Cramps, bloating, zero energy... we’ve all been there. Once a month these symptoms, in varying degrees, become part of the woman’s daily life, and they are certainly less than welcome. While there are numerous medications that promise relief from these symptoms, some may be looking for a natural, alternative route to ease the pain and bloating.
Luckily, many women have experienced success while skipping the pharmacy. Here are a few ways you can remedy your period symptoms the natural way.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine constricts blood vessels, which can cause menstrual cramps to intensify with the heightened tension. Alcohol can cause excessive fluid retention in the body, which increases the bloating associated with menstruation. Instead, opt for water which actually prevents the body from bloating and can relax muscles.
Familiarize Yourself with Fats
Different fats can affect your body in different ways, especially during menstruation. Avoid animal fats due to their tendency to cause higher inflammation. In contrast, omega-3 fatty acids can ease menstrual pain because of their ability to decrease prostaglandins, which promote cramps. Choose foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids such as seeds, nuts, eggs, dark green vegetables and salmon.
Make Use of Herbs
Incorporating particular herbs into your diet can significantly help keep your hormones balanced. Ginger, dandelion root, basil, mint, raspberry leaves and other herbs can easily be incorporated into the foods you eat, and some can be steeped into hot teas.
Take Vitamins and Supplements
Multivitamins are a great way to help with menstrual symptoms, but taking them daily is an important aspect of their effectiveness. In addition, supplements of vitamin B6, vitamin D and magnesium can also help reduce bloat and pain.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting the proper amount of sleep helps keep hormones in balance and menstruation managed. Shoot for at least eight hours of sleep per night, especially during your period.
Heat can be one of the most soothing methods for relieving muscle tension and pain. Try placing a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower abdomen to relax the muscles and aid blood flow around your uterus. Another option is a hot, soothing bath or shower. Not only will it relax your muscles, but it can relieve stress and potentially slow period flow.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
Exercising during your period may not sound fun, but it can really help with symptoms. Exercise increases both blood flow and endorphin production, which can reduce the amount of prostaglandins and pain that one experiences. Low impact options like yoga and swimming are also great ways to relax and stretch muscles. Certain yoga poses are even known to ease menstrual discomfort specifically. Continuing exercise for the rest of the month is also important for helping your body during menstruation. Your systems will get more benefits from exercise if they are not being strained by first-time exercise, so keep the movement going.