Having your periods can be one of the most physically and emotionally exhausting times of the month. With all the pain, discomfort and cramping, all you really want to do is lie down, relax and let the pain just vanish. While there are a number of painkillers you can have to help get rid of the pain, it might not always be the best thing to do for your body. If you dont want to rely on painkillers to help get rid of the pain.
Why do periods hurt so much : Menstrual cramps are caused due to the shedding of the inner lining of the uterine wall. This shedding is assisted by a host of hormones, the master being ‘prostaglandins’. Where there is pain there are prostaglandins! This hormone is also prominent during delivery. It is responsible for pushing the lining of the uterus out. Apart from all the hormonal action, the poor uterus is devoid of blood, therefore the muscle spasms. In severe cases this condition is called Dysmenorrhea.
Now that we know why we suffer from menstrual cramps, here are some tips to help relieve the discomfort:
Keep up the exercise : It is important that you continue with gentle exercise during your periods. It helps by releasing beta-endorphins, which are internal Opioids — your own ‘human morphine’. It is natural to feel bloated before your periods, if you reduce your salt intake a few days before your periods it will help your kidneys flush out excess water.
Dress for comfort: Avoid tight clothes, especially at the waist. They only hurt the stomach and further compressing it causes discomfort. Leave that belly alone.
Try some home remedies:
1- A great pain reliever is the wild yam (Ratalu), its antispasmodic qualities help make the pain that much more bearable.
2- Raspberry leaf or jasmine flavored green tea work wonders in calming the body and mind.
3- Include a glass of milk in your breakfast. Calcium is a good cure for cramps. If you are not such a ‘milk’ person or are lactose intolerant about 600mg (2-4 tablets) of calcium chewables should do the trick.
4- Have generous helpings of papaya during and before your periods. Papaya contains ‘papain’ an enzyme that helps to regulate and helps to ease the flow during menstruation.
5- Carrots are not only good for your eyes; they also assist in regulating menstruation. A tall glass of carrot juice can go a long way in making you feel much better.
6- Aloe vera juice with honey is also well known to ease the flow and reducing the pain.
7- Avoid red meat and caffeine. They have properties that exacerbate the pain.
8- Have a hot shower. Concentrate the flow of water on your back and abdomen. A hot water bag also helps to relieve discomfort.
9- Applying lavender oil around your stomach is known to help relieving cramps in just 10 to 15 mins.
10- Just remember to be kind to yourself – relax, read a book, listen to some soft music or chat up with friends. If you feel happy and rejuvenated, your mind will help you fight physical pain.
However, if you are suffering from the type of pain you have never experienced before, do monitor it closely. You may want to see a doctor to rule out any cause such as Endometriosis, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS/PCOD), Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Premenstrual Syndrome.
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