BY: SYDNEY MCINNIS
Ladies, that x amount of days every month that you’re bombarded by a tidal wave of menstrual blood is probably hell. Some suffer from 14-day menstruations. Some suffer from alarming mood swings and irritability. Some want to eat six packs of Oreos. All of these things combined can be enough to have you crawling under the covers and calling in sick to work. Having a shitty period can temporarily interfere with your life.
According to Everyday Health, more than half of young women’s monthly periods come with pain, some of it severe. I used to get shooting pains in my lower back and abdomen for 13 days at a time, with almost everyday involving multiple episodes of collapsing to the floor, writhing in pain, which would happen in all sorts of public places.
Everyday Health states, “Doctors are not entirely sure what causes the pain and discomfort. A popular theory is that as the lining of the uterus is shed in the menstrual flow, the level of chemicals involved in the inflammatory response rises. Those rising levels of chemicals may be related to the pain of menstrual cramps.”
Since periods hurt so fucking much, you probably associate your period with negative things, even though it’s just a natural course of the body that is actually pretty beautiful. If you aren’t totally sure what’s happening in your reproductive system during your period, read this.
Throughout the months, you’ve probably tried abusing every anti-inflammatory drug you could find in your mom’s medicine cabinet. It’s cool. We all have. The truth is, however, that natural remedies actually work. They nourish your body rather than harm it. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol), can be destructive on your liver and only give you temporary relief. Fernando Bessone writes on PubMed Central, “The current policy concerning the use of NSAIDs recommends that patients take ‘the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration’ needed to control symptoms.” The problem is that if you’re taking NSAIDs regularly because of your period, your liver is likely taking quite the beating.
Good eats, herbs, exercise and vitamins will do the trick even better than eight Advils will.
Here are eight holistic remedies for those pains that really do work:
Heat. A hot water bottle. A hot beanbag. A hot bath. Whatever option you choose, it will give you relief from the pain of cramps and generally help you to let go of any stress that might come along with your period.
According to Darlene Barton-Schuster at Natural Fertility Info, it’s important to avoid foods that increase inflammation response. High glycemic foods are known to increase levels of inflammatory chemicals in the body, so minimize the amount of dairy products and sugary foods you eat while you’re bleeding. Vitamin A is really important for keeping estrogen levels controlled, which you can get from eating carrots. If you eat leafy greens, seeds and nuts, you’ll keep your magnesium levels up which will also combat cramps.
Barton-Schuster states, “These are probably the most effective herbs for reducing uterine spasm and cramping. These sister herbs bring relief of pain and muscle spasm in the uterus.” You can get these from a health store in pill or liquid form.
Maureen Miller Pelletier, co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Menopause, told Livestrong, “This pleasant, soothing herb has gentle sedative properties and relaxes smooth muscle, such as the muscle that lines the wall of your uterus.”
Stay hydrated. Water is the therapy for every problem. Drinking a bunch of it will help you feel better in just about every way – it will reduce bloating, headaches, nausea and all of the other shitty symptoms that come along with menstruating.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends steady exercise to relieve PMS because of the endorphins, but also because exercising will also allow you to take your mind off of the pain. It’s hard to get yourself motivated to do heavy exercise when you’re feeling sluggish, so here are some yoga poses that use slow movements to help with cramping.
Intimina states, “contractions of the uterus that occur when a woman orgasms help to expel blood and tissue from the uterine cavity, as well as cramp-causing compounds. This can even shorten the length of your period.” Your brain will also release a big dose of dopamine, which will naturally kill period pains.
Image sourcing: herbazest.com, chatelaine.com, healthyfoodhouse.com, blogspot.com, richmondnaturalmed, enabledkids.ca, popsugar.com
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