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MENSTRUAL CRAMP SOLUTIONS: PART II

In our last blog post, we discussed some different medications/ treatments for menstrual cramps.  Now, let’s talk about some lifestyle changes, home remedies, and alternative treatment options you should also consider.

I.  Lifestyle and home remedies:

  1. Heat.  A heating pad, soaking in a hot bath, or using a hot water bottle/ heat patch on your abdomen may be as effective as over-the-counter pain medication when it comes to relieving menstrual cramps.
  2. Exercise.  Studies have found that physical activity might ease the pain of menstrual cramps.  Another reason for you to exercise. 🙂
  3. Dietary supplements.  Studies have found that Omega- 3 fatty acids, Vitamin B-1, Vitamin E, Vitamin B-6, and Magnesium supplements may reduce menstrual cramps.
  4. Avoid tobacco and alcohol.  These substances might make menstrual cramps worse.
  5. Stress reduction.  Psychological stress might increase the incidence and intensity of menstrual cramps.

II.  Alternative treatment options:  These options have not been studied as extensively as conventional treatments.  Therefore, more studies are needed before they can be recommended by experts.

  1. Acupuncture.  During acupuncture, a licensed acupuncturist inserts extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body.  Some studies suggest that acupuncture might help relieve menstrual cramps.
  2. Acupressure.  Similar to acupuncture, acupressure also stimulates certain strategic pressure points on the body.  In acupressure, this is done by applying gentle pressure on the skin instead of inserting needles.  Research on acupressure and menstrual cramps is limited.
  3. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).  A TENS device connects to the skin using adhesive patches that have electrodes in them.  Those electrodes deliver varying levels of electric current to stimulate nerves.  TENS might work by raising the threshold for pain signals and stimulating the release of endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers.
  4. Herbal medications.  Please discuss any such medications with your doctor before using them. #DrNita

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