Curl Up With A Heating Pad To Ease Period Cramps
The uterus is a muscle, so anything that helps relax muscles, like applying heat, can be beneficial, Thielen says.
Indeed, research published in Evidence-Based Nursing found that topically applied heat was just as effective as ibuprofen for period cramps. Over the two study days, the women used heat alone, heat plus ibuprofen, ibuprofen alone, or a placebo. The best results were in the heat plus ibuprofen group adding heat led to faster improvements.
A review published in March 2014 in The Journal of Physiotherapy also found that heat significantly lessened a womans period pain.
Natural Ways To Reduce Menstrual Cramps Or Period Pain
The menstruation cycle consists of a series of physiological change in the uterus, ovaries and endocrine system that take place from the beginning of one menstrual flow, to the start of the next. Eva Agee, Ph.D
Some of us experience pain, bloating, acne, headaches, cravings, weight gain, water retention, anxiety, irregular periods, heaviness and mood swings during this cyclical hormonal change. This can easily cause stress and create havoc during the time of menstruation. Debilitating menstruation pain sometimes may require that we rearrange our work schedule or call in sick to stay home during the first 1 or 2 days of the cycle. Some of us get painful acne on the face and back. Splitting headaches and exhaustion also can take over our lives! We all know how menstrual irregularities, PMS symptoms, and cramps can impair our daily activities during the cycle. They also pose health risks such as anemia .
Modern medications rarely correct the underlying cause of this discomfort. If you chose medications such as NSAIDS, antidepressants, and hormonal contraceptives it can reduce the PMS symptoms but does not really take care of the root of cause of the pain or symptoms and may also have adverse side effects. However implementing holistic strategies to support the bodys natural healing can lead to long term positive effect on your health and you may rarely experience the painful PMS symptoms.
What can cause PMS symptoms and menstrual cramps?
How Can You Tell If The Pain Of Your Menstrual Cramps Is Normal
If you have severe or unusual menstrual cramps or cramps that last for more than two or three days, contact your healthcare provider. Both primary and secondary menstrual cramps can be treated, so it’s important to get checked.
First, you will be asked to describe your symptoms and menstrual cycles. Your healthcare provider will also perform a pelvic exam. During this exam, your provider inserts a speculum . The provider is able to examine your vagina, cervix and uterus. The doctor will feel for any lumps or changes. They may take a small sample of vaginal fluid for testing.
If your provider thinks you may have secondary dysmenorrhea, you may need additional tests, such as an ultrasound or a laparoscopy. If those tests indicate a medical problem, your healthcare provider will discuss treatments.
If you use tampons and develop the following symptoms, get medical help right away: over 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dizziness, fainting or near fainting.
- A rash that looks like a sunburn.
These are symptoms of toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening illness.
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Fish Oil And Vitamin B1
Researchers studied the effects of vitamin B1 and fish oil on dysmenorrhea symptoms in high school students. The young women were separated into 4 different groups. One group took 100 milligrams of vitamin B1 per day. Another took 500 milligrams of fish oil per day. One group took a combination of both vitamin B1 and fish oil daily. The last group took a placebo. The women took the treatment at the beginning of their menstrual cycles and continued for 2 months. Compared to those in the placebo group, those who took vitamin B1, fish oil, or both reported significantly less pain. The women who took fish oil or B1 also reported their pain didn’t last as long compared to those in the placebo group.
Pills Vaginal Rings And Shots
Other options include birth control pills, the Nuvaring® and medroxyprogesterone shots.
Its worth pointing out that the birth control pills we would prescribe for a 16-year-old differ from those we would prescribe for a 45-year-old.
This sophisticated strategy should be directed by, or done in partnership with, a physician well-versed in adolescent health and menstrual manipulation.
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Essential Oils Inhale And Apply
Essential oils like thyme and lavender have a soothing sensation and relax the mind and body.
There are two ways of using it at school to have the cramps at bay instantly.
Firstly, apply in the pelvic region thoroughly before dressing up for school.
Deep penetration of these oils helps relax the muscles and prevent pain. Other option is to have the small bottle handy and inhale the oils when the cramps get severe.
This again calms the senses and controls the hormones instantly, leading to reduced pain. Apply it on pulse points at the wrist and inhale through the day to comfort the body during the menstrual phase.
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 didn’t report any side effects associated with taking cinnamon pills. Try a sprinkle of cinnamon on your cereal or cup of hot cocoa. It can’t hurt and it might help your cramps and other period symptoms.
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What Can You Do At Home To Help Period Cramps
The good news is that, even though cramps are painful, there are a handful of things you can do to feel better. For instance, you can fight cramps with over-the-counter pain relievers, called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. NSAIDs work as anti-inflammatory agents and block the enzyme that makes prostaglandins , resulting in lower levels of prostaglandins, says Alyssa Dweck, MS, MD, FACOG, a practicing gynecologist that specializes in female sexual and reproductive health. Less prostaglandin means less muscular contraction and less pain. Though all of these experts recommended using themconsult your doctor before taking medications.
Additionally, applying a heating pad to your abdomen or lower back can help alleviate pain. This is because heat encourages blood vessels to expand, which in turn increases blood flow and relaxes muscles, Dr. Roskin adds. Just remember to put your heating pad on a timer or take it off your body before you fall asleep. Prolonged use of heating pads can potentially cause burns and other safety risks. Dr. Ritch adds that a warm bath can reduce pain as well.
Another tactic for reducing cramps at night is sleeping on your side in the fetal position, sometimes with a small pillow between the knees, Dr. Ritch says. This position can help take pressure off the muscles and joints surrounding the uterus, and it’s especially helpful if cramping radiates to the back or down the legs, she adds.
Heating Pads + Heating Wraps
Numer one rule to relieve severe menstrual cramps: go wherever is warm. Or bring it to you. That will always make yourself feel better. For that, I have a few options. At home, I have a heated mattress pad on my bed. That is awesome during the winter time and whenever cramps attack me. It just the best feeling to go to bed and be all warm. As an extra, I use a seeds pillow you can heat in the microwave. Because you can never be too warm.
But what works for most people is to put a heating pad on your stomach. Like I said, feeling warm is everything and this goes just on the problematic zone. If you havent tried this then, what are you waiting for? Also, if you normally arent home or if you are about to travel and you know your period will come when you are on the go. Then I recommend this heating wraps.
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How To Relieve Menstrual Cramps While You Are At Home
Recent scientific research has backed the fact that pain of period cramps can be as severe as the pain felt during a mild stroke. This enormous and nerve wrecking pain of menstrual cramps is unimaginable.
The onset of the pain and cramps starts even before the actual bleeding. Cramps are one of the most common symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome .
How To Get Rid Of Period Cramps 10 Secret Weapons
Ever wonder how to get rid of period cramps? I know. It might seem strange that, as a man, Im offering advice on how to combat painful periods. But with so many women suffering from painful PMS symptoms each month, its a topic Ive wanted to tackle for some time now.
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Birth Control Pills May Lessen Painful Cramping Too
While not exactly a home remedy, birth control pills and hormonal intrauterine devices are potential tools in your anticramping arsenal and should not be overlooked, Thielen says.
Consider cramp relief a benefit to some types of contraception. Many women find relief from painful cramps when they start the pill, Thielen says. Hormonal birth control typically lessens the amount of bleeding, and less bleeding can translate into fewer cramps, she says.
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.
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Improving Your Diet May Alleviate Period Cramps
Start by swapping out less healthy fats like the saturated fats found in animal products for healthier ones like unsaturated fats found in olive oil, suggests the American Heart Association. Overall, try to make the fats you eat better quality, such as those found in fish or nuts, the organization suggests. Examples of meals not overly reliant on fats can be found in the healthy eating plate guide from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Yoga Against Period Pain
Yoga doesn’t mean that you have to stand on your head but can be just a series of simple stretches. If you practice yoga regularly dont stop, and even if you feel that yoga is not for you, try a session and learn a couple of poses to use for when you have period pain. And if you do want to stand on your head, do. The myth that you shouldnt do certain yoga poses has been debunked. Concerns that this would lead to worry retrograde menstruation, or the blood flowing back, as a risk for endometriosis are no longer accepted. This was based on research dating back to 1927.
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Up The Magnesium In Your Diet To Help Nerve And Muscle Function
Dietary magnesium seems to help ease the pain of cramps, says DeJarra Sims, ND, an assistant professor of naturopathic medicine at Bastyr Universitys California campus in San Diego and the author of Your Healthiest Life Now. A Cochrane review of dietary and other remedies published in 2001 concluded that getting enough magnesium can help relieve pain.
Magnesium is found in many foods and as a supplement if you cant 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. But they cannot recommend a specific dose, because researchers have studied various doses. 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.
Dr. Sims says the dose you may need depends on the severity of your cramps and other factors. Ask your doctor about the best magnesium intake for you.
What Causes Painful Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps happen when a chemical called prostaglandin makes the uterus contract . The uterus, the muscular organ where a baby grows, contracts throughout your menstrual cycle. During menstruation, the uterus contracts more strongly. If the uterus contracts too strongly, it can press against nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to muscle tissue. You feel pain when part of the muscle briefly loses its supply of oxygen.
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Drink More Water During Your Period Cramps
Drinking enough water during your period can help to prevent the body from getting dehydrated. Water intake can help to regulate proper functioning of the body cells. Lack of enough water in the body system can dispose women to physical and mental stress and improper functioning.
It is advisable to drink enough water at all times to keep your body active. But how much water is enough?
The Institute of Medicine recommends 9 cup of fluid total per day for women. The reduction in the amount of estrogen and progesterone can cause retention of water in the body. Drinking enough water can help to flush your system and keep you hydrated always.