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Period cramps: What to do when you do not know what to do?

A cramp is explained as an involuntary forceful muscle contraction that takes a while to relax. Period cramps are very common for girls when it is close or during their periods.

People have different experiences with period cramps. For some, it can be a little pinch in the lower abdomen that won’t last long but can be immense pain that requires a trip to a doctor for others.

Period cramps have different symptoms and such may include; loose stools, back pain, mood changes, headaches and many more.

As I grew up, I would find my elder sisters laying on the floor, which was confusing. However, it did not take me that long to find myself on that same floor hoping to ease the pain.

I did not know why laying down on that floor was helping, I just knew that it was the cold felt soothing to me.

I am not the only one who was trying to find a solution to lessen the pain without having to go see a doctor.

Sandrine Akaliza has shared how she tries different methods just to ease the pain, especially because her period leaves her in bed for the whole day, most of the times.  

“I tried different things and found that warm drinks help me. I drink warm hibiscus. I am not used to workouts but I have learnt to because it also helps me,” she said.

When we are in pain, it is in our nature to find solutions instead of laying down to die. Luckily, there are different ways that can help to calm the pain.

Apply Some Heat

If you have a towel, soaking it in some warm water and laying it on your abdomen and back will help relieve the pain. You can also use a heating pad, or a warm bath or shower.

This is recommended because with the heat, the muscles of the uterus relax, there is an increase in the blood flow hence easing the pain.

A heating pad will bring an increase in the blood flow to your pelvis and uterus, but it won’t make your period come or end faster.

Physical exercise

Your body at this time will welcome physical activity as a natural pain reliever.

Periodic cramps will not only make you feel uncomfortable but also weak and tired with a foul mood but by doing some physical activities you will feel a lot better.

Exercising your body will give you a natural endorphin high, elevating your mood and actually making you feel better.

Endorphins are a natural painkiller, when released they produce relief.

Exercises are helpful even for the girls and women experiencing really painful cramps, light cardio. Such walking is helpful in relieving the pain.

Light cardio, low volume strength training and power based activities such as low back and glute stretch, kneeling abdominal twist, glute bridge, and more like these are helpful and make you feel better.

Do not overdo it, reduce the intensity of your regular workouts this time.

Reduce stress

Try all possible ways to reduce or avoid stress, since stress affects your body in more ways than one.

However, this is all better said than done because having period cramps does not mean bills are not going to need to get paid which means you will still have to go to work, or school which can have its own stress.

You cannot control what happens in the world but you can find ways to create your own peace.

Deep breathing exercises, meditation, simple movements, playing your favorite songs if you can or anything else that provides you with peace.

Add vitamins and minerals to your diet

This is a good time to practice a clean diet. The ‘we are what we eat’ saying applies here.

Focus on having multiple, regular meals that are healthy. This implies no candy, fried foods and other foods that do not provide any nutrients to the body.

Instead try water, fruits that are water-rich or sweet if you are having a sugar craving without you having any artificial sugar and leafy green vegetables will boost your iron levels which will reduce the dizzy spells, fatigue and bodily pain.

Ginger tea is also good since it has anti-inflammatory effects which soothes achy muscles and reduces nausea. However, it is advised not to consume more than 4g per day.

There are more food types that are rich in iron and vitamin B12 which is what the body needs at this time, including chicken, and fish. This will help replenish blood loss during your period.
Consult a professional medical doctor

Yes, we have different bodies and we handle pain differently but if your menstrual cramps are interfering entirely with your daily life, or continue even when your period is over, you need to consult a medical doctor.

A person can sense when they have a problem, when something does not feel right with your body or the symptoms are too much, it is better to visit a doctor to get professional help and maybe prescribed medication.

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