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Period pain is normal...right?

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

Wrong!

While many women experience lower abdominal cramping leading up to and during their period, this does not mean it is normal. Period pain is actaully an indicator of an underlying imbalance.


Most of the time this imbalance is hormonal and leads to the presentation of other symptoms like food cravings, mood swings, acne breakouts, bloating, swollen and painful breasts and changes in energy levels. Many women have come to accept that this is just part of being a woman, that this is natural and what is meant to happen.

This is not the case.


The timing of period pain is important to note as this will provide some insight into why pain is occuring. Some women experience pain around day 14 or ovulation, others experience it for around a week before their period, some only get pain the day before or the day of their period. Every woman's body is unique and therefore the timing and reason for her pain is as well.


There are many different management techniques that naturopaths use to help correct underlying imbalances and reduce the severity of these symptoms and the impact that they have on day-to-day life.


Diet is very imprtant in reducing the severity and frequency of PMS symptoms (including period pain) in women. Eating more anti-inflammatory foods, foods high in magnesium (dark leafy green veges!) and reducing the amount of dairy and sugar consumption can greatly improve womens's PMS symtoms and pain.


There are of course a variety of herbs that may help manage these symptoms and address the underlying imbalances. Of course, you should always chat to a health professional, such as a naturopath, before taking herbs to make sure they are right for you and also to avoid any interactions with prescription medications.


For those of you who love to research, some helpful herbs may include:

- Licorice root

- Paeonie

- Vitex or Chaste Tree

- Cinnamon

- Ginger

- Dandelion Root

- st Mary's thistle

- St John's Wort


There are also many nutrients that may help to support hormonal processes, reduce pain and support liver detoxification processes.


Some of these include:

- NAC

- Magnesium

- B6

- Inositol

- Taurine

- PEA


Of course we can't forget about the importacne of self care and looking after our mental health as well. PMS can commonly trigger anxiety and depression even in those who aren't already living with these mental illnesses, so taking care of ourselves and reaching out for help when needed becomes especially important when PMS kicks in.


Remember that PMS isn't something that you just have to live with and it doesn't have to diminish your quality of life. You have options and the first step you take towards a healthier and happier you may be something as simple as reducing sugar or dairy in your diet. It doesn't have to be hard or scary!


If this is something you would like help working through, please book an appointment and get in touch with any questions that pop up!


Yours in health,


Rachel



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