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Some menstrual cramps are caused by specific underlying disorders which may need treatment. A woman suffering from menstrual cramps should have a discussion with her doctor, who may need to perform an examination to check for endometriosis or fibroid tumors. In most cases no physical cause is found, but it is wise to check.
The commonest cause of menstrual cramps is contractions of the uterus, which cause the organ to press against nearby blood vessels and cut off circulation to the uterus and other tissues. For the long term, the best preventative is regular exercise, which improves blood flow and muscle tone in the supporting tissues. Reaching or staying at a healthy weight also helps because it reduces pressure in the abdominal cavity. Some studies have shown that women who get plenty of vitamins B1, B6 and E, magnesium, and omega 3 fats have fewer cramps, so taking a multivitamin may be worthwhile.
For more immediate relief, eat smaller meals and avoid foods that cause gas in the intestines. Applying a hot pack or hot pad to the lower abdomen often helps, as does light massage of the lower abdomen. Lying down on your back with the legs elevated above the heart can help, as more blood is available to the abdominal area this way.
For me, the best way to relieve menstrual cramping was to lie down with a heating pad over my stomach. Although you wouldn't consider it to be part of a "home remedy," I'd also take a pain reliever, like aspirin or Tylenol (they didn't have ibuprofen in my day). There are all sorts of web sites that offer home, or homeopathic, remedies for all sorts of conditions, so you might do a search and take a look at a few of your results. I've pasted links to a couple of sites to get you started.
If you frequently have severe pain or if it is accompanied by heavy bleeding, you should see a gynecologist. Cramping is normal during menstruation, but unusual or severe cramping can be a symptom of a serious condition like endometriosis. It's best to be safe!
I hope this helps you.
There are a few I've tried and all work, it's just a matter of which you prefer.
Chasteberry tree - increases dopamine, which helps to regulate hormones. This supplement is available in most health food stores.
Ginger - long used in Chinese medicine (since it originated in China) to relieve pain in general.
Boswellia - an herb used for the relief of pain and inflamation. This one didn't work for me as well as the above two, but there was a benefit nonetheless.
Best of all is a plain old HEATING PAD and hot baths!
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