If you are bothered by menstrual cramps, then let me assure you that you are not alone. Almost ninety percent women, have the same complaint. This article highlights information about menstrual cramps symptoms and treatments to stop the suffering. Read on to know more…
The medical term for menstrual cramps is dysmenorrhea. It usually starts one or two days before the menstrual period and may continue for the next 2-3 days. It is triggered by contraction of the uterine wall. The uterus undergoes contraction during menstruation to facilitate shedding of its inner lining. During this time, special hormones named prostaglandins are released in the uterus which tend to increase the severity of the contraction. The level of prostaglandins tend to fluctuate from time to time. The higher the level of prostaglandins the more severe are the symptoms.
The duration as well the intensity of the menstrual cramp symptoms often vary from one woman to another. For some women, it is a slightly annoying condition which is going to last merely for a few hours. For others, severe menstrual cramps makes life miserable and they cannot carry out their normal life activities for almost a week.
The source of the pain due to menstrual cramps is the lower part of the abdomen and lower back area. Usually, it is not a constant pain and its intensity rises and falls again and again. When the pain turns severe, then it often gets radiated to other parts of the body that include hips, thighs and lower part of the legs. Besides, the painful muscle spasm, there are other symptoms that accompany menstrual cramps. They are as follows:
- Dull, heavy feeling in the lower abdominal area.
- Gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, etc.
- Soreness in breasts
- Leg cramps
- Excessive sweating
- Abdominal bloating
If you visit your doctor for menstrual cramps treatment, then they will prescribe you with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief. It is usually accompanied by oral birth control pills. These pills contain hormones that prevent the ovulation process and thus the pain is lessened. If you do not feel like taking medicines for the discomfort that last only for few days, then you should opt for some home treatments to ease off the pain. Here are a few menstrual cramps remedies that can bring about marked improvement in the condition:
Most women feel rejuvenated after soaking themselves in a tub of warm bath water. The warm water has a soothing effect on the pain and soreness of the muscles. You can add some aromatherapy oils into the bathwater. It will help you to get over the sluggishness and you will feel fresh after the bath.
Start taking two cups of freshly brewed chamomile tea daily a few days before the menstrual period. You will find that the intensity of menstrual cramp symptoms will be comparatively less severe. To prepare the tea, you have to soak a teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Add one teaspoon of honey and the tea is ready to drink.
A gentle massaging of the muscles of the lower back, abdomen, thigh and legs can give a lot of comfort. Rub the tips of the fingers with firm pressure over these muscles and you will feel so relaxed.
Pineapple is widely used for menstrual cramp relief. This is because it contains an enzyme component named bromelain which can release the tension from the abdominal muscles and relax them. Therefore, eat plenty of fresh pineapples on those few days.
Eat Healthy Foods
Fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and lean protein should be included in the diet. Spicy foods, foods with caffeine content, alcohol should be avoided during this time.
Menstrual cramps symptoms are absolutely normal and there is nothing to worry about. Try to distract your mind into other activities like watching a movie or hanging out with friends. This will minimize the discomfort. At any point of time, if you feel that the cramps are unusually severe or lasting for several days, do not hesitate to consult your gynecologist. Even if any underlying cause is there, no need to panic, it can be treated successfully.