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Menstrual Cramps

And period pain

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Menstrual cramps are known medically as dysmenorrhea and this is one of the biggest problems facing the modern woman. Complementary health professionals consider it to be a symptom of malnutrition and a poor lifestyle.

The Western medical system however considers menstrual cramps to be a serious medical condition that can be capitalised on. So before you rush off to your doctor, here are some things you can do.

  • Improve Your Diet
    While we have plenty of food, modern processed food is not very nutritious and is often loaded with mildly toxic chemicals that undermine our health. For the best advice on diet, a visit to your complementary health professional is advised as doctors are poorly trained in diet and nutrition.

    • Try to eat small frequent meals because a lot of food causes blood sugar to swing up and down causing symptoms of PMS. Instead of eating three large meals, eat five or six small meals a day, about two and a half hours apart.
    • Reduce salt intake to prevent water retention that causes bloating. Likewise, avoid liquor and other alcoholic beverages to reduce headaches.
  • Dietary Supplements
    One of the best we know of is Perfect Balance from Trace Minerals Research, however this has a limited availability and your complementary health professional can give you best advice as to what is available in your region.
  • Exercise
    Exercise helps to keep you body fit and healthy so that it functions normally and exercise can also help alleviate painful menstrual cramps by raising the level of beta-endorphins, chemicals in the brain associated with pain relief and has a positive effect on mood and behavior.
    Yoga exercise in particular is very beneficial and some exercises can stop menstrual cramps and discomfort within seconds.

    • Learn to relax. Rest, sleep and relaxation exercises can help reduce the pain and discomfort of menstrual cramps. At least take time for a relaxing massage or bath with oil made with chamomile, lavender, marjoram, ginger and/or clary sage. They are aromatic and can aid in relaxation.
  • Massage
    Self massage to the genital region in the days leading up to your period and during the cycle can help to relieve symptoms. Learn more
  • Pain Killers
    Over the counter pain medications such as Ibuprofen, paracetamol, codine and others offer temporary relief as do some Oral contraceptive pills because they decrease the amount of menstrual tissue formed and lower the pain level (amplitude) of the uterine contractions probably due to their progestin effect. However when used excessively, they are addictive.
  • Mefenamic acid
    Mefenamic acid effectively relieves severe menstrual pain while also reducing heavy menstrual bleeding, easing menstrual migraine, and easing the physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
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