Go away Aunt Flo! Your visit is a painful and unpleasant one! Aunt Flo is a monthly unwelcomed guest, but when symptoms from getting your period get out of hand it can leave you with a highly uncomfortable feeling. Perhaps you are feeling sluggish, or you have cramps, headaches, or generally just some raging hormones. The list goes on for why women dread their visit from Aunt Flo, but there are ways to ease these symptoms. Let’s focus on how to get rid of your menstrual cramps naturally.
1. Change your Dietary Habits.
Your current dietary habits may actually increase the intensity of your cramps if you are not careful with what you are putting into your body. In order to keep your hormones in balance, drink lots of water to decrease bloating as it can add to the discomfort of the pain that you are experiencing. The water will also help flush out any excess sodium in your body, so stay hydrated, and you will notice a huge difference. This goes hand in hand with avoiding food that is high in sodium as it leaves your body dehydrated.
Decrease or avoid the consumption of caffeine and alcohol as both increases urine production that will leave you dehydrated. Caffeine increases your blood pressure and accelerates your heart rate causing your blood vessels to restrict, leaving less opportunity for blood to carry oxygen to your uterus. What does this mean? Less oxygen to your uterus equals cramps!
Eat healthy fats such as quality meats, butter, tallow, coconut oil, and olive oil to help boost proper hormone production. If you eat the wrong kinds of fats you will end up hinder proper hormonal production causing unnecessary painful menstrual cramps.
Along with increasing your water intake, try adding more fruits and green leafy veggies in your diet to help boost the level of hydration in your body. The energy boost of vitamins and nutrients will keep you feeling energized during this otherwise dreary week of your life.
2. Increase Supplements.
Magnesium supports many reactions in the body and naturally helps ease PMS symptoms including menstrual cramps. There are several forms to incorporate magnesium as a supplement in your diet, but the process needs to be gradual, and it is recommended that you speak with a health care provider before you begin taking any supplement. Magnesium decreases your stress level allowing you to relax and it promotes muscle relaxation so that you can sleep easier.
Incorporate vitamin D3 in your diet, especially during the colder climates where people avoid staying outside for long periods of time, compromising their exposure to Vitamin D3 in the process. During the winter months, the period of time when sunlight is available is also shorter, thus making it even harder to get enough Vitamin D3 absorbed into the body. Vitamin D3 plays a role in the supportive function of hormones and is best obtained from the sun if possible.
As mentioned earlier in this article, increasing healthy fats can help stabilize your hormone levels. This includes Omega-3 fatty acids that can be found in cod liver oil. Taking sources of healthy fat can provide your body with the necessary building blocks for hormone production such as Vitamin A, D, and K. Omega-3 fatty acids are also great for your brain so that is a win-win situation when it comes to increasing healthy fats in your diet!
3. Switch up your Lifestyle.
Obtain adequate sleep and relax for at least 7-8 hours at night to reduce stress levels. The addition of stress can make your cramps feel worse due to the imbalance of your hormone levels. Stress releases cortisol hormone in the body that can lower levels of progesterone and thyroid hormones. If these two hormones are lowered, it will cause an imbalance of estrogen in your body. There is a fine balance when it comes to hormones, which is the driving force behind many symptoms experienced during your menstruation to keep everything running smoothly.
Exercise allows your body to release endorphin hormones that are otherwise known as “feel good” hormones in the body. The presence of these hormones works as a natural painkiller and will help you get rid of your menstrual cramps naturally. Decrease your stress levels through relaxing exercises such as yoga, swimming, or walking.
Apply a heating pad to your abdominal area to help your muscle relax and blood vessels to dilate, thus allowing a smoother blood flow to take place. By increasing the blood flow to the area, you will bring oxygen to the area since the cause of cramps is the result of the lack of oxygen to your uterus.
Try your hand at an abdominal and back massage or schedule an appointment with a registered massage therapist so they can help target troublesome spots to ease your pain. Even if the massage itself doesn’t take the edge off of the pain, you will still feel a lot more relaxed and the decrease of stress level will help you get rid of menstrual cramps.
The experience of menstrual cramps along with your period sucks. It is never fun and leaves you feeling sluggish. Instead of curling up in bed wishing yourself sleep, get up and out to exercise to get those endorphins in your blood stream. Take some of the suggestions mentioned above to tackle the symptoms that come with your period. Relax, breathe, and embrace a pain free period.
*Disclaimer: Check with your doctor or health care professional before taking any new supplements. Some supplements may interact with medication or contraceptives that you are currently taking, so schedule an appointment to see your doctor to discuss your options.
If you believe that you are experiencing intense menstrual cramps where nothing mentioned above can ease your pain, it is strongly recommended that you seek medical attention, as there may be the possibility of bigger problems that you are not aware of. Pain that lasts longer than your period should be brought to the attention of your doctor right away.
If you have a fever, are vomiting, feeling nauseous, bleeding more heavily than normal or think that you may be pregnant, seek medical help immediately.