What Foods Help To Get Rid Of Cramps?

What Foods Help To Get Rid Of Cramps?

A healthy diet low in fat and rich in magnesium, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamin C and fiber helps in controlling menstrual cramps. Nuts and seeds are rich in magnesium and help in reducing cravings for chocolates as well as prevent bloating and discomfort caused during the periods. Beans and legumes are rich in fiber and helps in regulation of digestive enzymes and it is also rich in vitamin B that helps in flushing out toxins from the body.

Caffeine should be avoided during periods as it might lead to painful cramps and bloating in some people. Instead opting for soothing herbal tea and ginger based tea can help with menstrual cramps and bloating. Dark chocolate is known to boost serotonin levels that help in relieving fatigue and depression. It also satiates the junk food cravings that you have during your periods. It is also important to consume a lot of water during your periods, which helps in flushing out the excess sodium from the body that causes migraines and bloating. Water can be infused with lemon, apple cinnamon, peach and ginger for added benefits. Complex carbohydrate rich foods relieve cramps and bloating during periods. Fruits, vegetables and whole foods such as apricots, plums, oranges, pears, cucumbers, artichokes, corn and carrots also reduce sugar cravings during periods.

Calcium rich foods such as yogurt, kale and broccoli help in relieving menstrual cramps. Papayas and mangoes are also anti-oxidant rich fruits that are helpful during cramps. Foods rich in vitamin C are good and are known to enhance and support the woman’s reproductive system and quality of eggs.

Painful menstrual cramps are called as dysmenorrhea in clinical terms. It is common in teens and young women. In some cases they can be severe in intensity and interfere with their day to day activities. Dysmenorrhea can either be primary or secondary depending upon their cause. Primary dysmenorrhea is the cramping pain in the lower belly or lower back that can start 1-2 days before the period and lasts for 2-4 days. Secondary dysmenorrhea is lower back pain caused by an underlying medical condition such as endometriosis or any pelvic inflammatory diseases.

These menstrual cramps are caused due to uterine contractions. Mild contractions continuously pass through the womb and they are so mild that most women do not feel them. During menstrual cycle the wall of womb starts to contract vigorously to allow the uterus lining to shed, so that monthly periods can occur. When the muscular wall of uterus contracts it compresses the blood vessels that line the uterus and temporarily cuts off the blood supply to the womb, which further leads to release of certain chemicals caused as prostaglandins that trigger pain. This build up of prostaglandins is the reason some women experience more pain than others during their menstrual cycle.

In some cases the period pain is also caused by an underlying medical condition. It mostly affects women in the age group of 30-45 years old. It is also called as secondary dysmenorrhea. The conditions that can cause secondary dysmenorrhea are endometriosis where the normal cells of the womb start growing in other places such as fallopian tubes and ovaries, which causes intense pain when they are shed during the menstrual cycle. Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow in the womb and lead to heavy and painful periods. Pelvic- inflammatory diseases infect the womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries with bacteria leading to severe inflammation and hence pain in the lower belly during uterine contractions. Adenomyosis is a condition where the tissue normally lining the womb starts growing in the muscular wall of uterus making the periods very painful. Further use of IUDS (intrauterine devices) can also sometimes cause period pain especially during the first few months of its insertion. The symptoms caused by these conditions include irregular periods, bleeding in between periods, a thick or foul smelling vaginal discharge and pain during sex.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 27, 2018

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