Dysmenorrhea is painful menstruation. It is classified as either primary or secondary. Primary dysmenorrheal generally occurs within a couple of years of the first menstrual period. The pain tends to decrease with age and very often resolves after childbirth. Secondary dysmenorrheal is menstrual pain caused by another condition, commonly endometriosis. It starts later in life and tends to increase in intensity over time.
As many as half of menstruating women are affected by dysmenorrheal, and of these, about 10% have severe dysmenorrheal, which greatly limits activities for one to three days each month.
Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch and Mark Stengler
Super Prescription #1 Magnesium - LifeSource Product
Magnesium plays a role in controlling muscle tone and could be important in preventing menstrual cramps.
Super Prescription #2 Vitamin B Complex - LifeSource Products – See All of our Vitamin B
Vitamin B3 has been reported to be effective in relieving menstrual cramps in 87% of women taking 200 mg of niacin per day throughout the menstrual cycle. Combined with 300 mg of Vitamin C, it resulted in a 90% effectiveness rate.
Super Prescription #3 Vitamin E - LifeSource Product
Take 500 IU of Vitamin E per day for two months, beginning two days before menstruation and continually for three days after the onset of menstruation to help relieve menstrual pain.
Super Prescription #4 Omega 3 - LifeSource Products - See All of our Omega
3 – Fish Oil Products.
Diets low in omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with menstrual pain. Take 6 grams per day.
Super Prescription #5 Vitamin B Complex - LifeSource Products – See All of our Vitamin B
If you are Vitamin B1 deficient, taking 100 mg of per day may bring relief of dysmenorrheal symptoms.
Super Prescription # 6 Calcium / Magnesium – LifeSource Products - See All of our Cal/Mag
Calcium may help prevent menstrual cramps by maintaining normal muscle tone. Muscles that are calcium-deficient tend to be hyperactive and therefore more likely to cramp. Take 1,000 mg per day throughout the month, and 250-500 mg every four hours for pain relief, during acute cramping (up to a maximum of 2,000 mg per day).
Super Prescription #7 Black Cohosh - LifeSource Product
Black Cohosh has a history as a folk medicine for relieving menstrual cramps. The recommended amount is 20-40 mg twice per day.
The symptoms usually occur just before or during the menstrual period.
- Abdominal bloating
- Frequent and intense cramps
- Pain below the waistline, or a dull ache that may radiate to the lower back or legs
- Nausea and/or occasional vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Frequent urination
Foods to Avoid
Some physicians advise that alcohol should be avoided by women experiencing menstrual pain, because it depletes stores of certain nutrients and alters the metabolism of carbohydrates - which in turn might worsen muscle spasms. Alcohol can also interfere with the liver's ability to metabolize hormones. In theory, this might result in elevated estrogen levels, increased fluid and salt retention, and heavier menstrual flow.
Many women feel the need to lie still while experiencing menstrual cramps, while others find that exercise helps relieve the pain of dysmenorrhea. This variation from woman to woman may explain why some researchers report that exercise makes symptoms worse, though most studies report that exercise appears helpful.
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