Hey, Guys!
How’s your week been? Mine’s been crazy so far, but awesome still. I read this piece of news yesterday about a proposed 3-day menstrual cramp leave for female employees in Italy. And it’s a paid leave too! Oh lawd!!

Photo: DivaDiaries

Ladies know all we want to do that period is;
– Lay in bed all day.
– Eat comfort foods and drink tea.
– Watch our favourite shows or movie.
– Get emotional for apparently no reason. (There was this time I cried because the attendant at coldstone creamery messed up my order 🙈).
– Yell at every moving male entity in sight. (P.S, we secretly blame you for our woes. If Adam didn’t leave the garden of Eden, we wouldn’t be having this….oh never mind!!). In other news, I’m moving to Italy! Who’s coming with me?

Girls know menstrual cramps make us feel like crap. And for guys, that’s the period “every girl they know is a complete psycho”. In other words, get in here guys (I mean guys and girls 🙄). I can make all your troubles go away ( your menstrual cramp troubles… so yeah, all your troubles).

Menstrual cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea, is caused by brief lack of oxygen supply to the uterus (womb). During menstruation, the uterus contracts to shed its lining. If it contracts too strongly, it can press against nearby blood vessels and this briefly cuts off the the oxygen supply to the uterus.

Photo Credit: eachoneteachone

Menstrual cramps usually occur before or during menstruation and the pain level ranges between dull and annoying to severe.

Symptoms of menstrual cramps include:
– Mild to severe aches in the lower abdomen.
– Bloating or constipation
– Stomach upset and sometimes, vomiting.
– Lightheadedness
– Pain in the hips, thighs and back.
– Diarrhea

Let’s talk about ways to get rid of menstrual cramps, shall we?

1. Drink water: it is recommended you stay hydrated. Drinking water won’t get rid of your cramps directly but it’ll will reduce bloating (which makes cramps feel worse). You should also avoid foods that leave you dehydrated such as salty foods and alcohol.

2. Diet: During this period, you should pay attention to your diet. Stick to low-fat, high-fiber diets such as nuts, peas, fruits, vegetables, whole grains. You can also try smoothies packed full with vegetables. Avoid sweet and fatty fried foods.

3. Supplements: Taking nutrient supplements before your menstrual period can help prevent cramps. Nutrients such as vitamins E, B1, B6, magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids reduce the secretion of the hormone-like substances responsible for painful cramps and also help relieve muscle tension and inflammation. However, you should consult your nutritionist on how these supplements can be combined with your usual diet so as to prevent nutrient toxicity.

4. Heat: I usually use a vacuum flask. I would fill up the flask with boiling water, seal it and then hold it against my lower abdomen. It works wonders in relieving my cramps. You can also use rechargeable cordless heat wraps. You can get these from pharmacies like healthplus or medplus.

5. Painkillers: You can use painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. These painkillers will relieve you of that nagging cramp. It is advised that you keep these painkillers in your handbag, office drawer or car so you don’t have to search for it every time you need it.

6. Exercise: Exercises that work out your core such as yoga, walking, running, swimming, etc. are believed to relieve menstrual cramps. Exercise releases endorphins which are chemicals in the brain that makes you feel good, so why not?!

Photo credit: xonecole

7. Take a Shower: taking a showe r,especially with warm water, helps relieve menstrual cramps. I usually prefer to use the detachable shower head (the one that looks like a telephone) so I can concentrate the warm (in my case, hot) water on my lower abdomen. If you have the luxury of a bath tub, you can soak in it for a couple of minutes. *Coughs* Hours.

8. Sleep: it might be a lot harder to sleep when you have severe cramps but you can try out different positions till you find the most comfortable one. Sleep makes the cramps a bit less severe by the time you wake up.

I hope these tips help you with your next menstrual period and makes it less painful. I would love to know other treatments that have worked for you or someone you know.

Till next time, be well.