It's time to let go--headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, sweating, bloating, back pain, leg pain, stomach pain and constantly running to the bathroom, Tylenol, Motrin, Pamprin, Aleve, Midol, muscle relaxers, birth control pills... I'm tired of them all! I just want the pain to go away along with the pills! So, I'm saying good bye and hello to a more of a natural approach for getting rid of the pain.
I've been hearing about some remedies that don't require pain relief medications and decided to try a few…
First I wanted to know what causes the cramps and found out that cramp pain is caused by oxygen being temporarily cut off from the muscle tissue of the uterus. So when the muscle loses its oxygen, the result is cramps. Ok, so now that I know the cause, I know that I need to somehow get the oxygen flowing back into those muscle tissues. I was thinking "easier said then done, right?"…wrong.
I found that exercising - yes you read it correctly -exercising helps. I know, I know... who wants to exercise when they feel like crap, well I did. No I didn't go to the gym or run a marathon, just simple at home exercises. Lay on your back and bend your knees to your chest, pull your legs inward and hold for a bit while taking deep breaths in and out. Repeat this as many times you need and remember you're not training for a marathon - you are not seeing how many you can do or how long you can do this, you have a bigger goal in mind. This is for pain release. Take your time, close your eyes, and focus on getting the oxygen flowing. I also do squats but I don't recommend it unless you are committed to working through your pain. Squats really hurt at first - with all the up and down - but I kept going, I can do more now then when I first started.
Another exercise I do is walking stairs, I really don't go out and walk stairs. I use a stool and step up and down and from one side to the other. Walking also helps but I found myself not wanting to be around people or go outside but I do get up and walk around my house.
I also started watching what I eat. I noticed that certain foods seemed to intensify my cramps. So, I started off keeping a journal of what I was eating, drinking and how that related to the level of pain I felt. The results showed that coffee, soda, cheese & fried foods were my trigger foods. I needed to know why and if anyone else had documented similar reactions to those foods to verify that my observations were true. You can guess what I did next- yes, I backed off that stuff and researched it.
I know that the coffee and soda isn't good for me because of the caffeine & sugar they contain, but what about my other triggers, well according to LiveStrong.com:
"Dairy products contain arachadonic acids, which may increase the production of prostaglandins. As these prostaglandins are released into your body, the uterus responds by going into spasms. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids may inhibit the release of these prostaglandins; thus, eating wild salmon, flax seed and walnuts may actually help alleviate cramping.
Processed Foods: reducing your sodium intake will decrease water retention and bloating. Avoid canned foods, processed foods such as lunch meat and cheese products, soy sauce and MSG, and any packaged foods that contain 200mg or more of sodium per serving." Read More from LiveStrong.com here!
I started thinking that since these foods are part of the problem then I'm sure there are foods that I can eat to help. So I did some research and tested them on myself. Here are some foods that I know are helping me along with what they have in them to decrease the pain:
Fish - contains an anti-inflammatory omega-3
Bananas - contains potassium
Sesame Seeds - contains calcium
Carrots - contains fiber
Cashews - contains magnesium
I am not a doctor, I'm only stating what I have tested on myself to be true. If you suffer from menstrual cramps and heavy bleeding please seek a doctor's advice because it could be a much bigger issue going on in your body. Each female is different and each pain is different but do not ignore your pain, it's your body's way of talking to you.
I'm continuing to find more natural ways of reducing cramps and will continue to blog about it, whether I find good results or some that simply don't work.
Born in the city and raised in the mountains of Ky. Taking on life one day at a time!