Many women report having abdominal or pelvic pain at the beginning of their menstrual cycle. This symptom can range in severity from mild discomfort that lasts 1 or 2 days to painful, debilitating cramps. However, many home remedies can help a person get relief.
Menstrual cramps can be really uncomfortable and painful, but they do happen for a reason. During your period, your uterus contracts, meaning it squeezes or cramps up. This makes the lining come off the walls of your uterus and leave your body. When your uterus cramps up, it’s helping the period blood flow out of your vagina.
Most people get cramps during their periods at some point in their lives. They usually feel like throbbing pains in your lower belly. They can start a couple of days before your period comes, and sometimes continue throughout your period. Cramps are usually worse during the first few days of your period, when your flow is the heaviest.
Most women experience cramps in the lower abdomen, although the pain can also radiate to the lower back, groin, or upper thighs. Menstrual cramps tend to be the worst at the beginning of a period and become less uncomfortable as the days go on.
Sometimes, the pain seems impossible but there are natural ways of easing the discomfort and giving you freedom from pain!
Menstrual cramps, or primary dysmenorrhea, are an uncomfortable part of life for many women on a monthly basis. Drinking more water may help ease bloating, which makes symptoms worse. Get in the habit of drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water per day, especially during your period. Add some mint or a lemon wedge to make it more palatable. While you’re at it, back off of the salt, which encourages fluid retention and bloating. Avoid alcohol, which promotes dehydration. Some women experience diarrheaor vomiting in conjunction with menstrual cramps. It’s important to replace lost fluids by drinking plenty of water.
You may be craving fatty, sugary, or salty foods when you have your period, but these foods are not your friends. Some women find that eating the right kinds of foods may help ease menstrual pain. Anti-inflammatory foods like cherries, blueberries, squash, tomatoes, and bell peppers are good choices. Coldwater fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids are also healthy choices.
Eat more calcium-rich beans, almonds, and dark leafy greens. These foods contain compounds that combat inflammation. Some women report that eating this way can help ease menstrual pain and boost health. It’s best to eat a healthy, balanced diet year round, not just for a few days a month during your period.
Massage therapy for about 20 minutes can help reduce menstrual pain. One 2010 study looked at 23 women with period pain caused by endometriosis. The researchers found that massages significantly reduced pain immediately and afterward.
Massage therapy for menstruation involves pressing specific points while the therapist’s hands move around your abdomen, side, and back. Adding essential oils for an aromatherapy style of massage may have additional benefits.
A 2012 study divided 48 women experiencing menstrual pain into two groups: One group received a cream containing essential oils, while the other received a cream containing a synthetic fragrance.
The group who used essential oils experienced a significant reduction in amount and duration of pain. The researchers used a blend of lavender, clary sage, and marjoram oil in this study. You can buy a scented massage oil with similar ingredients or make your own.
You should always dilute your essential oil with a carrier oil. Examples include vegetable or nut oils such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil. A safe concentration is one drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.
Nothing feels more heavenly than a warm bath or a heating pad on your stomach to alleviate those nasty period pains. Heat can help fight those uninvited cramps by relaxing the muscles of the uterus and improving blood flow.
Placing a hot water bottle or heating pad against the abdomen can relax the muscles and relieve cramps. Heat helps the uterine muscle and those around it relax, which may ease cramping and discomfort. Don’t have a bath tub or heating pad? Grab a water bottle and fill it up with hot water, that’ll do the trick.
Dietary magnesium seems to help ease the pain of cramps. Magnesium is found in many foods and as a supplement if you can’t get what you need from your diet. Magnesium helps regulate nerve and muscle functioning, among other vital tasks; researchers who evaluated the evidence on magnesium call it a promising treatment for menstrual cramps.
The recommended dietary allowance of magnesium for women of childbearing age is about 320 mg daily. An ounce of dry almonds or one half cup of boiled spinach each has about 80 mg.
Certain teas may help relieve menstrual cramps. Herbal teas are warm and soothing, and in some cases, the herbs themselves can be beneficial as well.
Some manufacturers market specific teas, such as chamomile, zobo drink, dandelion, red raspberry, and fennel teas, as providing relief from menstrual cramps.
Research on herbal teas for menstrual pain relief is scarce, say experts, but teas have been used traditionally and can help. Because some of the herbs may act as estrogens, ask your doctor first before using one, especially if you have a history of a hormone-related cancer or take blood-thinning drugs.
Eliminating caffeine helps many women relieve menstrual pain. Caffeine comes in many forms including coffee, tea, soda, chocolate and energy drinks. If you consume caffeine daily, you may need to taper your dose down slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms. As a substitute, try smoothies loaded with antioxidant-rich greens, berries, and protein powder. The nutrients will give you a much needed pick me up without the increased pain that can accompany caffeine
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