Ever since we finished breastfeeding our 2nd child, that was it: I was super thankful and elated about that no mean feat, and I considered that an accomplishment.
Little did I know I would continue to suffer physical pain.
Oh this world! One trial does come after the other, certainly it does teach dependence on the Lord for daily strength.
I began to have terrible pain upon menstruation, otherwise known as dysmenorrhea. It was a 3-day ordeal of debilitating pain to the point that I couldn’t even walk! I couldn’t believe it because usually teens had this, or atleast my high school friends during our teens had it.
God really does superbly provide, miraculously I still was able to cook, clean, and serve the family and just be a wife and mom, though totally disoriented by the pain, having to somewhat “crawl” over those tasks because, well, a mom has to!
Disorientation was such that I would rest as much as I can after the kids are fed, no homeschooling could be done, but thankfully, just a few minutes of read-alouds could be managed every now & then.
Emotionally, it was taxing too. Prescription medicines for post-op pain did its job; but I knew I couldn’t take those forever!
To be technical about it, before anyone’s period begins, the cells that form the lining of the uterus, (endometrial cells), break down and release plenty of inflammatory prostaglandins, causing the pain. The post-op pain relievers I took merely blocked my feeling of this inflammatory pain. Usually Ibuprofen is my handy over-the-counter companion on those pain-filled days.
Friends started to notice, owing to the fact that I missed some gatherings, so I tried their suggestions. Some of those suggestions worked and boy was I relieved!
So with trial and error I narrowed those suggestions to iron supplements and hot compress; those worked to reduce pain by about 10%.
I’m thankful I encountered plant-based eating though! It attacked my problem at its core, and helped the whole family’s well-being; seeing that my youngest is allergic to chicken, eggs, and shrimp, we started to eat less and less of those things and naturally had to learn to eat more veggies, fruits, tofu, fish, (we practically became pescatarians!) mushrooms, and chickpeas.
A US research has shown that a plant-based diet would reduce the pain and inflammation of dysmenorrhea by upto 33%, they were told to eat more fiber in order to eliminate the excessive estrogen levels that caused the pain. These excessive estrogen levels were attributed to pregnant cows that give us milk, its red meat, and high-fat processed food widely available in today’s food choices. In fact those women refused to get back to their previous diets even if they were told to as part of the study!
Going increasingly plant-based was all around such a gift, a win-win for my youngest’s allergies and my pain relief too. Being plant-based, even not strictly and legalistically, did perform unspeakable relief for dysmenorrhea.
Personally, it brought down my pain level by around, say 80%, astounding!
From then on we started to enjoy having more activities even on period days, and started to make whole-wheat flatbread veggie pizzas too!
My increasingly plant-based food intake greatly reduced this menstrual pain, I’m certain and utterly thankful that God created plants for our good, our enjoyment and His good pleasure as we do His will for us!