The menstrual circle is an inevitable part of every healthy female of reproductive age. Irrespective of its monthly arrival and our encounters with it, we simply never seem to get used to it, for some it is a complete night mare as they go through excruciating pain which render them incapable of indulging in any other activities, for others it is average pain and discomfort which is still enough to count as not a very good day while for a few they have been blissfully blessed with feeling little or no pain when their periods arrive. If we could all learn how to avoid or manage menstrual cramps, in fact entirely avoid them, our world will be a better place where we don’t dread that time of the month.
If you are here and reading this, then you know the drill, the signs and symptoms of menstrual cramps and menstruation in general. Its a universal struggle and I thought to share a few effective ways to avoid and manage menstrual cramps:
EAT OILY FISH: Research has shown fish oil to be effective with reducing the pain that occurs during menstruation, though this research have been through intake of fish oil supplements, Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil help reduce inflammation, hence having a reasonable serving of fish with this fatty acid through the month is a measure that can be taken head to avoid menstrual cramps. I advocate eating wild caught fish found in their natural habitat and feeding on natural food sources than farm grown fish in confined environments fed with questionable foods. I personally find this true, eating oily fish when I learnt about it has been helpful with reducing cramps that come with menstruation.
EXERCISE: As soon as I actively became involved with exercising, I realized the coming of monthly periods came with lesser cramps, so much less that I need not be bed bound the first 2 days which is normally the most cramp filled of the days. Physical activity helps keep the body in shape and releases the natural pain killer hormones called endorphin. Trying to exercise once the pain is in progress can be difficult, I often give an evil look to anyone telling me to exercise lightly while I am already experiencing the cramps, hence it is a step that should preferably be taken to avoid menstrual cramps.
DIET: Unhealthy diet, is an invitation to menstrual cramps, especially one high in sugar. In my days as a teenager, I ignored this advice, and would take fizzy drinks high in sugar with reckless abandon, the result was always chronic menstrual cramps, well as a teenager one is hardly ever that ready to be responsible. Not anymore, eating healthy mostly from natural sources, and not junk eating helps one have great health in general. Fruits, Vegetable, Complex carbs, lean protein, healthy fats should all be our friends if we want to avoid menstrual cramps. HERE you can find a few things that count as junk and unhealthy food.
HOT WATER THERAPY: If you often bath with cold or warm water and still do so during menstruation you are missing out on such a soothing therapy. A hot water bath helps soothe cramps, so does hot water bottles, which you can fill and then apply to your abdomen and lower back where most of the cramps occur. Heat helps ease and relax muscles that cause pain.
DRINK TEA: Definitely not caffeinated or tea with sugar. Ginger tea, green teas, have soothing effects on menstrual camps, as they also have anti-inflammatory abilities.
MASSAGE: Years back in school, while experiencing cramps my friend on her own gave me a lower back massage, and before I knew the cramps had reduced to a large extent. Massage can be soothing on any kind of pain, hence it can be a necessary action to help manage ongoing menstrual cramps and relieve you from it.
OTC MEDICATION: Measures taken to avoid and manage menstrual cramps can be defied by the body, hence, sometimes over he counter medications can be a necessary option. There are many options of pain killers to choose from (I am not here to promote any) such pain killers work by blocking the contractions that cause cramps. If you have very pressing activities to attend to and need a quicker fix to menstrual cramps, OTC medications will come in handy. Bottom line is learn never to abuse any medications.
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