Illnesses That Mimic Your Period Part III
Do you feel a burning in your throat or your chest after consuming spicy foods? The food may not have even been spicy, it could have just been extra sweet. Do fruits keep you up at night, forcing you to sit straight up or elevated in bed because the pain is too much? You may be experience Acid Reflux. Acid Reflux is a common experience for most people, but if it is haunting you day and night, then you might be part of the percentile with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). GERD is an Acid Reflux disease that takes on a whole new meaning to heart burn.
Although there are few symptoms with GERD to coincide with menstrual cycles, it is still something that most young girls do not consider looking into. Here are some common symptoms for Acid Reflux Disease according to the Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/symptoms-causes/syc-20361940 ):
- Burning in your throat/chest
- Regurgitation of food
- Lump in throat feeling
- Sour liquid taste in throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Disrupted sleep
- Asthmatic problems
Sometimes these symptoms can be brought on by foods that you would not think would cause them. I personally experience acid reflux when eating fruits, ginger products, and garlic. Drinking milk can subside these pains, but it is more effective to take medication or to avoid eating foods that are problematic for yourself. Bread can sometimes help with the awful taste, as well as crackers, but do not eat these if you experience gluten sensitivities (unless you have gluten free bread/crackers).
There is another disease that does not present itself all at once but can be just as uncomfortable as going through your monthly cycle. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that is still being researched, but has a few known symptoms provided by the Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lupus/symptoms-causes/syc-20365789 ):
- Joint pain
- Skin rashes that can get worse with Sun exposure
- Dry eyes
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms can come in waves or all at once, or you may not even have more than three of them for you to be diagnosed with Lupus. Joint pain, fever, headaches, and stress are all common ailments with your menstrual cycle but can be on a much greater scale if instead they are Lupus related. If your pain does not go away with your cycle, then it might be time to get in touch with your primary care physician and discuss other possible causes, such as autoimmune diseases.
Here are some helpful tips from me, as someone who experiences all (but Lupus) the fore-mentioned illnesses:
- Watch what you eat. That does not necessarily mean that you need to change your diet completely but be mindful of how much of the “trigger foods” you ingest. A “trigger food” is a food substance that causes illness related symptoms.
- Exercise helps with IBS and your menstrual cycle. Try doing some yoga, go for a walk, or go swimming.
- Speak with your primary care doctor about medications or natural remedies.
- Take vitamins!
- Drink lots of water.
- Buy a heating pad and ice packs.
- Try getting a massage from either a professional or from someone close to you.