How to get rid of period cramps

It’s that time of the month again! Aunt Flo is back wielding gifts like cramps, bloating, nausea, backaches, headaches and some mood swings: the usual. All women experience their periods differently, some get all these symptoms while others get a few or none. It seems like the most common one though is cramps.

While they are quite uncomfortable and even sometimes agonizing, there are some ways to ease their effect. So, don’t let painful  period cramps hold you back from living your life, try these remedies the next time they decide to show their face!

Remedies for your period cramps

  • Painkiller → The most obvious remedy is a painkiller or anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. Ibuprofen decreases the pain you feel from the cramps and also the contractions in the uterus which is actually causing the cramps. You should take the painkiller as soon as your flow begins or even a day before if that is possible for you. If you’re not into taking painkillers for relief, there are other options to get rid of period cramps.
  • Water → You should always drink as much water as you can, but especially so when you are menstruating. Also, if you’re hydrated really well, this will help your liver in functioning better, and will keep your hormones (estrogen) balanced. Water helps to prevent you from getting painfully bloated. Opt for warm or hot water when you have cramps. This will increase the blood that’s flowing to your skin and can relax your cramped muscles.
  • Improve your diet → Poor nutrition actually can contribute to your period cramps. So make sure that you are eating foods that contain the essential nutrients and vitamins you need. On top of that, eating a low-fat diet lowers overall inflammation in the body, so reducing the amount of fats you consume and eating more veggies can have an (indirect) role in helping your menstrual symptoms.
  • Heating pad & exercise → Laying down with a heating pad on your stomach can feel like the best thing when you’re suffering from cramps. It helps soothe your cramps just like hot water does. Now, exercising while on your period is another good remedy for your pain, the endorphins that are released effectively improve your mood and are your natural pain relievers!

Things to avoid

  • Caffeine→ Caffeine is a diuretic which is known to aggravate cramps and make them worse. It does this because it constricts blood vessels and also increases the tension in your body. Caffeine can be found in colas, coffees, energy drinks and even some teas. So read the labels of what you consume carefully to ensure there’s no caffeine in there. Switch to decaf coffee, and more herbal teas to bypass the negative effects of caffeine.
  • Sugar→ As a general rule, you should avoid anything that is an inflammatory during your period since these tend to worsen cramps, and you guessed it, sugar happens to be one of them. Besides that, your hormones are all over the place during your period, and this contributes to making your blood sugar level unstable as well; dropping and rising randomly throughout the day. Adding sugar on top of that, just makes it worse. This can make the drops in your blood sugar level even more dramatic, which is one of the causes of mood swings, fatigue and an inability to focus.
  • Fatty meats→ Heavy meats are packed with saturated fats and arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is used by our bodies to produce two types of prostaglandins which can cause uterine cramping and contractions. On top of that, a lot of the meats we consumed contain hormones in them, which just adds to the ongoing hormone fluctuation that occurs naturally during your menstruation.

So, while experiencing these cramps seriously sucks, there are remedies out there to make it just a bit better or at least make sure you don’t feel even worse. While you may have sugar cravings and want to indulge in junk food during your period, this may make you feel worse in the long term, so try to be conscious of what you put into your body.

Do you have any other tips on what to eat and what to avoid for period cramps? Share them below!

Sources: Health LineEveryday HealthSummit Medical Group & Dr. Tori Hudson

3 Natural remedies for headaches

You may experience headaches for many different reasons, and sometimes they just come out of nowhere. They can be the result of  your everyday stress, or even if you just didn’t eat in time. Because they are so unpredictable, it’s super tempting to just take a painkiller and hope for the best when they do happen. You should remember though, that painkillers aren’t your only options for pain relief and perhaps not even the most effective ones. Instead, try out these natural remedies for headaches the next time you’re suffering from one. 

Lavender

Lavender essential oil can be used for many issues, but it mostly encourages relaxation. This makes it perfect to be used as a  sedative or as a calming agent. Besides that, lavender oil can be used to treat headaches since it helps to minimize pain in your nervous system. So if you can’t sleep because of your headache, run a warm bath and add a few drops of lavender oil and spend some time in the bath breathing deeply. Your body should relax and your headache will ease. It’s also an idea to have a foot-bath with the lavender essential oils dropped in there. It works in the same way.

Thyme

Thyme is another essential oil that can help to relieve headaches. You can put a drop or two of the thyme oil on your fingers and lightly massage the area where your headache hurts the most. Lay down after that, and let it do it’s job! Thyme oil contains carvacrol, which is a substance that is present in ibroprofen and other anti-inflammatories, so why not get it from the source instead of from a drug?

Ginger

This is one my parents were always forcing on to me when I was younger. I hated it, since I’m not a big fan of teas, but I can admit that ginger definitely works. Ginger has over 200 substances present that all control inflammation and cause your body to release hormones that respond to your headaches. One way of tackling your headache is to crush some fresh ginger and boil it in hot water, then filter the mix, and drink the tea. Another way is to just inhale the vapour of some crushed ginger instead.

Basil

Prepare a fresh cup of basil tea. Boil the water, put a few (4-5) fresh basil leaves into a cup and pour the boiling water over it and let it sit for a few minutes, before you sip the tea. It also works if you chew fresh leaves or give yourself a head massage using pure basil oil. If it’s tense muscles that are causing your headache, the basil works as a muscle relaxant to ease out the tension and give you relief.

If you still need some convincing about natural remedies, then check out all the benefits of herbal medicine right here! Home remedies do work, but their effects may vary from person to person, so try out all the different natural remedies for headaches to see which is most suited to you. If you have recurring headaches or migraines, I encourage you to make an appointment with your doctor to see if you have a much more serious underlying issue to tackle. Best of luck, and wishing you pain free days!

Source: Conscious Life NewsDr. AxeThe Health Site