Do you dread your approaching menstrual period? Does it make you irritable, give you cramps, make you weak and uncomfortable? Menstruating women deal with so many problems ranging from cravings to pain and body malaise. While you cannot entirely prevent these from occurring, there are home remedies that will help you tone down the extent of these menstrual problems and help you live through those five days like any other normal day.
In this post, we will tell you about different problems afflicting menstruating women and the home remedies that will help you deal with your menstrual problems.
The common problems:
Dysmenorrhea, also known as menstrual cramps, comes from the Latin word “dys” meaning ill or abnormal and the word “menorrhea” which means monthly flow. When combined, it means pain associated with menstruation, usually in the pelvic area but can also spread to the back and other areas of the body.
There are two types of dysmenorrhea: primary and secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea is menstrual cramps caused by uterine contractions with no other underlying causes. Secondary dysmenorrhea is more severe and lasts longer. It is caused by a disorder in reproductive organs, such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis, or infection.
Menorrhagia is a combination of “meno” which is means “of menstruation” in Latin and “rrhag” which is derived from a Greek word that means “to burst”. In other words, menorrhagia is the medical term for abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding during menstruation which can cause anemia due to severe blood loss. Women who need to change their pad every 1-2 hours or bleed more than 8 days may have menorrhagia.
Amenorrhea is from the Latin word “a” which means “not” and “menorrhea” which means monthly flow. It simply means the absence of menstruation or having missed menstrual periods. A normal cycle lasts 28 days, meaning menstruation should come every month. Women who have missed at least three menstrual periods in a row have amenorrhea, as do girls who haven’t begun menstruation by age 15.
Also Read – Treating Menstrual Problems with Ayurveda
Pre-menstrual syndrome or PMS is another problem that comes with menstruation and is caused by the hormonal imbalance. It is a combination of several symptoms that come a week before menstruation and sometimes last until your period starts. During this time, women experience mood swings and cravings which even they cannot explain. Women will also experience bloating around their abdominal area and feel like they have gotten fatter. Women also feel weakness, a general sense of discomfort, and sleepiness.
All that sounds like a lot to handle and that is why women search for many cures to such problems. Listed below are natural cures which can ease a woman’s menstrual woes.
1. Irregular Periods – Papaya
If you suffer from irregular periods, then make it a point to consume papaya at least once a week. The Papain enzyme in papaya helps you regularize your hormones.
2. Irregular Periods – Cilantro Decoction
A cilantro decoction will help you get your period on time every month. You can make the decoction by boiling cilantro seeds or leaves or a combination of both in boiling water for a few minutes.
3. Irregular Periods – Sugarcane Juice
Drinking sugarcane juice everyday a week or two before your expected period date will help you get your period on time.
4. PMS – Soybeans
Eat a handful of boiled or steamed soybeans when your period is approaching. The phytoestrogens in soybeans help balance out the hormonal levels in the body.
5. PMS – Evening Primrose Oil
Taking two 1000mg tablets of evening primrose oil a day will help your body get Gamma Linoleic Acid which helps in reducing breast tenderness during periods. It also helps regularize your hormones.
6. PMS – Avoid caffeine, sugar and alcohol
A week before your period is due, cut down on the sugar, alcohol and caffeine intake. Caffeine can increase irritability and anxiety while alcohol can make you more depressed. Refined sugar is a complete no no since it sways your blood sugar levels, swinging your mood alongside. Try natural alternatives to sugar that are suggested here if you can’t live without sweets.
7. Bloating – Avoid Salt
This one is a no-brainer. Whether it is before your periods or not, cut down on salt intake. Having too much salty food such as chips before your period can cause excessive bloating, fluid retention and tenderness of the breasts. Remember not to give in to your cravings.
8. Bloating – Exercise
Regular exercise, especially aerobics can help release endorphins that are feel good hormones and will also flush out toxins and retained water. I know it sounds difficult to do such a thing during your period when all you want to do is lay in bed but at least try to do light exercise. Exercise for half to one hour everyday to feel fit and fabulous.
9. Cramps – Hot water bottle
The dreaded effect of having your period is the cramps. No one wants to feel like someone is stabbing their abdomen multiple times for several hours. To get relief, apply a heat pack on your lower back and abdomen. The heat will help soothe some of the cramps.
10. Cramps – Get more Calcium
Cramps can be reduced by increasing the intake of calcium in the food. Remember to include dairy products or calcium supplements in your diet.
11. Cramps – Fish Oil
Fish oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and has anti-inflammatory properties. Taking a capsule of fish oil everyday helps keep menstrual cramps at bay.
12. Cramps- Chamomile Tea
Chamomile, an anti-depressant and nerve relaxant, is a life saver. Drinking a few cups of Chamomile tea helps in soothing your cramps and makes you relax during your periods.
13. Heavy Bleeding – Banana Flower
If you suffer from heavy bleeding, then include a lot of banana flower in your diet since it is rich in progesterone which can control help normalize hormones and stop heavy bleeding.
14. Heavy Bleeding – Magnesium
15. Heavy Bleeding- Vitamin C rich foods
Vitamin C can help control heavy bleeding and can also aid in iron production to prevent anemia. Foods rich in Vitamin C, namely Gooseberry and citrus fruits should be consumed before and during your period.
16. Heavy Bleeding – Buckwheat
Buckwheat is rich in bioflavonoids which help in controlling heavy bleeding. Add buckwheat to your breakfast to gain control over heavy bleeding.
17. To overcome Weakness – Dried Apricots
Women feel a lot of weakness due to loss of blood during the periods. Chew on some dry apricots to regain all the iron that you lost out on in the flow.
18. To overcome Weakness- Meat
Meat is rich in iron and zinc, two ingredients that our body is depleted of during periods. So replenish it by consuming meat to avoid weakness.
19. General wellness – Drink water
Drink lots of water, even if it means frequent trips to the loo during your period. It will help flush out toxins and keep you hydrated.
20. After period care – Eat healthy
The first week after your period is the best time to replenish all the lost blood. Feed on foods rich in iron, Vitamin B complex, proteins and zinc. Cut down on sugar and caffeine. Exercise and embrace yourself to face the next menstrual cycle.
Home remedies are a great help and quite easy and convenient. However, do see a doctor if these aren’t working or if your menstrual problems seem too severe. But for the meantime, you can count on these tips to help you get through red days.