Those of us who know, we know. When it comes to that time of the month, sometimes it can be like our bodies are at war with us. Just doing normal daily stuff can be impossible when “Aunt Flow” is in town. Menstrual cramps can be annoying, frustrating, exhausting, or even straight up debilitating. Severe cramping can even radiate to other parts of the body, as well as bring on bloating, nausea, fatigue, and brain fog. No worries, though! Relief is on the way! Here are a few things you can do to get cramping (and other symptoms) under control and get back to living your life. Period 😉
It’s important to understand that cramping is a natural and necessary part of the menstrual cycle. But that doesn’t mean we have to suffer. Light to moderate cramping that lasts for an hour or so at a time, on and off over the course of 2-5 days is normal. Excessive cramping can indicate that something isn’t working quite like it should.
Staying well hydrated is so vital to all bodily processes, including menstruation. Lack of hydration will cause the menses to be boggy and clotty, and it won’t flow out easily. This forces your uterine muscles to have to push harder, causing more cramping. So, make sure you are drinking plenty of water.
- Resist Starchy Foods
It’s so tempting to reach for a muffin or croissant when we feel yucky. But this leads to the same problem as not drinking enough water. Starchy foods can absorb water like a sponge, pulling hydration into the digestive tract and away from other organs (like your uterus). Resulting in the same problem as being dehydrated. This also causes more bloating.
- Skip the Tampon
We know, tampons can be super convenient. But on your heaviest flowing days, consider using just a pad instead. Tampons can create an artificial blockage in the vaginal canal that makes it more difficult for your body to push out menses. Which, again, leads to more cramping.
- Eat Organic Eggs
This one is more about prevention. It won’t do much for you if you’re in the throes of crazy cramping. But if you eat organic eggs on a daily basis for 1-2 weeks leading up to the start of your period, it can help make the cramping much lighter and manageable. Eggs are mother nature’s super multivitamin. They contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals (except for vitamin C), plus they have sulfur, cysteine, glutathione, choline, omega-3s, and lecithin just to name a few. All of these which play important roles in bodily functions, including maintaining hormone balance and healthy menstruation.
Herbal remedies can be used to reduce cramping as well as aid the flow of menses. If you are having a lot of cramping, but not much flow, then taking herbs like motherwort or yarrow can help get things moving. If things are flowing, but you’re still having excessive cramping, using crampbark and/or black cohosh can help to relax the uterine muscles. You can also use a supplement like BLOATamin which contains peppermint that has cooling and muscle relaxing properties.
- Drink More Water
It’s worth mentioning again! It can be counter-intuitive, but water-retention is actually reduced by drinking more water. Taking in more water helps to flush out all the tissues of the body, clearing out some of those water-clinging substances along with it.
- De-bloating Supplements
Having a natural supplement, like BLOATamin, on-hand can help you address the multiple types of bloating that can happen when you’re on your period. It contains super-fruit enzymes, and botanicals that help to reduce both food and hormone-related bloating.
- The 2 best herbs for reducing nausea are ginger and peppermint. You can find these botanicals in many forms, from tea, to candy, to gum, or various culinary dishes. There are even supplements that contain both peppermint and ginger, such as BLOATamin.
FATIGUE & BRAIN FOG
- Water….yet again!
Did we mention that water is important for every bodily process? We weren’t kidding! Keep that beautiful brain plump with hydration so it can think clearly. And keep your metabolic processes functioning with good hydration so you can maintain your energy.
Coffee is the first thing that most of us go for to get that caffeine boost to burn off that brain fog. And this is a sure-fire way to do just that. But if you want a caffeine-free way to clear your mind and energize your body, using herbs like Ashwagandha or Tulsi may be what you are looking for. They help, reduce stress, boost brain function, and give you energy without the addictive aspects that coffee has.