If you suffer from cramps every time you got your period, you are not alone.
During our monthly period, our uterus tightens up to expel its lining. According to the McKinley Health enter at the University of Illinois, Prostaglandin, a hormone-like substance associated with inflammation and pain, triggers the uterus to contract. As a result, millions of women experience excruciating pain in their lower abdomen, lower back, and inner thighs–in short, a monthly agony.
The only thing we can do is to try easing the pain until it goes away. Below are five lifestyle tips to reduce menstrual cramps and relieve the pain.
1. Get Up and Exercise
You might be thinking, “Hello, I can barely move. Do you really expect me to exercise?” But, any type of physical activity such as brisk walking or aerobics could help relieve your abdominal pain. Moreover, when you exercise, your body pumps more blood that may result in the release of endorphins: a perfect counterattack to prostaglandins.
2. Change Your Diet
In every monthly cycle, the amount of estrogen in our body rises and falls. Health experts say that a low-fat and high-fiber diet can significantly lower estrogen levels, resulting in reduced cramps and PMS. So, if you want to have less painful periods, you might have to say goodbye to donuts, French fries, and potato chips, and welcome oatmeal, broccoli, beans, and fruits in your fridge instead.
3. Drink Cinnamon or Chamomile Tea
Several studies found that chamomile and cinnamon tea contain anti-flammatory properties that can reduce prostaglandin production. If you were not a big fan of tea before, you might want to start drinking tea regularly, as it is the queen of home remedies for menstrual cramps.
4. Get Your Daily Vitamin D
Another study found that high doses of Vitamin D3 lead to decreased menstrual cramps. As prevention is always better than cure, make sure you get your daily dose of Vitamin D. The most popular source of vitamin D is sunlight, so make it a habit to jog or walk outside in the morning. You should also start including fatty fish and fortified milk on your grocery list, as they are also great sources of vitamin D.
5. Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture, which is rooted from traditional Chinese medicine, involves pinning small needles on the skin to stimulate certain points of the body. Researchers from Korea found that acupuncture provides relief in excessive menstrual cramps. Acupuncture can stimulate the “qi”–the life force associated with health–to flow correctly. You might want to give this a try.
Before this month ends, start trying one or more of these tips, so the next time you have your “monthly visitor,” you’ll be ready for her monthly offering of cramps.
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She's a web content writer, a playwright, and the author of the children's novel, Detective Boys of Masangkay: Ang Mangkukulam.