Cramping My Style
Period Cramps. Ugh.
The number one go-to for many women is to use Ibuprofen *godsend*, to decrease inflammation in the low abdomen, which is often the source of the pain.
On the day that cramps hit, there's nothing quite like a dose of Ibu, but how does it work and can we take preventative actions before that(those) dreadful day(s)?
Cramping can occur because of imbalances of estrogen/progesterone, other endocrine issues or vitamin deficiencies, but the bottom line is that the vessels and tissue in the uterus become inflamed, and inflammation hurts.
Inflammation occurs when Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 -Inflammatory Hormones) levels rise.
Investigating how we got here is important, but it's also just as important to manage the symptoms pro-actively.
Instead of taking anti-inflammatories on the day of pain, do your best to decrease PGE2 throughout the month.
These are the ways you can decrease inflammation on the daily:
1. EAT BEETS. Beets are Cox-1 & Cox 2 inhibitors, which is exactly what Ibuprofen does.
2. COOK WITH TURMERIC. The active component Curcumin has been shown to also act as specific lower abdomen anti-inflammatories.
3. EAT FISH SKIN (sustainable & non mercuried) - Omega 3 Fatty Acids (found in the skin more than the meat) are anti-Inflammatory, favouring the your personal Goldilocks amount of Prostaglandin E2. For more info on Omega-3's click here.
4. DO A DAILY LOW BELLY STRETCH (in yoga, bow pose or upward dog or something like it): Get flexible in your lower abdomen - it's not about tightening your core or cardio, but actually stretch out your belly! Get the blood flow flushing through there. Sex works too.
5. (My favourite) Eat a small piece of DARK (75%) chocolate in the week preceding: Lots of minerals, little sugar and no milk, decreases inflammation and supplies the right ingredients for a smooth period.
Don't let your period cramp your style:)