A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Dysmenorrhea
I had a question the other day about dysmenorrhea.
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for the painful cramps you get immediately before or during your menstrual period.
There are 2 types of dysmenorrhea: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea.
Primary dysmenorrhea is another name for common menstrual cramps.
Cramps usually begin 1-2 years after you start getting your period.
Pain is usually felt in your lower abdomen or back.
It can be mild to severe.
Common menstrual cramps often start shortly before or at the beginning of your period and continue 1-3 days.
They usually become less painful as you get older and may stop entirely after you have your first baby.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is pain caused by a disorder in your reproductive organs.
These cramps usually begin earlier in your menstrual cycle and last longer than common menstrual cramps.
Menstrual cramps are caused by contractions in your uterus, which is a muscle.
The uterus, the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a baby grows, contracts throughout your menstrual cycle.
If your uterus contracts too strongly, it can press against nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the muscle tissue of your uterus.
Pain results when part of the muscle briefly loses its supply of oxygen.
To deal with dysmenorrhea it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily.
*Alfalfa is a good source of vitamin K and minerals, including iron.
*Burdock root, dong quai, and red raspberry leaf help to balance hormones.
*Meadowsweet, valerian, and skullcap help to relieve muscle cramps.
*Taking valerian root at bedtime helps to relax the muscles.
*Eat a diet consisting of 50% raw organic vegetables and fruits and including soy foods. In addition, eat only 100% whole-grain products (no refined flour products) and raw nuts and seeds. A diet rich in legumes and other fiber-rich foods is very important in managing dysmenorrhea.
*Include “green drinks” made from organic dark green leafy vegetables in your diet.
*Avoid alcohol, caffeine, animal fats, butter, dairy products, fried foods, foods that contain additives, all hardened fats, junk foods or fast foods, red meats, poultry (except organically raised and skinless), refined and processed foods, salt, shellfish, and sugar.
*Fast for 3 days each month before the anticipated beginning of your menstrual period.
*Use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or a hot bath to help relieve pain. The warmth relaxes the muscles that cramp and cause pain.
*Daily moderate exercise like walking or stretching is beneficial.
*Increase Kegel exercises (tightening pelvic muscles).
*Consider a liver and/or colon cleanse.
*Consider acupuncture, energy medicine techniques, hydrotherapy, etc.
*Address any emotional issues.
*Have a chiropractic assessment.
*Eliminate toxic exposures, both food and environment.
*Eliminate excess weight; maintain a healthy weight.
*Understand your medications and possible side-effects.
*If you follow a vegetarian lifestyle or low caloric intake, it is essential to ensure proper intake of protein, B vitamins and essential fats.
*Consider increasing Cal/Mag, VitalMag and GLA amounts the week before and during period to relieve cramps, etc.
*Strong cravings for chocolate may indicate an increased need for VitalMag.
*Try taking Cal/Mag chewables and/or a glass of Performance to alleviate cramping.
*Consider having thyroid function checked.
*Maintain balanced blood sugars.
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