Can Menstrual Cramps be Managed by Home Remedies, Lifestyle Management, Diet and Exercise

My daughter suffers from intense pain during her periods with cramps in abdomen. She is 18 years old and is studying. Please tell me if this pain can be managed with home remedies and lifestyle management other than regular medications. Are there are any specific diet and exercise that can help manage menstrual cramps better?
  • Posted By:
  • 'Sarah' on
  • 10/29/2014
  • 1914
  • 2 Answers

Answered By:

Pain experienced during menstrual periods is often very sharp and is felt like cramps in the lower abdomen. It usually begins with the initiation of menses and may last for 2 to 3 days or sometimes even longer. Generally the pain is bearable with mild disturbances, but in some women it can be very annoying and may even interfere with their daily routine.

Can Menstrual Cramps be Managed by Home Remedies

It is also called dysmenorrhea and is one of the common causes for absenteeism in young women. Some women who begin menstruating at an early age, those who experience longer menstrual periods or those who smoke may have greater chances of experiencing menstrual cramps. Symptoms of menstrual cramps generally include severe cramping pain in lower abdomen, thighs and legs, headaches, fatigue, fainting episodes, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Menstrual cramps are felt due to uterine contractions during the menstruation phase. For normal menstruation causing cramping pain, some home remedies can be of great help in relieving menstrual pain. Additionally, lifestyle management measures should be followed as a part a healthy routine.

However, if menstrual cramps are very severe and do not respond to any treatment, it is advisable to consult your physician for necessary investigations.

Home Remedies For Menstrual Cramps

  • Naturally occurring menstrual cramps can be managed to a great extent by some home remedies. These remedies help you to cope with the pain and can be used during the phase of pain. 
  • Take adequate rest and allow your body to relax. Limit your activities that are not urgent. Consume a nutritious diet and perform gentle exercises that will aid in relaxation of muscles. 
  • Apply heat to the lower abdomen and back; this can provide great relief. Use a hot water bag or moist towel for warm compresses. 
  • Drink water and keep yourself hydrated, especially during your periods. Consume fruits and vegetables that have high water content in them. For e.g. watermelon, berries, limes, cucumbers, celery.
  • Take a diet, which is rich in calcium like milk and milk products - go for low fat ones, green leafy vegetables or sesame seeds. Calcium can help in relieving cramping pain. Fruits like papaya and banana are also known to be effective in reducing menstrual pain and other complaints. 
  • Spices like cinnamon and ginger can help and can be taken in hot water, herbal tea or used in your preparations. 
  • Chamomile tea is considered as a great remedy for combating painful conditions and may be taken. 

Nutritional deficiencies can add to the existing menstrual complaints. Hence, it is advisable to make sure that your diet meets your daily requirement of nutrients or else you can seek medical advice on nutritional supplementation for iron, calcium, vitamin D and others. Vitamin D can help in preventing menstrual cramps, so get those early morning sun rays to remain fit.

Exercises To Fight Menstrual Cramps or Pain

Although it may sound difficult; moderate exercises before and during menstruation can help in releasing stress relieving hormones. These are endorphins, which can help in relieving pain as well as uplifting your mood. You can choose to walk, perform gentle aerobics or yoga to fight menstrual cramps. While some yoga poses like camel pose, noose pose, fish pose and few others can be helpful, they are best performed under proper guidance. Simple breathing exercises or pranayama can also be helpful in improving your ability to cope with the pain and for relaxing your mind.

Lifestyle Management For Menstrual Cramps

Following a healthy routine during the entire month can help in building your strength and aid in relieving your menstrual complaints.

Diet For Relieving Menstrual Cramps

Include healthy foods and those that can aid in relieving menstrual cramps; these foods should contain specific vitamins and minerals that are related to menstrual pain. Whole grains like brown rice, multigrain products are a great source of vitamins, especially B-complex and should be made a vital part of your diet. Fresh fruits and leafy vegetables, broccoli, etc are good source of nutrition. Foods like almonds, nuts, fish, eggs, which are rich in iron and other minerals should be consumed to make up for the loss during menstruation.

Foods to be avoided during menstruation and also later on to maintain good health include fried and fatty foods, aerated drinks and alcohol. Intake of caffeine should be limited; so you may have to cut down on your coffee, tea and other colas. Smoking is best avoided at all times to reduce the risk of many disorders.

Physical Activity

Apart from the exercises during menstrual pain, it is essential that you keep yourself active as a general rule. While daily chores are performed, make sure to spare time for exercises that improve your cardiovascular functioning for e.g. aerobics, walking, jogging, swimming or cycling. Along with this, stretching and flexibility exercises for the whole body can help to massage your internal organs, make your body supple and give you the required strength.

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Other Answers (1 Answer)

  • Answered by:
  • JenniferGarrett

Great ideas shared..This whole idea will really help us.Natural remedies will definitely help us to get rid of menstrual cramps.For other options you can try these out too at .

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