Call the girlfriends and cancel your evening plans. Aunt Flo’s in town and you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. A fat, groggy truck that is. Waiting the twenty minutes for your ibuprofen to kick in feels like hours, and you don’t have time for that because you’re an instant gratification kind of girl.
The truth of the matter is there really isn’t one thing you can do that’ll make your cramps disappear. In fact, the best way to relieve menstrual pain involves changes in your routine before your period. Still, there are a few antidotes that you can try during your week of agony as well. Below, we’ve listed several that should reduce your overall discomfort.
Before Your Period
Load up on calcium. Make a point to add more yogurt, milk, and yes, even ice cream to your diet. If you’re not so keen on dairy products, take a daily calcium supplement instead. Whichever the case, the calcium boost will lesson future cramps and other period related symptoms.
Exercise regularly. If you haven’t already, develop a routine that combines both cardio and weight training. Exercising three to five times a week not only keeps you in shape, it reduces menstrual pain.
Eat more fruits and veggies. If you get in the habit of feeling healthy, your body will be better prepared to handle PMS.
Get enough sleep. Ok so it sounds like a no brainer, but how many hours of sleep do you really get a night? If you’re still feeling tired midday, then it’s not enough. Instead of pumping yourself full of sugary coffee drinks, squeeze in an evening or afternoon cat nap.
During Your Period
Chamomile tea. Even if you don’t think you’re a tea person, don’t immediately dismiss this suggestion. The distinct aroma will put you at ease and have you sleeping in no time.
Heat therapy. Sure you can use your old heating pad, but it’s a germ magnet and can be a hassle when you’re lying down or on the go. Instead, we recommend picking up a box of adhesive menstrual heat patches. These comfortably stick to your lower abdomen and easily fit under your clothes. Also a plus, the consistent heat lasts up to eight hours. If you’re in the mood to just mope around the house, try making your own rice sock. Pour uncooked rice into a sock, pop it in the microwave, and presto-moist heat that molds to your body.
Keep up the exercise. No we’re not kidding, but we’re not talking about an all out cardio-fest either. Thirty minutes of walking or light aerobics will get your blood pumping and relax your muscles.
Limit sugar substitutes and carbonation intake. Can you really go without diet soda for a few days? Probably not, but you’ll defiantly reduce excess bloating and diarrhea if you do.
If your cramps result in excess vomiting or last longer than a couple of days, it’s time to call your doctor. He’ll be able to give you a prescription for something stronger.