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Health

Painful Periods? Here's Why Menstrual Cramps Aren't Actually "Normal"

By Tamar Hugoboom·· 4 min read
Can You Really Eliminate Painful Cramps During PMS Without Advil Or Hormonal Birth Control?

Periods bring cramps, mood swings, and overall discomfort. It's the worst time of the month, and you've probably just accepted that it's always going to be this way. But these painful symptoms are neither necessary nor natural.

Interestingly, women in many primitive cultures don't experience menstrual side effects. Why? You're about to find out. In short, menstrual challenges are usually the result of faulty metabolism of female hormones, deficiencies, and imbalances.

Menstrual challenges are usually the result of faulty metabolism of female hormones, deficiencies, and imbalances.

Today, we're tackling cramps. Let's dive in...

Understanding Cramps

Mild cramping during your period shouldn't alarm you. But some cramps can become so severe to the point that it's hard to function. If that's the case, you probably have one of the following:

1. A Magnesium Deficiency

Cramps of this intensity are usually a sign of deficient levels of magnesium or calcium. If you think you may have a magnesium deficiency, then ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you crave chocolate before you start your period?

  • Are you hypersensitive to noises?  

  • Do you experience spasms when you use the toilet?

  • Do you frequently drink alcohol?

2. A Calcium Deficiency

Considering that Americans enjoy a diet high in dietary calcium, the presence of calcium deficiency seems strange.

But here's the caveat: High meat consumption is also a big part of the American diet. Meat contains substantially more phosphorus than it contains calcium. These minerals need to be in like ratio. When they are out of kilter, calcium deficiency results.

Preventing Cramps

1. Good Posture

Believe it or not, good posture can alleviate cramps. When the spine is erect, circulation is not impaired. Nerve stimulation has fewer obstacles to the pelvic region. So stand up straight, put your shoulders back, and raise your chin. In time, you will notice a difference in being able to concentrate better too.

2. Increasing Magnesium

Magnesium works a coordinated effort in the body with calcium. Magnesium ions cause muscles to relax, while calcium ions cause muscles to contract. Since muscles resist relaxing during your period, it's often more important to increase magnesium levels. When magnesium is combined with B6, it's even more effective.

Magnesium ions cause muscles to relax.

Aside from eating magnesium-rich foods, when the deficiency is acute, the body may need assistance through added supplementation. Magnesium citrate and magnesium malate are easily absorbed forms.

3. Herbal Supplements

Before reaching for the Tylenol or Aleve, consider taking herbal supplements. They don't harm your liver as many pharmaceutical painkillers do.

Cramp bark (not to be used when pregnant) and Lobelia are two antispasmodic herbs that have provided amazing relief to many women. Evie loves the PMS capsules by Oona, but they frequently go out of stock online, so check your local Whole Foods or health store.

Ginger Tea is excellent for providing some additional relief and can help soothe your stomach.

4. Remove Foreign Objects

The body is composed of soft cells, muscles, tissue, bones, and fluid, not metal (especially copper). Implanted foreign metal devices or foreign materials not only worsen cramps, but also put females at risk for infection, chemical pollution, and heavy metal accumulation.

Using tampons increases your chance for infection, such as "toxic shock syndrome."

It's one thing to catch blood outside of the body. It's another thing to absorb blood waste inside the body. Using tampons increases your chance for infection, such as "toxic shock syndrome." Switching to pads may lessen your cramps.

Closing Thoughts

Pharmaceutical painkillers can have terrible long-term effects on your liver. So before hitting the drug store and loading up on your painkiller of choice, consider following the tips laid out above the next time you PMS. Millions of women experience painful periods, but unbeknownst to many, the painful part is optional.

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