Sucking Up coz of those torturous menstrual cramps? Period pain is completely normal… Severe ones are not! You need to see a doctor!
You know what? It is common to feel uncomfortable around your lower abdomen, thighs and lower back during that period of the month. No need to panic, it is normal.
During menstruation, uterine muscles contract and relax to facilitate the shedding of the built-up lining. Most times women experience cramps, a clear and good indication that muscles are working normally.
Period pain sets in as a result of this natural process for some women while others don’t experience pain. The reason for this difference, doctors suggest, is unknown. Important to note though is that, this time of the month to some women may mean bloating, sore breasts, irritable behaviour, headaches and emotional instability that manifests as mood swings. Sometimes the associated cramps in the first few days may go to an extent of making a woman bedridden for a few hours to a few days.
Intense pain is not usually common. When severe pain is available it may be an indication of other associated factors that may need to be checked by a doctor and treatment advised. Such factors that contribute to intense pain may include;
- a heavy blood flow
- having your first child
- being under the age of 20, or just starting your period
- having an overproduction of or sensitivity to prostaglandins, a hormone that influences your womb
- growth in your womb
- Birth control
Home and natural remedies that will help you relieve that pain…
The first thought for women experiencing pain during this period is usually taking painkillers. Popping meds everytime you have cramps, or period pain may be recommended to lessen the pain. However, they only offer a temporary solution to the problem.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the primary over-the-counter (OTC) form of pain relief recommended for menstrual pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. Examples include ibuprofen and naproxen. They help reduce pain by lowering the bodies production of prostaglandins.
We suggest a number of natural remedies that will cut the use of hormonal treatments, Over-the-Counter medicine and Birth Control remedies by half.
Taking lots of water and other fluids (like tea and ginger) helps lessen the effects of bloating by ensuring that your digestive system runs normally. Hydration can also be achieved by adding fruits and vegetables that are rich in water.
Warm water also helps reduce cramps from the inside as well as hot beverages, which effect a relaxing sensation to the muscle groups involved. Hot water can also be used to improve the oral administration of herbs or supplements that improve muscle contractions and relaxation thus relieving pain and swelling even way better than ibuprofen.
Taking tea with the right choice of herbs to relieve menstrual cramps is an excellent way of doing it. Tea keeps the body hydrated when you use it with the right herbs like raspberry leaves, chamomile and ginger. They help to loosen up the cramps and ease the pain
Sipping two cups of chamomile tea per day a week before your period increases the urinary levels of glycine, an essential amino acid, that helps relieve muscle spasms as well as relax nerves. You can also increase the results of its use by using it every month.
Grating a small piece of ginger into hot water or tea will relieve cramps in no time. According to research by some university students 1000g of ginger a day (250g four times a day) for three days relieves muscle pain making it just as effective as ibuprofen.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe painful menstrual cramps. The plant contains gingerols and gingerdiones, which work to inhibit leukotriene and prostaglandin synthesis, decreasing period cramping pain.
Harmonizing tea will also help your body keep its hormones in balance, especially when you feel tense and moody.
b) Heat Therapy
Applying heat to the lower abdomen or lower back increases blood flow to the area, which helps to flush out pain-producing substances like prostaglandins. A woman can use any available heat treatment method.
You can use a hot water bottle or a cherry stone pillow to massage the lower abdomen thus increasing the flow of blood while loosening up the cramps. An adhesive heating pad is also as effective and it is small enough to slip under your tight jeans thus providing constant uterine muscle-soothing relief for up to eight hours.
Staying warm and toasty during the menstrual period will keep you relaxed, loosened up down there thus keeping your mood below sea level.
Diet is everything for anything. Most of lives health problems can be prevented by taking the right and balanced pieces of food. You can tailor make your diet to one that is geared toward decreasing menstrual pain. Such diet is high in fibre, plant-based food and minimally processed food.
Examples given for such diet include but is not limited to Papaya (rich in vitamins), brown rice with vitamin B-6 (reduce bloating), walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds rich in manganese, which eases cramps, olive oil and broccoli, chicken, fish, and leafy green vegetables that contain iron, as well as flaxseed which contains omega-3s with antioxidant properties, which reduce swelling and inflammation.
Generally, it is good to maintain a low carb and low- sugar diet not only during this season but always… but especially during this season. A Fibre-rich diet will go a long way to stop the discomfiture that comes with the season.
Cravings that come especially during this period are a ‘NO-NO’. You shouldn’t have them for they will not add any value, if not aggravating the problem. We cannot insist more on taking lots of water as part of a healthy diet habit.
d) Regular exercise
Breaking a sweat is not only a healthy lifestyle habit, but it is also essential in the production of the ‘feel good hormone’ and mood-boosting endorphins. In this regard, endorphins act as natural pain relievers. Women who do regular physical activity have been proven to greatly reduce pelvic pain. With regular physical activity, menstrual pain is greatly reduced thus eliminating the need for Over the Counter medicines to relieve pain. It is not an appealing idea for many, but a very fulfilling one for sure. If you want to know, try putting on your sneakers more regularly… Thank me later…
When to see a doctor;
- the pain consistently prevents you from doing day-to-day activities
- the pain worsens, or bleeding gets heavier, over time
you’re over 25 and severe cramps are a new development
- OTC medication doesn’t work
- For severe cases, the best way to get treatment is for a doctor to diagnose the cause of your menstrual pain