Don’t hate me, but I have always been one of those super lucky women with a menstrual period that’s so easy breezy, I tend to forget I am having one.

But for the last six months, I’ve had cramps that twist my insides around so much that doing anything but lying in the fetal position is not a possibility.

The last time, as I was lying in bed at 5am, in too much pain to sleep, I thought, “what gives?”

Maybe I’m just getting old?

Is this what happens when you get old?

Almost 38, I’m always waiting for those (inevitable?) signs of aging because I still feel like I’m 17 years old.

I closed my eyes and listened to my body.

I let myself feel what was happening in my body.

I could feel the muscles in my abdomen violently contracting.

My eyes popped open with an immediate answer.


These last few months, I have discovered chai tea lattes.

I had been enjoying 1-2 of these delectable drinks each day.

Massive amounts of caffeine, considering I’ve never in my life even had a cup of coffee.

Caffeine stresses both the nervous system and the muscular system, and among other horrible side effects, can make PMS symptoms worse.


Menstrual cramps are caused by the muscles of the uterus contracting to expel the uterine lining. Caffeine makes these contractions more intense, and as a result, more painful.

From my time in holistic nutrition school, I knew caffeine should be avoided when possible, but I never would have guessed that these gut-wrenching cramps were caffeine-induced.

My body told me that.

When I took the time to listen.

This month, I’ve abandoned those oh-so deliciously decadent chai tea lattes for my usual herbal teas, and guess what??

Back to my normal non-period, period.

The best part: I don’t have to avoid chai tea lattes for the rest of my life. Just the week of my menstrual period. Because I know how caffeine affects my body at that time.

Could caffeine be causing your migraines, fatigue, anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia, sweating, or dizziness?

Slowly (key word, slowly) try replacing caffeinated beverages with uncaffeinated beverages.

Instead of coffee, try herbal teas!

Be advised: eliminating caffeine from your diet should be a very slow process to avoid any withdrawal symptoms.

Also be advised: herbal teas can be therapeutic. More than three cups per day of one particular herb may have a medicinal effect. Please choose herbs compatible with any pharmaceutical drugs you may be taking, and limit yourself to no more than three cups per day of any one herb. If you are pregnant, consult a doctor regarding which herbs should be avoided during pregnancy.

Today I’ll enjoy a couple cups of Blood Orange by Zhi Tea.…/herbal-tea/products/blood-orange