How to Relieve Menstrual Cramps Naturally
If you are one of the women who experience severe menstrual cramps, you probably dread the time when your period is approaching. Most women experience some degree of menstrual discomfort: pain, cramps, and heavy flow are common symptoms, and are looking for effective period cramps relief methods.
Most of us even told that you just have to endure the physical discomfort of the monthly cycle and treat it as something normal.
What is more, many women, do not have a so-called normal menstrual cycle. Most of us suffer from various problems, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), painful periods, heavy periods, lack of periods, breast or ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis, weight gain, common pregnancy and menopause issues.
The truth, however, is that it is not normal for a woman to experience anything more than very mild pain and discomfort with her cycle, if anything at all!
Many women resort to pain killers to get some relief. However, the medication usually only lasts a few hours, and sometimes even that doesn’t provide a desired relief. Some are told to use birth control pills.
Fortunately, there are certain lifestyle changes that every woman can implement to relieve these severe discomforts naturally.
Healthy eating, physical activity, along with some herbs and vitamins can make every day of the month as good as any other day: there is no need to be in pain, stay in bed or experience unpleasant symptoms at all.
What Causes Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps are caused by the contracting of the uterus, which then allows blood to leave the uterus as the muscles tighten. The uterine lining also causes the release of a chemical called prostaglandin, which causes the contractions to intensify. As the contractions become stronger, woman experiences discomfort, which may range from mild jabbing to severe cramping. For those who have low pain tolerance, immediate menstrual cramps relief could be given to ease the pain.
Mild discomfort is normal, however, anything stronger is likely caused by a combination of various lifestyle factors that contribute to hormonal imbalance in the body, with the unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity usually being the main culprits.
Secondary Dysmenorrhea: Menstrual Cramps Caused by Reproductive Problems?
When a woman has a disease in her reproductive organs, cramping can be a problem. This type of cramping is called secondary dysmenorrhea. Conditions that can cause secondary dysmenorrhea include:
Endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue lining the uterus (the endometrium) is found outside of the uterus
Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection caused by bacteria that starts in the uterus and can spread to other reproductive organs
Stenosis (narrowing) of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus (the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a baby grows), often caused by scarring
Tumors (also called “fibroids”), or growths on the inner wall of the uterus
How to Relieve Menstrual Cramps: 15+ Tips for Period Cramps Relief
1. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and leafy greens. Drink freshly made green smoothies and juices. Buy organic produce to avoid pesticides and herbicides.
2. Replace processed carbohydrates with whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts.
3. Eliminate all processed foods, fast foods, fatty foods and avoid or limit animal protein. It’s best to switch completely to vegetarian diet.
If you decide to eat animal protein, do it sporadically and buy organic.
4. Eliminate coffee, tea, sodas, soft drinks, and other foods that contain caffeine and sugar. You may find it hard to implement this adjustment, so do it gradually.
5. Limit salt: this includes table salt, sea salt and soy sauce. Watch for salt hiding in prepared foods.
6. Avoid plastics, pesticides and other chemicals that increase estrogen levels.
7. Supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, calcium, Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin E.
8. Drink herbal teas. Herbal remedies such as chamomile, fennel, ginger, cinnamon, basil, parsley and mint are used in different forms to ease cramps and other symptoms associated with menstruation. Mint, ginger and chamomile can be used to make soothing teas which can be taken a few times a day.
9. Keep your body moving. Light exercises done regularly will help you stay active and increase the stamina. Walking and yoga are two excellent choices, but do anything that you enjoy.
10. Yoga or meditation can be very beneficial in the treatment of painful menstrual periods.
11. Acupressure is also said to be a wonderful way to relieve menstrual cramps.
12. Take a warm bath. A warm bath or a warm shower is soothing and helps you relax. It also aids in easing off the pain.
13. Hot Water Bottle: Apply a hot water bottle or a heat pad on the lower abdominal area where the cramps are occurring. Be careful not to apply the bottle too hot for it can damage the skin and cause burns.
15. Use a menstrual cup. Many women (including me) find heavy flow and even cramping are reduced when they switch to a menstrual cup.
Not only will this help with pain relief, but it is also said to help regulate the menstrual cycle, preventing other disorders associated with hormonal imbalance, including ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or even breast cancer.
How Can I Know If My Period Cramps Are Normal?
Whenever you experience unusually strong cramps and severe pain, or cramping that last for more than two or three days, see your physician for help. The doctor will examine you to make sure you are not having secondary dysmenorrhea, caused by some other medical problem.
Your doctor will ask you to describe your symptoms and menstrual cycles, as well as perform a pelvic exam to check for any abnormalities. If the cramping you are having is not common menstrual cramps, further tests may be needed. If a medical problem is found, your doctor will discuss treatments.
If you use tampons and develop the following symptoms, get medical help right away:
Fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit
Dizziness, fainting or near fainting
A rash that looks like a sunburn
Read more about menstrual cup products on my blog.