3 Home Remedies to Relieve Menstrual Cramps

menstrual cramps

What Causes Menstrual Cramps

The following is what the Mayo Clinic says about menstrual cramps:

During your menstrual period, your uterus contracts to help expel its lining. Hormonelike substances (prostaglandins) involved in pain and inflammation trigger the uterine muscle contractions. Higher levels of prostaglandins are associated with more-severe menstrual cramps.

Menstrual cramps can be caused by:

  • Endometriosis. The tissue that lines your uterus becomes implanted outside your uterus, most commonly on your fallopian tubes, ovaries or the tissue lining your pelvis.
  • Uterine fibroids. These noncancerous growths in the wall of the uterus can cause pain.
  • Adenomyosis. The tissue that lines your uterus begins to grow into the muscular walls of the uterus.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease. This infection of the female reproductive organs is usually caused by sexually transmitted bacteria.
  • Cervical stenosis. In some women, the opening of the cervix is small enough to impede menstrual flow, causing a painful increase of pressure within the uterus.

The three following methods will help reduce the severity of the cramps or may temporarily relieve the pain during your period:

Diet to Prevent Muscle Cramps

There are a lot of home remedies to cure muscle cramps and period pain but the most crucial factor in preventing period cramps is the diet. Some foods to stay away from are:

  • Fatty foods 
  • Alcohol 
  • Carbonated beverages 
  • Caffeine 
  • Salty foods 

Some foods to start eating more of, to help prevent cramping are:

  1. Whole Foods

Eat whole foods which are rich in fiber and micronutrients.

  1. Green Leafy Veggies And Red Meat

During menstruation, there is a huge loss of blood and the body’s requirement for iron increases. Iron is an essential component of blood cells. Green leafy vegetables and red meat are rich in iron. Leafy vegetables provide other minerals and vitamins too.

  1. Fortified Milk For Calcium

The deficiency of calcium causes muscle cramps. Milk is a good source of calcium. Alternatively, you can use fortified milk and calcium supplements too.

  1. Boron-containing Foods

Boron promotes the absorption of calcium and reduces menstrual cramps. Peanut butter, chickpeas, and bananas are rich in boron.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Along with almost every aspect of health, staying hydrated can reduce the symptoms. This is mainly because your body starts lacking the essential water and hydration helps you maintain the levels of water needed for proper functioning of the body and stop cramps. Aim to drink 8 ounces of water per day. A hot day, an exercise session, or simply feeling thirsty will require more fluids. You can also help hydrate yourself by eating foods with high water content. Also, consider drinking ice cold water as it can make the cramping worse. 

Heat Therapy

Another way to relieve menstrual pain is by using heat. People have been using it for a long time and it is very effective. Researchers have been working on it for the past several years and they have some theories about how it works.

Cramps occur due to poor blood flow to the muscles of the uterus. Heat increases the blood flow to the muscles of the uterus and relaxes them. This results in pain relief.

 There are several ways to apply heat to your body to relieve cramps. Sitting in a hot bath is one of them.

Hot Bath:

Sitting in hot water for some time can help alleviate the cramps. It happens according to the above mentioned mechanism. Make sure the water isn’t too hot or you could get a burn injury.

Heating pads and patches:

If you don’t want to go through the struggle of preparing a hot bath and sitting in a tub for hours, there is another option for you. Heating pads are quite popular for relieving cramp pain. There are different kinds of heating pads in the market and you can choose from them according to your preferences.

Most of the heating pads come in different varieties. Some are automatic and shut down themselves when the heat gets too high. Most of the heating pads can only be used while resting and you cannot use them while walking around. But there are some exceptions.

Another alternative to heating pads is heating patches. These heating patches are directly applied on the skin where muscles are cramping and you can use them on the go.

Caution:

Do not put heating pads directly on your skin or you might get a burn. Always use them with a piece of cloth between your skin and the heating pad.

Do not use the heating pad for more than 15 minutes. Do not use them while sleeping. They might end up heating up too much. There are automatic heating pads, especially for this problem.

Stay in a cozy room: 

Choose a warm environment to sit in especially in winters. 

Hot Water Bottle: 

If you are not able to go to the market or online delivery might take time, you can make your own heating pad at home. Fill a water bottle with hot water and apply it to the region where you are experiencing cramps.

Cold showers can aggravate muscle cramps and pain. So avoid taking a bath with cold water.

Oh No Flo Menstrual Cramp Relief Oil:

Oh No Flo is a blend of essential oils and some other ingredients which can help relieve menstrual cramps. It also provides relief from nausea and bloating that comes with periods.

It reduces muscle pain, nausea, and burning sensation in the body. It is a natural blend and is free of harmful substances like gluten and parabens.

Apply it directly to the area of pain. Use three to six drops preferably. Use as many times as you want for nausea and bloating.

Ingredients:

Oh No Flo is a blend of natural ingredients which are listed below.

Cramp Bark

Cramp bark decreases the intensity of cramping.

Motherwort

It relaxes the muscles of the uterine wall and reduces cramping.

Yarrow

It is anti-inflammatory. It lessens the pain produced by inflammatory substances.

Lemon Balm

It relieves pain.

Red Raspberry

Red raspberry helps with nausea 

Peppermint

It also cures nausea and reduces the cramping of muscles.

Copaiba Essential Oil

It relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus and prevents cramps.

Caution:

If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, consult your physician before using it. If you are allergic to essential oils, it might not be suitable for you.

When to See a Doctor

You should consult a doctor immediately if;

  • You are experiencing excessive bleeding
  • The pain doesn’t stop 
  • You are unable to do your daily chores

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