June 9, 2011

how to overcome menstrual cramps

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If you are a woman, you know what I am talking about; if you are a man, you probably know a woman who has complained to you about monthly menstrual cramps...and maybe had to deal with her painful mood that accompanies those cramps.

The most common reason for monthly menstrual cramps is an over abundance in the blood stream of the chemical called prostaglandin. There are times when prostaglandin "leaks" into the intestines. At these times, the normally painless, regular contractions of the uterus become protracted during the tightening phase and therefore keeping needed oxygen from the muscles.

Pain comes from the lack of oxygen. Because you uterus is just a big muscle, massaging it can help relieve the pain. Some women like the feel of a heating pad laid across their abdomen, while other women like the relief that a cold compress can bring to them.

There are obviously over-the-counter medications that can help relieve the pain of monthly menstrual cramps, but be sure that to be the most effective, the pain reliever you use needs to be an anti-inflammatory drug and not just a pain killer.

Some women find that a change in diet helps their menstrual cramps. Some of these changes include:

Adding more whole grains, beans, fresh fruit and vegetables, and brewer's yeast to their diet have been found to be helpful to many women.

Some women find it helpful to cut back drastically, or totally cut out sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol. (Pretty drastic if you ask me, I would suggest experimenting with cutting back on those a week before you start you menstrual cycle to see if that helps.)

Try eating small meals throughout the day instead of three big meals. In this way you are reducing the amount of pressure on your lower abdomen, and therefore relieving some of the pain.
Some women find heat therapy helpful. Try using a heating pad or a warm, wet compress to help with the pain.

Other women find a cold compress more helpful. An ice bag wrapped in a towel will protect your skin from getting too cold, but may offer pain relief.

If you are feeling truly exhausted or "dragged out" you may want to talk to your doctor about whether or not you may be anemic. Monthly menstrual cramps happen to every woman at some point but you don't have to suffer.

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