptionally heavy.
Excessive Tiredness: As if other PMS symptoms were not enough, a woman may also feel extremely tired after performing simple activities. Activities like standing for too long, walking or even performing daily chores may seem like a drag and the woman may feel like just lying down and taking some rest.
Cold: Another sure shot symptom of flu that a woman may experience is the onset of a cold. A runny nose, heavy-headedness, a slight temperature and lethargy are some of the most common symptoms of a flu that manifest themselves in women, just before their period.
Body Weakness: Due to the onslaught of other flu-like symptoms, the body of the woman is bound to feel really low on energy. This, combined with instances of severe, and painful muscle cramps in the abdomen or limbs make the body extremely weak and unable to perform to the best of its ability.
What Causes Them?
Hormonal Changes: Estrogen and Progesterone are the two hormones that are at their peak when a woman's body is preparing for a possible pregnancy (just before a period). This increased level of the two hormones has been deduced to be the major cause of the flu-like symptoms, especially the throbbing headaches that you experience before your period. Also, hormonal birth control pills that you might be consuming are another cause for these headaches before your period.
Viral Infection: The body's immune system gets affected a little before a woman has her period. Since the level of hormones goes up in the body, the body's immune system produces lesser immune cells, and thus makes it increasingly susceptible to viruses. This is when the body is the most vulnerable and as a result, you fall prey to the infection which brings on symptoms like fever, fatigue and body ache.
Excess Stress: You might be surprised, but sometimes, the body gets tired easily and feels weak before a period, simply because it has been overworked. The days before a woman's period are full of various bodily changes. So, the body needs some time to get used to these changes and sends you signs by getting worn out easily.
How to Treat Them
Let us now see what are the simple steps that you can take to feel some relief from these quite discomforting symptoms that your period brings with it.
Rest: Since your body is signaling towards fatigue, the most sensible step to take is to let it rest when it feels tired. Take a couple of days off and do only those tasks that are extremely necessary. You'll definitely feel better when your body is well rested.
Pills: Along with rest, you can take some over the counter pills to help you cope with the flu-like symptoms. You also need to consult your gynecologist about the kind of birth control pills that you can take, if your current ones are contributing to the symptomatic conditions.
Experiencing symptoms of flu are already very stressing out. When coupled with PMS, it can be quite an ordeal to go through. So, get proactive, find out what the cause is and act on helping yourself feel better.