If you’re a cranky cramper you’ll know how that menstrual cramps are a common problem during monthly periods, and they affect about half of all menstruating women.
While some women will just experience mild pain at the onset of the periods, about one in ten women experience severe period pain.
Menstrual cramps symptoms can be treated by the use of modern medication; however, while it is so, these treatments are not effective in the long-term. Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies for menstrual pains that can be used to effectively treat it.
What are the causes of menstrual cramps?
Before looking at the treatment options for menstrual cramps, it is important you understand what exactly causes them. Menstrual cramps are believed to be caused by prostaglandins. These are natural hormones released in your body to stimulate contraction of the uterus during menstruation.
Generally, there are two types of menstrual cramps:
1) Primary dysmenorrhea – this is menstrual pain that occurs during menstruation. It is usually very mild, and occurs in healthy young, women. It is caused by the activity of the prostaglandin hormone on the uterus.
2) Secondary dysmenorrhea – this is a severe kind of menstrual pain. It is a condition that develops later in women who have experienced normal periods. It is usually as a result of an underlying problem in the abdominal or pelvic area (fibroids, endometriosis, STIs, and premenstrual syndrome). It can also be caused by high levels of stress and anxiety, especially due to heavy working schedules or motherhood.
Natural remedies for menstrual cramps
Taking over the counter pain medication to treat period pains might seem like a good idea. However, these medication just treat the symptoms and not the root cause of the problem. Therefore, you will still have to take the medications every time you experience pain during your monthly periods.
Natural remedies are an option when treating menstrual cramps. Apart from being the drug free treatment option, most of them will also treat the underlying conditions. Here is a look at some of the top remedies you can use to treat period pains:
Sounds crazy, right? Engaging in physical activity when you can even barely move might seem odd, but any form of exercise can go a long way in easing period pains. Exercising your body stimulates the release of endorphins, which lifts your moods and can help alleviate pain.
Exercising also brings about additional benefits such as improved blood flow in the body, relieving stress and anxiety, and helping your body to relax. This helps to lessen the pain symptoms of menstrual cramps.
While exercise is great remedy for menstrual cramps, you should avoid intense workout activities during your monthly periods. Intense activity can place more stress on your body worsening the pain. Moderate exercises such as walking, swimming and yoga are the best activities to consider during monthly periods.
Poor health and deficiency of nutrients in the body can affect the severity of period pains. Consuming a proper and healthy diet can help your body to boost production of hormones, preventing hormonal imbalance. Therefore, you should consume a healthy diet, which should include foods packed with essential nutrients.
Your diet should be comprised of foods such as brown rice and other healthy carbohydrates, leafy green vegetables, meat (chicken and fish) and fruits. In addition, you should consume foods and supplements that provide your body with the following nutrients and minerals: vitamins, calcium, magnesium, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids.
When choosing your diet, you should also avoid consuming foods and beverages that can worsen the menstrual cramps symptoms. These include; alcohol, foods with a high fat content, coffee and carbonated beverages. These foods can interfere with the production of hormones in your body, leading to hormonal imbalance.