Most girls and women experience period pains monthly, some more severe than others. as women we are told to suck it up, its normal, its part of life.
NORMAL PERIOD PAIN
Normal period pain is the pain that one experiences one the first day or two of your period. It is usually mild and responds to over the counter painkillllers.
The problem arises when it starts interfereing with your daily activities. It is not normal to miss a day or two of school or work because of period pain. If you do, then it is time to get it checked out.
WHAT CAUSES PERIOD PAIN
During your period the uterus lining starts o break down and this releases prostaglandins. Prostaglandins encourage yyyour uterus muscle to contract to help shed the lining. Period pain arises when you have too many prostaglandins. Treatment aims to reduce prostaglandins.
There are over the counter painkillers that work well for period pain. While Nsaids like Ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac and mefanamic acid – work well for period pain – they come with unwanted side effects.
There are effective non pharmaceutical solutions for period pain. You may have to experiment to find out which ones work for you.
Natural Relievers for Period Pain- supplements
- TUMERIC- Contains a compound called curcumin. It has natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic and antibacterial properties. It reduces inflammation and prostaglandins, thereby reducing menstrual flow and pain. It can be taken everyday during your cycle and the dose may be increased during your period. It can be taken in a powder form- best added to warm water with a hint of black pepper, or as asupplement which proves to be more potent. Remember to tell your doctor when taking any natural supplements because they may interefe with certain medication.
- MAGNESIUM – It reduces prostaglandins and relaxes the uterus. It can also be taken everyday during your cycle for prevention and a higher dose can be taken during your period.
- ZINC- inhibits prostaglandins, it is immune modulating and also anti inflammatory. It should also be taken everyday of the cycle.
- OMEGA 3- reduces inflammation annd prostaglandins. This may be taken everyday during your cycle.
Other Natural Relievers for Period Pain
5.Hot water bottle or heat pack. It provides comfort and helps to alleviate the pain. It relaxes the the uterus. When heat is applied to the skin, heat receptors get activated and in turn block the effect of the chemical messengers that cause pain.
6.Magnesium- as discussed earlier. Magnesium oil can be applied topically. Epsom salt soak are also very helpful.
7.Yoga- a full session is not recommended but certain poses may help eg. childs pose, standing forward fold, supine twist.
8.Have a warm drink. This works from the inside to relax your muscles. Ginger tea, chamomile tea and tumeric tea is particulary helpful.
9.Gentle exercise like walking or streching. Exercise releases endorphins that help you to feel better.
11.Massage. A full body massage reduces overall stress. Abdominal massage may also help.
12.Limit your sugar intake. Foods high in fat, sugar and salt may cause bloating and inflammation. This will aggravate period cramps.
13.Limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine causes vasoconstricton- your blood vessels to narrow. this can constrict your uterus and worsen period cramps.
15.Listen to music. Music can decrease pain levels. It can calm anxiety and ease pain by releasing endorphins.
16.Deep breathing. It relaxes you and releases muscle tension.
17.Tens machine. Tens uses soothing pulses that are sent through pads placed on the skin. The pulses block pain signals to the brain and stimulates endorphins.
All women deserve to have pain free periods. We need to become advocates of our health. Educate yourself and empower yourself to have better periods. You deserve to.
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