What Can I Do When I Am Experiencing Painful Menstrual Cramps?
First thing first, are you drinking lots of water?
Medical Dietitians believes there is a connection between the food you eat and your body’s estrogen levels. Red meat and added oils (Fried food) increase the levels of estrogen in the body. So it is logically interpreted that the more estrogen-based foods you have for your daily meals, the more likely your uterine wall lining becomes abnormally thick.
As a result, when it begins to break down during the menstrual cycle, this process creates more prostaglandins, resulting in higher levels of pain, that at times can be bearly managable.
So naturally, eating foods that decrease inflammation in the body will help to reduce menstrual cramps.
These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Research has shown that both a vegan and plant-based eating pattern work to decrease inflammation in the body, largely due to the high number of antioxidants and plant bio-chemicals found in plant foods that help the body to function optimally.
Also, do note that a low-fat, high-fiber diet can significantly reduce estrogen levels.
Cancer researchers have taken great interest in this phenomenon because lowering the level of estrogen in the blood helps reduce the risk of breast cancer. Less estrogen means less stimulation for cancer cell growth.
More than half of Asian women (50-80%) suffer from pain during their menstrual cycle, and most of that pain manifests in cramps.
To help ease the pain (menstrual cramps) :
1. Pain relievers. OTC ibuprofen and naproxen can be effective in reducing menstrual cramps. Make sure to follow recommended dosage and never to take on an empty stomach.
2. Applying heat to the lower abdomen can relax the muscles, and in turn ease the pain. Can also consider a warm bath.
3. Brisk exercise such as a short stroll; light yoga or even stretching can also help to relieve menstrual cramps, as it increases blood flow and releases endorphins.
4. De-stress with deep breathing and meditation.
5. Consider dietary change with balanced diet while avoiding caffeine; alcohol and food that's high in sugar and salt.
If your menstrual cramps are severe and disrupting with your daily chores and activities (or with any other complications), it's important to consult with a healthcare provider immediately.