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Health 31 October 2019
By: Natasha Tanga

7 Ways to Manage Menstrual Pain

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For most women, a few days during that time of the month may be especially painful. Period cramps occur when levels of chemicals called prostaglandins rise, causing uterine contractions, inflammation, and pain. While this is not a cause for concern, it can feel annoying and limiting. On this week's journal, we will be explaining how period cramps can actually be managed through habits and lifestyle. Read on! 

1. Do some exercise

When the pain hits, lying down and relaxing are your main priorities, while exercising may be the last thing in your mind. However, working out helps the body to release endorphins, which can relieve pain and boost your mood during your monthly cycle. Research have shown that both aerobic exercise and stretching helped soothe period cramps. Whether you enjoy walking, running, or other sports it's safe to participate in all of these activities during your menstrual period. Yoga may be a gentler form of exercise that you can do instead if you experience fatigue.

2. Eat right

Healthy dietary habits can also help prevent period cramps. If you experience monthly menstrual discomfort, some women find it helpful to avoid certain foods. While you may be craving fatty, sugary, or salty foods when you have your period, these foods may actually be the culprit. Also, try your best to stay away from processed foods, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco as these things trigger inflammation and may encourage period pain. Research has shown that reducing fat and increasing vegetables in your diet may help ease monthly cramps.

Instead, consume more anti-inflammatory foods like cherries, blueberries, squash, tomatoes, and bell peppers, as well as fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming beans, almonds, and dark leafy greens are also recommended as these foods contain compounds that combat inflammation. Eating this way may help you ease menstrual pain and boost overall health. 

3. Drink lots of water

Water is needed to replace lost fluids and maintain normal metabolism. During your period, it is recommended to drink more water to prevent bloating. Also consider to reduce your salt intake to prevent fluid retention and cut down on alcohol. Staying well hydrated is recommended to manage your cramps, as well as maintaining overall health.

4. Reduce caffeine intake

Caffeine comes in many forms including coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks. Like stated in the previous pointer, consuming caffeine may give you dehydration if you're not drinking enough water. During your period, many women benefitted from eliminating caffeine, especially in resolving their menstrual pain.

5. Load up on calcium and magnesium

Calcium is a nutrient that is important for healthy bones, proper functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system. Research have shown that adequate calcium intake may also help relieve menstrual cramps. Load up on low-fat dairy products, salmon and other calcium-rich foods to get this important mineral.

Adequate intake of magnesium is also needed, as it may help alleviate symptoms of PMS and lowers risk of endometriosis. Magnesium mainly helps to regulate nerve and muscle functioning, regulate blood pressure, and control blood sugar levels. Good sources of magnesium include almonds, spinach, cashews, peanuts, and black beans. 

6. Relieve pain with heat

When the pain is unbearable, it helps to apply heat to your abdomen in order to relieve menstrual cramps. You can use anything from heat pad to hot water bottle. The continuous application of heat can work since heat helps your muscles relax.

7. Consume pain reliever

As menstrual pain occurs due to uterine contractions, you can use over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin to manage severe menstrual pain. You can also opt for natural remedies like Herbana's Balance Madia Menstrual Comfort. Made from natural blend of Turmeric, Yarrow and Black Seed extracts, it works to relieve menstrual discomfort through herbal ingredients. Keep your pain relievers of choice at home, work, and in the car so you have them on hand when you need them.

If your period cramps seem severe or you don't get relief despite trying some of these options, check with your doctor to rule out more serious health issues.

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