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Jul 22, 2016

Ouch PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)!!!

For many women their bleeding time each month can be a painful experience. For many years women have come up for a variety of reasons why this is happening to them, and the pain can vary from woman to woman.

Painful menstruation is known as Dysmenorrhea which literally means “difficult menstruation”. Each month when the uterine lining sheds as menstruation, the uterus must contract. In women with dysmenorrhea the contractions are very painful. The uterus may even spasm. Pain can be localized to the lower abdomen, but it can also be in the lower back, in the vulva, as well as radiating down the thighs. This wave like pain is often accompanied by headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The pain can begin up to 24 hours before menses begins and usually lasts for the first 48 hours once menses begins. In some women the pain may last up to 72 hours once menses begins.

What Causes of PMS cramps? There are numerous factors that could lead to menstrual cramps and pain. It could be due to any of the following-

Hormonal imbalances
Poor diet
Food allergies
Emotional stress
Thyroid problems
Environmental toxins

The good news is if you can improve your diet, manage stress and take some of the suggested natural remedies you can greatly see the symptoms associated with PMS improve fast.

Exercise- Brisk walking or any type of physical activity can help to ease belly pain. When you're doing any type of aerobic exercise, your body is pumping more blood; this helps to release endorphins to counteract the prostaglandins and reduce your cramps. Exercising three to four times a week is good for the overall health of your body, but it is especially important if you're prone to painful menstrual cramps.

Apply Heat- Heat helps to relax the contracting muscles in your uterus, which is the cause for your pain. Take a hot water bag or a plastic bottle filled with hot water and apply it to your abdomen for pain relief.

Green leafy vegetables– Green leafy vegetables have a diuretic effect and are also a great source of calcium and magnesium, which can reduce menstrual cramps.

Foods high in Omega-3 fats will help reduce pain and inflammation.

Sesame seeds- Sesame seeds are amongst the best home remedies for menstrual pain and cramps. Sesame seeds help in keeping the blood flow regular and reduce the possibility of cramps during the menstrual cycle. Taking sesame seeds soaked in water or eating a handful of the seeds are very helpful in menstrual problems. For best results one can eat the seeds at least two or three days before the menstrual cycle starts.

Fennel seeds- aka saunf in Hindi. It helps to regulate the menstrual cycle, may help reduce hormone fluctuation. It is also aids in reducing muscle spasm.

Chaste Berry/Vitex- It helps balance estrogen/ progesterone ratios. It nourishes the pituitary gland and helps lengthen the luteal phase. For some women, this alone will improve symptoms

Shatavari (Indian Asparagus) Powder - Shatavari treats PMS symptoms by relieving pain and controlling blood loss during menstruation. Half a tea spoon shatavari powder with warm water or warm milk twice a day.

Ashwagandha - It is adaptogenic herb that has shown to reduce cortisol, balance hormones, and reduce PMS symptoms. 

Papaya- Have generous helpings of papaya during and before your periods. Papaya contains ‘papain’ an enzyme that helps to regulate and helps to ease the flow during menstruation.

Ginger- If you experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea due to painful cramping and hormonal changes, ginger is one of the best herbs to soothe the stomach. It is also anti-inflammatory.

Carrot Juice- They are not only good for your eyes; they also assist in regulating menstruation. A tall glass of carrot juice can go a long way in making you feel much better.

Gelatin- It is a great source of calcium, magnesium and phosphate. It supports hormone production and digestive health and helps sooth inflammation, especially in joints.

Aoe Vera Juice- Aloe vera juice with honey is also well known to ease the flow and reducing the pain.

Lavender Oil - Applying lavender oil around your stomach is known to help relieving cramps in just 10 to 15 mins.

Flaxseed – Helps promote healthy estrogen metabolism. Just roast some flaxseed and chew a teaspoon twice or thrice a day.

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)- aka Guma in Hindi. This herb is effective in reducing uterine muscle spasm, cramping and improving uterine tone. It is aids in insomnia, headache and dizziness. It is a specific remedy for heart palpitations, stress and anxiety associated with pelvic pain.

Avocado – Eating a half or full avocado daily can naturally balance hormones because of its nutritional profile which includes healthy fat, fiber, magnesium and potassium.

Chamomile Tea - It has pain relieving properties. This sweet little flower is both anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. This herb is also mild sedative so it may help to reduce stress and relax the nervous system. This can be very useful when experiencing menstrual cramping accompanied by anxiety and irritability. Chamomile is best sipped as a tea during menstruation.

Asafoetida: aka Hing in Hindi. Asafoetida mix with butter and honey or cooked asafoetida is effective when menstrual pain is caused due to excessive menstruation.

Coriander seeds: Coriander seeds have vital anti inflammatory and other useful properties that makes it very effective in reducing menstrual pain and correcting irregular menstrual cycle. A handful of seeds should be boiled in water till very little water remains and this should then be strained and this can be taken twice daily and can be taken when warm for better results.

(NOTE: You can try any of few of these home remedies for your PMS. However, if the pain is severe with any other symptoms other than PMS, please consult a doctor. It could be due to some other underlying causes.)

Also Read Do You Have PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome)!

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