Do you experience flu-like symptoms around the time of your period, such as nausea, vertigo, and headaches? If so, you are in good company. Many women experience similar symptoms, which are sometimes referred to as “period flu.” However, it is not influenza and cannot be transmitted to others.

These flu-like symptoms overlap or are related to a collection of symptoms known as dysmenorrhea (painful periods) or premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which is diagnosed by a physician. After menstruation, your hormone levels will rebalance and your temperature will revert to normal. After ovulation, which typically occurs in the final two weeks of a 28-day menstrual cycle, period flu symptoms typically manifest.

Manifestations of Period Flu

As period illness is not a recognized medical diagnosis, there is no symptom list. PMS symptoms vary from individual to individual. Each month, you may experience feelings of lethargy and discomfort just before or around the beginning of your period. Others may exhibit these symptoms after ovulation. Depending on your menstrual cycle, this typically occurs 10 to 16 days prior to the start of your period.

The discomfort may range from mild to severe, but it typically subsides within one to three days. Additional symptoms may include the following

What causes period influenza?

According to specialists, changes in the amounts of specific substances in your body during or before your period are associated with premenstrual symptoms.

Typically, a fever indicates that the body is fending off a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. Your immune system activates antibodies and other substances, such as prostaglandin, to eradicate the virus or bacterium. Similar to hormones, prostaglandins function as chemical mediators in the body.

  • Nausea Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Cramps
  • Bloating
  • Backache
  • Abdominal pain or pressure

The emission of prostaglandins causes a rise in body temperature.

The lining of your uterus produces prostaglandin at the beginning of your menstrual cycle. These molecules bind to receptors in the hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature. This causes a minor increase in body temperature, also referred to as a low-grade fever.

What can I do to alleviate my period illness symptoms?

1. Take pain relievers.
2. Take antidiarrheal medications. 
3. Try heat therapy. 
4. Get a massage.

When should I visit a physician?

Talk to your OB/GYN, a specialist in women’s health, if you frequently experience flu-like symptoms around the time of your period and it’s affecting your quality of life.

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