The cramps are abdominal pain level or intermittent pelvic, which appear suddenly and vary in intensity over time to later disappear, backsliding without notice to the keep the cause that generates them.
Sometimes colic is accompanied by other symptoms (such as sweating, malaise, nausea, vomiting, irritability, and bowel movements). The cramps occur when the muscle abdominal or pelvic viscera (such as intestines, bladder or uterus) has spasmodic intense contractions. In most cases, this type of pain relieves with the use of anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic pain relievers.
Almost all women have experienced colic in their life, generally secondary to the onset of menstruation, which is known as menstrual colic.
To address the issue of menstrual cramps, we must first talk about the menstruation process, which is nothing more than the detachment of the functional layer of the endometrium due to hormonal decline (decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels), which occurs at the end of the menstrual cycle, secondary to the degeneration of the corpus luteum, which becomes atresia when pregnancy does not occur.
However, menstruation is not the only condition that causes cramps.
Causes of colic without menstruation
The cramps can occur in both men and women. If a viscus has some content inside it that prevents its normal function and mobility, then the muscle of that viscus produces intermittent painful contractions to try to release its contents. This appears in the following situations:
· Biliary colic: when there are stones inside the gallbladder, which try to be expelled together with the bile. When the gallbladder contracts and becomes inflamed, then pain is generated.
· Nephritic colic: it occurs when there is a stone in the urinary tract (a condition known as renal lithiasis) and its size is so large that it cannot be expelled easily, which generates the intense and painful contraction of the smooth muscle of the urinary tract, producing an abrupt colic, generally accompanied by low blood pressure (hypotension), sweating, nausea and vomiting.
· Abdominal colic: it is a common cause of abdominal pain, it is due to multiple causes including intestinal motility disorders due to food, diarrhea, constipation or constipation, presence of parasites, inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease), lactose intolerance, excessive coffee consumption, diverticular disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
· Gastric colic: secondary to inflammation of the gastric mucosa in cases of erosive gastritis, gastric ulcer, and even eating quickly can generate a stomach spasm that results in colicky pain.
· Colic due to gynecological cause: the uterus can contract due to causes other than menstruation. Uterine colic can be caused by pathologies such as pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, use of intrauterine devices such as the copper T, abortions, among others.
· Infant colic: it is abdominal pain that generates repeated crying episodes in children under one year of age. These episodes occur, at least three times a day, for a certain period of time. The exact cause of the pain is unknown, since it occurs in children who usually eat adequately and who are not diagnosed with an organic disease. This condition is believed to be due to the immaturity of the digestive system, disappearing over time.
Why does menstruation generate colic?
The menstruation process implies the detachment of the functional layer of the endometrium that had previously been prepared, increasing its size and vasculature, in the event of a possible embryo implantation, which, when not happening, generates rupture of blood vessels, decreased oxygen supply, increased of pro-inflammatory mediators (such as interleukins, gamma interferon, tumor necrosis factor alpha, etc.), and spasmodic myometral contractions, which together with the effect of gravity favor detachment, which translates into pain known as menstrual colic.
Generally, it is not advised that a patient self-medicate in case of sudden abdominal pain that appears for the first time, if it is focused or if it is accompanied by warning signs such as fever, loss of appetite and chronicity; so in these cases it is advisable to seek a medical evaluation.
However, if it is a menstrual colic, of usual characteristics, prior to the onset of menstruation, with prodromal symptoms or premenstrual syndrome, the use of anti-inflammatory analgesics such as ibuprofen, piroxicam or diclofenac, in patients not allergic to these, has good results, as well as performing exercises such as yoga and / or relaxation, adequate hydration, use of oral contraceptives, avoiding drinks such as sodas and a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates, smoking habits, excessive caffeine, drugs of abuse, etc
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