Foods That Fight Inflammation
Naturally, eating foods that decrease inflammation in the body will help to tame menstrual cramps. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Research has shown that both a vegetarian and plant-based eating pattern work to decrease inflammation in the body. This decrease is due to the high number of antioxidants and plant chemicals found in plant foods that help the body to function optimally.,,
There is a connection between the food you eat and your bodys estrogen levels. Animal products and added oils increase the levels of estrogen in the body. The more estrogen-based foods you consume, the more likely your uterine lining becomes abnormally thick. As a result, when it begins to break down during the menstrual cycle, this process creates more prostaglandins, resulting in higher levels of pain.
How Can You Relieve Mild Menstrual Cramps
To relieve mild menstrual cramps:
- For the best relief, take ibuprofen as soon as bleeding or cramping starts. Ibuprofen belongs to a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . They reduce the output of prostaglandins. If you cant take NSAIDs, you can take another pain reliever like acetaminophen.
- Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower back or abdomen.
- Rest when needed.
- Avoid foods that contain caffeine.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Massage your lower back and abdomen.
Women who exercise regularly often have less menstrual pain. To help prevent cramps, make exercise a part of your weekly routine.
If these steps dont relieve pain, your healthcare provider can order medications for you, including ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory medication in a higher dose that is available over the counter. Your healthcare provider might also suggest oral contraceptives since women who take oral contraceptives tend to have less menstrual pain.
If testing shows that you have secondary dysmenorrhea, your provider will discuss treatments of the condition causing the pain. This might mean oral contraceptives, other types of medications, or surgery.
Lifestyle Changes That Help Relieve Stomach Pain During Periods
It may be possible to find ways to deal with the painful days so they are less of a problem. For example, many women try to take things a bit easier in those days. Some find that relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, yoga or tai chi help them feel more relaxed and reduce stress. Getting a lot of exercises also helps relieve stomach pain during periods in some women.
Measures that may reduce the risk of Menstrual Cramps Include:
- Eating fruits and vegetables and limiting the intake of fat, alcohol, caffeine, salt, and sweets
- Exercising regularly
- Reducing stress
- Quitting smoking
If these also do not help over 2-3 months, then you can ask a gynecologist, to rule out infection or growth. Hence invasive procedures might be done for diagnostic purposes.
There is Another Type of Pain known as the MittelschmerzMittelschmerz is one-sided, lower abdominal pain associated with ovulation. German for middle pain, mittelschmerz occurs midway through a menstrual cycle about 14 days before your next menstrual period.
The Exact Cause of Mittelschmerz is Unknown, but Possible Reasons for the Pain Include these Just before an egg is released with ovulation, follicle growth stretches the surface of your ovary, causing pain. Blood or fluid released from the ruptured follicle irritates the lining of your abdomen , leading to pain.
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Painful Periods With Blood Clots
Blood Clotting during menstruation can also cause menstrual cramps in a woman. Blood clots usually dont cause you any problem but sometimes due to massive bleeding can lead you to painful periods.
Your body releases typically anticoagulants which keep menstrual blood from clotting. But if you are suffering from massive and blood is being rapidly expelled. In this case, anticoagulants dont have enough time to work which causes blood clots.
Note: If you are having excessive clotting or clots larger than a quarter during period, you should see your doctor.
A Sprinkle Of Cinnamon
In a study of young women, those who took capsules containing 420 milligrams of cinnamon 3 times a day for the first 3 days of their menstrual cycle had less menstrual bleeding, less pain, and reductions in nausea and frequency of vomiting compared to those who took a placebo. The women didnât report any side effects associated with taking cinnamon pills. Try a sprinkle of cinnamon on your cereal or cup of hot cocoa. It canât hurt and it might help your cramps and other period symptoms.
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Switch Up Your Sleeping Position
Anecdotal reports say that the fetal position is the best sleeping position for menstrual cramps. This could be because the position doesnt place weight on your abdomen or lower back which is where period pain is typically felt.
There isnt any research into how your sleeping position can affect period pain, but that doesnt mean it isnt worth giving a try.
Although period cramps are very common, severe pain isnt normal. Youll want to make an appointment to see a doctor if you:
- have period cramps so painful that you cant go about your daily activities
- started having severe menstrual cramps at or after age 25
Extreme pain before or during your period can be a sign of a more serious health condition that needs treatment, such as:
How Much Period Pain Is Normal
If youre like most women, youve experienced period pain at some point in your life. A little bit of mild cramping can be considered normal, especially at the beginning of your period. But ideally, you wont even feel your period coming at all.
If youre consistently having to pop painkillers like candy, or youre in too much pain to go to work or school, then something deeper is going on. That type of period pain is not normal. In medicine, painful periods are called dysmenorrhea.
Your period is like a barometer of your overall health. It tells you how well your body is being nourished , how much stress youve been under, and how much inflammation might be going on in your body.
Its important to uncover the root causes of why your hormones are in turmoil so that you can find the least invasive, safest and most effective solution.
The great news is that womens hormonal issues respond beautifully to natural medicine and, with a little detective work, you can troubleshoot your problems to get back on the road to wellness.
First, lets explore the causes of menstrual pain.
Im going to get all sciency because I want you to really understand whats going on inside of your body. I even made a cute little drawing to help explain everything. Bear with me and keep reading. Itll all make sense I promise!
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Things That May Help With Period Cramps
Dealing with menstrual cramps every month can be as frustrating as it is painful. The good news is there are many remedies that might help you relieve period cramps. Its important to remember that these techniques wont always work, especially for chronic conditions, but they can offer relief for mild to moderate period pain.
Try Some Yoga Poses To Ease Menstrual Pain
Whether itâs the stretching of your muscles or the relaxing effect of the poses, a regular yoga practice can indeed help your cramps.
When 20 undergraduate students did an hour-long yoga program once a week for three months, they had less menstrual cramping and period distress than 20 women who didnt, according to researchers for a study published in September 2016 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
The Journal of Physiotherapy review that sanctioned heating pads also found benefits for yoga.
You can practice during your period or between them, but some instructors advise women against doing inverted poses in the midst of menstruation, so as not interfere with your natural flow.
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Food That Helps: Tofu
Research shows that calcium can ease menstrual pain. That may be because the mineral helps muscle cells work properly. Like milk, yogurt, and other dairy products, tofu packs lots of calcium. Half a cup of firm tofu has enough to meet a quarter of your daily needs. Other good sources include fortified orange juice and cereal.
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How To Tell If Your Period Cramping Is Normal
Each girl or woman typically experiences a similar level of cramps from one month to the next, says Jackie Thielen, MD, an internist and womens health specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. For some women, monthly pain is minor. For others, it can be quite debilitating.
The main question doctors ask when determining whether your cramps are normal is Are they normal for you? Dr. Thielen says.
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What Causes Menstrual Pain
Pain during menstruation is thought to be caused by prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Together, these compounds are known as eicosanoids.
Prostaglandinsare a group of hormone-like fats that are made by our cells at sites of tissue damage or infection in the body. Their job is to direct the healing process by coordinating blood vessel constriction and blood clotting. In this process, prostaglandins cause the pain, fever, redness and swelling that we experience with illness and injury.
Prostaglandins also play a role in the female reproductive system by controlling ovulation, initiating labor and regulating menstrual flow. In other words, prostaglandins cause the uterus to contract.
Two specific prostaglandins have been linked to menstrual pain: PGE2 and PGF2-alpha.
Now, normally, prostaglandins are very short-lived. Once their job is done, the body breaks them down quickly.
But problems arise when inflammatory prostaglandins are produced in excess. Certain dietary andlifestyle factors will cause persistent tissue damage and load us with omega-6 fats, resulting in round the clock production of inflammatory prostaglandins.
Below is an illustration of the process. As you can see, anything that promotes high levels of arachidonic acid, the precursor to prostaglandins, can lead to pain and inflammation.
Similar to prostaglandins,leukotrienes are inflammatory molecules that are released by our white blood cells.
How To Make Periods Less Painful Tip #: Over
For the quickest relief from menstrual cramps, many people turn to a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen. NSAIDs lower production of the substances that cause menstrual cramps, and also decrease inflammation and pain. However, NSAIDs arent for everyone. They can irritate the digestive tract, and can be dangerous for those with bleeding or kidney issues. Make an appointment with a gynecologist to discuss whether NSAIDs are a good choice for you to manage period pain.
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When Should I Talk To My Ob
Since each womans body is unique, it can be difficult to tell whether the cramps youve grown used to are actually chronic. Use these common symptoms of chronic, severe menstrual cramps as a guideline to decide if its time to talk to an OB-GYN about your cramps.
- Your cramps interfere with your daily life
- The cramps last longer than two days
- No or minimal relief from over-the-counter pain medication
- You have cramps outside of your period
- You notice a change in how your cramps feel over time
Bad Menstrual Cramps And Your Fertility
Within the context of secondary dysmenorrhea, menstrual cramps can be caused by diseases that impact fertility. Some of these diseases develop over time, meaning you might not have symptoms right away or you might develop worsening symptoms as time goes on. There are several reproductive health conditions that can affect your periods and fertility.
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Facts About Period Pain
If you have dysmenorrhoea you are not alone. Around 80% of women experience period pain at some stage in their lifetime. You can suffer from period pain from your early teens right up to the menopause. Most women experience some discomfort during menstruation, especially on the first day. But in 5% to 10% of women the pain is severe enough to disrupt their life. If your mother suffered period pains, you are more likely to suffer too. In 40% of women, period pain is accompanied by premenstrual symptoms, such as bloating, tender breasts, swollen stomach, lack of concentration, mood swings, clumsiness and tiredness.
There are two different types of period pain:
Home Remedies For Period Cramps
When youre not feeling great, there are some home remedies for menstrual cramps you can turn to for relief.
When you have an aching muscle, you might turn to heat to loosen up any knots and ease your soreness. The same idea holds true for period cramps. A heating pad or stick-on heating wrap can provide pain relief.
When you have your period, the last thing you might want to do is hit the gym. However, exercising can help with pain from cramps. Heat and exercise are actually our two first-line options for nonmedical treatment, says Dr. Levine. Weve found that people who exercise during their periods do tend to have less pain. Doctors arent quite sure why, although its suspected the relief comes from the release of chemicals called endorphins, which make you feel good.
When youre not feeling great, warm beverages such as caffeine-free tea or hot water with honey can be soothing. Dr. Levine says these might not have any science-based benefit, but if they make you feel better, these are perfectly acceptable to drink. Applying essential oils as well cant hurt, although these too dont have any science-based benefit.
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What Can Help If My Daughter Has Pms
Your daughter can try these things if she has PMS symptoms:
- To help with food cravings: Eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- To ease bloating: Lower salt in her diet.
- To ease crankiness or anxiety: Avoid caffeine and get plenty of exercise.
- To help with backache, headache, or sore breasts: Try a warm heating pad or acetaminophen , ibuprofen , or naproxen .
- To relax: Try yoga or meditation.
- To prevent and treat pimples: Work with a dermatologist .
Massage With Essential Oils For Pain Relief
Massaging your skin with certain aromatic essential oils can relieve menstrual cramp pain, according to research published in The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research. Investigators asked 48 women with menstrual cramps and other symptoms to massage either essential oils or a synthetic fragrance into their lower abdomen between periods.
Women in both groups reported less pain, but the essential oils group did better. Based on the women’s reports, researchers found that the duration of pain was reduced by almost a half a day after self-massaging with the essential oils.
Some oils thought to be helpful include lavender essential oil, clary sage essential oil, and .
Just be sure youre using essential oils safely. Buy high-quality oils that are tested for purity. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy suggests diluting pure essential oils in an unscented cream, lotion, or carrier oil before placing it on your skin to avoid irritation.
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What Causes Period Pain
There can be many reasons for period pain, and if you experience chronic painful periods, its only natural to wonder why. Maybe youre the only woman in your family who gets severe cramps. Maybe your painful periods didnt start until your 20s. Whatever your situation, a doctor can help you understand why you get painful cramps every month. Some of the most common causes of painful periods are:
I Cant Get Comfortable At Night During My Period Help
Getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to make your period just a little bit easier. One of the best positions to sleep in to help relieve pain is the fetal position. Ironic, right? But seriously, that position which you automatically go to when youre upset and hurting, is the one that can take pressure off of your abdominal muscles and relieve those cramps.Also, if you tend to bleed a lot during the night, try not to sleep on your stomach. It squeezes your uterus in a way that encourages blood to flow. If you dont want to worry about leaks during the night, Proof is proven to help stop the leaks.
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What Helps With Cramps
Here are a some things that can help ease cramps:
Over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen , naproxen , or acetaminophen . Always follow the instructions on the bottle. Talk with your doctor before taking pain medication if you have an allergy to aspirin or severe asthma.
Hormonal birth control .
Acupuncture and acupressure.
Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation therapy that uses mild electric currents to stimulate your nerves to relieve pain.
Certain vitamins and herbs like vitamin B1, fish oil, fenugreek, ginger, valerian, zataria, and zinc sulfate.
Cramps are a pretty normal part of getting your period, but sometimes people have period cramps that are so painful its hard to do everyday things . If your period pain is really bad, and over-the-counter medicine doesnt help, talk with your doctor. They can help with other ways to manage the pain, or they may want to check to see if theres something more serious going on.
Cramps that are really bad may be a sign of:
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease an infection in your reproductive organs.
Endometriosis a condition where the lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterus.
Adenomyosis when the tissue that lines your uterus grows into the muscle wall of your uterus.
Uterine fibroids non-cancerous tumors that grow inside your uterus, in the walls of your uterus, or on the outside of your uterus.