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This article was written by Tania Bhattacharya on behalf of Sherley Altidor.
Common menstrual problems and their remedies
Being a woman has many exciting things about it. But menstruation and the list of discomfort that are often associated with it are definitely not one of them. While the degree varies from one woman to another, and there are the few lucky ones who would breeze through the period, there are others who experience anything from cramps, sore breasts, headaches and bloating to fatigue, backache and not to forget the terrible mood swings. The list goes on. While in some cases, such as excessive bleeding, it is best to consult a doctor to find out if there is any underlying medical condition that needs to be treated, most of it is normal. In fact, there are some tried and tested home remedies that women across the world have used for ages to make their period days a little better.
How to deal with cramps
Keep a hot water bag handy if you get cramps. Placing it on the abdomen will bring relief. If you don’t prefer the bag try the towel. Soak it in hot water, wring out the excess water and place it on the abdomen.
Drink plenty of water. Dehydration might cause your body to produce vasopressin, a hormone that contributes to cramps.
Basil, cinnamon, fennel, ginger and mint all have cramp relieving properties. You can add two tablespoon of thyme or basil leaves into one pint of boiling water. Cover it tightly and allow it to cool down to the room temperature. Then drink half to one cup of this for painful period. Similarly, you can put half teaspoon ginger in one cup of boiling water and drink the preparation three times a day.
Fennel is said to increase circulation to the ovaries. In order to get a relief from cramps, pour one cup of boiling water into one teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds. Steep for five minutes and drink it hot.
How to deal with PMS and PMDD
Most women experience it at some point in their life. PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome has its easily recognizable symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, muscle pains, mood swings, and the likes that usually start a few days before the period begins. PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder refers to a severe PMS. It causes more extreme mood swings, anxiety and even depression. One of the common practices among women suffering from PMS or PMDD is to resort to sugary or salty food. However, experts believe that it is best to stay away from such food cravings of the body, and they have a valid reason too. They believe that sweets can change the blood sugar levels that can cause further mood swings, while salts can force your body to keep more water and hence contribute to PMS bloating.
There is no replacement for a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy, sleep well and stay as stress-free as possible. These can also improve the ‘mood’ of your body and lead to a more bearable menstruation. Birth control pills might help too in relieving the symptoms, in shortening the period and in making it lighter. Consult with your doctor to understand how medical science can help you in coping with your menstrual problems.