Menstrual cramps have been seen to be an uncomfortable part of a woman’s life. This is due to the contraction of the uterine muscles during excoriation of the already built up tissues in the uterus. This process is accompanied by hormonal changes which varies from woman to another. Some women experience mild to moderate cramps while others might have it severe coupled with other symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, fever, restlessness, loss of appetite , breast tenderness and weight gain. Menstrual cramps have been found to cause low productivity of women at work. This ought not to be so anymore if the necessary measures to manage this condition are put to use. Here are simples tips that can help you go through this period.
Drink water: During menstruation, some women experience dehydration due to blood loss while others may have bloating or diarrhea. Taking regular sips of water as often as possible will help reduce menstrual cramps and discomfort. Drinking more water has been found to ease bloating and rehydrate tissues during menstruation. If you can’t take water you can take other flavored drinks e.g. ginger drinks but you should stay away from sugary drinks and beverages.
Eat right: Eating the right kind of meal composed with the right food combination can help decrease menstrual pain and tension. This diet must be minimally high in fiber,plants and unprocessed foods. You can give these foods a try during your period:
- Papaya (rich in vitamins)
- brown rice (contains vitamin b6, which may reduce bloating)
- Walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds (rich in manganese, which eases cramps)
- Unsaturated olive oil and broccoli (contain vitamin e)
- Chicken, fish, and leafy green vegetables (contain iron, which is lost during menstruation)
- Flaxseed (contains omega-s with antioxidant properties, which reduce swelling and inflammation)
Apply heat: Applying a heating pad, heat wrap, or hot water bottle to your abdomen works wonders for relieving menstrual cramps. It helps to reduce pain felt at the pelvic area. You can get this heat pads or bottles at any available drug store. However, you can make use of warm towel or hot shower if you can’t get a warm bottle
Massage: It is often said that there is power in touch. Massaging your abdomen for as little as 5 minutes a day may be able to help relieve menstrual cramps and encourage blood flow. You can do this effectively by rubbing on your palms good essential oils like eucalyptus, olive and lavender during the massage. Its effect can’t be underestimated.
Avoid pain triggers: Certain foods like skip white, refined foods including sugar, bread, pasta, trans-fatty acids that are found most often in commercially-prepared foods like French fries, cookies, onion rings, crackers, and margarine are found to increase discomfort and cramps during your period as they are capable of potentiating the release of prostalglandins
Exercise: This might seem like the last thing you want to do when you have menstrual cramps but trust me its effect cannot be over-emphasized. According to research, mild to moderate exercises like brisk walking and cycling can help to reduce muscle contraction which invariably reduces menstrual cramps.
Sleep: Getting adequate rest and sleep works great wonders in relieving menstrual pain. Sleep helps to lower body activities such that you feel relaxed and better after a stressful day. Stress causes the release of hormones which increases contraction in the uterus. A good nap in a comfortable and well ventilated environment especially after a hot bath is a sure bet for relieving menstrual cramp.
Use of over-the counter medications: If all measures listed above doesn’t give the required result you seek, go for pain relievers in any drug store close to you to further relieve the menstrual cramps. Pain relievers like paracetamol, ibuprofen have proved to be effective. But if pain becomes worse than you can bear, endearvour to see a doctor as soon as possible.