Are there any natural ways to beat menstrual pain?

Here are some handy tips to help you tide over painful periods.

Remedies for menstrual painI have very painful periods. What can I do to reduce the pain?

Menstrual cramps are caused due to the shedding of the inner lining of the uterine wall. This shedding is assisted by a host of hormones, the master being 'prostaglandins'. Where there is pain there are prostaglandins! This hormone is responsible for pushing the lining of the uterus out during your periods. Apart from all the hormonal action, the poor uterus is devoid of blood, therefore the muscle spasms. In severe cases this condition is called Dysmenorrhea. Here's some information on endometriosis, a menstruation related disease that affects the ovaries.

Now that we know why we suffer from menstrual cramps, here are some tips to help relieve the discomfort:

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Exercise regularly:

  • It is important that you continue with gentle exercise during your periods. It helps by releasing beta-endorphins, which are internal Opioids your own 'human morphine'.
  • It is natural to feel bloated before your periods, if you reduce your salt intake a few days before your periods it will help your kidneys flush out excess water.
  • You could also try using yoga as a tool. Here are 4 yoga poses to beat pain during periods.

Read: Basics of weight training

Dress comfortably:

Avoid tight clothes, especially around the waist. Tight clothes will only hurt the stomach and further compressing it causes discomfort. So, during your periods wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable. If you are not someone who is used to wearing heels leave them behind, they will only cause more pain to your calves and thighs two areas that tend to hurt the most during your periods. Here are a few hygiene tips you need to follow during periods.

Try some home remedies:

  • Raspberry leaf or jasmine flavored green tea work wonders in calming the body and mind. A warm cup of green tea goes a long way in making you feel much better during those days.
  • Include a glass of milk in your breakfast. Calcium is a good remedy for cramps. If you are not such a 'milk' person or are lactose intolerant about 600mg (2-4 tablets) of calcium chewables should do the trick.
  • Indulge in generous helpings of papaya during and before your periods. Papaya contains 'papain' an enzyme that helps to regulate and helps to ease the flow during menstruation.
  • Carrots are not only good for your eyes; they also assist in regulating menstruation. A tall glass of carrot juice can go a long way in making you feel much better. Here are a few other health benefits of carrots.
  • Avoid red meat and caffeine. They have properties that exacerbate the pain.
  • Have a hot shower. Concentrate the flow of water on your back and abdomen. A hot water bag also helps to relieve discomfort.
  • Applying lavender oil around your stomach is known to help relieving cramps in just 10 to 15 mins.
  • Just remember to be kind to yourself relax, read a book, listen to some soft music or chat up with friends. If you feel happy and rejuvenated, your mind will help you fight physical pain.

However, if you are suffering from the type of pain you have never experienced before, do monitor it closely. You may want to see a doctor to rule out any cause such as Endometriosis, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS/PCOD), Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Premenstrual Syndrome.

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