What To Do If You Have Cramps – Salty chips, a pint of ice cream, or a chocolate bar may be your favorite to satisfy your period cravings, but some foods can do more harm than good during period pain.
Recent research suggests that a diet high in inflammatory foods such as meat, fat, sugar and salt can trigger menopause.
- 1 What To Do If You Have Cramps
- 2 Cramps And Muscle Spasms
- 3 Ways To Deal With Cramps When You’re Not Home
- 4 What Causes Leg Cramps And What To Do About Them
What To Do If You Have Cramps
“Inflammation is thought to be the cause of heavy periods, so anything that reduces it and improves blood flow to the uterus may help with your cycle symptoms,” says Dr. Husna Haq says. University of Irving Medical Center. “Anti-inflammatory diets also reduce the overall risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
Cramps And Muscle Spasms
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, Dr. Talk to Heck to find out what to know about menstrual irregularities and what foods to eat and avoid.
What causes menstrual pain? Dr. Hack: About 90% of menstruating women experience pain or early dysmenorrhea, and 15% experience severe symptoms that affect their daily routine.
Cramps can occur during menstruation when the muscles and blood vessels in the uterus contract. During menstruation, the body produces hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins in the lining of the uterus, and the more prostaglandins, the more inflammation and cramps.
Reducing inflammation with medications such as ibuprofen can help, but sometimes underlying medical conditions such as fibroids or endometriosis can cause pain. Other conditions that can increase your menstrual cramps include an infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, or a non-hormonal IUD that causes inflammation.
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Heat: A warm compress applied to the abdomen or back can help relax the uterine muscles and increase blood flow.
Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or hormonal drugs such as birth control pills or IUDs effectively block the pathways that produce more prostaglandins.
A healthy lifestyle: Eating healthy foods and being active throughout your life can help reduce inflammation throughout your body, not just during your period.
An anti-inflammatory diet that helps reduce the body’s production of prostaglandins and certain proteins can make a difference.
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The goal is to balance omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. Omega-6 fatty acids, found in vegetable oils such as soybean or corn oil and processed foods that contain them, are associated with inflammation and can accumulate in the uterine muscle and endometrium, while omega-3 fatty acids in fish and nuts have more anti-inflammatory properties.
In general, Western diets are high in omega-6 fatty acids, while the Mediterranean-style diet favors omega-3 fatty acids. A balance of calcium, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins B6 and B1 also help with menstruation.
Cravings can occur due to changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. Cravings for sweet or salty foods are your body’s way of getting a short-term energy boost.
Healthy ways to eat foods high in complex carbohydrates include trail mix, smoothies, fruit and yogurt, and dark chocolate.
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It can be tempting to reach for store-bought food, but you can replace highly processed, high-sugar baked goods with your own healthy alternatives at home. It doesn’t have to be expensive or out of reach. With a little planning, you can use bananas or apples instead of butter and make your own snacks to help satisfy your sweet tooth.
If your period is painful and interfering with your normal activities, it’s important to pay attention. Here are some signs that you should talk to your doctor or a women’s health specialist: If I had access to a megaphone, I think I would say something like, “Ladies, your period is normal, but this is not normal.” In a continuous loop.
In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimates that 90% of teenage girls and women will experience some form of menstruation (also known as dysmenorrhea) during their childbearing years.
Although symptoms such as menstrual cramps, migraines, bloating, fatigue, breast tenderness and mood swings (to name a few) are very common, they are not normal, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition or hormonal imbalance.
Ways To Deal With Cramps When You’re Not Home
While this may be frustrating to hear, the good news is that you can reduce your period and improve your cycle with simple, natural, and quick treatments.
Read below for tips that have helped hundreds of female clients navigate their journey through PMS and symptom-free periods (I also used to get cramps from lying down and Midol like Tic Tacs).
Want more foods, recipes, drinks, supplements, and other natural home remedies to help reduce PMS? Check out our Hormone Balancing Guide.
So what causes period pain? The answer lies in prostaglandins, which are produced at the site of tissue damage and help heal wounds.
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When your period starts, prostaglandins are released to constrict the blood vessels in your uterus, which helps the lining of the uterus contract, helping the lining of the uterus to bleed out.
If you have normal levels of prostaglandins, you may experience mild cramps and contractions during or just before your period. However, if constipation is excessive, painful, or interferes with your daily life in some way, it is usually the result of too many prostaglandins.
Excess prostaglandins are highly inflammatory because they are directly involved in our inflammatory response. So when we become inflamed (from processed foods, toxic beauty products, alcohol, OTCs, antibiotics, high stress levels, caffeine, sugar, etc.)
Fortunately, because menstruation is associated with inflammation, it can be treated with simple, natural remedies.
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If you’re wondering why you get loose stools, digestive cramping, or diarrhea during or during your period, it’s a result of excess prostaglandins. Too much prostaglandin not only causes the muscles in the uterine wall to contract (which causes heavy and heavy periods), but it also starts to stick to the walls of the intestines. As a result, the walls of the intestine contract, which is called “periodic stool”. Thus, reducing inflammation to reduce prostaglandins not only helps relieve menstrual pain, but also helps with menstruation. Hooray!
Estrogen dominance, or excess estrogen, is a hormonal imbalance in which there is too much estrogen relative to progesterone. This is more common in women because the amount of toxins and chemicals we are exposed to overloads our liver. Because our liver is tasked with filtering internal and external substances and hormones such as estrogen, when it is overloaded, it puts estrogen back into our blood, which is recirculated, causing estrogen to dominate.
Symptoms of estrogen dominance include heavy or heavier periods, PMS, mood swings, weight gain (especially around the hips/thighs), breast tenderness, bloating, water retention, headaches, fibroids, cysts, and (you guessed it) periods.
Estrogen is a tissue proliferative hormone that causes the lining of the uterus to grow and thicken, and the higher the level of estrogen, the thicker the uterus. As it begins to break down during the menstrual cycle, it produces more prostaglandins, which exacerbate menopause and pain.
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Thus, high estrogen levels are not usually the cause of periods, but excess estrogen paired with low progesterone is (see below).
As mentioned above, although estrogen dominance is associated with periods and heavy periods, it is not only the cause of your negative symptoms, but also the ratio of high estrogen to low progesterone.
Because progesterone, our calming and soothing anti-proliferative hormone, helps control uterine growth and thickening. So, when the ratio between estrogen and progesterone is unbalanced, the lining of the uterus grows excessively, which leads to an increase in prostaglandins and heavy periods.
Although periods and cramps are unpleasant symptoms that many women experience every month, the good news is that they can be easily and effectively resolved with simple natural remedies. Read below for natural menopause relief tips to help you balance your hormones and feel better during your period (and throughout the month!).
What Causes Leg Cramps And What To Do About Them
Maintaining stable and balanced blood sugar throughout our menstrual cycle (especially during the luteal phase, when cortisol production increases and disrupts blood sugar) helps reduce stress on the body. Less stress = lower cortisol = less inflammation = less prostaglandins = easier periods.
Be sure to eat consistent, balanced meals throughout the day (every 3-4 hours) that contain protein (eggs, legumes, meat, seafood), fat (avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, grass-fed butter), and fiber. (vegetables, fruits, and gluten-free grains), which help maintain blood sugar stability and relieve stress.
As mentioned above, estrogen is a tissue-promoting hormone (that is, it produces the lining of our uterus).
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