How to deal with period cramps
Periods are often accompanied by a range of unpleasant conditions ranging from acne breakouts to mood swings. But, a survey conducted by Azah found that the most distressing aspect of getting your period was menstrual cramps. Menstrual cramps are characterised by a throbbing pain typically felt in the abdomen, back, or thighs. They can either be mild and only flare up infrequently throughout the day or be severe enough to interfere with your daily activities. No matter the degree, we can all agree that cramps are an annoyance one can do without. Here’s a list of things you can try out to reduce the pain and make your period a little more bearable.
- Stay Hydrated
If the pain from menstrual cramps, coupled with the uncomfortable feeling of bloating is bothering you, water will be your best friend. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water will help ease the bloating and help in reducing cramps. As you increase your intake of water, try to eliminate or reduce beverages that contain caffeine (coffee, soft drinks etc.) from your diet.
2. Regulate your Diet
What you eat can make a difference in how bad your cramps will be. While your period might make you crave fatty, sugary, or salty foods, they are found to make menstrual pain worse. Instead, try snacking on some anti-inflammatory foods like cherries, blueberries, squash, tomatoes, and bell peppers are good choices. Keep a check on your salt intake too as it causes fluid retention and bloating.
3. Home Remedies: Teas, Plants and more
Chamomile tea is full of anti-inflammatory qualities that are known to help in relieving pain and ease period symptoms. Other home remedies include sipping hot water with added cinnamon or ginger. Ensuring that your body is getting the proper nutrients is important when it comes to managing period symptoms. Taking over-the-counter multivitamins in tablet form can help with this.
4. Exercise it out!
While your first instinct, when faced with painful cramps, might me to snuggle up in your blankets and wait it out, it is worth giving exercise a shot. Many women have found some light form of exercise, like yoga or walking, to be very helpful in relieving period pain. Exercise releases endorphins (chemicals in the brain that promote well-being) which can better your overall mood and give you a boost of energy.
5. Heat and Massage
Applying heat through a heating pad, or hot water bottle can help immensely to relieve period pain. If you don’t have a heating pad, a hot shower or warm towel can be used as well. The heat helps the muscles relax and in turn reduce the pain caused by cramping. You can also try massaging the area that hurts which increases blood flow to the region and helps reduce the pain. Using massage oils or creams can also have a soothing effect.
The above-mentioned methods can help alleviate the pain of menstrual cramps and ease many period symptoms like bloating and fatigue. However, if the pain persists and is severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor as there might be an underlying cause. Conditions like endometriosis, PCOS, and fibroids among others are characterized by severe menstrual cramps. Your doctor can help diagnose them and suggest a suitable plan of action to make your periods as comfortable as possible.