For those struggling with painful cycles, period cramps can be a nightmare. While not everyone suffers the sledgehammer blows, some truly have a difficult time getting comfortable when their cycle swings back around. From cramping to headaches and lethargy, it can be a tricky time of the month to conjure the energy to keep on with your regular routine. Resting up, not pushing yourself, and finding solace in soft pain management can help to keep you ticking. Of course, for those who find this time unbearable, it is well worth speaking to your gynaecologist to find a way through the fog. You can dose yourself on painkillers but for those seeking a natural path, here are a few drug-free ways that may help ease the pain…
Sip Chamomile Tea
The gentle flowery flow of chamomile tea can help to ease cramps thanks to its anti-inflammatory natural properties. Known to naturally inhibit prostaglandins which are responsible for prodding your muscles during menstruation and causing contractions, headaches and nausea, chamomile can have a similar effect to taking drugs like ibuprofen.
Chow Down Some B1
B1 is also said to naturally help ease period cramps. A study in the Global Journal of Health Science showed that when taking B1 or fish oil (naturally containing B1) there was a significant decrease in pain compared to those who took a placebo instead. Other foods that are chock full of B1 include brown rice, squash, asparagus, seafood, pork and tofu, meaning that no matter what your dietary choice, you can still stock up on B1.
Cut Out Junk
We all know that Gilmore Girls re-runs, lazy pizza, and mountains of chocolate help us mentally combat that time of the month, but your diet during your period can have a huge knock-on effect when it comes to pain and comfort levels. Salty foods increase that bloated feeling that leaves us feeling like trash, and sugar ups our estrogen levels which boosts symptoms of PMS.
Staying hydrated at the best of times works wonders for your health and wellbeing, but when you are on your period it is actually a necessity to keep you feeling strong. Warm water or hot tea will help to increase your blood flow, keep your skin elasticated and reduce bloat levels.
The fragrant spice of Cinnamon has been said to ease period cramps thanks to its anti-spasmodic properties. It can help reduce flow, soothe cramps, and cut through nausea. Whether you choose to ingest via a sweet cinnamon tea or by adding a spoonful on your morning yogurt, this pinch of manganese magic is sure to do the trick.
Getting sweaty may be the last thing you feel like when on your period, but gentle aerobic style exercise for 30 minutes a day can soothe your pain problems. Yoga is a good one to get you in the flow (pardon the pun), and to keep your limbs feeling lithe, and your muscles loose which all adds up to cramps being eased.
Studies have shown that swapping from tampons to menstrual cups can help soften period pains and stomach cramps. This may be because menstrual cups don’t attribute to vaginal dryness as much. However, it’s worth noting that these studies were conducted by companies that sell menstrual cups.
How do you deal with all the problems of PMS and cramps? Share your armoury with us in the comments.