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Four Ways to Heal Period Pain

Painful periods affect more than half of women who menstruate. When period pain is not caused by another condition, like endometriosis, it is due to excess inflammatory mediators that play a role in the monthly cycle. This causes a decrease in blood flow to the uterus, leading to cramping and pain. Here are 4 ways to decrease period cramps.

Ginger

Pain relievers like ibuprofen decrease the production of prostaglandins, an inflammatory mediator that increases during menstruation. Similarly, ginger has anti inflammatory effects by decreasing production of inflammatory mediators. Some studies have shown ginger powder supplementation in the first 3-4 days of menstruation to be as effective as ibuprofen in reducing period pain.

Omega 3 + vitamin E

The effects of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E on painful periods have been studied alone, but the combination of the two has the most significant decrease in pain. Omega 3 fatty acids incorporate into cells and naturally decrease prostaglandin levels over all, and vitamin E is an antioxidant. The effects are most impactful after 3 months of supplementation.

Topical Heat

Easily underestimated, topical heat therapy can be effective at reducing period pain. Continuous, low level heat is thought to relax the muscle layer of the uterus, improving blood flow to it and reducing cramping. One study showed a heated abdominal wrap giving off continuous, low level topical heat for 8 hours to be more effective than 1000 mg of acetaminophen for treating painful periods. Tightness and cramping decreased, and there was a significant decrease in fatigue and mood swings as well. Another study found low level heat therapy to be as effective as ibuprofen.

Vitamin D

A new study found a correlation between deficient or low levels of vitamin D and painful periods. Supplementing this vitamin if levels are low may be helpful with decreasing period pain (as well as supporting health overall) but similar to the omega 3’s, it takes time for the levels to build up in the body.

Talk to your Restoration Health Clinic ND to see if these suggestions are right for you and your hormonal health.

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