15 Natural Tips to Get Relief from Menstrual Cramps and Weakness
Menstrual cramps are also known as dysmenorrhea or period pain. Dysmenorrhea is a medical term used for menstrual cramps, which are caused by uterine contractions during menstruation. These are throbbing or cramping pains in the lower abdomen during menstruation. Menstrual cramps are one of the most common and annoying parts of your period. In some women, these cramps start right before or during the menstrual period. The pain varies from mild to severe. There are two types of dysmenorrhea:
- Primary dysmenorrhea- Primary dysmenorrhea is common menstrual cramps which are recurrent and they are not due to any disease. Pain usually begins 1 to 2 days before menstrual bleeding starts. Usually pain occurs in the lower abdomen, back and inner thighs. Pain can range from mild to severe. This type of pain lasts upto 12 to 72 hours. It can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fatigue and diarrhea in some women. As the menstrual cycle changes with age, this pain decreases with age and may stop entirely after delivery in women.
- Secondary dysmenorrhea- Secondary dysmenorrhea is due to underlying disease in the reproductive organs such as endometriosis, adenomyosis and uterine fibroids. In this type of dysmenorrhea pain usually starts earlier and lasts longer than common menstrual cramps. This pain is associated with nausea or vomiting. It is a dull and continuous type of pain.
Cause Of Menstrual Cramps
The main cause of menstrual cramps are contractions in uterine muscles. These contractions are caused by prostaglandins. Although the reason behind the increased level of prostaglandins is not known yet. Increased level of prostaglandins leads to strong contractions in uterine muscles. It can press against blood vessels causing low blood supply of oxygen to muscles of the uterus. Hence pain results when there is inadequate supply of oxygen to uterine muscles.
Symptoms vary from person to person. They are explained as follows:
- Typically pain starts before or at the onset of periods.
- The 24 hour are usually painful
- Clots in menstrual blood
- Pain in the lower abdomen radiating to the lower legs and lower back.
- Nausea vomiting
- Premenstrual symptoms such as tender breasts.
- Mood swings like a woman may feel irritable, edgy or depressed. Lack of concentration, food cravings.
Natural Tips To Manage Menstrual Cramps And Weakness
Menstrual cramps can be managed easily at home by following a proper diet and with the help of some home remedies.
1. Fennel Seeds
Fennel is carminative in nature. It is believed to relieve cramps and discomfort associated with menstruation. Take two cup of water and add two tablespoon of fennel seeds. Boil this mixture till it is reduced to half. Pour it in a cup and it will help you to manage bloating and other symptoms.
Raw papaya is highly beneficial to control uterine contractions. You can eat raw papaya which soothes the abdominal and uterine muscles and helps in controlling menstrual pain.
3. Ginger Tea
Firstly slice ginger and boil these slices in one cup of water. Strain the water and add one pinch of black salt and little honey. Drink this mixture, it can make you comfortable during periods.
The warming effect of cinnamon helps to reduce menstrual cramps. You can make cinnamon tea by adding half teaspoon of cinnamon powder in boiling water along with one teaspoon of honey. Strain and drink this solution and will notice the difference yourself.
5. Warm Compress
A hot water bag is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce period cramps. It helps to relax the contracting muscles in the uterus. You can also use a heat pad for the same purpose.
6. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is rich in anti inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. This tea helps in relaxing the uterine muscles. Add one teaspoon of chamile to a cup of boiling water. Drink this mixture to avoid period cramps.
7. Massage With Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is used for Abhyanga (Ayurvedic Panchakarma Therapy). It has anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Take sesame oil and massage over the lower abdomen during menstruation. It helps to relieve period pain and increases blood circulation. You can also use lavender oil instead of sesame oil.
8. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are known to be good for liver, kidneys and metabolism. They work for period pain too. Soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight. And strain this mixture and drink to avoid pain.
9. Yoga Asanas
Yoga asanas increases blood flow in the pelvic region. They release endorphins to counteract the effect of prostaglandins. You can do pranayama and shavasana during menstruation.
10. Turmeric And Nutmeg
Turmeric is rich in antioxidant properties while nutmeg has antispasmodic action. You can add a pinch of turmeric and nutmeg to warm milk to relieve period cramps and pain.
11. Foods To Avoid During Menstruation
Stay away from following foods which can contribute to having more pain during your periods.
- Processed dairy products
- Refined sugar
- Processed or packaged food
- Spicy foods
12. Foods To Eat During Periods
Try to eat healthy food during periods to avoid period cramps.
- Bananas- Bananas are a rich source of magnesium, potassium and fibres. They help to relax muscles and boost overall mood.
- Dark chocolate- Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. It is the most common and popular food to eat during your periods. Eating chocolate promotes the release of endorphins and serotonin which regulates mood and helps in relaxation.
- Iron rich food- Add iron rich food in your diet as iron is an important mineral which helps in production of red blood cells and transport oxygen throughout the body. Fruits like pomegranate and apples are rich sources of iron. Add more green leafy veggies like spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms in your diet.
- Stay hydrated- Try to drink 7 to 8 glasses of water during your periods. Dehydration during periods can lead to cramps and pain. You can take lukewarm water rather than normal water as it helps with bloating during menstruation.
13. Warm Bath
Try to relax in a warm bath for at least 15 to 20 minutes. You can add essential oil like lavender oil or rose to your bathtub to enhance pain relieving power.
14. Basil Leaves Decoction
Boil 10 to 20 basil leaves in a glass of water. Strain this water and drink this water twice daily.
15. Herbal Tea Made With Cumin Seeds
Boil two teaspoon of cumin seeds in a cup of water. Strain and drink this tea as it has a relaxing effect. It possesses anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties which help to get rid of period pain.