Most women suffer menstrual pains at some point in time. Around 40% of women experience cramps, severe enough to make normal day to day tasks more difficult to perform. Menstrual cramps are normally caused by an increased production of a hormone called prostaglandins, which creates the intense uterine contractions responsible for the pain and discomfort. If your menstrual cramps are causing you a problem, try these ten tips that will help to soothe and ease them:
- Avoid caffeine
Too much caffeine will make menstrual cramps worse. So, the first tip on how to relieve menstrual cramps is to avoid coffee, tea and cola and even some fruit flavoured sodas that have caffeine added to them.
- Eat bananas
Any potassium rich foods are good, as it could be potassium deficiency that is causing the cramps or making them worse. Bananas are just one example of a potassium rich food, but there are also leafy green vegetables you could try such as spinach and white beans which includes lima beans or soy.
- Eat more omega-3 fatty acids
Studies have shown that women who eat more omega-3 fatty acid rich foods experience less severe menstrual cramps. You can increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids by eating more fish and nuts or you can take a daily fish-oil supplement.
- Put your feet up
Next tip on how to relieve menstrual cramps is to simply put your feet up. Lying down, with your feet elevated above the rest of your body can help to relax your uterine muscles. Try lying on your bed, with your feet propped up on a couple of pillows.
- Put gentle pressure on your stomach
Some gentle pressure on your stomach can also ease the pain. Place your hand on your stomach and gently press down for ten seconds at a time and it will cause your muscles to relax as well as take your mind of the discomfort.
- Eat dairy foods
High calcium foods can also reduce the cramps. Try eating more milk, yoghurt and cheese just before and during your cycle and it will help to relax your muscles and reduce the severity of the cramps.
- Wear loose fitting clothes
Clothes that fit tightly around your waist will only aggravate the cramps, so give the skinny jeans and other tight fitting clothes a rest for a while.
- Go for a walk
Another good suggestion on how to relieve menstrual cramps is to go for a walk. Go for a brisk walk, three times a day and this will release endorphins into your body that will make you feel better and reduce the pain. Walking is the easiest way to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps.
- Do some sit ups
Any exercise will be beneficial, but sit ups can be particularly effective at reducing the pain of menstrual cramps. Sit ups will help release the pain, but also will stretch your abdominal muscles, which will take the focus of your attention away from the cramps.
10. Heat treatment
Applying heat to your stomach and to your lower back will help to relax your muscles. You can use heat pads or a hot water bottle, or take a nice long hot bath, that will work wonders too!
Stay beautiful, healthy and happy!