Periods can be a real pain for many women, but they needn’t be. There is so much you can to reduce the impact they have on your life.
For many women period pain can be easily managed with some lifestyle and dietary changes. This means less dependance on pain killers and days out of action.
However for some period pain is a symptom of other conditions such as endometriosis, adenomyosis, uterine fibroids and cervical stenosis. There are very serious conditions that impact the lives of too many women. We’ve recently been discussing how this affects the lives of women in our post about What Is Normal Period Pain, please pop over to this article to discover if the pain you’re experiencing need further investigation and support.
Period pain can present in many different ways – a dragging sensation in the belly, lower back pain, aching legs, cramping and dull aches, you will often see changes in digestion as well – either looser stools or more constipation.
We suggest trying these lifestyle and dietary changes for a few months to see the impact they have on your cycle – a woman’s hormonal cycle last the whole month – not just while you are bleeding so we need to make changes throughout the whole cycle not just during your period! Make an appointment with one of our naturopaths to discuss your period and get some professional assistance.
This may sound simplistic, but it really helps. A diet high in balanced protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre, with plenty of omega 3s fatty acids will reduce your period pains. Avoid too many processed sugars, alcohol and omega-6 processed vegetable oils to encourage healthy inflammation pathways to promote a healthy period.
Eating foods high in magnesium, or including a high quality magnesium supplement will help with the muscle spasms you experience around your period. Magnesium is found in leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, cacao (dark chocolate only guys!), black beans and cashews. A high quality supplement form of magnesium is found in an amino acid chelate or citrate – avoid magnesium oxide as this is a poorly absorbed form that often cause digestive upsets.
Exercise can be a really powerful tool of many health conditions. But especially for pain and inflammation surrounding your period. Yoga, gym, swimming, stretching, going for walks or bike riding – whatever your movement of choice is just do it.
Drinking frequently may have a damaging effect on your hormones. Around January or February I often see women in the clinic with congested, painful, or irregular cycles mainly because they may have pushed the party boat out a bit too far over the holiday season. Supporting healthy liver function is the key to healthy hormones and that is why excessive alcohol can really affect your period. The suggestion is to drink around 4 standard drinks per week if you suffer from painful periods. Give it a go and see if it helps.
I know, I know – it’s a naturopathic cliché to ask clients to stop drinking milk, but it really can help when you are experiencing horribly painful periods. I suggest you try it for two months and see if you notice the difference. The reasons it may make a difference are varied: less inflammatory foods and less hormones coming into your diet.