BEEN feeling a little grumpy, moody or bitchy? Yep, that monthly visit from Aunt Flow is one that would be good to go without. Period. But what if women could manage the symptoms so unwanted side effects such as moodiness, irritability, puffiness, bloating or stomach cramps wouldn’t rear their ugly heads too?
Leading Sydney-based naturopath Victoria O’Sullivan says in most cases period pain is a representation
of hormonal and nutritional imbalances in the body and it can be reduced. “Women don’t have to suffer
from painful periods and most definitely shouldn’t put up with them,” Victoria said. “But before you go reaching for favoured short-term fixes such a paracetamol and a hot water bottle, start thinking long term. By making just a few small changes you can permanently manage the symptoms in as little as three cycles.
Victoria’s top tips for reducing period pain in as little as three cycles:
Are you a sugar or caffeine addict? Processed sugar can create a yeast overgrowth in the stomach, causing bloating and stomach cramps. Limit sugar intake to natural sugar and have no more than two pieces of fruit a day. Caffeine contains a compound called xanthine which aggravates inflammation in the body, causing the muscles to spasm which is what happens when we experience stomach cramps. Avoiding caffeine altogether will make it more likely for the period pains t(reduce. If you can’t go without caffeine, have 1-2 cups of green tea a day instead. Herbs can help Ginger and turmeric both contain anti-inflammatory properties and can work as natural painkillers.
They are also a lot less hard on the stomach than regular painkillers, which can eliminate good bacteria.
Don’t neglect those delicious greens.
Vegetables of the broccoli family such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts are high in indoles which makes them excellent for maintaining a hormonal balance. Ideally, have 6-7 cups of vegies a day.
Stress is much linked with period pain. When stressed, our body produces increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol and lower-than healthy levels of progesterone. A great reliever of stress is exercise, which releases the feel-good hormone endorphins in the body..
Don’t go overboard on the salt.
Salt will draw fluids, causing you to retain water and bloat. The limit for women is 3-5 grams of salt a day.