Oh, it’s that time of the month again! “My whole body is cramping up!” Isn’t this every girl’s struggle every month? Well, maybe no one can never fix it. But there sure are ways that can bring you some relief.
Menstrual cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea, basically refers to the cramps and pain that come alongside menstruation, aka periods. They aren’t governed by some underlying disease and can be caused due to reasons such as high levels of prostaglandins, endometriosis, fibroids and adenomyosis. It can cause unbearable pain, and hence a lot of people turn to medicines for help.
Here are some ways through which you can control them on your own:
- Drinking water
Make it a habit to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily, especially during your periods. You can add mint or lime for taste, and it is recommended to back off the salt. Drinking water helps to ease bloating, while not intaking much salt encourages fluid preservation in one’s body. Women experience diarrhoea and vomiting; hence it is vital to replace the lost fluids by drinking plenty of water.
- Maintaining a balanced diet.
It has been proven that eating good food instead of what your stomach craves mostly can help ease menstrual pain. It is suggested to eat Omega-3 fatty acids like those found in cold-water fishes, calcium-rich foods like beans, dark leafy greens and almonds, and anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries and cherries. Skip the alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, trans-fatty or white/refined food.
- Chamomile tea
Research shows that sipping chamomile tea enhances menstrual flow. This, in turn, eases period pain.
Consuming fennel extracts, starting a few days before the menstrual cycle inhibits uterine contractions that are stimulated by prostaglandins. This helps tackle severe pain.
Consuming small amounts of cinnamon during the days of the menstrual cycle leads to lesser menstrual bleeding, less pain and reduction in nausea.
A survey among women showed that ginger was a very efficient, drug-free alternative that helped reduce the severity of menstrual cramps.
It is a plant extract derived from maritime trees, mostly found in the south-western regions of France. Taking this supplement during the menstrual cycle has helped to reduce the pain, and the patient needed less pain medication compared to the time they didn’t take the supplement.
It is an ingredient in the root of the turmeric plant that helps relieve PMS symptoms. A few capsules for the days before the menstrual cycle and the days after their cycle helps in experiencing a reduction in PMS symptoms. It has reported improvements in behaviour, mood and physical symptoms, and it also benefits people with inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
- Fish oil and Vitamin B1
This helps in reducing the pain that comes alongside periods. And it is also reported that the pain doesnt last long compared to those who did not take this combination.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D reduces the production of Prostaglandins, hence reducing the main cause of period cramps.
- Anti-Cramp Mineral Calcium
Calcium is a vital nutrient that women don’t get enough. It is not only required for healthy bones but for the proper function of muscles, nervous system and the heart hence adequate calcium intake helps relieve menstrual cramps.
It is an essential mineral needed to build muscles, proteins and healthy bones. But magnesium can interfere with the activity of certain medications, including antibiotics.
- Chinese Herbal medicines
The traditional treatment doesn’t always prove to be helpful, and some populations of women cannot tolerate treatment. Chinese Herbal medicines may be an effective treatment option for the woman with the same problems. It was effective for relieving pain and reducing overall symptoms.
- Eliminating Caffeine
It helps many women relieve menstrual pain. It comes in various forms, but if you consume it regularly, you might need to reduce the dose down slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms. As a substitute, Try smoothies that are loaded with antioxidant-rich greens.
- Medication Relief
Over the counter remedies like aspirin, Ibuprofen and Naproxen Sodium can reduce menstrual cramps. Be careful with Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as they can trigger worse bleeding conditions.
Heat wrap or hot water bottle to your abdomen can work wonders towards relieving menstrual cramps. All these items can be found online or in drug stores. The heat helps muscles relax
Exercise releases brain chemicals that promote well-being, namely endorphins. It is safe to participate in all kinds of physical activities that include walking, running or swimming during your menstrual period. Yoga is an example of a gentler form of exercise.
Massage encourages blood flow. Massaging cream contains essential oils like lavender, which has been reported to help relieve pain and soothe dysmenorrhea.
- Acupuncture and Acupressure
These stimulate certain trigger points on the skin to produce desired effects in the body. This relieves menstrual pain as well as a variety of medical conditions
- Chronic Sleep Problems
Sleep affects menstrual symptoms and many health conditions. Women who have insomnia report more severe dysmenorrhea and more interference with daily activities due to symptoms compared to women who didn’t have insomnia. Good Sleeping hygiene helps to keep symptoms at bay.
- Extra Tips
Avoid Television, smartphones, computer screens before bed to help the body wind down. A warm bath may be the thing you need to soothe pain and relax tensed muscles. Read your favourite book or magazine to help melt stress and tension away if you are not a bath person. A warm shower can produce similar benefits. Some doctors may prescribe hormonal control pills or patches for women who suffer from painful cramps. The medication will help regulate the cycle and reduce pain.