Today we will look at how I approach treating menstrual cramps that result from female hormonal imbalances. Cramps are defined as painful, either sharp or aching, during the menstrual cycle in the lower abdominal region or the low back.
Whenever one of my patients is in pain I always create a short-term approach and a long-term approach to address their problem. In the short-term approach, I want to help them alleviate their pain, as quickly as possible and in the long-term approach, I want to resolve the hormonal problem permanently if possible.
Let’s start by discussing the short-term solution for cramps. Pain due to menstrual cramps is often caused because of cramping in the uterus muscles as it is shedding the inner lining, the endometrium. The uterus muscles are used to help release the lining.
I recommend magnesium supplementation to reduce muscle contraction and reduce pain. Magnesium supplementation is very successful when one capsule in the morning and one capsule in the evening are taken. Magnesium citrate is my favorite effective form of magnesium.
I also I suggest eating foods that are high magnesium. Start eating the food and eating the supplementation about two weeks before the start of your menstrual cycle.
Here are some examples of foods that are high in magnesium: Swiss chard, spinach, summer squash, pumpkin seeds, broccoli and other green leafy vegetables. I also recommend drinking plenty of water -- at least 8 to 10 glasses of water each day.
In addition to the short-term solution to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps, I also have a long-term solution to address any hormonal imbalances that are usually the main cause of the menstrual cramps.
One really successful treatment that balances hormonal imbalances includes eating whole foods which are rich in essential fatty acids and fiber. Essential fatty acids omega-3, -6, and -9 are required for bodies to create steroid-based hormones.
Steroid-based hormones include estrogens and progesterone, our female hormones, but they are also the backbone for cortisol, one of our stress hormones.